After the impact of Saturday’s earthquake followed by Tropical Storm Grace, Humanity & Inclusion is planning its first assessments in the most isolated regions.
The 7.2 magnitude earthquake that occurred off the coast of Haiti on Aug. 14 has resulted in at least 2,000 deaths, and nearly 10,000 injuries.
In preparation for emergency reinforcements arriving Wednesday afternoon, Humanity & Inclusion staff already present in Haiti plan to perform assessments in affected areas as soon as possible. Teams are traveling to the South and Grand’Anse regions to evaluate ports, make contact with local authorities and collect information regarding hospital needs.
“We plan to go to the Grand’Anse region, because there is a lot of need and very few NGOs responding,” says Agathe Lo Presti, Humanity & Inclusion’s program director for Haiti. “Organizations don’t go because it is very isolated and very complicated to access, with a widely dispersed population and very limited means of communication among the mountains. Even though Grand’Anse was not hit as hard as the South, the health infrastructure is much more limited. After Hurricane Matthew, the area was much more vulnerable, so we know there is great need.”
The trips from Humanity & Inclusion’s offices in Port-au-Prince to the affected zones can take up to 13 hours by car. With flooding and landslides caused by the tropical storm, quake-damaged roads are getting worse.
“It’s important to get to the field quickly, and particularly to that area,” Lo Presti explains.
Humanity & Inclusion teams have identified three areas of priority for their assessments:
- medical support including care for the wounded and emergency rehabilitation
- logistics support (HI has already deployed a fleet of boats to deliver supplies)
- essential needs such as food, shelter, sanitation and hygiene