Hurricane Matthew claimed many lives and left massive devastation in its wake. Assistance from Germany has now arrived via various channels. It complements Germany’s long-term commitment to a better quality of life on the Caribbean island.
Following the devastating hurricane, the Haitian Government asked the international community for assistance. Germany complied with this request both bilaterally and in collaboration with European partners. In addition many German relief organisations such as the Workers' Samaritan Federation Germany (ASB), ADRA Adventist Development and Relief Agency as well as Worldvision instigated immediate assistance measures independent of the German Government. This aid is being provided in close coordination with Haiti’s Government. The German Embassy is in close contact with the relevant national agencies, international organisations and relief organisations on the ground.
Swift emergency aid after the hurricane
The Federal Foreign Office has made available more than two million euros in humanitarian emergency aid for regions particularly badly hit. These funds are being used to finance emergency measures such as the provision of drinking water, food aid and the erection of emergency shelters. The measures are being carried out by experienced relief organisations including the German Red Cross, the Welthungerhilfe (DWHH), Diakonie Katastrophenhilfe (DKH), humedica e.V., the Workers' Samaritan Federation Germany (ASB), Help e.V. as well as the ADRA Adventist Development and Relief Agency.
The European Commission’s Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) has also provided emergency aid to the tune of 1.75 million euros, while the United Nations has sent the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination Team (UNDAC) to Haiti. Germany is one of the biggest donors to the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (50 million euros in 2016), which was established specially for natural disasters of this kind.
Climate risk insurance payments within days
The German Government has been supporting a climate risk insurance for the Caribbean and Central America for some time now, having pledged a total of 28.5 million euros. This insurance enables countries to receive aid quickly and with a minimum of red tape following a natural disaster. During its G7 Presidency in 2015, the German Government successfully encouraged other donor countries to participate. The climate risk insurance has now proven its worth in the case of Haiti: 20 million US dollars were made available within days.
Long-term commitment to development
Since 2006, the German Government has been providing Haiti with development cooperation funding. The main aim of this transitional development assistance is to ensure that people have enough to eat on a long-term basis and to better equip the country to deal with natural disasters. For the period 2016 – 2019, 5.5 million euros have been earmarked; pledges of a comparable amount are planned for the period 2017 – 2020. Since 2010, Germany has made available a total of 50 million euros for improving the humanitarian situation in Haiti.
In addition to this, Germany has provided a total of just under 12 million euros for regional projects which also benefit Haiti. The main focuses are the protection of resources and food security in the border region between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Moreover, Germany is helping on a bilateral basis to rehabilitate the country’s largest hydroelectric power station. This project is being carried out in cooperation with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), with Germany contributing 28 million euros..