AMERICA/HAITI - Hurricane emergency: people with disabilities are the most vulnerable

Monday, 10 October 2016 natural catastrophe  


Port au Prince (Agenzia Fides) - Humanitarian emergency in Haiti, the most serious in the country after the 2010 earthquake. Hurricane Matthew, which on October 4 hit the island with torrential rains and winds, has devastated the Country, causing 840 deaths to date, a number that grows by the hour. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, 350,000 people need assistance and 1 million and 300 have been evacuated. "In emergencies the mortality rate of people with disabilities is twice that of the general population", reports to Fides CBM Italy Onlus. "During natural disasters people with disabilities are the most vulnerable - said Massimo Maggio,
Director of CBM Italy –
The destruction overnight of support networks, the loss or partial loss of their assistance devices, as well as greater difficulties in obtaining basic necessities, or in gaining access to aid, necessitate more than ever timely intervention, so that no one is left behind".
CBM currently supports over 20 projects and partners in Haiti, three of them in the affected areas, but fortunately none are currently involved. The regional director of CBM Latin America, confirms the seriousness of the situation in Haiti, especially in Port-au-Prince, where many children with disabilities and their families are seeking refuge. In the central part of the Country, many schools have been severely damaged and those left standing are used as temporary shelters. Three CBM schools that welcome children with disabilities were severely damaged: the Arche Chantal, which welcomes 20 children with disabilities, the Simon School for deaf children and SHAA School for students with visual disbilities. Students were welcomed to temporary shelters and need basic necessities such as water, food and clothing. An estimated 100 people with disabilities in the area are in need of immediate support. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 10/10/2016)