Haiti + 1 more

Haiti: Humanitarian Response Plan January 2019 - December 2020 (Jan 2019): Summary






The analysis of Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) identified that approximately 2.6 million people in Haiti are in need of humanitarian assistance in 2019. The humanitarian community is targeting 1.3 million vulnerable people. The following groups have been identified as the most vulnerable in the HNO and will be prioritized taking into account specific vulnerability criteria that can be cumulative (affected by a humanitarian crisis, living in an area at high risk of being affected by a natural disaster, extremely poor, severely affected by cases of abuse, violence, exploitation and exclusion): single heads of household, pregnant and lactating women, children under 5 years of age, unaccompanied or separated children, people with disabilities, internally displaced persons, GBV survivors, people living with HIV, people of Haitian origin who have voluntarily returned or been deported from the Dominican Republic, farmers and herders.

The humanitarian response focuses on the urgent humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable, strengthening disaster preparedness, contributing to the elimination of diseases with epidemic potential and promoting the protection of the fundamental human rights of the most vulnerable populations. The funds required to implement the Humanitarian Response Plan for Haiti in 2019 are estimated at US$ 126.2 million.


In 2019, more than 2.6 million people in Haiti will need assistance, including 1.3 million people targeted by the Humanitarian Response Plan. In a context of economic fragility and socio-political tensions, the successive shocks that have affected the country (including natural disasters, epidemics, population displacements), combined with structural weaknesses limiting access to basic services, have considerably increased the chronic vulnerability of the Haitian population and reduced its capacity for resilience.

Food insecurity and malnutrition, health emergencies, protection risks and population movements increase the vulnerability of millions of Haitians already facing low local development and poverty.

The Humanitarian Needs Overview (HNO) has shown that nearly 2.6 million people are extremely vulnerable and will need humanitarian assistance in 2019 as they have been affected by at least one crisis (hurricane, earthquake, drought, population displacement, cholera, malaria and diphtheria) in recent years. These multiple shocks have weakened the ability of the most vulnerable people to meet their basic needs and have had a negative impact on access to basic services, requiring increased humanitarian assistance.

Humanitarian needs in Haiti are generated by these recurrent crises and aggravating structural factors. The country’s deteriorated general context has not allowed significant progress to be made in reducing humanitarian emergencies, but on the contrary, it is a setback. The year 2018 was marked by a particularly difficult economic, political and social context characterized by growing instability and fragility. Social movements against the rise in the cost of living and protests against governance affected the country throughout the year and in particular in July 2018 following the increase in the price of petroleum products among other products that rose between 38% and 51%.1 The price of the basic food basket increased by 3% between the first and second quarters of 2018, and by 8% compared to the second quarters of 2018 and 2017. The depreciation of the Haitian gourde (HTG) against the US dollar (US$), as well as the increase in inflation throughout 2018, also had a significant impact on the purchasing power of Haitian households. The preparatory work and the workshop of the HNO made it possible to highlight 4 main themes around which to better understand the articulation and evolution of humanitarian needs, and the consequent responses to be provided.


The analysis conducted by humanitarian actors of the link between the vital needs of populations and successive shocks suffered by Haiti shows that several sectors are regularly impacted and their progress undermined by the cyclical repetition of crisis or shock situations, the first of which are the natural hazards that have occurred in recent years.

The terrible earthquake of January 2010 and the more moderate one of October 2018 had a profound impact on the country, with after-effects that are still visible today, including 37,500 people still in camps for displaced people since 2010 awaiting durable solutions, and 157,000 people affected by the last earthquake in the Nord-Ouest, Nord and Artibonite departments for whom medium-term assistance remains to be provided.

In addition to the seismic risk, there are hydro-meteorological risks, in particular hurricanes whose seasonality extends from June to the end of November. Thus, in October 2016, the departments of Sud, Grand’Anse, Nippes, Nord-Ouest and Gonâve Island (Ouest department) were hit by category 4 hurricane Matthew 4. The damage and losses due to the hurricane amounted to nearly $2.8 billion2 and affected nearly 2.1 million people, including 1.4 million people who needed emergency humanitarian assistance.3 There are still significant needs today, particularly in terms of shelter for populations affected by Hurricane Matthew, and more recently for those affected by the earthquake of last October. The Shelter/NFI sector estimates that nearly 494,000 people will need shelter assistance in 2019, particularly in rural and hard-to-reach areas of Nippes, Sud, Grand’Anse and Grand Nord departments. The Education sector estimated that nearly 100,000 students in departments affected by Hurricane Matthew still need support in school kits and teaching materials, while 23,000 students affected by the October earthquake need temporary learning spaces.

