Sunday 19 November 2017

'It is a race against time' - Irish NGO get €125k to help victims of devastating hurricane

People queue for food and clothes being distributed at a shelter in Port-Salut, southwest of Port-au-Prince, on October 9, 2016, days after the passage of Hurricane Matthew through Haiti. Picture: Getty Images
People queue for food and clothes being distributed at a shelter in Port-Salut, southwest of Port-au-Prince, on October 9, 2016, days after the passage of Hurricane Matthew through Haiti. Picture: Getty Images
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

An NGO has been awarded €125,000 by the Irish government for its relief effort in Haiti, following Hurricane Matthew.

Over two million people, including 894,100 children, have been affected by the hurricane which ripped through the island nation earlier this month.

The funding has been awarded to ActionAid and will be used to provide emergency sanitation and training for the prevention of cholera; equipment and training for the reconstruction of buildings; and direct support for rebuilding livelihoods, particularly for women.

Yolette Etienne, CEO of ActionAid Haiti, said the NGO is "deeply concerned about the risk of cholera" with several deaths reported already.

Residents at a shelter in the school Liliane Mars Dumarsais Estime fight for food during a delivery after Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti.
Residents at a shelter in the school Liliane Mars Dumarsais Estime fight for food during a delivery after Hurricane Matthew in Les Cayes, Haiti.

"It is a race against time to supply communities with food, water and potentially life-saving hygiene kits to guard against the spread of disease. We are particularly concerned for women and girls, who are especially vulnerable in the wake of a disaster like Hurricane Matthew.”

Siobhán McGee CEO of ActionAid Ireland said: “We are very grateful to Irish Aid for supporting our relief effort in Haiti. ActionAid’s grassroots programmatic work, which prioritises the most vulnerable communities, is the basis for our humanitarian response.

"Rebuilding the lives of the poorest and most marginalised in a sustainable way will be fundamental to our approach in Haiti, as will our efforts to support women and girls in the aftermath of this disaster.”

The NGO has been working in Haiti for 20 years and was among the first to respond after the hurricane hit on October 4.

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