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Plan International’s Hurricane Matthew Response Program in Haiti

By Frank Manfredi
A recipient receives a hygiene kit distributed by Plan International.

Haiti is a country that has seen more than its share of disasters. On Tuesday, October 4, 2016 it was hit once again, when Hurricane Matthew made landfall. The Category 4 storm hit the impoverished Caribbean country with 145 mph winds, driving rains, and storm surges that left southern coastal regions flooded. In total, over 750,000 people were impacted by Matthew, with more than 175,500 people being displaced from storm-battered homes and almost 550 people killed by the hurricane. Damages to food stores, water systems, and schools have left hundreds of thousands vulnerable.

Many of these people have been working to recover from previous disasters, whether epidemiological outbreaks, previous stroms, or the instability and civil strife that mark the country’s politics. Regardless of the cause, the immediate aftermath and the future problems these disasters bring are devastating. Plan has been working in Haiti since 1973, helping communities overcome these disasters and build brighter futures for their children.

In response to Hurricane Matthew, Plan designed and is implementing a six-month, $5 million response in Croix-des-Bouquets (West), Jacmel (Southeast), and the Grand’Anse and South departments. The response program will reach 100,000 individuals (in 20,000 households), including approximately 21,840 girls and 20,160 boys, providing children, families, and communities impacted by Hurricane Matthew with timely relief assistance, early recovery, and resilience-building initiatives enabling them to secure their rights to dignity, protection, and education. In addition, the program will emphasize the active participation of adolescent girls.

Key program activities include:

  • Food Security and Nutrition – food kits, supplementary food for children
  • Shelter and Non-Food Items (NFIs) – emergency shelter kits and cooking kits
  • Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) – hygiene kits, hygiene promotion activities, and sanitation facilities for Child Friendly Spaces and Temporary Learning Spaces

Spaces and Temporary Learning Spaces

  • Health – promotion activities and prevention of waterborne and vector diseases
  • Child Protection – community-based mechanisms for child protection, Child-Friendly Spaces, and psychosocial support
  • Education – Temporary Learning Spaces, technical support to formal schools
  • Livelihoods – tool kits and cash transfers

After the six-month plan is implemented, Plan will continue working with the affected communities on education, systems strengthening, and livelihood programs to ensure a brighter and healthier future for children and their families.

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