Hurricane Matthew 1 year on - rebuilding lives and livelihoods

Posted on: Thursday, 5th October, 2017
People with disabilities who lost their livelihoods as a result of Hurricane Matthew receive goats

Hurricanes may do their damage in a day, but the recovery can take months, even years. On 4 Oct 2016 Haiti was hit by the most powerful Caribbean hurricane in nearly a decade. Hurricane Matthew, a category four storm, brought 145mph winds, heavy rain and dangerous storm surges. It devastated coastal areas in the north-west, south-west and south of the country, with the cities of Les Cayes and Jérémie experiencing extensive flooding, mudslides, and severely damaged roads and buildings.

2.1 million people were affected and 1.4 million left in need of humanitarian assistance. The storm also ravaged Cuba's eastern provinces before moving north, and was considered the strongest recorded hurricane ever to hit Guantánamo.

Thanks to the generous response of our supporters, CBM was able to respond to help the most vulnerable groups, including people with disabilities who are always among the most-affected by disasters and routinely excluded from relief efforts. CBM’s response also focussed on including people with disabilities in planning and delivering relief and reconstruction.

Over 21,000 people helped

Working with our long-term partners in Haiti, CBM has helped over 21,000 people, more than 30% of whom were people with disabilities. This included

  • Providing seeds, livestock such as goats or chickens, training or emergency cash transfers for over 5000 people whose homes and farms had been destroyed.
  • Rebuilding and re-equipping specialist schools and rehabilitation centres for children with disabilities, which had been damaged or destroyed.
  • Providing psychological help to those struggling to cope thorough 29 psychosocial support groups
  • Helping 7000 people in Cuba to access clean water by providing water filter units.

Read more about our disability-inclusive emergency response work.

Image: People who have lost their livelihoods during Hurricane Matthew receive goats to help them restock their small-holdings and earn a living.

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