Supporting Hurricane Matthew Relief in Haiti

​Joint Task Force-Matthew supported the critical, early stages of U.S. disaster assistance to Haiti led by USAID. U.S. military forces delivered more than 600,000 pounds of aid to areas devastated by Hurricane Matthew.

Background Info

SOUTHCOM directed U.S. military forces to Haiti Oct. 5 to support a request by the government of Haiti to provide U.S. disaster relief operations led by the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA).

Any U.S. military foreign disaster relief mission is in support of U.S. Agency for International Development/Office of U.S Foreign Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA), which serves as the lead U.S. federal agency for foreign disaster relief efforts. 

Support must be requested by the host nation. U.S. military forces support the comprehensive U.S. government disaster response approach led by USAID/OFDA. 

Historically, U.S. military capabilities are needed most in the critical early stages of a disaster relief operation, when fewer resources, capabilities and disaster-response experts are available to help victims and impacted communities. As those disaster-relief missions progress and more experienced experts arrive to aid longer-term recovery and reconstruction, U.S. military capabilities are no longer requested, and roles previously performed by military units are assumed by other, more experienced relief organizations.

Over the last several years, SOUTHCOM has provided disaster assistance to Haiti to help the Caribbean nation prepare for storms like Hurricane Matthew and other natural disasters, including the construction of emergency operations centers, disaster relief warehouses, fire stations and community centers that double as shelters. The command has also donated search and rescue boats, as well as transport vehicles to Haitian emergency response and civil protection agencies.


Hurricane Matthew assessment tools and maps (National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency)

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: Hurricane Matthew page

USAID's Hurricane Matthew Relief page