On October 4, 2016, Hurricane Matthew swept through Haiti, killing more than 800 people and leaving thousands displaced and living in temporary shelters. The category 4-strength storm, with winds gusting to 230 km/h, heavy rain and flooding, caused massive damage to infrastructure, homes and crops in many communities, increasing the risk of waterborne diseases. The country was still vulnerable to disasters, not having fully recovered from the 2010 earthquake and subsequent cholera epidemic.
More than 2.1 million people (600,000 of them children) were affected by this hurricane, with 1.4 million in need of immediate humanitarian assistance. While many displaced people found shelter in surviving houses, the majority of the most vulnerable residents have been forced to sleep in the open or in temporary emergency shelters, which can expose people – particularly women and girls - to higher levels of gender-based violence.
Save the Children intervened to save lives and protect vulnerable populations, especially children.
They conducted the following activities:
• Distribute hygiene kits to shelter residents and baby kits to households with young children.
• Provide potable water to shelter residents, and rehabilitate damaged latrines.
• Set up Child Friendly Spaces in identified shelters to provide children with an opportunity to interact, play and remain safe at all hours.
• Support the rehabilitation of damaged schools and identify possible alternative education options.