Heavy rains in Haiti halt emergency response – Oxfam pushes for more support
The emergency response in Haiti is at a standstill following nearly 48 hours of heavy rains. Helicopters are grounded, ships moored and nearly all road access blocked. Oxfam, already responding to the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti, is now pushing for more and immediate international support.
The weather could not have come at a worse time for the communities in the Southwest and Northwest of Haiti – the areas worst hit by Hurricane Matthew.
According to local authorities, several hundred people had to take shelter from the rains in a school near Les Cayes, one of the municipalities worst hit by Hurricane Matthew. The rains are also washing away the top soil causing more damage to Haiti’s fragile environment.
Damien Berrendorf, country director at Oxfam in Haiti said: "Haiti’s resilient communities are really being tested. While people have come together to try and restore some sense of normalcy, these heavy rains are drowning expectations of Haitians being able to rebuild their lives."
Wasley Desmorne, who has been managing Oxfam’s response to Hurricane Matthew, added: "We have been working through the local authorities to support communities who have organized themselves in the most difficult circumstances. This extra rain really affects all the efforts that have been deployed."
Haitians need the solidarity and support of the international community. 175,000 Haitians are displaced living in 307 temporary shelters, 806,000 people are extremely food insecure and there are 1,421 suspected cases of cholera.