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Haiti: The impact of our emergency response, four months on from Hurricane Matthew


Four months after Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti, many people still need humanitarian aid. Handicap International has distributed emergency kits and household items to one thousand homes, benefiting more than 4,700 people affected by the disaster. The organisation has also transported more than 270 tonnes of humanitarian equipment to people living in remote areas.

Jeanty Emile and his children lost their house after Matthew hurricane hit Haiti on 4th October 2016.

Jeanty Emile and his children lost their house after Matthew hurricane hit Haiti on 4th October 2016. | © Handicap International

Ulysse Cletide, who lives in the commune of Petite Rivière in Nippes described what happene when the storm struck:

"It was a nightmare. The wind shook our home and tore off the roof. The rain kept on falling. Our house collapsed and we found ourselves outside, in total darkness."

"We spent the whole night in the roaring wind and lashing rain. The wind was blowing down trees and tearing off roofs all around us."

"We stayed with our neighbour for two weeks and then built a small makeshift shelter. In December, Handicap International gave us some tools and we were finally able to rebuild our little home."

Emergency kits and household items

Handicap International has distributed emergency kits and household items to more than 4,700 people who, like Ulysse and his family, are victims of the disaster in the department of Nippes. The kits have enabled them to build new shelters and to improve their living conditions.

Rehabilitation teams travelling to remote areas

Two mobile teams were sent to the city of Les Cayes immediately after the hurricane to support injured people, assess the state of hospitals and rehabilitation services, and to supply wheelchairs and crutches.

Two mobile teams of physiotherapists and social workers continue to travel through the mountainous region of the Sud department to provide rehabilitation care and offer psychological support to people affected by the hurricane.

"The victims are injured or vulnerable people – usually older people or people with disabilities - who have been made even more vulnerable since the disaster. They live in very remote areas without health centres or rehabilitation facilities. Our teams sometimes have to walk for hours to reach them," explains Sylvia Sommella, head of Handicap International’s emergency actions in Haiti.

Logistics platform

Since many roads in the south of the country were damaged, Handicap International  has also set up a logistics platform to transport humanitarian equipment such as shelters, tools and hygiene kits, by road or sea, to people living in remote areas of the departments of Sud, Grand Anse, Nippes and Ouest. The organisation has made 108 journeys by road and 14 by sea, transporting more than 270 tonnes of humanitarian equipment, in conjunction with its partner organisations.  

Clearing debris

Handicap International's logistics teams have also transported rubbish that had piled up in drains, in support of clearance activities organised by the departments of Grande Anse, Nippes, Ouest and Sud. The organisation also helped to reopen main roads to transport humanitarian aid and restore economic life.

Including the most vulnerable people

The organisation is also identifying the most vulnerable people – isolated heads of households, pregnant women, older people and people with disabilities – in the department of Sud, and providing support to humanitarian organisations to ensure they are able to access health care, education and rehabilitation services, and so on.

Handicap International’s support at a glance

Rehabilitation and psychosocial care

  • More than 150 people have benefited from rehabilitation sessions
  • Some 200 people have benefited from psychological support and/or taken part in social cohesion sessions.

Distributions of emergency kits and household items

  • 1,000 emergency kits (containing tools) and household items (solar-powered lamps, jerry cans, mosquito nets, and so on) were distributed in the department of Nippes to more than 4,700 people.

Inclusion of the most vulnerable people

  • Many vulnerable people have been identified by Handicap International in communities. The organisation ensures they are able to access humanitarian services (health care, rehabilitation, and so on).

Logistics platform

  • 1 logistics platform was set up by Atlas Logistique/Handicap International in the cities of Les Cayes and Jérémie.
  • 108 road journeys and 14 sea journeys have been made by a fleet of 40 lorries and 10 boats, to transport more than 270 tonnes of humanitarian equipment for other partners  in aid of people living in remote areas.

Rubbish clearance

  • 300 journeys by skip lorries were organised by Handicap International to clear rubbish, with a total of 2,871 available tonnes, representing 1,689 cubic metres (actual and available) over 1,495 km (municipalities of Jérémie, Anse d’Hainault, Baumont and Morron).
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