Hurricane Irma in Haiti, IOM in support of the government and the affected population

News and Press Release
Originally published
View original

On 7 September, Haiti was hit by Hurricane Irma. The North of the country experienced heavy rains, winds and flooding. 10 085 people in the areas affected took shelter in Emergency Evacuation Centers. Working in partnership with local and national authorities, IOM has helped the affected population shelter in emergency evacuation centers and has provided hygiene kits, jerry cans and sleeping mats.

On Thursday 7 September and the second time in the past 11 months, Haiti was confronted by a major Hurricane. Hurricane Irma, Category 5 on the hurricane Saffir-Simpson wind scale, made landfall off of Haiti’s northern coastline. The eye of the storm passed north of Haiti, yet heavy rains, winds and flooding have cause significant damages in the North-East, North-West, North, Artibonite and Center departments. The eye of the storm passed north of Haiti, yet 10 085 people[1] in the areas affected took shelter in Emergency Evacuation Centers.

Before Irma’s passage IOM Haiti deployed multi-sectorial teams and NFI stocks to the northern departments to support local authorities’ preparedness/response interventions. The multi-sectoral teams were deployed in Gonaïves, Gros Morne, Cap-Haïtien and Port de Paix as well as the sub-offices of Jérémie (Grand Anse), Les Cayes (Sud) and Ouanaminthe (Northeast). IOM supported the DPC ( Direction de la Protection Civile-in French- Civil Protection) and the Haitian Red Cross assist the population affected, register people in emergency evacuation centers as well as identify and assistance to vulnerable individuals as well as conduct preliminary damage assessments.

Furthermore, the IOM Protection Team conducted awareness-raising activities for displaced persons in shelters on the risks of trafficking and irregular migration in crisis situations (distributions of flyers and Hotline bracelets) and referred protection cases to the IBESR. Also, the IOM team in collaboration with CAPAC and the IBESR evacuated 72 children from an orphanage at risk of flooding in Ouanaminthe. IOM also participated in awareness-raising activities in the communes of Fort-Liberté, Ferrier, Ouanaminthe alongside with Civil Protection, local authorities and partners.

In conjunction with the DPC, IOM registered 171 displaced families in priority shelters in Ouanaminthe and in the area of Fort Liberté.

IOM provided assistance to the most affected people through the distribution NFI

In collaboration with the DPC, IOM carried out three joint distributions with WFP, the Departmental Delegate (Déléguée Départementale) and local authorities in Ouanaminthe (at the EFACAP center and the Capois La Mort High School) and Fort Liberté (at the school of Malfety). 393 families benefited from the NFI kits provided by OFDA. The NFI kits included sleeping mats, jerry cans, blankets and hygiene kits. Following the distribution in Ouanaminthe, the emergency evacuation centers were closed.

IOM accompanied the Prime Minister's delegation to assess the damage and the Delegation of the Director of the Civil Protection during the EDAB evaluation report in the North East Department.

IOM supported the Operational coordination of the MIRA evaluation teams in the communes of Ouanaminthe, Fort Liberté, Ferrier, Caracol and Mombin Crochu.

IOM staff continues to support to the National Emergency Operations Center (COUN) as well as the Departmental Centers for Emergency Operation (COUD) in the management, evaluation and closure of Emergency Evacuation Centers. Meetings with the DPC, the Shelter/NFI and Protection Working Group continue to ensure a coordinated response to the most affected population. IOM’s protection team continues to provide advice to the affected population through the 840 hotline.