The International Organization for Migration (IOM) has launched a flash appeal for USD 15 million to assist Haitian authorities with housing, temporary shelter, mental health support, and COVID-19 prevention for the 137,000 families who have been left critically vulnerable as a result of the recent earthquake in southern Haiti.
Official data show that the 7.2-magnitude earthquake has killed 2,207 people, injured more than 12,000 people, destroyed approximately 53,000 buildings, and badly damaged another 77,000.
“We need at least USD 15 million in the first months alone to give housing assistance, assist affected Haitians in returning to their homes, and guarantee they have critical subsistence supplies,” said Federica Cecchet, IOM’s Deputy Head of Mission in Haiti.
IOM established bases in each of the most damaged locations just 48 hours after the earthquake on August 14th, and currently has additional hubs in Jeremie (Grand’Anse), Les Cayes (Sud), and Miragoane (Nippes). It is analyzing damage assessments using satellite images, and thousands of plastic sheets, hygiene kits, blankets, collapsible jerry cans, and kitchen sets have already been provided to help impacted communities maintain a minimum standard of living. In addition, a team of engineers from the International Organization for Migration (IOM) is assisting with structural assessments in the impacted communities in southern Haiti.
Cecchet stated that information management was also a priority and that the monies raised from the appeal will be used to provide fast and reliable data on the displaced people in the Southern departments of Sud, Grand’Anse, and Nippes.
IOM’s Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) team has been dispatched to follow the movement and needs of displaced people as well as map shelter conditions. This data will aid humanitarian programming and help prioritize the activities of a variety of humanitarian partners, such as beneficiary selection, logistical planning, and identifying the special requirements of individuals in extremely vulnerable situations.
Through on-site psychologists, IOM also hopes to provide mental health care and psychosocial support for families, with a special focus on women and girls. Psychologists with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) are trained in PSEA (Protection against Sexual Exploitation and Abuse) and provide specialized treatment to persons affected by the earthquake. Those who are unable to obtain or access this support directly may call the IOM’s dedicated hotline. The 840 toll-free lines was designed for a variety of purposes, including receiving psychosocial help, obtaining information, and filing complaints.
Insecurity has hampered aid distribution to some communities, and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) intends to adopt locally driven, long-term measures to guarantee that assistance reaches the most vulnerable.