Handicap International is planning an emergency response following the violent Hurricane Matthew that made landfall today in Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world.
According to the United Nations, 5 million people could be affected and more than 300,000 people may need immediate assistance. Active in Haiti since 2008, Handicap International is calling for donations to help injured and vulnerable people.
Hurricane Matthew, a Category 4 storm, has made landfall on the south-western tip of Haiti, bringing winds of up 145 miles per hour. Water surges and rainfall, with up to one metre possible in some areas, may cause deadly flooding and landslides.
More than 1,200 people are currently displaced in temporary shelters in the towns of Cayes and Jeremie. Coastal flooding was recorded in 11 municipalities in the Grand Anse, Nippes and Sud departments.
“Hurricanes cause casualties and damage homes, crops and roads, and generally have a very serious impact on the most vulnerable people, particularly those living in makeshift housing and in isolated regions. We are therefore preparing to deal with a major disaster” explains Aleema Shivji, Director of Handicap International UK.
“Already present in Haiti, our teams are ready to provide life-saving and practical help to disabled, injured and vulnerable people affected by this disaster. We know from experience that these people are the most at-risk during and after a disaster.”
- Handicap International has been in Haiti since 2008. We have a wealth of experience providing emergency rehabilitation care and psychological support, distributing basic needs items and ensuring that the most vulnerable people can access humanitarian aid. Following the earthquake in January 2010, Handicap International provided support to tens of thousands of victims.
- Donations can be made to Handicap International UK's Haiti appeal at https://donate.handicap-international.org.uk/give/haiti/
- Aleema Shivji, Director of Handicap International UK, is available for interviews. Before becoming UK Director in 2012, Aleema was the head of mission for Handicap International in Haiti, following the devastating earthquake that hit the country in 2010.
Marlene Sigonney, Handicap International UK
Tel: +44 (0)870 774 3737