Nearly a week after Hurricane Matthew, with the death toll rising above 1,000, conditions in Haiti remain extremely alarming. 2.1 million people have been affected in the regions of Grand’Anse, Sud, Nippes, Sud-Est, Artibonite, and Nord-ouest and almost 13% of the country’s population still needs immediate assistance, according to the United Nations.
The road between Les Cayes and Jérémie, the cities most affected by the hurricane, remains blocked. It is vital humanitarian actors gain access to people living in these areas. Handicap International is preparing to supply aid to the most vulnerable people.
“There is still an urgent need to access survivors,” explains Hélène Robin, head of Handicap International’s emergency programs. “You can imagine the difficulties facing people with injuries and older or disabled people whose homes have been destroyed and who need care but cannot get help because the roads have been damaged. Their health could deteriorate rapidly if they do not receive immediate aid. We need to distribute kits of essential items as fast as possible to people who have lost everything and who are now living in the streets. The sanitary risks are high and we need to start work as quickly as possible to avoid a cholera epidemic.”
In partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP), Handicap International will provide logistical support to the emergency response by helping transport humanitarian aid to the most isolated areas, currently inaccessible, in the province of Grand’Anse. Transporting aid by canoe is also being considered until roads reopen.
Handicap International will deploy a team to the Nord-ouest province, where little humanitarian aid is getting through, despite being seriously affected, so that no one is left behind.