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With an estimated 1.4 million Haitians in need of humanitarian assistance after the hurricane, IOM is racing to provide NGO partners with water containers, water purification tablets, and hygiene materials to reduce the risk of a major cholera outbreak in Haiti’s storm-devastated south western peninsula.

On 8 and 9 October IOM Haiti received five cargo flights with emergency kits provided by USAID’s Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).

Part of this cargo went yesterday (10/10) by helicopter to the shattered towns of Jeremie and Les Cayes, where the NGOs Catholic Relief Services (Les Cayes) and ACTED (Jeremie) already are carrying out distributions of non-food relief items (NFIs).

During the weekend, another 5,500 hygiene kits also were handed over to Mission of Hope, another NGO, for distribution in Bonbon and Abricot, two remote communes in Grande Anse, Haiti’s worst hit department.

The remaining kits will be shipped today to affected areas in a truck convoy escorted by the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

Meanwhile, 34 IOM emergency workers specialized in camp management, disaster risk reduction and protection are carrying out rapid assessments of the situation in Grande Anse and South departments.

IOM is also supporting the government in the two departments by registering people sheltering in schools, churches and other public buildings.

With an estimated 90 percent of homes in the South and Grande Anse departments damaged or destroyed by the hurricane, IOM yesterday launched a USD 20 million appeal.

The funds will be mainly used to repair homes, provide emergency shelter and combat the spread of cholera in the worst affected areas.

“There is an urgent need to provide life-saving support to 70,000 extremely vulnerable families affected by this disaster. This includes interventions in the areas of shelter, NFIs, health and combating human trafficking resulting from displacement and increased vulnerability,” said IOM Haiti Chief of Mission Gregoire Goodstein.