Haiti

Haiti Flash Appeal 2004

Format
Appeal
Source
Posted
Originally published


EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The aim of this Flash Appeal is to mobilise resources for emergency relief and early recovery needs of the Haitian people following the disastrous floods of 17-18 September 2004, which affected areas of the north-west of the country, particularly the towns of Gonaïves and Port-de-Paix. It covers a period of six months, from October 2004 to March 2005. Emergency sectors identified are: Food, Health/Water & Sanitation, Agriculture, Education, Early Recovery/Shelter & Infrastructure, and Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance. This document has been elaborated in close collaboration with the Government of Haiti and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).

According to the official figures from the Civil Protection Directorate, 1,514 people have been killed, 952 are still missing, and 2,600 were injured. The total number of people affected to one degree or other is estimated to 300,000. This is the basic figure used in the appeal except where sectoral analyses are already sufficiently advanced to allow a more precise estimate of victims and therefore already a more targeted response.

After the floods of 17 and 18 September, the Government of Haiti has appointed a Joint Commission (Comité Mixte de Coordination d’aide de solidarité aux victimes du désastre), made up of the Ministers of the Interior, Agriculture, the Secretary of State for Environment, Finances and Haitians Living Abroad, the Director of the Red Cross, and some private sector representatives. The Minister of the Interior provides the overall coordination of the Committee, and the Minister of Agriculture (MoA) is Deputy Coordinator for operational purposes. This commission has actively coordinated the initiatives of the Government and has played a critical role in the preparation of this Flash Appeal. As a result, the appeal is launched jointly by the Government of Haiti and United Nations leading agencies, and will be implemented by a large number of stakeholders from the Government, UN agencies, NGOs, and civil society.

The international community has reacted with distributions of food and water and the provision of immediate medical attention in spite of a very complex security situation. These efforts to date have been insufficient to meet the immediate needs of the population. There will be significant needs for international support in the rehabilitation phase after the immediate humanitarian crisis. The hospital and many schools and other state buildings have been badly damaged or destroyed.

Haiti’s political instability in 2004 has exacerbated the vulnerabilities created by chronic poverty and environmental degradation. The current transitional government, appointed in March, faces formidable challenges and is politically fragile. Its main task is to steer a process of transition leading to the election of new authorities in 2005.

In addition, the severe environmental degradation that has taken place in Haiti during the last decades has dramatically increased the country’s vulnerability to natural hazards, exposing it to major disaster risks. A direct result of the erosion of natural resources and the degradation of highly sensitive ecosystems upstream, have led to an increased frequency of land slides and floods downstream with major physical, economic and social damages as a consequence. Disasters in May 2004 in Fonds Verettes and Mapou (over 2,000 deaths), and more recently in Gonaives, illustrate these development pressures.

The total financing needs for the implementation of the Flash Appeal over the period October 2004 – March 2005 amount to US$ 32 million. These needs have been calculated separately from the development needs presented in the Interim Cooperation Framework (ICF) launched in July 2004 by the Government of Haiti.


UN Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for
Haiti Floods Flash Appeal 2004

Summary of Requirements
By Appealing Organisation
as of 30 September 2004

Compiled by OCHA on the basis of information provided by the respective appealing organisation.

Appealing Organisation
Original Requirements
ACF
1'448'397
ADRA-Haiti
40'000
ASSODLO
500'000
FAO
2'500'000
FAO/IICA
177'000
FPGL
1'774'950
French RC
601'153
IOM
2'681'000
MDM
120'000
OCHA
300'000
OXFAM GB
1'265'286
PAHO/WHO
1'680'000
UNDP
1'575'000
UNDP/ILO
1'500'000
UNESCO
150'000
UNFPA/UNAIDS
862'840
UNICEF
8'722'678
WFP
5'920'212
WV
165'000
Grand Total
31'983'516

UN Consolidated Inter-Agency Appeal for
Haiti Floods Flash Appeal 2004

Summary of Requirements - by Sector
as of 30 September 2004

Compiled by OCHA on the basis of information provided by the respective appealing organisation.

