Over half a million women, children and men in Haiti are currently in urgent need of food, clean drinking water and safe shelter after Hurricane Matthew, the most powerful hurricane to hit the Caribbean in nearly a decade, struck the country on Tuesday.
The current situation in Haiti
Reports suggest that the hurricane, which brought 145mph winds and torrential rains has killed hundreds and left hundreds of thousands in need of assistance. Homes and schools have been destroyed, there is widespread flooding and hundreds of thousands of people have been forced into poor quality emergency shelters.
Access to the worst-affected areas in the south of the country, including the district known as Grande Anse is almost entirely cut off with routes and key bridges destroyed. Our response team is working around the clock to get through. It is vital we gain access to the area so that we can assess the needs of local people and determine what aid is needed.
What ActionAid is doing to help people in Haiti
ActionAid has been working Haiti since 1996, working with communities and local partners to run emergency and long-term programmes. Now, ActionAid’s humanitarian response teams in Haiti are working to get much needed emergency food and water to people in the worst affected areas, including Grand Anse. We are particularly concerned for people who are sheltering in evacuation shelters, where in many cases there is no water or electricity and little food.
Cholera is a potentially fatal bacterial infection. Outbreaks often occur after natural disasters, when there is a lack of access to sanitation and clean water. ActionAid is seriously concerned about the risk of cholera in Haiti. With reports of widespread flooding, causing sewage to flow into the streets, and little clean drinking water in many areas, cholera and other serious water-borne diseases are a significant threat. Continued rain and flooding could cause water-borne disease to spread further.
We have cholera kits on their way to the most affected areas. These include: chlorine, anti-diarrhoea medicine, towels, soap, sanitary towels, toothpaste, and a 5-gallon jerry can with a lid to prevent water contamination.
How you can help
ActionAid urgently needs more funds to get aid to the people who need it the most. Please support our emergency Haiti appeal now.
Photo credits: Dylan Roberts/FreeSociety/ActionAid