One month after Hurricane Matthew devastated parts of the Caribbean, CBM and partners implement comprehensive strategy to ensure affected communities recover
Since Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti and Cuba on 4 October, CBM Emergency Response Unit, in close collaboration withour Haiti Country Coordination Office and local partners has been assessing the damage and planning a response.
In Cuba, we are supplying affected people with portable water filter units, essential to allow decentralised provision of clean water. In Haiti, our overall goal is to ensure that the affected population, including persons with disabilities and their families, is able to access relief aid, psychosocial support and recover their livelihoods (gardening and livestock). Our initial response will be implemented in two interlinked phases, extending over nine months, by which time we will have planned a longer-term strategy that ensures future rehabilitation and resilience-building.
We have already started identifying those in most need and recording these needs, to make referrals to service providers in the areas. A Community-based Protection Project will make these essential links, and to do so will utilise the knowledge and skills of local Disabled Person's Organisations (DPOs), meaning that persons with disabilities are not only end beneficiaries of our work but actively involved as responders. Simultaneously, we will be raising awareness and understanding of inclusion within 'mainstream' humanitarian agencies, both through their interaction with DPOs and by proactive advocacy work at community and cluster level.
We are now identifying existing specialised centres, schools and rehabilitation centres, which have been damaged by the storm and which we will support to recover. Phase two will also address the loss and recovery of livelihood through unconditional cash transfer, distribution of suitable livestock and by supporting the restarting of gardening/farming activities.
As our response evolves, we will constantly monitor the situation to ensure appropriate delivery of services and will ensure our own, and partners' capacities are matching the needs on the ground.
Disability and emergencies
The WHO estimates 15% of the global population live with disability. In any emergency or disaster, people who live with some form of disability are disproportionally affected. Reasons for this include inaccessibility of warning messages and emergency shelters, loss and damage of assistive devices, disruption of support networks and increased difficulty in accessing basic humanitarian operations (food, water, shelter, sanitation and health care services).
At the same time, emergencies can increase the number of people who experience disability, both short and long-term, due to injuries sustained and lack of effective medical services.