Situation update: Up to 806,000 persons are in extreme food-security emergency in Haiti

Hurricane Matthew hit the southwestern tip of Haiti on October 4, affecting 20% of the Haitian population, especially those living in the Sud ad Grand’Anse departments. The latest figures from the governmental Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC), confirmed by UNOCHA on October 17, have estimated that some 175,500 displaced people are living in 224 shelters across the country. The humanitarian needs are immense: up to 2.1 million persons have been affected by the hurricane; 1.4 million persons are in need of humanitarian assistance, 750,000 persons of whom need emergency aid. The needs are immediate and substantial: shelters, drinking water, food, sanitation and access to medicine. The hurricane left thousands of houses flattened to the ground; roofs were snapped; and access routes to the most remote regions of Grand’Anse were cut off.

Extreme food-security emergency

The initial evaluation of the situation of food security, carried out by the Coordination Nationale de la Sécurité Alimentaire (CNSA) and the World Food Programme (WFP) in the Sud and Grande’Anse departments, is alarming. Up to 806,000 persons are in an extreme food-security emergency, and local production and livelihoods have been strongly affected.

ACTED teams have been working hard since the passage of Hurricane Matthew. The strategy of ACTED’s initial emergency response is to distribute foods and non-food items, facilitate access to drinking water and respond to cholera. The second phase of the response includes recovery activities in the sectors of agriculture, shelter and WASH.

With the support of DPC, IOM, USAID and the Minustah, initial livelihood distributions by ACTED teams started on October 19 and are planned to take place on a daily basis from that day onward, by capillarity. In addition, water treatment units, provided by Fondation Véolia, are under way. Two out of 6 units were installed on October 18-19.

Distribution of WASH kits

Multi-sectorial and WASH REACH units were also deployed in the Sud department, in support of local actors, assisting in the assessment efforts. A deployment in Grand’Anse is planned for the coming days.

Throughout the two weeks since the passage of the hurricane, ACTED teams, in coordination with local stakeholders, distributed a total of 187 jerry cans, 228 hygiene kits, 537 tarps, and 862 blankets around the Grand’Anse Department, especially in Jérémie.

ACTED also established a total of 26 chlorination points, established 3 emergency rehabilitations, in addition to 2 emergency investigations and 2 emergency reconstructions were performed in both Grand’Anse and Sud.

ACTED teams mobilised to prevent the spread of cholera

After the hurricane, many areas have been inundated and covered in mud, creating conditions for the propagation of cholera.

ACTED teams distributed a total of 125 cholera kits and 1,180 soap bars, established 45 hand-washing areas, as well as led WASH awareness-raising sessions around the Sud Department, especially in Les Cayes. Nine water points have been cleaned, in addition to 28 houses decontaminated.