People Helped in 2016: 431,919
Years of political instability and recurring natural disasters have kept Haiti in an impoverished tailspin, placing one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after another in their path to development, with some 55% of the Haitian population currently living below the poverty line.
Devastating Earthquake in 2010
In January of 2010, a major earthquake struck Haiti with devastating consequences. The capital city, Port-au-Prince, and its surrounding communities were heavily affected: over 220,000 Haitians lost their lives, more than 400,000 were injured, and a staggering 1.2 million people were left homeless. Practically speaking, half of the city of Port-au-Prince was destroyed.
With nearly three decades in Haiti, Action Against Hunger’s teams were well positioned to respond immediately to this latest catastrophe, setting up emergency water points that served some 800,000 displaced individuals for over a year, building latrines for over 100,000 people in Port-au-Prince, and distributed over five million water purification tablets to stave off the threat of waterborne diseases.
Hurricane Matthew in 2016
Then, on October 4th in 2016, Hurricane Matthew made landfall in Haiti, the strongest storm to hit the island in more than 30 years. Strong winds at approximately 140 miles per hour and torrential rain caused mudslides and extensive damage, especially in coastal areas. According to the Haitian government, an estimated 1.4 million people were affected by the hurricane and are in need of assistance.
We immediately mobilized our emergency response team from Paris, and we sent 20 tons of emergency supplies from our logistics headquarters to Haiti to meet the needs of disaster victims.
Our emergency teams responded in the Lower Northwest of Haiti (specifically Bombardopolis) and in North Artibonite: both areas were strongly affected by the hurricane and are at particular risk of cholera. Families in the Lower Northwest and North Artibonite struggle with chronic poverty and weak infrastructure for water: the hurricane has damaged homes, crops, roads, in these already vulnerable communities.
We distributed emergency hygiene kits, food and safe water to displaced people in emergency shelters and health centers.
Supporting Vulnerable Children and their Families
Today, we continue to combat food insecurity by supporting vulnerable populations with fresh local produce and improving market conditions for local famers. In parallel, a nutrition and health component was opened and we strengthened care for pregnant and lactating women as well as for children suffering from malnutrition. Following the cholera epidemic, rapid response and prevention activities in water, sanitation, and hygiene are continuing to be carried out - distributing hygiene kits and improving access to drinking water.
Action Against Hunger is committed to meeting the great needs in Haiti, and to helping as many children and their families as possible.