Caribbean Hurricane Matthew - Fact Sheet #19

Speeches Shim

April 04, 2017

WFP has reached nearly 925,000 people with food assistance since Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti in October 2016

Suspected cholera cases continue to decline, reaching lowest monthly caseload since August 2015

USAID programming in Haiti reaches more than 16,600 smallholder farmers with seeds and other agricultural inputs

Since Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti in early October 2016, USAID/FFP partner the UN World Food Program (WFP) has reached nearly 925,000 people with approximately 19,000 metric tons (MT) of food commodities. In addition, WFP distributed specialized nutritious foods to approximately 57,000 children younger than five years of age, as well as 18,000 pregnant and nursing women.

WFP reports that the number of food-insecure people in hurricane-affected areas of Haiti has increased to approximately 1.5 million people—an increase of 500,000 people since late October 2016, according to WFP. WFP plans to focus on recovery operations, including asset creation activities, while maintaining support for malnutrition prevention interventions.

In response to Hurricane Matthew, USAID/Haiti expanded community health services, including increased water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) activities, mobile clinics, and screenings for malnutrition. USAID/Haiti also provided a grant to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to rehabilitate and refurbish 50 schools; and, to spur agricultural recovery, funded distribution of improved and high yield seeds.

The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) announced an additional contribution of €35 million—approximately $37.4 million—for outstanding development and humanitarian needs in Haiti.

The number of suspected cholera cases throughout Haiti continues to decline; the nearly 1,860 new suspected cases reported in January 2017 is the lowest monthly caseload since August 2015, the UN reports

Numbers At A Glance

2.1 million

Estimated Number of Hurricane-Affected People in Haiti


Confirmed Hurricane-Related Deaths in Haiti

1.5 million

Number of Food-Insecure People in Hurricane-Affected Areas

Humanitarian Funding

For the Hurricane Matthew Response
in FY 2017

USAID/OFDA $39,515,055
USAID/FFP $42,647,916
USAID/Haiti $8,690,491
DoD $11,007,032
TOTAL $101,860,494

From February 14–28, an interagency team led by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) and including the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), and WFP, evaluated humanitarian conditions in 18 hard-to-reach areas of Haiti. The assessment team found that the majority of participants displaced by the hurricane had returned to their areas of origin; the assessment team also reported that no collective emergency shelters remained in use in assessed areas. OCHA noted that assessed communities had inadequate infrastructure prior to Hurricane Matthew and that the hurricane severely damaged existing infrastructure, including an estimated 80 percent of schools and 40 percent of health centers. Road access to remote areas remains severely limited, with most residents traveling on foot or via motorcycle from communities located an average of three to six miles from the nearest market.

Since the initiation of Hurricane Matthew response activities in October, WFP has provided nearly 925,000 people with approximately 19,000 MT of emergency food assistance, including the provision of specialized nutritious foods to address acute malnutrition in 57,000 children younger than five years of age and 18,000 pregnant and nursing women. As of late February, WFP had reached more than 75,000 people in six of the most-affected communes with cash-based transfers of approximately $60. Cash transfers allow beneficiaries to purchase relief commodities locally, thereby supporting local markets while providing recipients with a measure of purchasing choice.

According to the USAID-funded Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET), Hurricane Matthew-related effects in southwestern Haiti will continue to generate substantial humanitarian needs. Crisis-level food insecurity—IPC 3—is expected in the most-affected areas through June.4 Projected adequate harvests, increased agricultural labor opportunities, and reductions in staple food prices will likely improve food access in Haiti between June and September, FEWS NET reports.

As of mid-March, WFP continued to phase out emergency response operations and transition to recovery programming, including asset creation activities targeting 20,000 vulnerable people. To combat chronic malnutrition, WFP plans to conduct a supplementary feeding program during the lean season, targeting 27,000 children younger than two years of age and 25,000 pregnant and nursing women.

USAID/FFP continues to support a non-governmental organization (NGO) consortium—led by USAID partner CARE—that provides unconditional cash transfers to help hurricane-affected households meet monthly food needs. As of March 25, consortium members had reached more than 426,000 beneficiaries in Haiti’s Grand’Anse, Nippes, and Sud departments.

The February OCHA-led interagency assessment of hard-to-reach areas revealed a significant deterioration in livelihood opportunities and financial security among hurricane-affected households. From November 2016 to February 2017, a reported 95 percent of assessed farmers in 18 hard-to-reach locations did not plant crops and indicated a lack of access to seeds. The hurricane also adversely affected livestock, deteriorating household economic and nutrition security, the UN reports. In addition, many coffee and cocoa farms and fruit trees sustained hurricane-related damage and will not produce this year. To cope with the loss of livelihoods and income-generating activities, communities have resorted to negative coping strategies, including significantly increasing charcoal production; selling remaining livestock or non-food items; and reducing the size of households by sending children to live with distant relatives or unrelated care homes, the UN reports.

