Responding to Hurricane Matthew
Photo by Nancy Farese on behalf of CatchLight.io
Responding to Losses Caused by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti
Fundraising Update from Haiti Development Institute
Updated: May 25, 2017
Following the devastating effects of Hurricane Matthew last October, many donors heeded the call from the Haiti Development Institute (HDI) to assist communities most affected on the southern peninsula of Haiti. Despite the months that have passed since Hurricane Matthew landed in the South in October, one can immediately see and feel the devastating impact of the Hurricane. There is little visual progress that can be seen. Houses and roofs remain torn apart, trees ripped from the ground, electrical lines and overall power remains down, and agricultural fields and livestock have yet to be replaced. Most lost all productive assets and the means to begin to rebuild post-hurricane. We also heard time and time again that other than the little assistance that we provided, they did not have access to any or few other services. Even those who were able to receive some assistance from the large NGOs noted that the government was noticeably absent.
It made a world of difference that HDI was able to use its connections on the ground to reach the organizations listed below, and provide much-needed assistance in some of the remote areas that would have otherwise been left out. HDI made eight grants in support of partners on the southern peninsula for a total of $79,000. Below is a sample of the communities that received assistance from HDI. It should be noted that while available, funds were withheld for two organizations going through some internal changes and local conditions. ODPN is a small grassroots peasant community organization in a seaside community in St Louis du Sud. The two former leaders fled to Brazil following the hurricane. HDI is helping to support the new leaders to rebuild. The funds are available and will be disbursed as things develop. APPENIV is on Ile a Vache and much had taken place on the island to help support the reopening of the school and other activities.
The lack of progress can be attributed to both the lack of humanitarian funds and attention that was given to the South, particularly for reconstruction due to:
Donor fatigue following the earthquake appeals;
Perceived lack of transparency and accountability in giving following the earthquake, particularly with the stories about the American Red Cross’ involvement in Haiti (See: http://www.npr.org/2015/06/03/411524156/in-search-of-the-red-cross-500-million-in-haiti-relief);
Impact of Haitian elections that politicized the recovery effort and drove attention away from the South;
Impact of US election, which dominated the news cycle;
Lack of coordination and involvement of community organizations in Port-au-Prince coordination meetings.
Other statistics and information on the recovery effort can be found through UN OCHA’s website.
UN: The Haiti Flash Appeal launched on 10 October 2016 has received to date US$88.9 million of theUS$139 million requested, which represents a funding level of 63.9 per cent. The purpose of the Flash Appeal was to adequately support the Government of Haiti to meet the most urgent humanitarian needs of up to 806,000 affected people following the hurricane.
Latest Statistics on accomplishments and current needs can be found here: OCHA Situation Report March 2017
RAFANIP (Petite Rivière de Nippes
RAFANIP is a women’s group in a mountainous coastal community working on agriculture, micro-credit, and animal husbandry. They raise goats and cows and are trained veterinary technicians. They use this skill to monitor the health of their animals, and it also enables them to have a small source of revenue for their organization. Their office is situated along the coast, and as such suffered from severe flooding damage, with the water reaching about 3 feet high within their offices. All of their papers, files, and work were swept out to sea. They had to use buckets to bail out their office building. All of these women suffered from immense losses including housing, animals, and agricultural fields. They also mentioned that those who had used microcredit loans, as a way to grow their businesses or agricultural production before the Hurricane, received no relief on these loans. They were struggling to repay those loans as they had lost all of their productive assets. Our funds supplied to this group assisted seventy-four (74) women, who each received each a small zero interest loan of about $75 which made it possible for them to resume their commercial activities. The loan has a 10-month repayment term, and will be used to help other women when fully repaid.
HDI Staff meeting with members of RAFANIP
ACAPE (Les Cayes)
ACAPE promotes and supports social enterprises, and works with thousands of peasants promoting agroecology, training, and food processing for increased income and livelihood. They are part of an agroecology network of organizations across the country. As you know, Les Cayes suffered heavily during the Hurricane and their community was no exception. However, their buildings remained intact, as one of their focuses is on sustainable construction. They use a flexible building material that can withstand natural disasters, and also take advantage of locally sourced building materials to minimize their carbon footprint. Their group has a number of initiatives that they focus on, including:
Integrating the natural sciences and the environment into youth education;
Support and training particularly for female entrepreneurs. This includes providing a market for their goods;
Agricultural training for smallholder farmers and support for budding social enterprises
Our funds supplied to this group assisted 200 families, particularly with income generating activities and primarily for female entrepreneurs, to help them rebuild their lives following the Hurricane.
Assisted 40 families with tin sheets, nails and wood for roof repairs.
Repaired two cassava shops, providing them with construction materials, and a new oven.
Purchased some office equipment and furniture (chairs, tables, computer monitors, etc.) for the organization.
