RedR Australia relieves suffering in disasters by selecting, training and providing competent and committed personnel to humanitarian relief agencies worldwide
Cert IV TAE Course
RedR deploys to Haiti following Hurricane Matthew
More than two million people were affected when Hurricane Matthew violently struck Haiti on 4th October, resulting in the country’s largest humanitarian emergency since the 2010 earthquake. The hurricane killed 546 people and caused extensive flooding and mudslides, damage to road infrastructure and buildings, as well as electricity and water shortages.
Over the past month, 3,500 suspected cholera cases have been reported and 1.4 million people now need humanitarian assistance; more than 40% of them are children.
RedR deployed Jean-Noel Melotte to UN Women and he flew to Haiti two weeks ago as a cash transfer advisor. His work on the ground will help ensure that women from the Grande Anse region have equitable access to timely and appropriate cash assistance to meet their basic needs. He is also working closely with his local colleagues to make sure that gender considerations are central to the response and early recovery planning.
“It's impressive to see the resilience of the Haitian people. They may not have had much to start with but they are finding ways to rescue what materials they can to rebuild their lives one small room at a time even in the face of a challenging aid coordination environment,” Jean-Noel explained.
“Roof damage is a primary concern given that it’s rainy season; people don’t have the chance to dry out bedding or clothes before the next rain storm pours through the gaps in their roofs,” Jean-Noel said.
“Building materials are tricky to come by and a lot of the materials that were carried off by the storm have suffered too much damage to be recycled.”
“I met a young mother who gave birth to her son, Ismael, the day of the storm. The walls of the house were blown out but she managed to rescue the shell of the roof and has piled up what she has been able to find in order to hold down the roof which shelters her and six others,” he said.
“She explained to me that it does a good job of keeping out the sun but the rain comes so hard that she can only huddle in a corner of what’s left of the roof to keep her child dry.”
“Our main priority as UN Women will be to make sure that gender considerations become more central to the response and early recovery planning,” he said.
Next week, RedR will deploy humanitarian affairs officer Sarah Elliot to the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Haiti. She will manage the OCHA hub in the sea port of Les Cayes.