This statement was originally published on September 5, 2017. It has been updated on September 8, 2017 to reflect the latest information.
Our thoughts are with all of those affected by Hurricane Irma in the Caribbean, and with those in Florida as the storm approaches. Hurricane Irma passed through Haiti overnight, largely sparing the country. Flooding seems to be highly localized, but the more rural areas have not been assessed or reached yet.
Mercy Corps is sending two assessment teams from Port-au-Prince to Cap Haitien, in northern Haiti, to join our team that has been there since Wednesday. We are optimistic and hoping for the best. Mercy Corps does not currently work in the northern part of Haiti.
Hurricane season still has two months to go — with Hurricane Jose on the horizon — so we must continue being diligent in our disaster preparedness efforts. We are approaching Haiti’s most important harvest of the year in October/November. More than half of the population depends on agriculture for their income, so any damage to farms or livestock could make the difference of eating or not for the next few months.
Nearly one year ago Hurricane Matthew devastated Haiti, forcing more than 175,000 people from their homes and leaving 750,000 people in need of humanitarian assistance. Mercy Corps provided urgently needed supplies like shelter kits as well as cash, which enabled people to purchase what they needed most while also infusing cash into local economies. Mercy Corps also established water points in communities that lost access to clean water and provided seeds and saplings to replant lost coffee, cacao and fruit trees. Since Hurricane Matthew, Mercy Corps has helped nearly 90,000 people in Haiti recover.
Mercy Corps is committed to empowering people around the world to survive through crisis, build better lives and transform their communities for good. Recognised as a leader in delivering rapid, lifesaving aid to hard-hit communities, Mercy Corps has responded to almost every global emergency in the past 20 years, including the Nepal earthquakes (2015), Philippines typhoon (2013), the Japan earthquake and tsunami (2011) and Horn of Africa drought and hunger crisis (2010). Mercy Corps was also one of the first responders to the Indian Ocean tsunami (2004) and Haiti earthquake (2010).