Sector Name
Original requirements
AGRICULTURE
2,677,000
COORDINATION AND SUPPORT SERVICES
600,000
ECONOMIC RECOVERY & INFRASTRUCTURE
2,775,000
EDUCATION
5,487,260
FAMILY SHELTER AND NON-FOOD ITEMS
2,440,000
FOOD
6,324,429
HEALTH
6,242,856
MULTI-SECTOR
601,153
WATER AND SANITATION
4,835,818
Grand Total
31,983,516

OBJECTIVE

The goal of this Flash Appeal is to mobilise resources for emergency relief and early recovery needs of the Haitian people recently affected by the disastrous floods of 17-18 September 2004, which affected areas of the north-west of the country, particularly the towns of Gonaïves and Port-de-Paix. It covers a period of 6 months, from October 2004 to March 2005. Emergency sectors identified are: Food, Health, Water & Sanitation, Agriculture, Education, Early Recovery, Shelter & Infrastructure, and Coordination.

BACKGROUND

Haiti and disasters

Haiti is one of the Caribbean’s most disaster-prone countries. For the past 10 years, it has endured almost 20 internationally recognised disaster events that have caused more than 4,200 deaths; many of its 8 millions people have experienced multiple devastations. Prior to the floods of September, the most recent serious disaster in Haiti occurred some months ago; during the night of 23 to 24 May 2004 when rain caused landslides and floods in the regions of Belle-Anse and Fonds-Verrettes. Over 30,000 persons were affected and over 2,000 people died.

Because of its geography, Haiti is prone to natural hazards such as hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, landslides, and drought. This vulnerability is combined with a context of recurrent political and institutional crisis and extremely adverse socioeconomic and environmental conditions, making the country highly susceptible to frequent small and large disasters. Floods have by far the most widespread, prolonged and damaging effects.

The severe environmental degradation that has taken place in Haiti during the last decades has dramatically increased the country’s vulnerability to natural hazards exposing it to major risks for disasters. A direct result of the erosion of the natural resources and the degradation of highly sensitive ecosystems upstream, have led to an increased frequency of landslides and floods downstream with major physical, economical and social damages as a consequence.

Although the precipitations that fell over Fonds Verettes and Mapou, and more recently in Gonaives, were not abnormally high, massive flash floods were able to build up in a few hours because the catchments areas upstream are so degraded and eroded as a result of intensive deforestation and inadequate agricultural practices.

Today the general lack of awareness over the dramatic state of the environment in Haiti combined to weak institutions and a total absence of adequate policies and regulations is likely to continue to have tragic consequences if this situation is not reversed.

A process of institutional strengthening for risk management began in the aftermath of Hurricane Georges (1998). The necessary leadership for conducting that process has been provided by the Direction de la Protection Civile (DPC), a new organisation for risk management and disaster prevention. Supported by many international organisations, the process has contributed to the creation of local and central capacities. More than 100 local risk management committees have been created and trained, and a national policy has been approved: the National Plan for Disaster and Risk Management.

Despite those efforts, however, the new system has encountered difficulties carrying out its work, especially because of the lack of resources. The decentralisation process initiated in the context of the National Plan requires much more effort and commitment; the ten regional Departments into which the country is divided do not have the necessary means to take charge–in an autonomous way–of responsibility for disaster response and risk management. Further, the country also lacks the capacity to help communities identify and mitigate potential risks. In brief, the ability of national institutions to reduce risks by taking measures pertaining to vulnerability factors is extremely limited, and a significant long-term investment in terms of financial and human resources is needed.

Humanitarian Situation and Political Crisis

Haiti’s political instability has exacerbated the vulnerabilities created by chronic poverty and environmental degradation in an area prone to natural disasters. The current transitional government faces formidable challenges: it is politically weak and has a technocratic vocation, and its main task is to steer a process of transition leading to the election of new authorities.

