Malteser International prepares emergency relief after Hurricane Matthew
Staff on the ground mobilize aid to help people affected by severe flooding
Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti at around 7am local time on Tuesday, unleashing widespread destruction and flooding. Malteser International – the Order of Malta’s worldwide relief agency – is mobilizing aid in order to help those affected.
“Our staff in Port-au-Prince are doing everything that they can to ensure that the people in the areas of most concern receive the help that they need. The floods have been particularly damaging in the slum community of Cité Soliel. Sewage canals are overflowing and filling the streets with garbage and human waste; makeshift shanty homes have been washed away. This is where our help is needed, and our staff are already on the ground,” said Ravi Tripptrap, Executive Director of Malteser International Americas.
Category four Hurricane Matthew brought winds of around 230 kph (140mph), and around one meter (forty inches) of rainfall to areas of the vulnerable island nation. Dangerous landslides are now feared in the mountainous and heavily deforested country. Other countries around the region have also been affected by Hurricane Matthew: flooding was reported in several regions of Colombia, where Malteser International is assisting with relief efforts – distributing aid to the affected population in the form of hygiene kits. States of emergency are also in force across the United States, where the hurricane is expected to arrive in the next few days.
Malteser International has been working in Haiti since the devastating earthquake of 2010. Initial emergency relief efforts were followed by long-term work to strengthen civil society actors, make sustainable improvements to water, sanitation, and hygiene structures; as well as to raise disaster preparedness, and improve the standard of nutrition amongst the population.
Malteser International’s projects in Haiti are located in the slum areas of Cité Soleil and Tabarre, as well as the rural region of Belle Anse, and are carried out in close cooperation with local partner organizations.