ACT Appeal Haiti: Relief to victims of civil unrest, LAHT-41 (Revision 1)

Originally published


Appeal Target: US$ 782,031
Balance Requested from ACT Alliance: US$ 688,031

Geneva, 24 March 2004

Dear Colleagues,

On 22 March 2003, Appeal LAHT-41 for Relief to Victims of Civil Unrest in Haiti was issued. It included the proposal from the Lutheran World Federation/World Service (LWF/WS), together with its implementing partners.

This revision is to include the proposal of ACT member Christian Aid (CAID), who together with its implementing partners is working in the North West part of the country. This region has been one of the most isolated and neglected parts of Haiti with 81% of its population living in absolute poverty. Access to basic services is very limited. The region faces serious environmental degradation and suffers from repeated drought and occasional flooding. Successive harvests in recent years have been lost and fodder for animals is no longer available. In many cases, seeds that should have been used for planting this current season have been consumed.

During the recent crisis, the region was cut off from the capital and the rest of the country. The town of Gonaives, which is on the main road to the north, has been under the control of rebels since 5 February 2004. This has resulted in the interruption of food, fuel, medicines and other essential goods, leading to increased prices and placing additional strains on the already fragile food security in the area. CAID are therefore proposing to intervene in the current crisis through:

- Food and nutritional assistance

- Health assistance

- Food security

For the sake of brevity this revision includes the Christian Aid (CAID) revised proposal only. Please note that the review-capacity assessment component has been revised and it is also included in this revision. For information on the LWF program please refer to the original appeal which remains unchanged.

Project Completion Date:

LWF - 31 March 2005

CAID - 31 March 2005

Summary of Appeal Targets, Pledges/Contributions Received and Balance Requested

Review Cap. Assess.
ACT Co-ord
Total Target
Appeal Targets
Less: Pledges/Contr Recd
Balance Requested from ACT Alliance

Please kindly send your contributions to the following ACT bank account:

Account Number - 240-432629.60A (USD)
Account Name: ACT - Action by Churches Together
8, rue du Rhône
P.O. Box 2600
1211 Geneva 4
Swift address: UBSW CHZH12A

Please also inform the Finance Officer Jessie Kgoroeadira (direct tel. +4122/791.60.38, e-mail address jkg@act-intl.org) of all pledges/contributions and transfers, including funds sent direct to the implementers, now that the Pledge Form is no longer attached to the Appeal.

We would appreciate being informed of any intent to submit applications for EU, USAID and/or other back donor funding and the subsequent results. We thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.

ACT Web Site address: http://www.act-intl.org

Thor-Arne Prois
Director, ACT Co-ordinating Office

ACT is a worldwide network of churches and related agencies meeting human need through coordinated emergency response.

The ACT Coordinating Office is based with the World Council of Churches (WCC) and the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) in Switzerland.


In early 2003 the United Nations described the situation in Haiti as a silent emergency in view of the chronic socio-economic and governance problems. It spoke of 'an increasing segment of the population [being] faced with growing poverty and scarcity, bringing them to a critical threshold of vulnerability... The situation in Haiti appears explosive. Stress due to a constant decline in living conditions is added to an aggravated political climate... Serious social unrest is possible"1. Today, after months of political instability and violence, culminating in the departure of President Aristide from office, it now says that the situation has become a 'full-blown crisis'. Despite the arrival of international troops and the appointment of a new President and Prime Minister, armed groups are in control of much of the country, particularly in the north, and incidents of looting and attacks continue in Port-au-Prince.

The violence has resulted in an unknown numbers of deaths, generating fear and uncertainty, as well as up to $300 million in damaged property2. Humanitarian space has been repeatedly violated and most hospitals have ceased to function. Beyond this, the situation has created an acute humanitarian crisis because of the disruption of normal communications and economic activities. The UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has estimated that 3 million people (37% of the total population) have been affected by the crisis. The majority of these people live in Port-au-Prince, Gonaïves, Cap Haïtien, Saint Marc, Port-de-Paix (North West department) and Hinche. More than half of them are children under 18 years old, and an estimated 700,000 are women of childbearing age. Priority concerns they have identified are: security, humanitarian access, food and medical aid, fuel, health care, and epidemiological risk.

The high level of vulnerability of the majority of the population - 48% of whom already had an insufficient income to be able to feed themselves adequately - means that a shock of any kind can force them to sell their remaining assets and push them into destitution. Peasant farmers and workers in the informal sector, all of whom must sell their goods on a day-to-day basis in order to survive, have been particularly badly hit.




