Skip to main content

You are here


Haiti: Struggling to survive

18 Oct 2016


Hurricane Matthew affected 2.1 million people throughout the country, and 750,000 now require urgent, life-saving support in the next three months. Some of them tell us about their daily struggle.

Hurricane Matthew violently struck parts of Haiti on 4 October 2016, leaving an estimated 750,000 people in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. The Category 4 hurricane caused extensive flooding and mudslides, damage to road infrastructure and buildings, and shortages in electricity and water. This is now Haiti’s largest humanitarian emergency since the 2010 earthquake.

Buildings and infrastructure were destroyed in Port Salut in Sud Department, 250 kms from the Haitian capital. Credit: OCHA/S.Trassari

Port-au-Prince, the capital, was mostly spared from the hurricane’s full strength, but parts of the cities of Jérémie and Les Cayes, in the departments of Grand’Anse and Sud respectively, received full-force wind-and-water damage. An estimated 175,000 people are now displaced and scattered around 224 temporary shelters across the country.

People make their way along a flooded road in the Cité Soleil area, Port-au-Prince. Credit: Igor Rugwiza/MINUSTAH

Madam Setaline Delin is one of many who lost everything during the hurricane, including her house. Setaline has 12 children. The oldest ones had left the south to go to the capital, Port-au-Prince, to find a job. Now, she and the children who stayed with her have little to go on. 

Credit: OCHA/S.Trassari

Of the 2.1 million affected people, over 1.4 million people need some type of humanitarian assistance. Education is disrupted for over 116,000 children aged between 6 and 14 due to damaged schools. Humanitarian needs include a combination of access to a sufficient supply of quality water, education, shelter, child protection, health, and food and nutrition. More than 800,000 people are now at the level of extreme-impact food insecurity.

Roche à Bateau was heavily affected. A woman walks by a destroyed kindergarten in her neighbourhood. Credit: OCHA/S.Trassari/OCHA

Steven Bazelais, 16, told us that the hurricane destroyed everything in his village in Rosier, including his house and his school. Life is now hard for Steven and his five brothers. “Going to school is what I miss the most,” he said. 

Credit: OCHA/S.Trassari/OCHA

On 10 October, the humanitarian community launched a Flash Appeal requesting US$119,850,000 to respond to the most urgent humanitarian needs of 750,000 people seriously affected by Hurricane Matthew for the next three months. This request is in addition to the 2016 Haiti Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP) launched early this year.