13 October 2016
Haiti is facing a humanitarian crisis following Hurricane Matthew, a category four hurricane that struck on 4 October 2016, devastating homes, schools, crops, water supplies and roads. ActionAid has worked in Haiti since 1996 so we are well-placed to provide a swift emergency response. Our team on the ground is working with local networks in the Grand’Anse area in the south west of the country, to identify the most urgent problems, and provide emergency support. We're bringing you the latest updates and stories from our emergency team. The most recent content is at the top.
A map showing the path of Hurricane Matthew and the areas where ActionAid is responding.
Thursday 13 October
Our teams are continuing to distribute essential items to communties across the worst-hit parts of Haiti.
Distributing emergency supplies in Jeremie
Joceline Saint Clair is a committee member of KPGA, ActionAid's local partner in Jeremie commune. She is distributing emergency kits on the outskirts of Rochas neighbourhood in Jeremie.
The kits include water, soap, packets of biscuits and milk. This is in response to requests from local communities.
Antoinette Appolon stands outside her house in the town of Jeremie. Because the walls of the house are made of concrete it has stayed standing, but the roof has been severely damaged. Antoinette is a member of KPGA and is receiving support from them, including emergency supplies.
Natalia Fricker, an emergency communications officer on the ground in Haiti, says that fallen trees like are still blocking roads, making access to some areas extremely difficult.
Wednesday 12 October
Yayane Louisiane Nazaire is a Women's Rights Coordinator for ActionAid's local partner KPGA. She stands outside their severely damaged office, on the left of the photo, and a destroyed church on the right, in Buvette locality, Jeremie commune.
The office is funded by ActionAid and has been running since 2010. Yayane says:
Physically I wasn't here, but this affects me too because I manage the programme here. So to see the office and church destroyed like this breaks my heart. It's hard to have the strength to coordinate and support others when I have lost everything too - I have two children, no husband and my home has been destroyed. But together with the community we will work out a way to fix it.
50 people were sheltering in the church when Hurricane Matthew struck. When the church began to collapse, they moved into KPGA's office for shelter.
More photos coming in from our team in the town of Jeremie show the destruction caused by Hurricane Matthew.
"We have nothing"
Rodette is standing outside the ruins of her house with her daughter, Melaise. She says:
I work as a merchant - I sell things like plantain, bananas, potatoes in the market. When the hurricane hit I was outside on the street so I tried to hide and rescue my children. Our house is completely destroyed. We have nothing. We have nowhere else to go so now we are living in a church nearby with other people, as it's safer together. My biggest problem right now is my daughter. She goes to school half an hour from here. I want her to back to school but I have nothing to give her - she has nothing, no clothes, no uniform, no books, so she can't go back to the school yet.
Buildings reduced to rubble in Jeremie
This was a concrete building on Rue Alexander Petion - one of the poorest and worst affected areas in Jeremie.
Committee members of ActionAid's local partner KPGA show us the level of destruction in their community. This is a poor area on the outskirts of Rochas neighbourhood in Jeremie.
As you can see from the photos being sent in from our team, our response is focused in the worst-hit areas of Haiti. This map shows the location of our emergency response.
Tuesday 11 October
Today, our team is coordinating deliveries to 1,600 families in Roseaux and Jeremie. We are prioritising the most vulnerable families: those whose homes have been completely destroyed, women-headed households, people with a disability, and people who are HIV-positive.
Delivering emergency supplies
The deliveries include clean water, soap, and biscuits. This is what communities have said they need the most. The supplies are expected to last about a week.
In Roseaux, ActionAid Haiti staff are distributing bags of emergency supplies to families in a cassava factory, funded by ActionAid through our local partner KPGA, to help women earn a living.
Our team urgently needs more funds so we can continue deliveries next week. You can donate here to help us get more supplies to communities.
The supplies are being bought by ActionAid and our local partner staff in Jeremie. This is possible because some shops built from concrete have survived the hurricane.
But demand is so great that prices have shot up – for example, before the hurricane, 50 sachets of water cost 65 Haitian Gourdes (£0.78) but this has now almost quadrupled to 200 Haitian Gourdes (£2.40).
Natalia Fricker, an emergency communications officer on the ground in Haiti, described the impact of the hurricane.
The first town we passed that was completely devastated by Hurricane Matthew en route from Port au Prince to Jeremie was like a ghost town. Trees were stripped completely bare, homes were destroyed, and there were no people in the town - only a very few people on the outskirts near the road beginning to clear debris.
The team met many people who had lost their homes in the hurricane.
"The water from the hurricane has flooded my whole house, all the way down to the foundations. I have lost everything," said Florent, who was standing next to the Digue River crossing.
Monday 10 October
ActionAid is working to get cholera kits to people in the most affected areas.
Risk of cholera epidemic
"Diarrhoea and cholera are a looming threat with flooding causing sewage to flow into the streets," said Yolette Etienne, who is leading ActionAid’s emergency response team on the ground. "If conditions don’t improve soon there is a danger there could be a new cholera outbreak."
What's in the cholera kits?
The cholera kits contain chlorine, anti-diarrhoea medicine, towels, soap, sanitary towels, toothpaste, and a 5-gallon jerry can with a lid to prevent water contamination. In Les Anglais (Sud department), ActionAid distributed 200 buckets with chlorine tablets and soap.
Sunday 9 October
Hundreds of people have been reported killed and the Haiti government estimates over 500,000 people are in urgent need of humanitarian aid.
ActionAid is helping people in shelters in the most isolated areas of Grand Anse with emergency food and water supplies. These are needed urgently.
Crops and livestock wiped out
Crops and vital food sources have been wiped out, livestock lost, a fishing village completely destroyed. While it is still possible to buy some food in the markets, prices have risen steeply.
Diarrhoea and cholera are a looming threat with flooding causing sewage to flow into the streets."
Many people are living in emergency shelters as their homes were razed by the hurricane. Some have lost all of their belongings. The situation in the cramped shelters is poor: there is no electricity or privacy, and the lack of clean water and sanitation is causing diarrhoea to spread, with the threat of cholera a real concern.
Saturday 8 October
Joseph Wendy Alliance, an emergency responder for ActionAid Haiti, blogs about his journey to reach the worst affected areas of Haiti.
Read Joseph's blog.
Friday 7 October
There is widespread flooding following the initial devastation, and many areas of the country, including Grand Anse, are cut off by road, making it difficult to get emergency supplies through.
Mike Noyes, our Head of Humanitarian Response, blogs about what you can do to help.
Thursday 6 October
Our staff in Haiti report that lack of clean water, and widespread flooding, means that cholera is a looming threat.
Wednesday 5 October
We are launching an emergency Haiti appeal, so that we can increase our relief efforts across the worst-hit areas.
— ActionAid UK (@ActionAidUK) October 5, 2016
Tuesday 4 October
Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti on Tuesday 4 October. ActionAid Haiti, which had worked in the country since 1996, had closely monitored the situation with partners, and activated preparedness and contingency plans. In the immediate aftermath, our team worked with local networks in the Grand’Anse area in the south west of the country, to identify the most urgent problems, and provide emergency support.