They repaired their conference room and it is available now to community residents for various types of gatherings.
The office is operational again with a repaired kitchen and electrical system.
MP3K (Camp Perrin)
MP3K works with thousands of peasants promoting the environment, agricultural training, and health care in this remote community. They are part of the MPP agroecology network of organizations across the country. This area suffered heavily in the passage of Hurricane Matthew, which included their offices. Their clinic and office was used to shelter, feed, and house many families for weeks after the hurricane. MP3K is located on one of the tallest mountains in Haiti and to access their community you must cross a river, cutting them off from support from larger communities and services such as schools, hospitals, and food distribution networks. They also offer purified drinking water and sustainable and consistent energy access to their community. Following the hurricane, they were able to provide small loans to beneficiaries through their microcredit program for immediate relief. They used some of our funding to repair the roofs for the most vulnerable families in their community, among other activities.
A drinking water system serving over 7,000 people is now back in operation.
50 families received each 30 tin sheets and nails for roofs repair.
40 families received seeds and have been able to plant again with the hope of harvesting soon.
KOFAKAD is a women’s group on the outskirts of rice fields. They provide vocational training to young women, agricultural support and training, and generate income for their community activities from a grinding mill, which we helped finance. The school was used as a shelter for many families after the hurricane. This community is also quite remote and cut off from the localities where many of international nonprofits concentrated their funding. As many of their members are located in the mountains, they were not able to hear from many of them for quite some time. One interesting thing that this group did post-hurricane was offer pen and paper to their members and their families as a way to express their feelings through drawing. It offered the community the opportunity to express the extreme loss they felt in a productive way, as most are not literate. The processed grain from the grinding mill provided them with a quick way to get funds immediately following the hurricane, so that they could provide food and water to their members and families. Our funds supplied to this group helped to repair the roofs and houses for the most vulnerable, and to get the grinding mill back up and running. They are also looking to restart an adult education program and will begin to offer more of their vocational training programs again including cooking, sewing, and others.
OPAGMA advocates for and works with hundreds of peasants promoting environmental sustainability, agriculture, healthcare, and rural livelihoods in this remote community. Their clinic and offices were used to shelter many families for weeks after the hurricane. OPAGMA runs a health clinic for the community members, which is staffed by the Ministry of Health (nurses and doctors). This clinic is vital to this community, as like MP3K, they are also cut off from larger communities due to a large river. Like many communities, they still do not have electricity, but are hopeful that it will come by this summer. This means that their medications and vaccines have to be stored at another clinic. They are hoping to build a maternity ward in the coming year as they have the supplies and expertise necessary.
The health clinic and the organization’s office are now open.
Area farmers were provided with technical assistance.
GCHCLC is a community-based organization located in Cavaillon (South Department) working to create integrated sustainable development. Similar to other organizations in the region, their members have lost crops, animals, houses, and productive assets for income generating activities.
195 families were able to return to their repaired homes.
School activities resumed for children at 3 local schools.
ACAPE rebuilt their office following the passage of Matthew
Strong winds blew off roof of this MP3K office
Destruction by Matthew in the area near KOFAKAD office
HDI visit to OPAGMA members
Statement from the Haiti Development Institute
Updated: October 2016
We are deeply grateful for your support of our work through the years. As most of you know, Haiti was once again hit by a devastating natural disaster in October, Hurricane Matthew, which has caused severe damages to much of the country – especially in the South. Once again, we must step in and offer our assistance to the victims addressing immediate humanitarian needs, but equally important to the recovery is the rebuilding of communities and the prevention of the spread of disease. This storm and other disasters continue to set local communities and community-based organizations back, particularly considering their remarkable progress following the earthquake.
Our intention was not to replace humanitarian and emergency response groups. These organizations and the Haitian government are better equipped to deliver immediate humanitarian assistance to keep communities alive and accessible. As such, we choose not to provide emergency relief support. We instead concentrated our efforts on the second and third waves of relief aid to help rebuild local communities, and we looked to fill the gaps left by traditional aid organizations, as long-term capacity building must be a priority.
Our response is threefold:
1. We launched a fundraising effort to collect funds for grantmaking in affected areas. We have five years of experience vetting, making grants, and monitoring in the South of Haiti. This expertise will ensure that we will have lasting impact in these communities and that the communities will not be abandoned once the humanitarian aid runs out. We will leverage our expertise to help build the organizational capacity of local leaders and their organizations to build the foundation for sustainable communities in the South.
2. Leverage our convening power to bring together actors across discipline, sector, and location. One of the biggest mistakes following the earthquake in 2010 was the lack of coordination and collaboration from both funders and international implementers, resulting in dramatic gaps in transparency and accountability. We must be more strategic in our approach and coordinate our response in a way that draws upon our individual expertise to minimize gaps in services and increase our chances for sustained impact overtime.