Although the acute political crisis and instability that led to the departure of President Aristide in February 2004 has subsided, the situation remains fragile and political divisions in the country are far from resolved. Reconciliation will take time.

It is not clear how the main destabilising factors affecting the country will develop during the coming period. These can be summarised as the activities of armed groups, notably the ex-Forces Armées d’Haiti (FAdH), and politically motivated gangs, as well as the corrosive effect of the trans-shipment of narcotics.

As a response to the political crisis, the Government of Haiti and the International Community prepared an Interim Cooperation Framework [Additional information available: haiticci.undg.org] for the period July 2004 – September 2006. This document was presented to the donor conference in July 2004. More than US$ 1 billion were pledge by the donors. However, the potential benefits of the ongoing ICF are unlikely to resolve all development challenges of the country for some time. Banditry and a weak rule of law threaten the humanitarian situation as the national police is depleted, demoralised and discredited. Efforts to reinforce the PNH and support the judicial system since the departure of former President Aristide have not been able to reverse this situation. The greatest challenge the Government of Haiti will face in the near future will be to ensure that the basic human rights of peoples who have lost everything will be addressed in a comprehensive fashion. Resources for this need have to be secured.

It is likely that, for at least the period until the elections in late 2005, Haiti will be at risk of, or in the midst of, humanitarian crisis—brought on by either natural disasters or social conflicts that the government structures are unable to control or address. Chronic humanitarian crisis in Haiti needs to be approached with structural and development solutions. Haiti’s humanitarian crisis is not amongst the most visible in the world. It is endemic and not associated with large numbers of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), or specifically stricken geographical areas. At the moment, the number and complexity of international and national actors requires significant coordination, particularly given the weakness of the State. There is a chronic deficit of data on which to base both development and humanitarian actions.

Security

The latest natural disaster in Gonaïves has highlighted again the chronic lack of public security in Haiti. In the first week after the flooding, there were reported sightings of only four police officers responding to the crisis. There are reports that they were robbed of their weapons by looters.

Even in times of normality, Gonaïves has a reputation as the most difficult of Haiti’s main cities. Known as the ‘City of Independence’ for its role in the uprisings at the start of the 19th Century, Gonaïves’ image of a violent town was confirmed in 1986 when the main food assistance warehouse was looted by the population in the context of the overthrow of the Duvalier dictatorship.

Gonaïves played a key role in the rebellion against President Aristide, acting as a host to rebel groups that helped overthrow the former President. Prior to the floods, Gonaïves was a town with a record of poor public order. A volatile mixture of criminal and politically motivated gangs has been exacerbated by rivalries between various areas of the town, which is made up in its vast majority by shantytowns. Much of the violence revolves around corruption in the port which is one of the most significant in Haiti.

As in the rest of the country, the local authorities in Gonaïves were recently selected by the Transitional Government, and therefore enjoy only limited legitimacy, support and capacity. Part of the rehabilitation of Gonaïves will inevitably involve the strengthening of governance institutions.

SITUATION

The information on which this Flash Appeal is based is inevitably provisional and incomplete. It is, however, the best information available as of 28 September 2004. The sources for this information include Civil Protection Directorate (CPD), national and international NGOs, UN agencies and the military and police components of United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

Heavy rains, brought by the passage of Tropical Storm Jeanne on September 18, have caused violent flash floods in the Artibonite and North West Departments of Haiti. According to the official figures from the Civil Protection Directorate, 1,514 died, 952 are still missing, and 2,600 were injured. The total number of people affected is estimated to 298,926.

