US Chargé d’Affaires Visits The South of Haiti, Six Months Following The Passage of Hurricane Matthew
US support to Response and Recovery Totals $101.3 Million USD
Port-au-Prince, April 6, 2017- Six months following the passage of Hurricane Matthew, American Embassy Chargé d’Affaires, Brian Shukan, traveled to southern Haiti to assess USAID hurricane response and recovery activities. The United States is the single largest donor to the Hurricane Matthew emergency response effort, with humanitarian assistance totaling more than $101.3 million to date and distributed through over 20 local organizations and UN agencies.
The Chargé visited the Charles Lassegue School, a recipient of emergency assistance in Boudet, Les Cayes. Partnering with UNICEF, 50 schools in the region received furniture, repairs and decontamination, and educational materials for approximately 45,000 students and 1,000 teachers. The Lassegue School received roof repairs, school equipment and furniture, and psychosocial support to students and training for teachers.
In Coteaux, the Charge visited a USAID Build Back Safer initiative carried out by Catholic Relief Services (CRS). The program is enabling communities to repair their damaged homes using improved building techniques with the assistance of trained and certified construction technicians and carpenters. Build Back Safer is operated in other zones with additional partners– Medair, J/P RHO, and ACTED– and expects to benefit some 6,000 households throughout the southern region.
Food security is a prime concern for US support and Mr. Shukan also visited areas where smallholder farmers are provided with cash vouchers to buy quality seeds. USAID support seeks to address immediate food needs as well as medium-term farming recovery. USAID is funding a consortium of nongovernmental groups led by CARE to provide cash transfers for the monthly needs of more than 85,200 hurricane-affected households in the Grand’Anse, Nippes and Sud departments. USAID also funded the distribution of high-yield pigeon pea and black bean seeds as well as improved maize seeds.
In response to Hurricane Matthew, U.S. Government humanitarian funding includes $42.6 million from USAID Food for Peace, $38.9 million from USAID Office of Disaster Assistance, $11 million from the U.S. Department of Defense, and $8.7 million from the USAID Mission in Haiti. The bulk of the support is directed to meet basic household needs for food, water, sanitation and hygiene, healthcare at facilities and mobile clinics, schooling and shelter repairs as well as to stimulate local markets and agricultural recovery. Support is also ongoing to strengthen the capacity of local and central authorities to prepare for and respond to future extreme weather events.
Speaking to the local press Charge Shukan indicated steadfast US support for the affected region and acknowledged the efforts communities themselves were making to recover: “We were here during the hurricane and will continue to work towards not only recovery, but resiliency and the mitigation of future risks to lives and livelihoods.”