Haiti

Haiti: Hurricane Matthew - Situation Report No. 20 (8 November 2016)

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Situation Report
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Main Points

  • Of the 806,000 affected people who are at the “extreme level” of food insecurity, 426,000 people (or 53 per cent) have so far received food assistance.

  • Continued security incidents targeting convoys of humanitarian supplies hinder the much needed delivery of assistance.

  • During the reporting period, heavy rains in the departments of Grand’Anse, Nord-Est, and Nord led to the death of 10 people (Three women, four men, and three children). Three others are wounded and one is missing.

  • With crop loss reaching a staggering 80 to 100 per cent in parts of the predominantly rural areas, people’s food insecurity risks worsening in the coming months if farming activities are not urgently restored by mid-November.

Situation Overview

In the most affected departments of Grand’Anse, Nippes and Sud, the need to scale up humanitarian intervention has become increasingly urgent, especially in the sectors of food, shelter, health, and protection. According to WFP, an estimated 806,000 people are at the “extreme-level” of food insecurity. As of 3 November, only 426,000 people had received food assistance. Distributions of food and relief items are often hindered by issues of inaccessibility to people living in remote or hard-to-reach areas, in part due to recent torrential rains, as well as by challenges related to insecurity. Of particular concern are continued incidents of looting of supplies, a result of people’s frustration with slow humanitarian response but also criminality.

The destructive impact of the hurricane has left nearly 175,000 people without a home according to IOM, forcing them to live in temporary shelters such as schools or with host communities. The humanitarian community is developing a returns strategy in consultation with the Government to ensure safe, voluntary and dignify returns to areas of origin or settlement. Despite schools having to reopen shortly and upcoming elections requiring some public buildings to be turned into polling stations the Government has given reassurances that forced relocations would not take place.

A key challenge facing the affected people is the lack of humanitarian actors specialized in providing protection services. A Protection Capacity Officer has been deployed on behalf of the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT). Given that a large portion of the displaced people live in highly-populated and overcrowded shelters, the risk of sex and gender-based violence (SGBV) is reportedly increasing significantly, especially amongst female-headed households, the elderly, and children.

In addition to having had their homes damaged or destroyed, many people have also lost their livelihoods, especially in communes where farming and fishing are key economic activities. This has leftan enormous gap in the people’s ability to meet their basic, day-to-day necessities, such as medication, food, water, hygiene, and the ability to reconstruct their destroyed homes. More importantly, with crop loss reaching a staggering 80 to 100 per cent in parts of the predominantly rural areas, people’s food insecurity risks worsening in the coming months if farming activities are not urgently restored by mid-November, one of Haiti’s two planting seasons.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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