Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Our Response to Hurricane Matthew in Haiti

October 16, 2016

This week, we announced two emergency response grants totaling $2.8 million to meet the critical needs of those affected by Hurricane Matthew. The hurricane, which pummeled Haiti with 145-mile-per-hour winds and heavy rain in early October, caused widespread flooding and destruction.

 While the full extent of the damage is still unknown, initial reports are grave. This hurricane is the worst disaster in Haiti since the devastating earthquake of 2010, from which the country is still recovering. While the full extent of the damage is still unknown, initial reports are grave. To date, around 750,000 people are in need of immediate humanitarian relief, over 175,000 people are displaced from their homes and at least 2.1 million people have been affected. According to official reports, 473 people have died, and the death toll continues to rise.

In the wake of a tragedy of this scale, the global community comes together in an effort to save lives and alleviate suffering. As part of this global effort to support response and recovery, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is focusing its support on providing the most severely affected communities with essential services and preventing the spread of cholera.

The two grants will go to International Medical Corps and CARE International, both of which have extensive experience working in Haiti and managing crisis situations.

The first is a $2.4 million emergency response grant to International Medical Corps

With funds from this grant, International Medical Corps (IMC) will help remote and hard-hit communities access safe drinking water, sanitation facilities and hygiene supplies.

IMC will also focus on preventing and treating cholera, including setting up mobile testing labs and rehydration stations. It will work closely with the Government of Haiti, World Health Organization (WHO) , PAHO, UNICEF and other partners to roll out the cholera vaccine in areas that are most at risk. One million doses of cholera vaccines from the WHO stockpile have been shipped to Haiti with Gavi support – partners on the ground are working to assess the situation and develop a plan for use.

The second is a $400,000 emergency response grant to CARE International

With funds from this grant, CARE will work to ensure communities most affected by the Hurricane have much-needed access to clean drinking water and emergency supplies, such as blankets and hygiene kits, including basics like toothbrushes and soap. It will also help construct emergency toilets and hand-washing stations.

Both organizations will focus on the needs of the most severely affected communities, including in Grand Anse and Sud Departments of Haiti. They may adjust their responses as more assessments come in.

How You Can Help
We encourage those who wish to help to consider making a donation to one of our emergency response partners all of whom are providing essential services, or GHESKIO and Partners in Health, organizations working specifically in Haiti. Your donations to these efforts will have a real impact on the lives of those affected by the hurricane. 

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