Haiti

Haiti Hurricane Matthew
The city of Jérémie, Haiti suffered the full force of the Category 4 hurricane, sustaining severe wind and water damage and leaving tens of thousands of people stranded.
Logan Abassi UN/MINUSTAH

Key Developments

Hurricane Matthew made landfall in Haiti on October 4, resulting in nearly 550 deaths and affecting an estimated 2.1 million people, including 806,000 people requiring immediate food assistance, according to the Government of Haiti (GoH) Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC). The storm brought destructive winds, heavy rainfall, and dangerous storm surge, resulting in widespread flooding and extensive damage to crops, houses, and infrastructure primarily in Grand’Anse and Sud Departments.

On October 2, U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Peter F. Mulrean issued a disaster declaration in response to the anticipated effects of Hurricane Matthew. USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA) contributed an initial $300,000, including $150,000 to the American Red Cross and $150,000 to Catholic Relief Services to support immediate relief efforts. In addition, USAID activated a regional Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) on October 3 with staff in The Bahamas, Haiti, and Jamaica; a Washington, D.C.-based Response Management Team also stood up to coordinate the regional humanitarian response. The DART maintains field teams in Haiti’s capital city of Port-au-Prince, Grand’Anse’s Jeremie commune, and Sud’s Les Cayes commune to support the DPC and relief actors with coordination and distribution efforts.

The effects of Hurricane Matthew have heightened the risk of cholera, a waterborne illness that can cause severe diarrhea and dehydration. The DART, in coordination with USAID/Haiti and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), continues to mobilize resources to prevent the spread of cholera and strengthen case management and treatment services in the areas affected by the storm.

On October 5, U.S. Southern Command stood up Joint Task Force (JTF) Matthew to support humanitarian operations related to the hurricane response in Haiti. Between October 9 and 19, the U.S. Department of Defense, with DART coordination, airlifted approximately 275 metric tons of relief commodities and food assistance, as well as more than 175 humanitarian personnel, to hurricane-affected areas of Grand’Anse and Sud. At the direction of the DART, and following consultations with the GoH and relief organizations in country, JTF-Matthew officially ended its two-week mission on October 19 as planned. Improved road conditions enabled relief workers to access affected communities more efficiently. With DART support, the UN World Food Program, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and the GoH Directorate of Civil Protection have activated a logistics coordination center in Haiti to support the transition from U.S. military to civilian logistical operations. USAID is providing $5.5 million to support WFP’s special operation to bolster logistical capabilities and continue air, sea, and ground transport assistance to remote communities.

To date, USAID has provided approximately $38 million in funding to the Hurricane Matthew response in Haiti, making USAID the single largest donor of humanitarian assistance to the country in the aftermath of the hurricane.

Learn more about USAID's Hurricane Matthew response efforts

Background

Haiti, an island in the Caribbean region, is vulnerable to recurrent floods and landslides associated with the rainy and hurricane seasons. Since the January 2010 earthquake and October 2010 cholera outbreak, USAID/OFDA has focused both on providing immediate response to affected populations and on supporting disaster risk reduction (DRR) programs that promote local and national self-sufficiency in disaster preparedness, response and management. Since 2010, USAID/OFDA has provided nearly $95 million to support stand-alone DRR programs throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, including approximately $20.4 million in funding to support DRR efforts in Haiti. In addition to stand-alone DRR programs, USAID/OFDA contributed nearly $44 million to support programs integrating preparedness and mitigation activities into early recovery and transition programs in response to the January 2010 earthquake and subsequent cholera outbreak in Haiti.

Since 2011, USAID/OFDA has supported IOM to pre-position emergency relief supplies in the event of disasters—such as flooding and landslides—during the rainy and hurricane seasons, as well as to develop GoH personnel capacity to manage facilities and deploy supplies when necessary. Pre-positioning relief commodities—including plastic sheeting, hygiene kits, and water containers—ensured that relief supplies were available for distribution to affected populations immediately following Hurricane Matthew.

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Last updated: November 10, 2016

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