Hurricane Matthew

Oxfam staff and partners in Haiti, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic are distributing clean water, food, hygiene items and water purification tablets to prevent cholera and other waterborne diseases. Oxfam is also distributing construction materials and repairing and installing water tanks.

On October 4 and 5, Hurricane Matthew, a powerful Category 4 storm, moved through the Caribbean impacting hundreds of thousands of people. High winds, storm surges and 8 hours of sustained heavy rain – toppled trees, severely damaged homes and water sources, and caused extensive power outages to many areas of Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

On month on, Oxfam staff and partners in Cuba, Haiti and the Dominican Republic are have begun responding to the hardest hit areas, providing safe water, hygiene supplies and shelter where aid is needed most urgently.

Oxfam is responding in the Eastern municipalities of Cuba including Baracoa, Guantanamo, where 90% of housing and shelter were destroyed or damaged; providing hygiene kits, tarpaulins for shelter and water purification tablets to 4800 people, ensuring the inclusion and specific needs of women and girls.

Needs still are growing and require support to rebuild livelihoods significantly damaged by the storm, shelters and ensuring that there are safe water sources in all affected communities.

Jerome Faure, Oxfam director in Cuba, said:

Oxfam is on the ground responding in eastern Cuba and Haiti as communities worst hit by Matthew require immediate assistance with water, sanitation kits and emergency shelter.

"Oxfam has been working in the area – already one of Cuba’s most vulnerable – for over 20 years, and was able to rapidly set up an evaluation team to assess damages to infrastructure and the impact on communities."

As Younes Karroum, Oxfam's Program Manager in Haiti, said: "The first need is to save lives and to help people who are in crisis by flooding or whose homes have been destroyed. After that, the priority will be to provide safe water, food and 'first response' aid like shelters and sanitation. We are worried about potential cholera outbreaks too: with these floods there will probably be a big increase in contaminated water and possible spread of disease."

Some crises can't be prevented, or imagined, in advance. But as soon as they strike – when conflict breaks out, when a hurricane hits – Oxfam and our partners on the ground need to be ready to respond. Lives depend on it.

Your gift to Oxfam's Emergency Response Fund will go directly toward our emergency work, present and future. As the situation progresses, we will be updating this page accordingly.

Add your support now so that when crises erupt, Oxfam is ready to spring into action. Make your tax-deductible gift to the Emergency Response Fund today.

Updated November 4, 2016

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