Haitian President Jovenel Moïse has declared a state of emergency for the southern departments of Sud, Nippes, and Grand’Anse, areas still recovering from a devastating hurricane that struck in October 2016. Moïse also issued a state of environmental emergency across the remaining departments of the country. The measure will allow the government to access an additional USD 55.5 million for recovery efforts. According to media reports, the administration plans to use the funds to rebuild roads, clinics, schools, and social housing.
Sud, Nippes, and Grand’Anse department suffered significant damage after Hurricane Matthew, a category 4 hurricane, made landfall on October 4, 2016. A total of 370,000 homes were damaged or destroyed by the storm, including 285,000 in rural areas, and hundreds of people were killed. Additional flooding between April 23 and May 2, killed at least ten more people across Haiti. Significant social unrest broke out following the storm due to the insufficient government response.
The beleaguered Sud department remains the most affected region, with 80 percent of the spring harvest reportedly wiped out due to flooding and an estimated 350,000 affected. There are also significant fears of a famine in Grand’Anse department as food supplies run dangerously low. According to a recent report from the UN, an estimated 1.5 million people remain food insecure in Haiti, particularly in the northwestern and southern departments.
Individuals present in affected areas should monitor the situation advised to follow all instructions issued by local authorities.