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Emergency Relief Status Report: Updates from Mexico and the Caribbean
September 14, 2017
Denitza Andjelic, Senior Program Officer and IPPF/WHR Humanitarian Response Team Leader
This past week has truly been difficult. Hurricane Irma barreled through the Caribbean with Hurricane José on its heels. Immediately after, Mexico was hit with the most powerful earthquake it has seen in 100 years. Our partners are facing unprecedented challenges.
IPPF/WHR has activated its humanitarian response network, and we are working on deploying staff and mobilizing resources to make sure our clinics—which serve the most vulnerable across the region—are ready to help in any way possible.
As a regional office, we stand resolved in our commitment to provide our partners with technical assistance and support at this difficult time. Below are relevant updates on our dedicated partners who are trained, passionate, and ready to help rebuild and serve their communities at this time of great need. You can make an emergency contribution to our relief efforts here.
Impact of earthquake: Hardest hit areas are in Chiapas and Oaxaca, especially Juchitan municipality. Death toll is up to 96, as of Sep 11. Many people have lost their homes. The area has experienced more than 900 aftershocks, with additional damage occurring as a result.
Status: 40 staff and volunteers from our partner, Mexfam, have lost their homes. The staff and volunteers are currently homeless, with some sleeping on the streets. Two clinics suffered damage—the clinic in Ixtaltepec (Oaxaca) and La Villa (in Mexico City). Currently the clinic in Ixtaltepec in the only working health facility in the area and is being used by the government for primary health care and trauma-related services. The government has also borrowed the Mexfam’s mobile health unit to provide emergency health services in the communities. Mexfam is also coordinating with Catholics for the Right to Decide and other civil society partners to provide essential supplies to the affected population.
ANTIGUA & BARBUDA:
Impact of Hurricane Irma: Antigua suffered minimal damage, as little of the hurricane made landfall on the island. The sister island of Barbuda was, however, devastated by Hurricane Irma.
Status: The Caribbean Family Planning Affiliation, while affected by the loss of electricity, water, internet, and rainwater in some sections of the building, suffered no further damage. All employees are safe. This is also the case for our partner in Antigua, which has not suffered any damage and is fully operational. All citizens of Barbuda (1,413 people) were evacuated to Antigua in anticipation of Hurricane Jose. Around 305 people are living in temporary shelters with the rest of the population staying with family and friends. Our partner is assessing the possibility of providing mobile services in/around the shelters, as well as through its clinic, to the affected Barbudan population. They will also be mobilizing contraceptive supplies to neighboring affected island, Anguilla.
Impact of Hurricane Irma: Only the north coast is affected; the south coast unaffected.
Status: Our partner, Profamil, recently established a partnership with Soaring Unlimited in the north of the country to provide sexual and reproductive health services. The partner organization’s health facility received some damage and assessment of damage is underway. Profamil plans to respond in the north in partnership with Soaring Unlimited. Profamil will send staff in the coming days to do assessments and hopefully begin providing services soon if funding is available, including through mobile clinics. They are also in the process of putting together a budget, response plans and coordinating with partners.
Impact of Hurricane Irma: Heavy rain and wind in north part of the country but no significant damage reported.
Status: No damage to our partner’s operations.
Impact of Hurricane Irma: According to our partner’s (Profamilias) Executive Director, Hurricane Irma had passed the island further north than expected, leaving less destruction than initially feared. However, much of the island is without electricity and running water, and many roads were impassable as of September 8th. All our staff are safe.
Status: As of Sep 13th, most Profamilias service delivery points have electricity and are operational and have resumed providing services to the population.