In 2018, drought also returned to Haiti after the periods of 2015 and 2016, when it caused crop losses of more than 50%. While the autumn 2017 growing season had produced encouraging results for food security, the spring and summer 2018 growing seasons were severely disrupted by the lack of rainfall in several areas of the country. According to the results of the IPC analysis carried out by Haiti’s National Food Security Coordination (CNSA) in October and December 2018, it is estimated that for the projected period from March to May 2019 more than 2.6 million people will be food insecure, including 571,000 in emergency situations (IPC phase 4) and will need food assistance. Nearly 2 million people will be in crisis (IPC Phase 3) and will require support to restore their drought-affected livelihoods. The departments with the highest proportion of people in crisis and emergency situations are the Nord, Nord-Est, Sud-Est, Centre, Nord-Ouest,
Grand’Anse and Ouest.4 Compared to data from 2018, the number of food-insecure people doubled from 1.3 to 2.6 million.

For the Nutrition sector, it is estimated that 39,000 children under five living in areas affected by the drought that struck in 2018 will require care in 2019 to reduce the risk of morbidity and mortality associated with malnutrition, including 26,000 children at risk of developing moderate acute malnutrition and 13,000 suffering from severe acute malnutrition.5 Access to safe drinking water for more than 10,500 households, some of which have acutely malnourished children, is also essential to break the chain between water-related diseases and acute malnutrition.

With regard to the Protection sector, it is estimated that more than 79,000 returnees will require specific care, including 17,000 children of Haitian origin who have been voluntarily returned or deported by the authorities of the Dominican Republic and will need to be reintegrated into the Haitian school system, as well as 12,000 people of Haitian origin who have also returned under the same conditions, who will need access to drinking water in temporary shelters and/or in communities of origin.


Ranked as the most vulnerable country in the Latin American and Caribbean region and the 14th most vulnerable country in the world,6 Haiti is considerably exposed to hydro-meteorological and seismic shocks with severe humanitarian consequences. The entire country is at risk, especially urban centres, floodplains, coastal areas and areas near the tectonic fault line up right to the High North. In particular, the departments of Artibonite, Centre, Grand’Anse, Nippes, Nord-Est, Ouest, Sud and Sud-Est are the most at risk of being affected by natural disasters of major severity (-3) and critical severity (-4) on a scale from 0 to 5. More than 568,000 people live in these areas7 (this number served as a baseline for sectors to define their number of people in need of emergency preparedness measures; see HNO for more details).

Risk and disaster management is organized around several entities, SNGRD, CNGRD and DPC, (under the supervision of the Ministry of the Interior) and supported by the Haitian Red Cross. The CNGRD (National Risk and Disaster Management Committee) is the inter-ministerial structure that oversees the SNGRD (National Risk and Disaster Management System), which is responsible for the «direction, coordination and evaluation» of the implementation of programmes and activities provided for in the National Risk and Disaster Management Plan (PNGRD). The executive secretariat of the CNGRD is provided by the Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC), which was set up in 1997 and given the role of coordinating emergency operations following a disaster with the support of the Red Cross, State institutions, community organizations and civil society involved in the prevention and management of risks and disasters, but also humanitarian partners and donors.

The DPC has a COUN (National Emergency Operations Centre) and COUDs (Departmental Emergency Operations Centre) and COUCs (Communal Emergency Operations Centre) in the regions but does not have an adequate budget; it is confronted with enormous operating difficulties that hinder its ability to cope with emergency situations under its control. An act to address these constraints and amend its current status has been tabled in Parliament and is awaiting approval or revision.

The 11 COUDs and COUCs have an immediate need to be equipped with telecommunications and logistics equipment, to have an operating budget, a risk and disaster management plan, and coordination capacities according to a clearly defined plan.

In this context, and in continuity with the efforts already made in 2018 by all partners, strengthening disaster preparedness will be an essential pillar of the humanitarian response plan around preparedness activities such as: the pre-positioning of contingency stocks in strategic departments; the availability of contingency agreements with financial service providers and mobile telephone operators for cash transfer terms; the development of sectoral contingency plans and their harmonisation with contingency plans (national and departmental); the construction/rehabilitation of temporary shelters to acceptable standards in areas most at risk; awareness-raising and support for at-risk populations and the most vulnerable communities (compliance with building standards, strengthening the food and nutrition surveillance system, agricultural recovery, resilience/rehabilitation and livelihood activities; ongoing training activities for all key stakeholders (training, simulations, after-action review, etc.) and direct support for staff and institutions in charge of services or coordination responsibilities.


