13 September 2017

Helping families affected by Hurricane Irma

SOS Haiti stands by to help families affected by wind and rain damage in vulnerable northeast communities.

Staff at SOS Children's Villages Les Cayes tape windows as Hurricane Irma approaches. Photographer: Dieuson Elisca

SOS Children’s Villages Haiti is carrying out assessments in communities affected by Hurricane Irma, which spared much of the country and caused only minor damage to an SOS Children’s Village property.

SOS Haiti is working with partner organisations to review rain and wind damage caused in the country’s northeast, around communities such as Aviation and Port St. Michel, where SOS Children’s Village has families in strengthening programmes. An estimated 1,600 people in the area are living in shelters because of water and wind damage to their homes.

SOS Haiti is now considering an emergency response programme in the northeast region. Hurricane Irma brushed the Dominican Republic and Haiti on 8 September, sparing both countries serious damage as it travelled across the northern Caribbean.

Celigny Darius, National Director of SOS Haiti, said all children in SOS family care were safe and there was only minor damage to a fence at the SOS Children’s Village in Cap-Haïtien.

“The greatest needs are livelihood support for families in affected communities in the northeast, including farmers who lost crops,” he said. “They will need help to repair their homes, livelihood assistance and the support to build resilience.”

Hurricane Matthew: One year on

It is the second time in less than a year that SOS Children’s Villages has mobilised to help families affected by hurricanes. Hurricane Matthew devastated large parts of southern Haiti, including the regions of Ouest, Nippes, Sud and Grand’Anse, on 4 October 2016.

The Hermann Gmeiner School in Les Cayes lost part of its roof, teaching materials and school supplies due to Hurricane Matthew and has since been rebuilt. SOS Haiti also responded by helping to repair the four public schools in the Sud region.

SOS Haiti’s emergency response programme, launched last October in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, has focused on helping affected families in the country’s southwest to improve their earnings potential so they could rebuild homes and restore farms.

Read more about our emergency response work in Haiti.