UNICEF Haiti: Humanitarian Situation Report on Hurricane Matthew #10, 20 October 2016

Situation Report
Originally published



Two weeks on from Hurricane Matthew, humanitarian aid and assistance is reaching affected populations. Roads are being cleared, schools are reopening and water is being delivered to children and families in affected areas. Cholera remains a major threat, with an increase in number of suspected cases that are yet to be confirmed. UNICEF and partners are working hard to bring people access to clean water, hygiene and sanitation, to get children back to school, to protect children from violence, exploitation and abuse, and to restore basic health and nutrition services for women and children.

  • On 19 October UNICEF has declared Level 2 emergency for Haiti.

  • UNICEF is responding in four departments of Haiti: Grand’Anse, South, Nippes and North-West. It is estimated that at least 590,000 children are in need of assistance.

  • Many people including children, have lost their birth certificates, which is impeding access to basic services, including education. Addressing this problem is priority for protection partners.

  • UNICEF is working with Ministry of Health and PAHO to organize vaccination for 900,000 people in the most affected areas.

  • There is concern that unsolicited donations of breast-milk substitutes could jeopardize breast-feeding practices, as well as increasing the risk of illness due to contamination when using unsafe water when preparing the formula.

  • Having completed initial assessments, UNICEF has revised its immediate funding requirements to $14.1million and is updating its 2016 Humanitarian Action for Children (HAC) appeal for Haiti

2,128,708 people affected including
894,057 children
(UNICEF estimate on UN Haiti figures)

1,410,907 people including
592,581 children in need of assistance
(UNICEF estimate on UN Haiti figures)

112,500 children under age five
are at risk of acute malnutrition

546 people dead

1,351 suspected cholera cases
(DELR, CTC. Data from all departments from 4 to 13 October 2016)

People in shelters
Source: Civil Protection Department (DPC)

Estimated UNICEF funds required
have doubled to
US$14.1 million needed to cover
immediate life-saving needs

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

Official figures from the Civil Protection Department (DCP) remain at 546 people dead and 128 missing. There are still areas flooded and mudslides continue to hamper access, but more areas are reached each day. The two islands off the coast of Haiti, Ile des Cayemites, and parts of the central peninsula of Haiti still have not been reached.

UNICEF is working with partners on delivering humanitarian assistance to affected populations, while continuously assessing the situation on the ground. UNICEF is prioritizing interventions to address the most pressing needs, including access to a sufficient supply of quality water, education, shelter, child protection, health and nutrition.

With 34 Cholera Treatment Centres completely destroyed, and the number of suspected cholera cases increasing significantly in South and Grand’Anse, furtrher spread of the disease as well as increase in numbers of other water borne diseases continue to be the greatest immediate threat to children and families in affected areas. Of concern is continued rise of acute diahrrea cases and all humanitarian actors are maintaining strict surveillance and vigilence.

Many hospitals are lacking basic supplies and medicines and are unable to treat patients. There have been unconfirmed reports that some medical supplies arriving outside of the formal coordination systems are unfamiliar to Haitian medical staff causing problems with further use of these supplies. UNICEF is preparing a distribution of medical and education supplies by the end of this week.

There are reports of increased violence, including gender based violence, in the areas affected by the hurricane. There is also concern that sexual violence might contribute to further spread of HIV, which is already prevalent in the country.

Over 13,000 women are due to give birth in the next three months in the affected areas. Before the hurricane one in ninety were at risk of death due to pregnancy related issues, and it is feared this risk may rise further with lack of food, water and basic sanitation and hygiene. The unsolicitated donations of breast-milk subsistitute are increasingly a concern as unintentional harm can be caused if milk powder is mixed with contaminated water.

Latest assessments indicate nearly a total destruction of crops and livestock as well as sever impact on fishery due to damage of basic tools, including boats and nets. It is estimated that 806,000 people are food insecure.

The number of children out of school has increased to 116,000, and is likely to rise further. Schools are being used as shelters. In the town of Catiche for example, the school, which was built by UNICEF in 2013, is the only remaining building in the town.

An assessment is underway by the Ministry of Communication with InterNews, supported by telecomms company Conatel, to understand the status of community radio networks. Prior to Hurrican Matthew, UNICEF collaborated with large number of community radio stations and utilized their network for public health promotion and communication. UNICEF will closely follow the ongoing assessment and explore ways to support community radio stations as needed.