Go to main content

Hurricane Irma in Haiti: “We’re worried about the most vulnerable people”

Emergency
Haiti

Within the last few hours, several Caribbean islands, including Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy, have been hit by hurricane Irma, causing extensive damage. The hurricane is now moving towards the north of Haiti. Present in the country, Handicap International’s teams are concerned for the welfare of the most vulnerable people, who have very limited means to protect themselves.

Satellite view of Hurricane Irma with a 300km radius

Satellite view of Hurricane Irma with a 300km radius | © NOAA

Irma, a category 5 hurricane, which severely affected several Caribbean islands, including Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy, on Wednesday, is currently moving north of Puerto Rico and could make landfall in northern Haiti and Cuba within hours.

Handicap International (HI), present in Haiti since 2008, is concerned for the welfare of the most vulnerable individuals, who are unable to protect themselves from the hurricane, and who live in isolated areas or on the coast, often in fragile makeshift shelters.

"You don’t get used to disasters"

According to Catherine Stubbe, the head of HI’s operations in Haiti: "The local radio stations are regularly advising people to cut tree branches close to their homes, to wrap documents in plastic covers, and above all, to stay together; not to go off by themselves. Haiti is on high alert and schools are closed until Friday."

"Although natural disasters are common in Haiti, you don’t get used to it. It only makes people even more vulnerable. There are few natural obstacles, very few trees, in particular, to act as a buffer against heavy rain or flooding, and we’re concerned about the welfare of the most vulnerable people. Many live in isolated areas, where they don’t have easy access to information, or are unable to take shelter."

HI’s teams have been mobilised to provide an immediate response for people affected by the disaster. The organisation is already in contact with the authorities and is preparing to travel to affected areas once the alert has been lifted. Our teams will then start assessing the situation with Haitian partners. HI has also ensured that its teams in the country are safe.

Handicap International in Haiti

Present in Haiti since 2008, Handicap International launched a response to Hurricane Matthew in October 2016 and after the earthquake of 2010. With some thirty staff members in the country, Handicap International implements natural disaster risk reduction projects in association with the Civil Protection Department in several of the country’s departments.

                       

COUNTRIES

Where we work

Read more

Haitian earthquake victim Moïse is back on the football pitch
© Davide Preti/HI
Emergency Rehabilitation

Haitian earthquake victim Moïse is back on the football pitch

Moïse, who is 14 years old, lost his leg in 2010 when Haiti was struck by a powerful earthquake. With support from Humanity & Inclusion (HI), he has now been fitted with a prosthesis. He meets the HI team regularly to ensure regular adjustments can be made as he grows.

Haiti: 11 years on, HI continues to ensure access to rehabilitation services for people with disabilities
© Nadia Todres/HI
Emergency Rehabilitation

Haiti: 11 years on, HI continues to ensure access to rehabilitation services for people with disabilities

After Haiti was hit by an earthquake on January 12th 2010, Humanity & Inclusion (HI) launched one the biggest emergency responses in its history. The organisation continues to provide support to people with disabilities today.

Smiles behind the masks: The impact of your support in 2020
© Quinn Neely/HI
Emergency Explosive weapons Health Inclusion Prevention Rehabilitation Rights

Smiles behind the masks: The impact of your support in 2020

2020 has been more challenging than anyone could have predicted. But as the year draws to a close, let's take a moment to appreciate the incredible, life-changing work that our dedicated supporters have helped us to deliver.

FOLLOW US