In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew slammed into Haiti, affecting thousands of people. Present in the country since 2010, Handicap International was able to launch immediate response by providing support to vulnerable people such as pregnant woman, older individuals, and people with disabilities. As part of our emergency response, our teams provided rehabilitation care to more than 240 people, including Carole and Lorestal. Their stories:
Carole lives in the rural region of Sud with very basic living conditions. “My home was destroyed by Hurricane Matthew,” Carole explains. “I took refuge in a friend’s house, where I still live with my mother and children. My right thighbone was badly injured and I couldn’t walk. Thanks to Handicap International, I was given rehabilitation care and crutches. Now I can walk again.”
Lorestal lives in the town of Les Cayes, in the Sud region. He explains how Hurricane Matthew affected him. “My knee was injured, which already had arthritis. I find it difficult to move around now. I live in a three-meter-square tent with my wife and children. It’s an isolated region and there are no health facilities nearby. Luckily I met some people from Handicap International in December and they gave me rehabilitation care and crutches. I’d eventually like to sell bread to earn a small income.”
MORE OF OUR EMERGENCY RELIEF WORK
Hurricane Matthew and the flooding in the north and south of the country have damaged a large number of roads and bridges. Handicap International set up a logistics platform, which uses the roads and sea routes to cover the Sud, Grand Anse, and Nippes areas in order to facilitate the shipment of humanitarian aid to people in the hard-to-reach areas. We dispatched 32 road and 12 sea convoys and shipped close to 400 tons of humanitarian aid–shelters, tools, and hygiene kits–in partnership with other humanitarian organizations.
Clearing the rubble
Handicap International is supporting the clearing work organized by the local districts in Grande Anse by transporting rubble and helping to reopen roads vital for transporting humanitarian aid and restarting economic activity.
Caring for the most vulnerable
Handicap International also identifies the most vulnerable people–isolated heads of household, pregnant women, elderly, and people with disabilities–in Grande Anse and Sud. We also work to make sure other humanitarian stakeholders provide access to services for these vulnerable members of the community including healthcare, education, and rehabilitation.
Rehabilitation and counseling
Two mobile teams each comprising of three experts–a project manager, a counseling project manager, and a social worker–were deployed after the hurricane to the town of Les Cayes to look after the injured. Each team assessed the state of the hospital and rehabilitation services and supplied wheelchairs, crutches, and walkers. More than 150 people attended rehabilitation sessions. We also ran counseling sessions for the victims.
“We don’t currently have the financial resources to provide an adequate response to a disaster of this magnitude," explains Hélène Robin, head of Handicap International’s emergency response. "Needs are enormous and varied. Our teams are making every effort to meet people’s essential needs, but we don’t have the means to ensure people are able to get through this latest ordeal, or to help them recover again."Read more
The situation in the southwest and northwest of Haiti is catastrophic. 1.25 million people still need humanitarian aid, three weeks following Hurricane Matthew. More than 146,000 homes have been destroyed, damaged or flooded, and more than 175,000 people have been displaced to 224 temporary evacuation centers. To make matters worse, earlier this week, torrential rains swept through the region of Sud, already devastated by the hurricane, and flooded many roads making them impassable. The local community, which has already lost plantations and homes, now has to cope with a new disaster.Read more