SITUATION AT A GLANCE
11.4 MILLION Estimated Population of Haiti
6.3 MILLION Estimated People Affected by the Complex Emergency in Haiti
5.1 MILLION People in Need of Humanitarian Assistance
1.6 MILLION People Relief Agencies Aim to Reach with Emergency Food Assistance
The GoH continues to record COVID-19 cases, with relief actors prioritizing health care programs, surveillance, and WASH activities to curb the spread of the disease.
Elevated prices of imported food despite local currency appreciation, reductions in local food supplies, and the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to result in food insecurity among vulnerable households.
Tropical Storm Laura struck Haiti on August 23, damaging infrastructure and constraining land access in southern Haiti.
GoH Continues COVID-19 Advocacy and Response
The Government of Haiti (GoH) had reported more than 8,792 confirmed coronavirus disease (COVID19) cases, including 229 related deaths, as of September 30. While the UN reports a decrease in the number of daily recorded COVID-19 cases since late May, the pandemic continues to disrupt the provision of medical services in Haiti’s health care institutions—which faced shortages of equipment, medicine, and staff before the pandemic—and constrain access to infant and child health care services and routine immunization for polio and measles.
While the GoH, the UN, and humanitarian partners continue to disseminate key COVID-19 messaging, humanitarian actors in Haiti report that public awareness and understanding of the disease remains inadequate. Additionally, COVID-19-related stigma—particularly in rural areas—is deterring affected individuals from seeking treatment.
The GoH and UN are prioritizing COVID-19-related health care, surveillance, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) activities to curb disease spread. With UN support, the GoH is strengthening laboratory and testing capacity, providing health equipment, and training health care staff. In addition, the GoH and humanitarian partners are rehabilitating WASH infrastructure, assisting with waste management, and promoting hygiene practices in health care facilities and surrounding communities. The GoH—in coordination with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF)—is also distributing hygiene kits, installing WASH facilities, and implementing a COVID-19 prevention and awareness campaign in schools across Haiti.
IPC 2 and IPC 3 Conditions Expected to Persist Through at Least January
Households in each of Haiti’s 10 departments are projected to experience Stressed—IPC 2—or Crisis— IPC 3—levels of acute food insecurity from October to January due to increased prices of imported food, reductions in local food supplies, and the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) reports.
Irregular rains during the spring growing season reduced spring harvests, affecting the amount of agricultural inputs that can be used for summer and fall harvests. In addition, flooding caused by Tropical Storm Laura, which passed over Haiti on August 23, damaged crops and livestock in southern parts of the country. However, FEWS NET projects that additional rainfall from Tropical Storm Laura could contribute to improved crop conditions in part of the country. While the supply of imported food staples remains steady, COVID-19-related border restrictions have increased food prices, contributing to financial strain on poor households facing income losses due to lower agricultural yields, below-average remittances as of September, and the secondary economic effects of COVID-19 containment measures. Moreover, despite recent appreciation in the Haitian gourde, FEWS NET had not identified a commensurate reduction in food prices as of September 30. Given ongoing disruptions to livelihoods and low purchasing power, poor households will likely continue to adapt negative coping strategies from October to January, including reducing the quality and quantity of food consumed and selling livestock and charcoal, according to FEWS NET. Meanwhile, urban households are expected to see a limited income increase as most formal and informal economic activities resume in cities. General insecurity in Haiti’s capital city Port-au-Prince, however, could impact market supply and prices, threatening food availability and access.
Tropical Storm Laura Results in Death, Infrastructure Damage, and Access Constraints
Tropical Storm Laura caused floods, heavy rain, and strong winds that resulted in the deaths of at least 31 people and damaged or destroyed nearly 9,000 homes in August, the UN reports. The storm caused significant damage to roads and bridges, restricting access to many affected areas—particularly in southern Haiti—into September. In response, the GoH—in coordination with UN agencies— distributed food kits, shelter kits, and water purification tablets to affected populations in southern Haiti, including Sud-Est Department’s Anse-à-Pitres town, which received assistance by boat and helicopter.
Most of the roads to Anse-à-Pitres remained blocked as of September 8, according to the Logistics Cluster—the coordinating body for humanitarian logistics activities, comprising UN agencies, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and other stakeholders.