As of late March, Catholic Relief Services (CRS)—with support from USAID/FFP and USAID/OFDA—is distributing agricultural vouchers to the most vulnerable hurricane-affected farming households in eight communes in Grand’Anse and Sud. The program has provided more than 16,600 smallholder farmers—out of a targeted 18,000 farmers—with seeds and other agricultural inputs to support the production of stable crops in the spring planting season, as of late March.

USAID/Haiti recently contributed nearly $2 million to the Feed the Future Legume Innovation Lab at Michigan State University to provide high-yield black bean and pigeon pea seeds to smallholder farmers in approximately 12,000 households in hurricane-affected areas. The International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) is implementing the $2 million Feed the Future Mayi Plus 2 project with USAID/Haiti support, which trains farmers and entrepreneurs to multiply, stockpile and sell improved maize seeds in southern departments.

USAID/Haiti’s Smallholder Alliance for Sorghum in Haiti provided cash advances to benefit about 200 farmers and 10 buyers in hurricane-affected areas to enable them to make repairs and continue sorghum farming.

As of March, suspected cholera cases reported throughout Haiti are considerably less than cases reported during the same time period in 2015 and 2016, including in hurricane-affected areas. Between February and mid-March of 2015 and 2016, approximately 7,000 and 5,400 suspected cases were reported in Haiti, respectively. In contrast, during the same reporting period in 2017, approximately 2,200 suspected cases were reported, according to the Government of Haiti (GoH) Ministry of Public Health and Population’s Directorate of Epidemiology, Laboratory and Research.

OCHA reports that health actors in Haiti registered nearly 1,860 cholera cases in January, including 28 deaths, representing a 1.5 percent case fatality rate—the proportion of registered cases that result in death. The January incidence rate is the lowest monthly estimate of suspected cases since August 2015 and represents 65 percent fewer suspected cases compared to January 2016. The UN cautions that a lack of funding for the national cholera elimination plan and poor WASH infrastructure throughout the country may result in a resurgence of cholera in 2017.

The GoH Ministry of Public Health and Population reported approximately eight suspected cholera cases in storm-affected Grand’Anse and Sud from March 12–18, a significant decrease from the estimated 821 suspected cases reported during the week of October 9–15 following the hurricane. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has integrated post-hurricane emergency activities into ongoing routine disease surveillance and WASH interventions. Through a series of CDC-supported trainings, Sud’s Les Cayes Departmental Hospital Laboratory now possesses the capacity to test for cholera. USAID/OFDA partners continue to support cholera prevention, detection, and response activities through the provision of primary health care, cholera treatment, and WASH services in hurricane-affected areas.

In southwestern Haiti, USAID/OFDA-supported partners are rehabilitating approximately 50 hurricane-affected water systems, including piped networks, wells, and springs. Given the challenges facing many of the systems, including remote locations and logistical and technical challenges, work is expected to continue for several more months. USAID/OFDA partners are coordinating with local and national water authorities on chlorination systems for the piped distribution networks and reinforcing the capacity of local water and sanitation committees to perform basic operations and maintenance.

The OCHA-led assessment in February found that the hurricane severely hindered access to health care due to damage to existing infrastructure, limited road access, and the economic vulnerability of affected communities. Among assessed communities, 40 percent of health facilities sustained extensive damage. OCHA reported that 15 of the 18 assessed communities were more than an hour’s walk from a health facility, and three communities did not have beds in the health centers and employ only low-skilled health workers. In 13 assessed communities, no health facilities existed prior to the hurricane. To date, USAID/OFDA has provided more than $10 million for health and WASH interventions—including providing primary and reproductive health services, promoting safe hygiene practices, rehabilitating damaged sanitation facilities, and installing water treatment systems to increase access to safe drinking water—in hurricane-affected areas. Immediately after the hurricane, USAID/OFDA supported health partners to operate 19 mobile health clinics, 12 oral rehydration points, and five cholera treatment facilities in hurricane-affected areas. From the beginning of the hurricane response in October 2016 through late March 2017, USAID/OFDA health partners provided a total of nearly 85,600 consultations at USAID/OFDA-supported mobile clinics, primary health facilities, and community-based rehabilitation sites, including treatment of common diseases and injuries, initial triage and nursing support, and referrals of chronic and complex cases to more appropriate care facilities.

In response to Hurricane Matthew, USAID/Haiti expanded community health services in Grand’Anse and Sud departments, including increased WASH activities, mobile clinics, screenings for malnutrition, and the provision of nutritional supplements and household water treatment to HIV-affected and infected individuals, as well as orphans and vulnerable children.

USAID/OFDA has provided more than $9.3 million to shelter partners, including J/P Haitian Relief Organization (J/P HRO), Medair, and Mercy Corps, and distributed nearly 9,100 rolls of plastic sheeting to support household emergency shelter needs. USAID partner CRS provided emergency shelter assistance, including tarps and repair kits, to nearly 15,000 households, benefitting more than 74,000 people. CRS is also providing permanent shelter repair assistance to more than 1,300 additional people. Through nine emergency shelter partners, USAID/OFDA provided plastic sheeting, fixing kits, and technical assistance to more than 46,000 households, or approximately 230,000 people.