One week after the rains that led to the devastating floods in the North of Haiti, there were still some areas in Gonaïves with significant levels of standing water. These areas are inaccessible as are many others where roads are blocked with mud and debris. It is clear, however, that no families in Gonaïves escaped unscathed from the floods of 18-19 September 2004 and at this stage it is considered that the whole population of Gonaïves and its surrounding ‘commune’ are affected. This is the basic figure used in the appeal except where sectoral analyses are already sufficiently advanced to allow a more precise estimate of victims and therefore already a more targeted response. Different parts of the town were more affected than others, notably those which were hit by a raging torrent of mud-laden water which according to military reports was up to three meters high and which carried away heavy transport tankers ‘as if they were paper’.

Due to the gravity of the impact in Gonaïves and the relatively insufficient resources at hand, little attention was paid to other affected zones. The entire area between Gonaïves, Ennery, Port-de-Paix and Anse Rouge has been affected. It is anticipated that initial assessments of the damage will be completed only during the first few days of October and at that point the UN Country Team (UNCT) in Haiti will publish updated information. The road between Gonaives and Cap-Haitien, the main road to the north, is partly destroyed. Consequently, the whole northern department has been isolated from the rest of the country.

THE CURRENT RESPONSE TO THE FLOODS

After the floods, the Government of Haiti has appointed a Joint Commission (Comité Mixte de Coordination d’aide de solidarité aux victimes du désastre), made up of the Ministers of the Interior, Agriculture, the Secretary of State for Environment, Finances and Haitians Living Abroad, the Red Cross, and private sector representatives. The Minister of the Interior provides the overall coordination of the Committee, and the Minister of Agriculture is Deputy coordinator for operational purposes. This commission has actively coordinated the intervention of the government and has played a critical role in the preparation of this Flash Appeal. As a result of that, the appeal is done jointly by different ministries of the government and UN leading agencies, and will be executed by a large number of institutions of the government, UN agencies or NGO. The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Haiti has requested the assistance of a United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) Team to support response coordination in Port au Prince and Gonaives. UNDAC team is working together with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and government representatives and local authorities.

The UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Haiti has requested the assistance of a UNDAC Team to support the coordination of response both in Port-au-Prince and Gonaives. They are working together with UNDP and Civil Protection team, and local authorities.

The health infrastructure in Gonaives has been badly hit but the final evaluation is not yet available. The only Hospital in Gonaives was completely inundated and is entirely out of service despite initial efforts by the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) to rapidly rehabilitate the operating theatre (emergency room). This effort has been unsuccessful to date due to the lack of capacity, both human and material, to remove the two feet of mud in the building. Restoring the operating theatre is the most pressing need of the health sector. The Health Ministry MSPP (Ministère de la Santé Publique et de la Population), the World Health Organization/Pan American Health Organization (WHO/PAHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), NGOs and other partners have mobilised to provide emergency basic health care in the affected areas. Five emergency health posts have been established, staffed by Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF), Medecins du Monde (MDM), doctors from the Argentinean military contingent of MINUSTAH and by 40 Cuban doctors. WHO/PAHO and UNICEF sent considerable amounts of emergency medical supplies and drugs amongst others. There are currently some 70 doctors in Gonaives. Cold chain has been temporarily restored with the support of WHO/PAHO and UNICEF.

The provision of drinking water has been a priority for all those responding to the crisis. A number of organisations have been engaged in the distribution of water including OXFAM, WHO/PAHO, UNICEF, Action Contre La Faim (ACF), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and ICRC. It is estimated that in the first week of the crisis some 600,000 litres have been distributed. While this amount was insufficient to meet the total needs of the population, it provided some relief. Distribution has been hampered by problems of security and access. The majority of organisations reacting in this sector has dispatched water and sanitation engineers and has positioned large amounts of equipment (bladders, purification stations sent by the French Government, cisterns, etc.). Other infrastructure is under repair. It has been estimated that by mid- October the total needs for drinking water will be fully met. The urgency of providing drinking water has drawn human resources away from urgent sanitation needs.

The World Food Programme (WFP) has helped WHO, UNICEF, the Red Cross, local and international NGOs and embassies in the transport of medication and water purification equipment.

