LES CAYES, Haiti – Humanitarian aid is beginning to be delivered in Haiti to those most affected by Hurricane Matthew after an agonizing wait caused by poor logistical conditions and/or the lack of access to the country’s southern and southwestern provinces.
The aid provided by Oxfam, an international confederation of charitable organizations focused on the alleviation of global poverty, began to be distributed on Friday, after the first truck loaded with items arrived at some of the cities hardest-hit by the storm – including Les Cayes, Cavaillon, Camp Perrin, and Saint-Louis-du-Sud – to help attend to the public’s most urgent needs.
A second truck is continuing with the task on Sunday.
Oxfam is working with local civil protection authorities, who actually distribute the items and which are “making the maximum effort, despite their limitations,” Oxfam Intermon emergency spokeswomen Maria Jose Agejas, who is working in the zone, told EFE.
The first aid shipment includes hygiene kits to prevent waterborne illnesses arising from contaminated water like malaria, zika and chikungunya, all of them carried by mosquitoes, which in the wake of the storm are finding perfect hatching conditions.
Other supplies being provided include water purification tablets, buckets to transport and store clean water, soap and other items, tools for removing debris and plastic tarpaulins for temporary roofing, and workers are installing water storage tanks.
A key element is to combine the aid with basic training in hygiene to prevent an outbreak of cholera, which has already begun to appear among the population in Jeremie, the capital of Grand’Anse province.
The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has reported that 750,000 people need emergency aid in Haiti in the wake of the storm.
Countries such as Spain, the United States, Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba, Colombia, France and the European Union have promised aid to Haiti to deal with the situation caused by Matthew, after the storm forced local authorities to indefinitely postpone the general elections that had been scheduled for Sunday.