USAID/OFDA partners continue to support shelter rehabilitation in affected communities to reduce risks associated with future storms. Partner activities include providing vulnerable households with durable shelter kits, training local carpenters on disaster risk reduction (DRR) building techniques, and meeting with community leaders, local authorities, and organizations involved in DRR activities.

To address the immediate and medium-term shelter needs of hard-hit communities, USAID partners implemented a two-phase shelter response strategy. The first phase of the strategy included the distribution of emergency shelter materials, shelter repair kits, and provision of technical guidance to address emergency shelter needs in the short-term. The second phase initiates the implementation of a multi-sector shelter initiative, including livelihoods, protection, and WASH elements, to promote more robust and resilient neighborhoods in the medium-term.

USAID/OFDA partner J/P HRO continues to support shelter rehabilitation for vulnerable households in affected areas, reducing the risk profile of vulnerable neighborhoods through participatory planning and disaster mitigation activities. As part of its USAID/OFDA-supported Build Back Safer (BBS) program, J/P HRO and other USAID/OFDA partners are ensuring sustainable shelter solutions for more than 6,000 vulnerable households in Haiti. As of March 21, J/P HRO had provided BBS training to more than 70 carpenters associated with local construction groups and registered more than 1,000 beneficiary households for durable shelter kits. The program continues to perform technical assessments, evaluate affected household vulnerabilities, and meet with local authorities, organizations, and community leaders involved in DRR activities.

Through more than $560,000 in FY 2017 funding, USAID/OFDA partner UNICEF continues to address the humanitarian needs of Haitian households affected by Hurricane Matthew and cholera, as well as households in areas affected by previous natural disasters in Haiti. UNICEF has screened more than 18,000 children for malnutrition and treated more than 700 children experiencing malnutrition in hurricane-affected areas. With USAID/OFDA support, UNICEF continues to provide protection-related services, including child-friendly spaces and psychosocial support, to children and households affected by Hurricane Matthew. In March, UNICEF began to transition from emergency response to recovery activities.

USAID/Haiti is supporting UNICEF with nearly $3.5 million to enable schools to reopen in Grand’Anse, Nippes, and Sud, including through minor repairs of 50 schools across the three departments; the distribution of 45,000 kits for school-aged children and 1,000 kits for teachers; and the provision of instructional materials, school bags, and school furniture.

With USAID/OFDA support, the U.S. Forest Service led a March 16–17 workshop with the GoH Directorate for Civil Protection (DPC) to review lessons learned from the Hurricane Matthew response. GoH technical coordinators from Grand’Anse, Nord-Est, Sud, and Sud-Est departments joined national staff to provide input on how to strengthen implementation of the Incident Command System to meet coordination and emergency management needs and potentially reduce the impact of future crises in Haiti.

USAID/Haiti also supported the DPC by providing five short-term technical advisors, including disaster logistics, communications, geographic information systems, and social protection specialists, to support coordination activities in Grand’Anse and Sud.

In February, ECHO announced an additional contribution of €35 million—approximately $37.4 million—for Haiti, including $17.1 million in humanitarian aid and $20.3 million in development assistance.

The Government of Japan announced a ¥295 million—approximately $2.6 million—contribution to UNICEF in late February to support cholera prevention efforts and WASH interventions in Haiti.

As of April 4, the UN Flash Appeal for Hurricane Matthew had received $86 million in funding—approximately 62 percent of the $139 million appeal to support emergency response activities.

Hurricane Matthew made initial landfall near Les Anglais, in Haiti’s Sud Department, and secondary landfall over eastern Cuba on October 4, 2016, before continuing to traverse The Bahamas from October 5–7. The hurricane brought destructive winds, heavy rainfall, and dangerous storm surge, resulting in extensive damage to crops, houses, and infrastructure, as well as widespread flooding in some areas.

On October 2, U.S. Ambassador to Haiti Peter F. Mulrean and U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., for Jamaica Eric Khant issued disaster declarations in response to the anticipated effects of Hurricane Matthew. U.S. Chargé d’Affaires, a.i., Lisa A. Johnson issued a disaster declaration in response to the anticipated effects of Hurricane Matthew in The Bahamas on October 4.

USAID activated a regional Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) on October 3 with staff in The Bahamas, Haiti, and Jamaica. USAID also stood up a Washington, D.C.-based Response Management Team to coordinate the regional humanitarian response. Staff from USAID/OFDA’s expanded program office in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, continue to monitor USAID/OFDA-funded programs related to the Hurricane Matthew emergency response, as well as facilitating the transition to early recovery in close coordination with the USAID Mission in Haiti.

USAID discontinued DART operations in Jamaica and The Bahamas on October 5 and 13, respectively, and deactivated the Haiti DART on December 23. USAID/OFDA staff based in San José, Costa Rica, and an expanded country office in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, continue to monitor USAID/OFDA programs and coordinate with USAID/Haiti to support the transition to early recovery and development activities.