The UK is committing up to £5 million of initial support to help thousands of people in Haiti affected by Hurricane Matthew, Priti Patel announced today.
The funding includes a first consignment of UK aid arriving in Haiti today including shelter kits for 5,000 people and a further four British experts to help assess and address the needs of those affected by the storm. A team of DFID experts are now in the region who will help NGO and UN partners address immediate needs, including water, healthcare, shelter and protection.
Temporary shelters, equipment to purify and carry safe drinking water and solar lights to reach 12,500 of the most vulnerable people, including women and children, will arrive in Haiti over the coming few days.
Speaking from Washington DC, where she is discussing financing for the developing countries at World Bank meetings, International Development Secretary Priti Patel said:
Tragically, with the death toll continuing to rise we are now beginning to see the full scale of the devastation wrought by the worst storm to hit this region in almost a decade. The absolute priority right now is to reach those who are injured and provide them with water, sanitation, shelter and protection.
Global Britain will play its part to ensure expertise and support can make a real difference on the ground helping those caught in the aftermath of devastation. We supported the positioning of aid in preparedness for natural disasters and shelter kits have been sent direct from the UK. We are working closely with aid agencies and international partners on the ground to assist those in immediate need and help prevent an even greater crisis.
The latest UK support is in addition to ongoing work DFID has been undertaking in Haiti before the storm to better prepare the country for natural disasters.
Working with the World Food Programme and UNICEF, UK aid:
- pre-positioned life-saving stocks such as hygiene kits, home water treatment facilities and mosquito nets that could quickly reach 10,000 of the most vulnerable people
- ensured trucks were ready to be swiftly deployed to carry water, emergency toilets, and sanitation facilities to the most affected areas
- prepared IT emergency kits that keep vital communication lines working through emergencies
- supported UNICEF to provide a first delivery of humanitarian supplies to the most affected zones in coordination with national governments, including support to protection, health, nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene.
DFID’s support forms part of the UK Government’s overall response alongside the Ministry of Defence and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. British vessel RFA Wave Knight and her helicopter remains in the region, able to respond with humanitarian assistance if required.
The UK is working closely with other international donors, the United Nations, NGOs and governments in the region to establish the exact extent of the damage and the most pressing humanitarian needs.
UK aid being sent to Haiti over the coming days will be distributed in Haiti in coordination with CARE International.
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