While the fight against the cholera epidemic that has persisted in Haiti since 2010 has shown encouraging results, diphtheria and malaria epidemics that have spread since 2014 and 2003 respectively have increased sharply in recent years.9 The Cholera and Health sectors have estimated that more than 333,000 people will be affected by the cholera epidemic (including about 4,400 infected) and about 31,000 people will be infected by diphtheria and malaria epidemics. The departments of Artibonite, Centre and Ouest are the most affected by cholera and diphtheria, and the departments of Sud and Grand’Anse by malaria.

The need for detection, confirmation and investigation, and for appropriate and community-based medical management of cholera, diphtheria and malaria cases, persists in almost all affected departments of the country. The epidemiological and laboratory surveillance, medical care and community early warning and response system that are in place and have proven their effectiveness will need to be maintained in 2019 in order to stop the transmission of cholera, malaria and diphtheria and save lives. In addition, vaccinations against cholera and diphtheria will need to be carried out in outbreak areas, and access to water, hygiene and sanitation, which are essential complements to the fight against epidemics, will need to be strengthened in areas at risk of cholera and malaria.

The Haitian government and humanitarian partners are engaged in the fight against these three potentially epidemic diseases with the objective of working towards their elimination by 2022.
This has resulted in the development of the National Cholera Elimination Plan 2013-2022 (PNEC) and the National Strategic Plan for Malaria Elimination 2016-2022. The PNEC was developed by the Ministry of Public Health and Population, in collaboration with partners, to move towards a sustainable response by addressing the problem of cholera elimination in three phases: short, medium and long term and by working on four axes: Water and Sanitation, Epidemiological Surveillance, Health Promotion for Behaviour Change and Care of Infected Persons in Health Institutions. Phase II or medium term of the PNEC is the current phase in progress (2016- 2018).

In 2013, a malaria elimination feasibility study was conducted to support the efforts of the governments of the Republic of Haiti and the Dominican Republic in their joint goal of eliminating malaria from the island. It confirmed that if certain prerequisites are in place, this disease could be eliminated from Hispaniola by 2020. Also, by endorsing the recommendations of this report, the Haitian government has developed a strategic plan 2016 - 2022 that guides interventions, with the objectives of reducing malaria mortality to zero, achieving a break in local transmission by 2020, and maintaining and strengthening gains until 2022. The explosion in the number of people infected over the past two years suggests that the objective is still far off and that major efforts are needed. Therefore, the Humanitarian Response Plan considered, alongside cholera, the importance of starting the fight against malaria, but also against diphtheria, which is also experiencing a phase of worsening in terms of number of cases.


Communities most affected by humanitarian crises are also the most vulnerable to protection risks. Approximately 465,000 people are particularly vulnerable to abuse, physical and sexual violence, exploitation and marginalization by the community.

According to the 2016-17 EMMUS VI survey, nearly 29 per cent of women aged 15-49 have experienced physical violence since the age of 15, and 10.5 per cent of them in the 12 months preceding the survey.10 37,500 people are still displaced since the 2010 earthquake. On the other hand, the phenomenon of children involved in unacceptable forms of domestic work remains a concern. According to estimates made in recent years, the numbers of child domestic workers range from 170,000 to 400,000 children.11 In total, one in five children do not live with a biological parent.12 The breakdown of ties with the nuclear and/ or extended family exposes Haitians of all ages and genders to a greater risk of protection.

Specifically, vulnerable persons still internally displaced since the 2010 earthquake, people of Haitian origin who have voluntarily/spontaneously returned to Haiti or been deported by the Dominican authorities, persons at risk of statelessness and victims of trafficking, separated or unaccompanied children, GBV survivors, people living with disabilities and highly marginalized populations including LGBT persons, people living with HIV/ AIDS and sex workers, are people in urgent need of protection.

The protection of the fundamental human rights of the most vulnerable, in particular within the framework of the Protection Strategy developed under the aegis of the Protection Group and validated by the HCT+ and the OPC13 in November 2018, needs to be promoted and strengthened in 2019, in particular through access to minimum standards of care by psychosocial, legal and medical services, and reintegration of victims and survivors, but also by providing support to public institutions, community and civil society organizations with a protection mandate, in the implementation of measures to strengthen protection.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.