Hurricane Irma: Oxfam assists those hit hardest in Haiti, Dominican Republic

Intense rains cause floods at the town of Ouanaminthe, Haiti. Oxfam staff is on the ground there. Janel Augustin

Oxfam and its Caribbean partner organizations are helping people most affected by flooding and strong winds following Hurricane Irma, which hit housing, infrastructure and destroyed agricultural production.

Although the Dominican Republic and Haiti were spared the worst of the hurricane, many people lost their homes and livelihoods and do not have access to water and basic sanitation.

Irma left more than 24,000 people displaced in the Dominican Republic. Oxfam is working in the provinces of Montecristi and María Trinidad Sanchez, on the northern coast of the country, where people´s livelihoods were severely affected. Irma destroyed nearly 5,000 acres of crops and more than 100 houses. Oxfam is calling on the government to provide humanitarian assistance to the most affected people.

In Haiti, Oxfam will concentrate on hygiene and sanitation work in the North-East and Artibonite departments. Our primary aim is to prevent the spread of cholera and other diseases due to damage to water infrastructure. Oxfam will provide safe water in four villages with handwashing points and chlorine tablets. Oxfam is also coordinating a public health and hygiene campaign with government and aid agencies.

As usual, the hurricane has mostly affected poor people who are the most vulnerable and least resilient. They are most vulnerable to climate shocks and do not have the resources to recover. Women particularly bear the brunt of the impact and are central to efforts of recovery.

Oxfam calls on governments to tackle the causes behind extreme poverty as part of their national strategies for disaster risk reduction.  They must invest more in building people’s resilience so they can recover more quickly. 

Oxfam is on the ground preparing to respond. Help us meet the most critical needs.

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