3. Serve as a Philanthropic Intermediary for funders or philanthropists looking to make grants to local nonprofits in Haiti in the affected communities, but are unable to due to the lack of capacity of these organizations to fulfill the financial or legal requirements.
Hurricane Matthew dealt a severe blow to Haiti's already weak infrastructure and deforested environment. The hurricane struck the southern peninsula with 125 mph winds and heavy rains that flattened homes, flooded villages, destroyed strategic bridges, ravaged schools, razed crops, and swept away cattle and livelihoods. The Hurricane Matthew left 546 people dead,175,000 families were displaced abd nearly 1.4 million were considered to be in need of humanitarian assistance.
We have been constantly in touch with, and receiving updates, from our former grantees. The stories coming from KOFAKAD in Torbeck, ACAPE in Les Cayes, OPAGMA in Maniche and MP3K in Camp-Perrin are horrible, at best. Most homes are destroyed and our grantees are at the center of the relief effort in their communities, sheltering hundreds. In addition, beyond the immediate relief aspects, all livestock and fields are washed away. Communities like Rhe in Camp Perrin and Generese in Maniche may be not accessible for quite a while until the flooding recedes.
Immediately after the recent 2010 earthquake, the Haiti Fund was created at the Boston Foundation with the explicit goal of addressing the necessary immediate relief efforts coupled with the longer term reconstruction efforts to rebuild more vibrant and resilient communities. Last year, the Haiti Fund transitioned to the Haiti Development Institute (HDI), an initiative of the Boston Foundation. Our vision is a new Haiti built hand-in-hand with opportunity and justice for all, and we strive to achieve this vision through building sustainable communities by supporting local leaders, strengthening organizations, and connecting the nonprofit, philanthropic and social enterprise sectors, to achieve transformative systemic impact. HDI is built on the belief that an integrated approach to development is necessary to usher in real change in Haiti. Unfortunately, as Haiti is one of the countries most impacted by climate change, we knew that we needed to be positioned to act swiftly and respond to the needs on the ground in times of need.
HDI has reached out to members of the donor and Haitian Diaspora Community to join forces in coordinating an appropriate response to this crisis. We are asking for your assistance to empower the Haitian communities to rebuild and to work across sectors with donors and implementers for a coordinated and strategic response to assist those on the ground. We will look to support organizations we know well in the South like Mouvement Paysan 3ème Section Camp-Perrin (Peasant Movement for the Third Section of Camp-Perrin(MP3K), Assocation des Cadres Pour la Protection de l’environnement (ACAPE), Konbit Fanm Kaskad-Dubreuil (KOFAKAD), and Organisation pour le Developpement de Pointe Nicolas/Organization for the Development of Point Nicolas (ODPN).
You can donate directly through our website. As in the past, we will make use of our experiences as a grantmaker to ensure your donations are used in the most efficient way by working directly with our partners on the ground, as they are best positioned to identify the individuals and families most in need. HDI will target its programs to local leaders and Haitian-led organizations as they have the highest likelihood of success for equitable and sustainable development over the long-term.
Thank you for being there for Haiti
Impact of Hurricane Matthew in Haiti
According to OCHA Haiti (UN Office of the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance) as of Friday, October 15th the impact is as follows:
546 dead, 438 injured,128 missing
2.1 million people affected and 1.4 need humaniatrain assistance
750,000 people including 315,000 children need urgent humanitarian aid for the next three months
112,500 children under 5 are at risk of acute malnutrition
100% of agricultural crops destroyed in the Grande'Anse
Education is disrupted for 106,250 children
175,509 people displaced
Download the Latest Situation Report from OCHA, No. 10 October 14, 2016
Source: OCHA Haiti, available from:
Latest Images of the Destruction
News & Resources
Hurricane Matthew Webinar: How Donors Can Help on Oct. 11, 2016: Hosted by the Council on Foundations and the Center for Disaster Philanthropy (CDP) with generous support from the UPS Foundation, the webinar was moderated by CDP President and CEO Bob Ottenhoff and included speakers Dr. Anne Peterson, MD, MPH, Americares; Joe Ruiz, Director of the UPS Foundation’s Humanitarian Relief Program; Sherry P. Magill, President of the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, and CDP Vice President Regine Webster.
Custom Clearance Procedure for Relief Items Donations from the Haitian Embassy
The Embassy of Haiti's Statement on Hurricane Matthew from October 5, 2016
Relief to Haiti takes form following Hurricane Matthew, By Amy Lieberman, Devex, October 14, 2016
Institute for Justice & Democracy on accountability, resources, Haitian-led organizations to donate to and more
HDI in the News
Learning from mistakes in Hurricane Matthew response in Haiti, By Catherine Cheney, devex, October 12, 2016