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Hurricane Isaac tears through Haiti

Damage caused at Action Center for Development in Haiti
Damage caused at Action Center for Development in Haiti
September 4, 2012

Hurricane Isaac recently tore through Haiti - killing at least eight people and causing widespread destruction. High winds pulled roofs from houses, uprooted trees, carried off temporary shelters and blocked roads and electricity supplies.

About 400,000 people still living in makeshift camps in the country following the 2010 earthquake are among those who have been most affected. Plan is distributing relief items stockpiled in our warehouses to people living in temporary shelters.

"I didn't know what it was but I was very scared," says Martine, 16. "The loud wind brought back memories of the earthquake of 2010, when I lost my parents."

Martine lives in a Plan-supported training center in Croix des Bouquets. "I remember each minute of the earthquake, and I was worried that instead of a storm this was another earthquake - and maybe the last one: the end of the world."

Protecting children in disasters

Teams from Plan are on the ground, dealing with the impact of the storm. As well as handing out emergency kits to families in temporary shelters in the South East, national TV is broadcasting Plan messages on the importance of protecting children in disasters.

"The risk of floods, landslides and falling rock remains high," says John Chaloner, Plan Country Director in Haiti.

"Disasters affect children disproportionately - and repeated emergencies are stretching the resilience of Haitian children," says Dr. Unni Krishnan, Plan's Head of Disaster Response and Preparedness. “Psychosocial care and disasters risk reduction are vital ingredients of humanitarian and development work – both help children to prepare, equip them to absorb shocks and recover more quickly."

Working together

Plan is working in close collaboration with national and local authorities, as well as UN and international aid agencies. As well as taking action to deal with the immediate problems including raising awareness about preventing cholera and child protection, we want to ensure that any repairs and rebuilding of schools will be sustainable. We are assessing the condition of schools damaged by the storm and will provide temporary classrooms where necessary.

In neighboring Dominican Republic, also partially affected by the storm, Plan has put active monitoring and preparedness measures in place. Plan runs several disaster risk reduction and preparedness projects in both countries that share the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean.

Plan has been working with Haitian communities to improve the lives of children and their families since 1973. Plan’s programs focus on education, healthcare, livelihoods, disaster risk reduction initiatives, and the participation of children and young people in child rights campaigns.

Information for sponsors

We will contact sponsors directly if we receive any news about individual sponsored children. If you are planning a visit or have any particular concerns around this issue, please contact our Donor Relations staff at donorrelations@planusa.org or at 1-800-556-7918.

Help support children and families affected by disasters

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