IOM is making available to partners 8,000 emergency kits provided by USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) to assist families most affected by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti.
Delivery of the kits started in Port Au Prince, where an emergency assessment carried out by IOM in 60 percent of the camps in the area found 82 destroyed makeshift tents and temporary shelters where displaced population have lived since the 2010 earthquake. 270 of these shelters were damaged by the extreme weather. Emergency assessments in the internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in the areas of Gressier and Leogane are currently taking place.
Initial, though incomplete reports from the southern Tiburon peninsula, describe thousands of houses and several schools destroyed. Communication networks in the Grand Anse department were entirely down since Tuesday (04/10) morning and phone lines in Nippes department were heavily affected.
“We still don’t know the extent of the damage in the Southern Peninsula. We are trying to reach the most affected areas and support the government and the affected Haitians as swiftly and efficiently as possible,” Gregoire Goodstein IOM Haiti Chief of Mission said.
A critical bridge connecting the Tiburon Peninsula to the rest of the country, La Digue Bridge in Petit Goave, collapsed on Tuesday, blocking access to the most affected areas.
“In support of the Haitian Government, IOM is preparing to airlift response teams and non-food items (NFIs) including water containers, purification tablets, and hygiene kits to Jeremie (capital of Grand Anse department). Jeremie is in dire need of potable water and essential items, but access is only by air at this stage,” said Goodstein.
“We also have a convoy of 10 vehicles on its way to reach Les Cayes where there are huge needs as well. The focus is very much on these two major towns, but we have no idea yet what has happened to all the small coastal villages or even further inland,” he added.
IOM is deploying 13 teams to carry out a comprehensive evaluation and needs assessments with the focus on the Southern Peninsula as well as the Port Au Prince metropolitan area where 55,000 Haitians still reside in 31 displacement sites since 2010 earthquake.
IOM is also supporting the Government’s Civil Protection Directorate (DPC) in managing prepositioned NFIs, provided by OFDA/USAID, in Jeremie, Les Cayes, and Jacmel. However, these stocks are rapidly being depleted.
The government of Haiti this week declared at least 108 deaths and catastrophic damages in the southern Tiburon peninsula.