- Christian Aid (CA)


Christian Aid (CA) is the official relief and development agency of the Protestant Churches in Ireland and the UK. It began life in 1945 as Christian Reconciliation in Europe, responding to the needs of refugees and churches in Europe in the aftermath of the Second World War. In 1964 the organisation changed its name to Christian Aid. Since 1991, CA has been a separate legal entity.

CA works with the poor, the weak and vulnerable through about 600 partner organisations in 57 countries. Christian Aid enables them to build a better future through development, advocacy and campaigning, human rights and humanitarian work. Partners work on issues including social change and women's socio-economic empowerment, health, education and sustainable livelihoods. CA encourages partners to highlight injustices, to empower the poor and enable local groups to campaign for their rights.

Christian Aid is a founder member of ACT and responds to emergencies all over the world. In the last two years it has responded to emergencies in Central America, Africa, Afghanistan, and most recently Iraq. Its office in Haiti participates actively in the ACT Committee in that country and has implemented three ACT appeals there.

This appeal focuses on work in Haiti's far west - one of the most deprived parts of an already poor country. It will be implemented through two partners undertaking complementary work: Child Care Haiti (Project A) and KORAL (Project B).

- Child Care Haiti - Child Care Haiti was founded in 1985 and has been a Christian Aid partner since 1992. Its objective is to promote the health and well-being of the poor, particularly children, youth and pregnant women in the North West department of Haiti. It has a primary health care programme centred around a health centre (the only one with doctors and able to accept in-patients in the area, incorporating a pharmacy, a medical lab and dental services) and two outlying dispensaries. It employs two doctors, a nurse, 5 nursing auxiliaries, supported by a network of 24 health agents and 40 traditional birth attendants. In addition, there is a lab technician and assistant, a dental auxiliary, 3 administrative and 3 support staff. A board drawn from members of the community has overall responsibility for the organisation's operations, which cover both curative, preventive and health education work.

- KORAL (Kombit Pou Ranfose Aksyon Lakay - Collective Effort to Strengthen Local Actions) is a small projects fund established by Christian Aid in 1999 but now functioning independently. It aims to strengthen grassroots organisations by supporting local initiatives that they design and implement. It focuses its activities on rural areas, concentrating for the last 18 months on the South and North West departments. Much of its work supports income-generating and livelihoods activities. In addition to funding such work it provides advice, training and support for organisational strengthening, encouraging formal structures, networking (eg. for marketing of produce), and integration of important issues such as gender. It is managed by a Committee of 5 who take decisions about the viability of the proposed projects and support the work of the Co-ordinator.

Child Care Haïti and KORAL are both aware of and committed to adhering to ACT principles and guidelines, the Humanitarian Code of Conduct and willing to work according to the Sphere standards. CA is planning to run a training session on ACT's requirements, the Sphere standards and the Code of Conduct for both partners within a month of starting the implementation of this project.


The far west of the North West department, where this project is located, has a population of about 200,000. It is one of the most isolated and neglected parts of the country. According to the World Bank, 81% of its population live in absolute poverty - and consequent food insecurity - with an income of less than $54.20 per year. Access to basic services is also very limited, with only one doctor for 35,000 people in the commune of Mole Saint Nicolas and one for 25,000 people in Baie de Hennes. The region faces serious environmental degradation and suffers from repeated drought and occasional flooding. Successive harvests in recent years have been lost and fodder for animals is no longer available. In November 2003, serious flooding took place but has been followed by a further drought. In many cases, seeds have been consumed and cannot be used for planting even though the next season has now begun.

During the recent crisis, the north of Haiti, including the North West department, has been cut off from the capital and the rest of the country. The town of Gonaives, which is on the main road to the north, has been under the control of rebels since 5 February 2004. The consequence has been to interrupt supplies of food, fuel, medicines and other essential goods, leading to increased prices. Although the mass migration predicted has not taken place, Child Care estimates that 800 people have left Gonaives and other areas of conflict to return to the Far West, particularly Petite Riviere and Dos D'Ane. This has placed additional strains on the already fragile food security in the area.

Impact on human lives in the area of proposed response

Approximately 160,000 in the Far West. Families average 5-7 people and, as a result of migration, include a disproportionate number of female-headed households and those headed by elderly people (statistics from Child Care Haiti on the basis of World Bank statistics and own surveys).

