UN and humanitarian actors mobilized to support Haiti in response to Storm Isaac

24 Aug 2012

Port-au-Prince - In preparation for Tropical Storm Isaac, humanitarian actors and MINUSTAH stand behind the Government of Haiti to plan and prepare for potential emergency response and assistance requirements. “The international community has mobilized itself under the leadership of the Government of Haiti to alert the population and evacuate the most vulnerable Haitians to safer locations”, said Kevin Kennedy, Humanitarian Coordinator ad interim and UN acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General in Haiti.

Since 23 August, the emergency response coordination mechanisms of the humanitarian community and of MINUSTAH have been activated in support of the National Emergency Coordination Center (COUN) and the 10 departmental emergency coordination centers (COUD) led by the Haitian Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC).

A vast sensitization campaign targeting the population at risk, as well as more than 80 percent of IDP camps’ residents has been carried on by the Government of Haiti with support from various partners, including UNDP, IOM and the Red Cross. Particular emphasis was placed on evacuations, the location of emergency centers, the locations of prepositioned emergency supplies and the emergency phone numbers to call, using media, as well as loud-speakers, trucks, and SMS.  The UN and the Red Cross supported the Government of Haiti messages to alert the population at a joint press held at the DPC this afternoon.

The international community is also prepared to support the Government in the immediate response and the emergency evaluation of needs after the storm has passed.  Emergency supplies available in-country for immediate response include emergency food supplies for more than 300,000 people, shelter materials for more than 70,000 families, water treatment supplies for 400,000, kits for vulnerable groups, and emergency health kits and cholera response kits for up to 75,000 people. In the South of Haiti, UNICEF and its partners are ready to provide assistance to 55,000 people with regard to water, sanitation and hygiene, nutrition, health and protection. Regional and global stocks are also available to be mobilized if the crisis requires. Specialized teams in health, logistics, food distribution, etc. are on standby to respond.

MINUSTAH has established 24/7 Emergency Operations throughout the country, which include Ready Duty Engineering Units (RDEU – self-sufficient for fourteen days without requiring additional logistical support) ready to clear roads for the deployment of emergency response teams and evacuations.  MINUSTAH’s 5,700 infantry troops are ready to deploy once the storm has passed to assess damage and requirements for further military relief efforts, as well as to deter any possible criminal activity.

We reaffirm the commitment of the international community to support the people and the Government of Haiti.

Contact Information

Eliana Nabaa
Chief, Communication and Public Information
MINUSTAH, Haiti
Tel: +509 3702 8001
Email: nabaa@un.org

George Ngwa Anuongong
Chief, Communication Section
OCHA, Haiti
Tel: +509 3702 5192
Email: ngwaanuongong@un.org