Haiti Earthquake: Round-the-clock relief efforts defy logistical challenges

Collapsed bridges and destroyed roads make access difficult / FAHB has reached 100,000 people in first emergency response

Port-au-Prince, September 2, 2021. Just over 2 weeks after a devastating earthquake struck the South-Western region of Haiti, massive damages to roads and bridges continue to hamper aid efforts. The humanitarian organization FAHB reports that while aid is coming through, many remote communities are yet to be reached.

The earthquake that struck the regions of Grand’Anse, Nippes and Sud left 2,207 people dead and 12,268 injured. An estimated 130,000 houses have been destroyed or severely damaged. The situation was later compounded with heavy rains from tropical depression Grace.

“We are working round the clock”, says FAHB Haiti’s Country Director Eveline Cherry Mezidor. “It really is a team effort with the local communities and authorities to get aid through. But a collapsed bridge is a collapsed bridge. And in the case of Jérémie, a town in the West of Haiti, such a bridge is the only way out of the city to rural communities badly affected by the earthquake. We’re trying to find detours and work around these challenges, but it is a race against time.”

FAHB is particularly concerned about the current shelter conditions for women and children. Many people have to camp out in the open and do not even have access to clean drinking water or basic hygiene yet. Women face increased risks for their safety and personal hygiene in such circumstances.

“It was difficult to live here, even before the earthquake”, says 25-year-old Carole from Jérémie. “We didn’t have water storages, so we had to wait for rain to get water. And hardly anyone could pay for medical care. Now, my house is completely destroyed. I live under a plastic sheet and my little girl has caught a cold. I don’t even have clean water for her nor could I pay for a doctor.”

About FAHB in Haiti:

FAHB started operations in Haiti in 2006, under the name of FEFSIDD, with emergency response interventions. Since then, FAHB has continuously grown its programming capacities across the humanitarian, recovery, and long-term development spectrum. Over the years, FAHB Haiti has gained experience, local knowledge, and operational capabilities to deliver and shift programming between emergency response, recovery and long-term development programming, as the country context changes. For example, FAHB was amongst the first organizations to engage in various aspects of the COVID-19 response.

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