Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Stephen O’brien Statement on urgent appeal for Haiti following Hurricane
Hurricane Matthew has precipitated the worst humanitarian crisis in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. Since the Category 4 storm rolled across south-western Haiti with winds of 235 kilometres per hour on 4 October, Haitian authorities have reported a death toll of well over 300. Hundreds more people are feared dead as rescue workers access more areas.
The widespread devastation, flooding, displacement and crop loss hit at a time when Haitians were already challenged by an increase in cholera cases and severe food insecurity and malnutrition. In the worst-hit departments many towns have been virtually wiped out. More than 1.4 million people are in need of urgent assistance. Families that were fortunate to survive the hurricane now find themselves in a struggle to survive, with thousands of homes and livelihoods washed away by the storm.
In support of the Government-led response, United Nations and humanitarian agencies today launched an appeal for US$120 million, which is urgently needed to provide life-saving assistance to 750,000 people over the next three months. On 7 October, the Central Emergency Response Fund provided $5 million to jump start the appeal.
Full funding of the appeal is urgently needed so that humanitarians can respond to people most in need before the situation further deteriorates, including by addressing the risks posed by cholera and other deadly waterborne diseases.
I join the United Nations Secretary-General in standing with the Haitian people at this critical time, and urge donors to contribute generously and urgently.
New York, 10 October 2016