Severe price increases have taken place (up to 40% for rice and 30% for beans over 6 weeks, for instance), forcing people to sell their livestock, eat their seeds and stop sending their children to school.

Description of the damages in the area of proposed response

NB. The information provided is incomplete as a full needs assessment has not been possible due to the acute security problems encountered over recent weeks. The road to and from the North West is still highly dangerous. The United Nations has been unable to carry out its own needs assessment for this same reason. When this can be carried out, appropriate modifications to project plans will be made in discussion with ACT.

Number and degree of damage to public infrastructure such as schools, health facilities, community buildings, roads and bridges etc is still unknown.

The impact of the political crisis is mainly economic as opposed to material damage. A recent study in 10 areas of the North West showed that in 8 of them, the most recent harvests were entirely lost as a result of the flooding and subsequent drought (beans, corn & peanuts), with only peanuts being harvested in the other two.

A survey carried out by a local agricultural technician in two 'sections rurales' (sub-divisions of the communes, of which there are 20 in the Far West) showed that 2,054 hens, 453 goats, 277 sheep, 69 horses, 144 mules, 85 donkeys and 146 cows have been lost, with an estimated value totalling over $50,000. As livestock represents peasant farmers' main assets this will have an impact on the ability of families to cover basic expenditure for health, schooling and their ability to buy food during the hungry season

Security situation in the area of proposed response

Communications - access (roads) and communication are difficult for the time being (see above) but it is anticipated that this will gradually improve in coming weeks.

Location for proposed response

Project A - Mare Rouge (part of the commune of Mole St Nicolas), Dos D'Ane and Petite Riviere (parts of the communes of Baie de Henne), all in the remote North West department

Project B - 4 communes of the North West department: Jean Rabel, Baie de Hennes, Bombardopolis and Saint Louis du Nord

With the exception of Saint Louis du Nord, which is more fertile, these localities are in the dry western part of Haiti's North West department. They are repeatedly struck by droughts, but are also subject to occasional flooding. This has been made more serious in recent years due to the very severe deforestation that has taken place as a result of years of commercial exploitation, clearing of land for agriculture and now charcoal-making. Most of the population are peasant farmers, petty traders, livestock owners or fishermen. As most of the region is mountainous, only very small areas are irrigated, so that most farming is rain fed. The area is very isolated as it takes more than 10 hours by road to reach it, with the consequence that the region has been seriously neglected over time and benefits from very few state services.

Reasons for choosing this location

- Because of the partners' intimate knowledge of the area

- Because of the vulnerability of the area and the real needs that have been identified

- Because of Christian Aid's good working relationship with both Child Care and KORAL and their track records.


Child Care has had a health programme in this area for nearly 20 years and has a strong physical presence there (health centre & dispensaries etc); its staff are almost all from the area where they work. It has experience of implementing a nutritional feeding programme for malnourished children and has also acted as a local partner for the World Food Programme in the past.


KORAL has made the North West one of its two main centres of activity for the last 18 months, although it had supported work in the area prior to that date. Because it has a very light structure, it has not had a permanent presence in the region but has actively maintained contact with peasant associations there.

Response to date by partners in the targeted locations


In June 2003, Child Care Haiti reported an increase in the number of cases they were receiving in their health centres of people suffering from serious nutritional problems. They were particularly concerned by the fact that people diagnosed with tuberculosis were unable to follow the treatment provided because of their poor nutritional status. Many of these people were not receiving any assistance from other organisations distributing food rations in the area. As a result, in November of last year it launched a 4-month targeted project aimed at the most vulnerable in the communities where they work. This was the first phase of this project and was funded by Christian Aid. In view of the worsening situation it has been decided to continue the project (Phase 2) in order to enable the most vulnerable in the community to survive until the next harvest in September. It is this second phase of the project which is being submitted to ACT members for funding.


KORAL has not undertaken any specific emergency response, but it has been supporting initiatives such as the transformation of local produce by women in Baie de Hennes into peanut butter and a traditional sweet. Such activities are aimed at promoting sustainable livelihoods in a crisis-ridden area.

Assistance in these locations by other organisations

Both the World Food Programme (because of security considerations) and Care International (after their programme came to an end) have ceased to carry out targeted food distributions in the last 6 months. No other assistance of this kind is currently taking place. WFP is planning a response that will cover the North West but because it has no partners in place it is likely to take some time to become operational.


1 OCHA Flash Appeal 2004 for Haiti, 9 March 2004, Executive Summary

2 ‘Uprising’s Damage’, Miami Herald, March 10 2004

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