Aid agency calls global response to Haiti disaster "a disgrace"

Concern Worldwide CEO says big donors need to "step up"

A charity providing urgent aid to the devastated people of Haiti has branded the global response to Hurricane Matthew “a disgrace”.

Concern Worldwide CEO, Dominic MacSorley has praised the support Ireland has provided to Haiti thus far - but described the world's overall response as disgraceful.

Mr MacSorley has urged donors around the world to “wake up” and meet the UN’s flash appeal for €109.3m after it emerged just 20% has so far been donated nearly two weeks since the disaster.

Currently working alongside the Concern team on the ground in Haiti - where 1.4 million need immediate aid and the death toll continues to rise – Mr MacSorley said, “Nobody should be dying for a lack of money.”

“Despite the logistical challenges, this is a country that we have access to.  There is no war, no bombs dropping and no excuses.  The appeal must be met,” he said.

“It is a disgrace that there has not been a more robust response, particularly from the big major donors.

“The Irish public have once again been digging deep and we cannot thank them enough.”

He said the government’s Irish Aid programme for overseas development has been “very responsive” with supplies airlifted into the country “within hours of the crisis".

“I welcome [the government’s] recent announcement of the additional funding of €1.5m for the overall response in Haiti. But the donors with the deepest pockets are failing Haiti and need to step up,” he said.

Official UN figures show that 2.1 million Haitians have been affected by the disaster with 13% of the country’s 10.1 million people requiring urgent, immediate aid and assistance over the next three months.

There are serious concerns there could be a significant cholera epidemic as people struggle to rebuild their lives in grave conditions.

Concern's relief workers are focusing their efforts on cholera prevention in the capital Port au Prince and providing emergency relief kits to thousands of families on the impoverished Haitian island of La Gonave - where the storm has wiped out homes and crops along the coast line.

Donations to the Concern Haiti appeal can be made here or by calling the charity directly on 1850 211 844.