Action Against Hunger Assists 900,000 Haitians in 2011

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Donors must continue their efforts to help Haitians rebuild their lives

Since the devastating earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, followed by one of the world’s worst ever cholera epidemics, Action Against Hunger teams have been at the forefront of relief efforts, helping Haitians to make a fresh start, and have so far spent 15 million Euros on Haiti’s recovery.

Action Against Hunger’s programmes reached more than 900,000 people in 2011: more than 25,000 families received food vouchers, 1,000 latrines have been built, 1,600 people received counseling to deal with the traumatic effects of the disaster, and 500 people have been trained in the early detection of malnutrition.

Despite significant progress, 550,000 people are still living in camps (according to UNICEF), more than half the population is surviving on less than a dollar a day and administrative structures in Haiti, after the election period was extended for nine months, still cannot fully meet the basic needs of those affected by the earthquake.

Many promised funds for Haiti’s recovery have still not been released and some aid agencies are beginning to leave the country due to a lack of financial resources to continue their programmes. Faced with the continuing paralysis of donors, Action Against Hunger urges the international community and private donors to continue helping Haitians rebuild their lives, so the efforts of the last two years can pay off for the long term.

Anne-Charlotte Schneider, Action Against Hunger’s Country Director in Haiti, says: “The Haitian authorities must proceed urgently towards reconstruction, and fulfil their role in providing public services to the most vulnerable Haitians with technical and financial support from international donors.”

After two years of intense emergency relief efforts following the earthquake and cholera epidemic, Action Against Hunger teams are working with Haitian communities for long term recovery. While maintaining the ability to respond to emergencies, Action Against Hunger teams are supporting the transition to normal life and greater autonomy for Haitians. With the risk of withdrawals from donors, teams on the ground are urging the international community to maintain its support during the transition phase.

Action Against Hunger in Haiti: A Snapshot

Food security programmes:
• 19,475 emergency kits were distributed to those affected by the earthquake
• 25,000 families have received food vouchers
• Haitians taking part in income-generating activities have received 3 million euros

Water and sanitation:
• 800,000 people have benefited from improved access to clean water, sanitation and hygiene facilities
• 1.5 million gallons of water is being distributed to 400,000 Haitians every day
• 1,000 latrines and 608 washing areas have been built and repaired
• 700,000 people have received training in the prevention and treatment of cholera and 100,000 prevention kits have been distributed.

• 21 outpatient treatment programmes for severe acute malnutrition are in operation
• 500 people have been trained in the early detection of malnutrition

Mental Health:
• 1,600 individuals have received counselling

There is still much to do. In the coming months Action Against Hunger’s work will focus on:
• Continuing to assist displaced families to return to their homes
• Improving basic services in the most vulnerable areas
• Continuing to integrate activities with Haitian public service structures
• Developing programmes to reduce the impact of natural disasters