Goto main content

Hurricane Irma: Handicap International readies response in aid of Haitian population

Emergency
Haiti

Hurricane Irma could make landfall in Haiti late on Thursday 7 September. Already present in Haiti, Handicap International’s  (HI) teams are on high alert as they prepare to respond to the disaster.

Hurricane Matthew, October 2016 | © B.Almeras / Handicap International

We’re ready to launch a response to the hurricane, which could have disastrous consequences for the local population,” explains Catherine Stubbe, director of Handicap International (HI) in Haiti. “The hurricane is expected to cause strong winds and heavy rainfall, so the impact is likely to be very serious.  Many families live in makeshift shelters, in isolated mountainous regions that are difficult to access, or on the seashore. In the event of flooding, they will have to fend for themselves until the emergency services manage to reach them.

A category 5 hurricane, the highest rating on the Saffir-Simpson scale, Irma made landfall this Wednesday in the Caribbean islands of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthélemy, and is now heading towards Haiti and Cuba. With gusts reaching 360 kilometres an hour, this is the most powerful hurricane ever to hit the Atlantic and more powerful than Hurricane Harvey, which recently tore through Texas and Louisiana. “According to meteorologists, the Nord, Nord-Ouest and Upper Artibonite departments of Haiti are most likely to be affected. Even if the hurricane stays out at sea, violent wind and heavy rain could cause serious damage. Everyone here remembers the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew, which hit Haiti last October,” adds Catherine Stubbe. “The country has already been weakened by a series of disasters, and the emergency services were quickly overwhelmed.” 

We are already in contact with the authorities and other NGOs in preparation for a possible response. And we’re preparing to travel to affected areas once the alert has been lifted, to assess the situation with our Haitian partners. We are also working to ensure our teams are sheltered from the hurricane and ready to help victims after the storm has passed.

Present in the country since 2008, Handicap International launched a response to Hurricane Matthew in October 2016 and after the earthquake of 2010. With some thirty staff members in the country, Handicap International implements natural disaster risk reduction projects in association with the Civil protection department in several of the country’s departments.

Where your
support
helps

PRESS CONTACT

CANADA

Fatou Thiam

 

Help them
concretely

To go further

Gaza: Destruction of Humanity & Inclusion’s warehouse in Rafah
© HI
Emergency Explosive weapons Protect vulnerable populations Rights Supporting the Displaced Populations/Refugees

Gaza: Destruction of Humanity & Inclusion’s warehouse in Rafah

Humanity & Inclusion strongly condemns the destruction by the Israeli army of its warehouse in Rafah and all the humanitarian equipment it contained.

Risk of a collapse of the humanitarian aid in Gaza
© HI
Emergency Explosive weapons Protect vulnerable populations Supporting the Displaced Populations/Refugees

Risk of a collapse of the humanitarian aid in Gaza

New crossing points and ‘floating dock’ are cosmetic changes, as humanitarian access disintegrates in Gaza, warn aid agencies

 

Jerusalem, 28 May 2024 – As Israeli attacks intensify on Rafah, the unpredictable trickle of aid into Gaza has created a mirage of improved access while the humanitarian response is in reality on the verge of collapse, warn 20 aid agencies. The latest Israeli attacks on a displacement camp near UN aid facilities in Rafah reportedly killed dozens of people, including children, and injured many more. The ability of aid groups and medical teams to respond has now all but crumbled, with temporary fixes such as a ‘floating dock’ and new crossing points having little impact.

 

In Kharkiv, Ukraine, the situation is very concerning
© T. Nicholson / HI
Emergency Explosive weapons

In Kharkiv, Ukraine, the situation is very concerning

Since 10th May 2024, Russia has been conducting a new offensive in the region. As the security situation deteriorates, humanitarian needs continue to increase.