Published by reliefweb.int
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 9 January 2017 – Around three months ago hurricane Matthew hit Haiti, disrupting the lives of over two million people. In addition to the personal losses of homes and crops, more than 716 schools, numerous health facilities, and the existing sanitation infrastructure all suffered damage. Today, 1.4 million people in Haiti, including 600,000 children, require humanitarian assistance.
UNICEF is working with the Government and other partners to address the immediate basic needs of children and families, ensuring that these interventions lay the foundation for rehabilitation and resilience.
In collaboration with the IBESR (Ministry of Social Affairs), UNICEF is reaching 4,468 children with basic needs assistance including hygiene kits, blankets and food, as well as documentation assistance for documents lost in the hurricane.
UNICEF also supports child friendly spaces that provide children between the ages of 3 and 17 with a safe environment to play and be themselves, despite the challenging circumstances.
“Following hurricane Matthew we found that many children in the CFS [child friendly spaces] have had nightmares or panic attacks. Their trauma manifested in the children’s’ behaviour, in their drawings,” says Laura Gabrici, protection manager with AVSI Foundation, an international NGO working in partnership with UNICEF. “Often these children are very concerned about the fate of people dear to them, especially their parents, fearing that those people may disappear at any time in their lives. They are constantly afraid of being left alone.”
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