Hurricane Irma batters Haiti

Hurricane Irma advances on the Caribbean through Northern Haiti.

A catastrophic event such as a hurricane makes Haiti population even more vulnerable than usual; it is a country that normally experiences extreme levels of hunger and poverty. The emergency has been lasting since 2010, when a devastating earthquake with a magnitude of 7 killed over 220,000 people and left more than a million homeless. In October 2016 Hurricane Matthew ripped through Haiti, and now the country has to face the consequences of one of the most powerful hurricanes in the Atlantic Ocean.

Cesvi is based in the Southern part of the island, in Aquin and in the Grand’Anse area, working on emergency response and food security resilience. Most of the activities are carried out in partnership with the Alliance2015 partners. Working together is the most effective way to respond to emergencies: also in this critical situation, the partners on the field – besides Cesvi, Welthungerhilfe, Concern Worldwide, ACTED and Helvetas – are planning a common and integrated action.

Due to the conformation of the land and the road conditions, the access to some needy areas could be difficult. In these cases, teamwork becomes of key importace. Entela Sula, Cesvi head of mission in Haiti, claims: “We are ready to support Welthungerhilfe, the partner NGO who works in the most affected areas. After the hurricane, we’ll assess the damages and start thinking about reconstruction”.

Longford from Concern reports that they are ready to face the crisis: “On La Gonave island off the west coast, we have urged people to move inland as waves of up to 20 feet high have already been reported in areas where the storm hit. There is a huge risk of mudslides due to heavy rains and winds. Low lying areas are extremely vulnerable and waterborne diseases, such as cholera, are always cause for concern”.

Sanitation is not the only issue: people lack food and drinkable water because food supplies in most supermarkets are depleted. For this reason, Alliance2015 partners are going to distribute food and other essential kits.


Cover Photo: October 2016, Haiti’s destruction after Hurricane Matthew.