One week after the floods, 255 MTs of food (rice, pulses and oil) had been distributed. Furthermore, 30,000 loaves of bread of 600g each were distributed to families lacking kitchen equipment and to those in the 20 shelters that were spontaneously set up. The WFP has provided and transported to Gonaïves 170 MTs of dry food that were distributed by Cooperation and Relief Everywhere (CARE) along with their own food. CARE is the coordinator for food distribution in Gonaïves and has been strongly supported in this effort by the Haitian Red Cross, World Vision (WV), Save the Children (SC) and Catholic Relief Services (CRS). Initial evaluations suggest that general distributions will not be required beyond mid-October but there will be an on-going need for targeted assistance to vulnerable groups. The lack of Haitian security forces in the area has left security entirely in the hands of MINUSTAH, whose capacity has been limited in terms of ensuring security to distribution sites as they themselves were badly hit by the floods, losing the majority of the base they had established in the town. The distribution of food has been slowed by the fact that the capacity of MINUSTAH to ensure security at distribution points was limited and allowed security for only two distribution points. However, on September 27, with the recent arrival of an additional 142 soldiers (Uruguayan) of MINUSTAH in Gonaïves the number of distribution points has been increased from 2 to 4, with the objective of reaching a number of 10 distribution points within 10 days. On 27 September the transport capacity of WFP has also increased 300% when it started to use its three newly arrived 20 MTs long-haul trucks.

Based on a rapid survey of 30 of the 350 schools in the commune of Gonaives carried out (UNICEF), along with the Episcopal Committee for Catholic Education the initial assessment is that some 10% of the schools have been destroyed. However, the damage to other schools is significant and the majority of school furniture and equipment has been lost. The timing of the disaster is particularly disruptive with the start of the new school year. UNICEF has 150 education kits available in country apart from other agencies. UNICEF is about to dispatch a team of psychologists to Gonaives to work with children currently in shelters. ICRC tracing system could also help reunite children separated from their parents.

The floods have caused extensive damages to agricultural production and livestock. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), in collaboration with the CNSA (Coordination Nationale de la Sécurité Alimentaire) and the MoA, MARNDR (Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Ressources Naturelles et du Développement Rural) has conducted an preliminary evaluation of the damages in the affected areas of the Departments of Artibonite and North-West.

THE FLASH APPEAL

The sectoral elements of the Appeal as agreed by the UNDMT are shown in the table below. The UNRC also requests funding for coordination and support services. The UN agencies and governmental line ministries played a leading role in the appeal process in close cooperation with major stakeholders including private sector and NGO partners.

Sector
Lead Agency
Government Counterpart
Other Agencies/NGOs involved
Food WFP CNSA/MARNDR CARE, ACF
Health, Water and Sanitation WHO/PAHO MSPP UNFPA, UNAIDS, UNICEF, IOM, World Vision, ASSODLO, OXFAM
Agriculture FAO MARNDR World Vision, ACTED, ACF
Education UNICEF MENJS, MAS UNESCO, UNOPS, World Vision, ASSODLO, Fondation Paul Guérin Lajoie
Early Recovery/Shelter and Infrastructure UNDP MTPTC UNICEF, ILO, IOM, Architectes de l’Urgence, ACTED
Coordination OCHA/UNDP DPC/MICTSN All UN agencies

TABLE OF CONTENTS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Table I Summary of Requirements

OBJECTIVE

BACKGROUND

SITUATION

THE CURRENT RESPONSE TO THE FLOODS

THE FLASH APPEAL

FOOD
AGRICULTURE
HEALTH, WATER AND SANITATION
EDUCATION
EARLY RECOVERY, SHELTER & INFRASTRUCTURE
COORDINATION

ANNEX I: ACRONYMS AND ABBREVIATIONS

ANNEX II. MAPS – FLOODED AREAS

ANNEX III. PROJECT SUMMARIES

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