In early October 2016, Category 4 Hurricane Matthew – the most powerful Caribbean storm in a decade – ripped through Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Cuba. It destroyed both property and lives – devastating many areas of Haiti.

The hurricane brought heavy rain, thunderstorms and strong winds causing large-scale flooding and mudslides in a country already dealing with immense poverty, weak infrastructure and the legacy of 2010's earthquake. Hurricane Matthew wiped out food crops, increased food insecurity and cholera cases and left around 1.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Tragically, around 1000 people are confirmed to have died. According to UNICEF over 800,000 children were affected by the hurricane.

Houses across the Southern Peninsula, La Gonâve Island, the capital Port au Prince and in many hard to reach areas were damaged, or completely destroyed. Transport and communications infrastructure were also affected with bridges destroyed and roads impassable. This made it difficult to reach some of the worst-hit communities.


We were one of the first agencies to start responding to the emergency. Within hours of the storm we were working with our church and local government partners to get supplies to families whose homes had been lost or damaged.

In the first 6 months of the response alone, we helped more than 203,000 of the most vulnerable people with food, hygiene packs, seeds and shelter kits. We also launched hygiene promotion and cholera prevention campaigns to limit potential outbreak of water-borne diseases.

Six months on Haiti hurricane Matthew

Our eight Child Friendly Spaces welcomed more than 2,250 children from the affected areas. These are safe places for children to play, learn and where they can experience a degree of normalcy in an otherwise difficult situation.

My favourite part of the response has been to visit our Child Friendly Spaces. These are the places where the real recovery from the traumatic events of the Hurricane happen for children.

- World Vision Haiti's National Director, John Hasse

To enable the long-term recovery of families affected by Hurricane Matthew, we supported recovery and rehabilitation work in some areas that no other agencies were able to reach.


  • Protection: Children were at increased risk of exploitation and abuse in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. We worked to identify children at risk, including children who had become separated from family, or orphaned, child-headed households, children in shelters and others at risk due to their family circumstances. We worked with the relevant government ministries and other child-focused partners to develop a child protection training plan and guide for communities.

  • Child Friendly Spaces (CFS): We established Child Friendly Spaces to provide children with a degree of normality. These centres provided psychosocial support, protection and educational activities. We trained local volunteers to manage and operate the CFSs after our emergency teams leave.

  • Psychosocial support: To ensure children were supported with appropriate support, psychological first aid training was given to staff, volunteers, and teachers working with children impacted by the disaster.

  • Boys and girls clubs: Boys and girls clubs aim to protect children from violence, especially gender-based violence. Boys and girls were trained to run the clubs, as well as conduct meetings and activities.

  • School rehabilitation: We repaired eight damaged schools in La Gonave and Nippes, benefitting 2,400 children.

Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) and health

  • Clean water: In areas that were difficult to reach, we provided water treatment and storage supplies. We repaired or built community water points, in collaboration with government authorities and trained local water management committees to maintain them.

  • Disease outbreak management: We worked to limit the impact of disease outbreaks on vulnerable communities. For example, hygiene promotion to limit the spread of preventable water-borne diseases, such as cholera.

  • Clinic repairs: We supported the repair of seven clinics serving 10,500 people per month. We also provided these clinics with light sources, such as solar panels.

Food security and livelihoods

  • Agricultural recovery and food assistance: Crops were severely damaged, particularly in the Nippes and the south. The storm struck in the middle of the harvest season.. We distributed seeds along with food (ensuring the seeds were planted and not consumed for food). Seed packages or vouchers included major staple food crops, such as beans, cassava, yams, plantains, peanuts and more.


  • Home reconstruction: Using low cost, locally appropriate materials, we worked with communities to assess, repair and rebuild damaged houses. We included structural improvements to strengthen them against future natural hazards, such as hurricanes. Where possible, reconstruction employed local trades people and experts, and linked with local skills training. Special assistance was provided to female or child-headed households to address their needs.


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World Vision has been working in Haiti since 1978. Through our long-term development, advocacy and humanitarian assistance programming we're currently helping over 587,349 children.


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So far you've helped us raise over £94,701 for those impacted by Hurricane Matthew.

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