One year after Matthew, Haiti recovers, heals and rebuilds

One year after, the devastating Hurricane Matthew, Haiti recovers, heals and rebuilds, feeling lucky that Hurricane Irma, the category 5 monster only passed along the northern coasts, a few weeks ago. Haiti could not have beared another disaster as that of the morning of October 4, 2016. 

One year after, the devastating Hurricane Matthew, Haiti recovers, heals and rebuilds, feeling lucky that Hurricane Irma, the category 5 monster only passed along the northern coasts, a few weeks ago. Haiti could not have beared another disaster as that of the morning of October 4, 2016

IOM received a total 2,068 metric tons of relief commodities for further shipment on the field. Category 4 hurricane Matthew battered Haiti’s southern peninsula, leaving only destruction on his path. Homes, schools, goods, cattle, crops, and lives were taken away. 2.1 million people of which 1.4 million people required humanitarian assistance. [1]​ Data collected through the Civil Protection Directorate (DPC) estimates that 103 907 houses were destroyed, 99 975 were severely damaged, 11 500 were slightly damaged, and 21 500 were flooded[2] mostly in the departments of Sud, Grand'Anse and Nippes[3].

Within hours following hurricane Matthew, IOM in close coordination with the Government of Haiti and respective partners, activated its Emergency Response Operation in order to assess and address the urgent needs following the disaster and provide immediate assistance through priority areas[4] of intervention.

204,491 households received assistance

Following the hurricane, IOM received a total of 33 sea, air and road cargos, totaling 2,068 metric tons of relief commodities for further shipment on the field. Once prepositioned, the items were made available to the Direction de la Protection Civile (DPC) and other partners on the ground for emergency response in line with the government and the Civil Protection emergency preparedness and response strategies.

IOM managed and transported NFI stocks and emergency shelter for 204,491 households and pre-positioned in the affected areas for rapid distribution on the ground.

Tracking more than 38.000 IDPs

People that took shelter at the emergency evacuation center "Step by Step " in Dame Marie Copyright IOM2017JHarletTwo days after Matthew’s landfall, IOM deployed DTM teams to carry out multi sectoral assessment of the Emergency Evacuation Centers and all spontaneous site where the displaced population had taken refuge prior, during and following the hurricane, 38000+ individuals displaced at its highest, allowing a better understanding of needs and population movements in the most affected departments (Grande Anse, South and Nippes). Here is the actual overview of the situation

Following the implementation of the DTM activities, DTM teams registered a total number of 21.979 individuals (5134 Households) in these displacements sites, helping to shape and implement direct assistance as well as relocation activities.

DTM teams aided by communal DPC agents also carried out a building inventory exercise to determine the level of damage sustained to homes/buildings combined with a protection screening to identify and refer individuals with specific vulnerabilities. A total of 28,008 buildings were inventoried in the communes of Beaumont, Dame Marie, Chambellan and Moron. Results available here 

A photo interpretation exercise have also taken place, using satellite imagery to determine damages on buildings, covering most of the Grand Sud. Almost 120.000 buildings were assessed during this exercise. Results are available here

Relocation of the displaced and cash for rent for a fresh start

Ena beneficary of the programme Cash for Rent, her 3 children with  Jackson Sejourne from OIM in Dame Marie. Copyright IOM2017JHarletThe majority of displaced people by Hurricane Matthew have returned spontaneously to their area of origins. However some households faced obstacles to return home by their own means.

From October 2016 to June 2017, 1,781 households from 25 sites have returned to their neighborhoods of origin thanks to the joint effort of the government, local and international partners.

IOM was one of the partners which supported the return of Matthew-displaced populations through a rental subsidy cash grant destined to pay one year’s rent, which also included an additional subsidy to cover transportation expenses of the families and their belongings to the chosen housing unit and an incentive to start an income-generating activity. Out of the caseload, IOM has been able to relocate 210 in Grand-Anse and 231 in the south which accounts for 441 households.

