EVOLUTION OF THE CRISIS AT A GLANCE
One year after the passage of Hurricane Matthew, nearly 1 million people are still in need of some form of humanitarian assistance. The humanitarian situation in Haiti, however, notably evolved in 2017: 1.32 million people were estimated to be living in severe food insecurity compared to the 1.5 million in the previous year, there was a 67% decrease in the total number of suspected cases of cholera in comparison with 2016 and the cumulative number of migrants deported or who spontaneously returned from Dominican Republic since July 2015 increased from 158,800 in December 2016 to 230,300 in October 2017.
In 2018, the humanitarian community in Haiti will primarily focus on food insecurity, cholera epidemic, binational migration situation, IDPs still living in camps, unmet needs of people affected by recent disasters and preparedness for possible natural disasters in 2018. The response strategy for 2018 will be anchored on the initial strategy for 2017- 2018 which was developed based on the results of the analysis of humanitarian needs in the country. The strategy considered the diverse humanitarian needs in different parts of the country, the possible evolution of the needs and potential emergence of new needs.
The needs that arose because of Hurricane Matthew are still unmet for a lot of affected vulnerable people and most of these people are unlikely to be able to bounce back on their own. As of December 2017, 133,706 houses destroyed or damaged in Sud, Grand’Anse and Nippes departments are still in need of construction or repairs. This is also likely to be the situation in Gonave Island (Ouest department) and Nord-Ouest department (the latter was the most affected by Hurricane Irma) since there was no report of any house reconstructed with humanitarian assistance in these locations. The current living conditions of these people is not expected to improve except there is further and more durable humanitarian assistance.
Conversely, in 2017 the political situation in Haiti was marked by the transition of power to a new Government within a deteriorating socio-economic dynamic arising from the devaluation of the national currency and high inflation rates in early 2017. This situation has considerably affected the government’s capacity to respond to the above-mentioned unmet needs or carry out recovery activities in this regard.
However, the Government is currently making efforts towards recovery in the affected regions through various initiatives such as the “Caravane du changement”. On the other hand, the high inflation rates has led to increase in food prices which is one of the factors that might prevent the improvement of the food security situation in 2018.
Given the frequent occurrence of natural disasters in Haiti and the prediction of the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) regarding the 55-60% probability of La Niña phenomenon occurring in 2018, it is probable that another hurricane might occur in Haiti in 2018.
In order to address this situation, disaster preparedness has been made a major part of the 2018 strategy. In the event a disaster occurs that has a higher magnitude than what has been financially planned for in the HRP, a flash appeal will be launched to take care of its response.
Based on the trend in cholera situation in 2017, the number of cholera cases are expected to keep on reducing in 2018, with surveillance and alert-response actions continuing to play a pivotal role in containing the epidemic and in avoiding any major outbreaks. Actions to control cholera will focus on Ouest, Centre and Artibonite with the assumptions that they are the three key departments influencing the national cholera dynamics in 2018.
Deportations and spontaneous returns from the Dominican Republic is expected to continue at a scale that overwhelms the capacity of the governmental structure. However, if in 2018 the Dominican Republic decides not to prolong the deadline given to Haitian migrants to register as foreigners and regularize their status according to the National Plan for the Regularization of Foreigners (PNRE), there might be a larger influx of returnees than the 2018 projection.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.