Catastrophic hurricane makes landfall in Haiti
Tuesday, 4 October 2016
Save the Children prepares to help children families in Haiti bracing the effects of Hurricane Matthew.
Hurricane Matthew, a Category 4 storm and the strongest in almost a decade, pounded the southern coast of Haiti on Tuesday morning with winds of 145 mph causing flooding, extensive damage, and reportedly claiming several lives.
Save the Children is ready to deploy an emergency response team to work with staff and partners on the ground to help the children and families affected by the storm. The organisation has a stockpile of non-food items, including hygiene kits, baby items, household kits, mosquito nets and jerry cans, which will be used in coming days. Additional items will be supplied after the response teams have conducted an initial assessment.
“Children are often most vulnerable during disasters such as this one,” said Kevin Novotny, Save the Children’s Country Director in Haiti. “We have worked in Haiti for more than 30 years and we will be working with the government and other aid agencies to help affected children, including keeping them safe and getting them back into school as soon as possible.”
Part of Save the Children’s emergency response will likely include setting up “child-friendly spaces” in appropriate locations, which will provide children with a safe and protected space where they receive support from trained staff and can play with other children, giving parents an opportunity to assess damage and deal with the aftermath of the hurricane.
The government of Haiti estimates five million people will be affected, 300,000 of them critically. One thousand three hundred shelters have been opened across the country. Schools are currently closed and all air travel and coastal shipping has been officially stopped.
For spokesperson interviews, please contact Save the Children press office on +44 (0) 7831 650 409.
Notes to editors:
Save the Children supports 131 schools in Haiti, including 27 in the Departments of South and Grand’Anse and 39 in Port-au Prince. Through local partner Lumos, we also support four orphanages and provide technical assistance in water, sanitation and hygiene and newborn health to the Ministry of Health.