Read Ena’s story to know more about IOM’s work

​More than 600 families (more than 1600 individuals) are hosted in 36 displacement sites[5] that remain open during the ongoing cyclone season. From those, around 400 households are currently not targeted by partners to support their return.  An additional effort from partners is needed to support the safe return of the households that remain displaced.


Protecting the most vulnerable in situation of crisis

A total of 38,229 bottles of a local water treatment product Aquajif and 14,712 buckets were supplied to rural dispensariesNatural disasters heighten the risk, and create the right environment, for traffickers to exploit the vulnerabilities of the affected population. In this light, IOM and the Comite National de Lutte contre la Traite des Personnes (CNLTP) took the lead to create of a sub-working group on counter trafficking. IOM Protection activities included capacity-building of local protection actors on prevention of trafficking in persons and irregular migration (e.g. smuggling), conducting sensitization/awareness-raising campaigns on the topic. On December, IOM launched a hotline to prevent, identify, advise and refer potential cases of human trafficking and smuggling.

Fighting water-borne diseases

In Haiti, water-borne diseases such as cholera and acute diarrhea flourish in the wake of a disaster such as hurricane Matthew. Safe water, hygiene and sanitation are crucial interventions that save lives in a humanitarian crisis, such as is seen in Haiti in October 2016. It’s is even more important considering the country is facing a continuing epidemic of cholera since 2010.

In response, IOM’s Health teams in Grand’Anse and the South Department supported the Ministry of Health and Population’s (MSPP) medical structures by reinforcing the personnel rapid response capacity to cholera as well as enhance Household Water Treatment in High Risk Regions.

 The Health section provided sensitization session in affected areas and mobilized MSPP agents to provide education, family awareness on hygiene, methods of cholera prevention. IOM conducted a sample survey on the population’s water source, water treatment, and water conservation habits/methods. A total of 110 913 people received key messages about Hygiene, cholera and water treatment information.

38,229 bottles of a local water treatment product Aquajif and 14,712 buckets were supplied to rural MSPP dispensaries. IOM also provided training on the principles and standards for cholera case management, infection control and uses of Aquajif to a total of 105 medical staff.


Build Back Safer to be ready if a hurricane strike again


Local carpenters receiving the training to in para-cyclonic construction techniques in the Grand’Anse department.Within the Shelter/NFI working group, IOM activities aimed at supporting the most vulnerable households through beneficiary-driven repair/reconstruction support in the affected areas by providing trainings and shelter repair kits (CGI, wood, straps and nails) in order to facilitate safe and durable beneficiary led-reconstruction.

Conditional cash grants was provided to allow the shelter kit beneficiaries to purchase additional materials, as needed, and hire the labour required to carry out repair works.

Due to the heavy infrastructural damages following Hurricane Matthew, the Shelter WG established the Build Back Safer (BBS) approach in order to establish a harmonized and durable approach to reconstruction. In accordance with the BBS principles, IOM is implementing light shelter repair and training activities in the communes of Dame Marie, Chambellan and Moron for 1,800 households.

A total of 220 local carpenters were trained to in para-cyclonic construction techniques in Dame Marie.

In its role of co-leading agency of the Haiti Shelter working group, IOM continues to provide training in the Grande'Anse department for light roofing construction.50 carpenters were trained in Apricots, 20 in Jeremie, 75 in Moron and 75 in Chambellan. An additional 50 carpenters will be trained in Beaumont and 50 women from the Grande Anse department will also be trained.

Read Renaud and Illusse’s story to know more IOM’s work in Dame Marie





[1] Estimation from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)

[2] Data collected by SNGRD

[3]  Source: PDNA

[4] These 6 priority areas are which included Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), Protection, Shelter and Non-Food-Items (NFI), Health and Water Household treatment, Camps Coordination and Camps Management (CCCM) and Logistics.

[5] Displacement Sites Matrix- IOM DTM Haiti- 29 september 2017