After Earthquake and Hurricane: Help for Haiti
Hilfswerk Austria International fights poverty in Haiti and promotes health
Haiti is haunted by poverty and natural disasters. Hilfswerk Austria International is on site and has been providing assistance to the population for many years, especially for children who are particularly vulnerable due to the lack of health care. In addition to emergency aid after catastrophes such as earthquakes and hurricanes, we are strengthening health in our hospital in the North-East of the country.
Hilfswerk Austria International has been supporting the population of Haiti since 2009. Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Humans suffer particularly from malnutrition; half of all inhabitants are under-nourished! In addition, there is a high HIV infection rate; frequent cholera outbreaks, poverty and illiteracy are widespread.
Haiti has been hit by natural disasters twice in recent years. In 2010, an earthquake destroyed millions of lives, and in October 2016, Hurricane Matthew destroyed the dwellings, infrastructure and crops throughout the country.
Therefore, in the past, the assistance of Hilfswerk Austria International has focused on measures related to disaster relief and reconstruction
- Mobile clinics for cholera prevention in remote regions have been provided
- The population was supported in the reconstruction of agriculture
- Protection and assistance was offered to the countless street children and orphans
- After the earthquake, a provisional school operation was made possible.
We are currently providing emergency aid for the victims of hurricane Matthew. In addition, since 2011, we have been strengthening health care in the North-West of the country through the newly built International Hospital in Saint-Louis-du-Nord.
Hurricane Matthew reached Haiti in the autumn of 2016 at a speed of 140 mph. The consequences of the hurricane in the poorest country in America are fatal for people - especially the children.
Cities were completely devastated, people lost their lives, and tens of thousands lost their home. A total of 2.1 million people are affected, including 900,000 children.
The city of Les Cayes in the South of Haiti was particularly destroyed: Trees crashed into the streets, the power supply collapsed, power cables were on the roads in the floodplains. In Jérémie in the Southwest, even 99% of all dwellings were destroyed; people had to sleep on the street. The homes are largely destroyed, as are schools, hospitals, offices etc., and the numbers of cholera patients were increasing rapidly.
And the worst was yet to come: During the hurricane complete fields and the entire harvest were destroyed. Farm animals were killed. Since Southern Haiti produces food for the entire country, acute food insecurity was imminent. Immediate action is important to help people in Haiti through this difficult time and reduce their poverty.
Hilfswerk Austria International is on site, coordinates the necessary aid in the South of Haiti and organizes relief supplies and transports. We distribute corrugated ducts to families so that they can protect themselves from the rain, clean drinking water for cholera prevention as well as seed.
However, health care is particularly important in Haiti: the Caribbean state is struggling with high poverty and high maternal and infant mortality, especially in the North East, with the cruel consequences of malnutrition of small children. The population of Haiti still suffers from the infrastructure destroyed by the earthquake and the hurricane.
Hilfswerk Austria International started its Haiti aid after the earthquake in 2010 with the construction of a hospital in the North-East of the country. Today, hundreds of patients are treated there every month. The hospital provides people with an often life-saving care in the areas of surgery, gynecology and pediatrics. Care advice in the hospital is particularly important. Parents are informed about the prevention of deficiency and malnutrition, cholera prevention and other diseases, which are usually caused by lack of hygiene.
Hilfswerk Austria International makes sure that the hospital staff consists of domestic and foreign experts so that on one hand international health standards can be adhered, and on the other hand the hospital can be managed locally. Overall, the supply and counseling in the hospital significantly reduced maternal, neonatal and child mortality and ensured good health care in the region.