International Day for Disaster Reduction

UN Women provides immediate support to women in Grande Anse after Hurricane Matthew

Date: Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Jeremie, one of the most affected areas by Hurricane Matthew in the Grande Anse Department, Haiti. Photo: UN/MINUSTAH/Logan Abassi
A woman in Jeremie, one of the most affected areas by Hurricane Matthew in the Grande Anse Department, Haiti. Photo: UN/MINUSTAH/Logan Abassi

On October 11, UN Women staff in Haiti visited Jeremie, one of the most affected areas by Hurricane Matthew in the Grande Anse Department, and met with women's organizations, civil society and local authorities to discuss and respond to the most urgent challenges that women and girls are facing after the catastrophic storm.

After visiting Jeremie’s largest shelter and discussing with some of the displaced women living there, Tony Ngororano, UN Women Representative in Haiti said, “What we have heard is that women in the Grande Anse Department are in a desperate situation; they have lost their main source of income and are worried about getting their urgent needs, and those of their children, met.”

According to the latest figures issued by the Government of Haiti, it is estimated that 2.1 million people have been affected by Hurricane Matthew and almost 1.5 million are in need of humanitarian assistance. Most houses need to be repaired or rebuilt.  In addition to shelters, reports suggest that a large number of people are staying with neighbors whose homes were not significantly damaged by the Hurricane.

Jeremie, in the Grande Anse Department, Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. Photo: UN/MINUSTAH/Logan Abassi
Jeremie, in the Grande Anse Department, Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew. Photo: UN/MINUSTAH/Logan Abassi

However, there are concerns over the sustainability of these alternative arrangements. The economy of Grande Anse relies heavily on agriculture, which has been devastated by the storm. With women’s income depending mostly on agricultural production and fisheries and their commercialization, they need urgent support to generate revenue, recapitalize their enterprises and return household incomes to pre-hurricane levels.

In response to this situation, UN Women is setting up a project in Jeremie, in coordination with other UN agencies. The project will support women’s organizations and grassroots networks, including affected women, to meaningfully participate and lead in relief and recovery efforts. In addition, it will also set up safe spaces for women and girls to facilitate access to life-saving protection and humanitarian services, as well as economic self-reliance and recovery initiatives.

The project will be implemented in collaboration with Action Aid and its partners. The interventions will be coordinated with local authorities in alignment with national response plans.

Related Links:

UN Women mobilizes relief efforts to support Haitians