Haiti

Haiti: Tropical Storm Hanna, Gustav, Ike OCHA Situation Report No. 30

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OVERVIEW OF THE SITUATION

The Shelter Cluster continues to look for alternative relocation sites in Gonaives that could host displaced families. Families still living in schools and other types of shelters are at constant risk of eviction.

Meanwhile, the cluster is waiting to receive feedback from governmental authorities following their visit last week to inspect the site of La Hatte Rocher. If approved, this site could accommodate up to 10,000 families.

Three relocation sites for displaced families have been identified to date, but these sites may not have sufficient space to accommodate all families who are unable to return home.

As a result, the humanitarian coordination team in Gonaïves is currently negotiating for a "shelter in place" policy with religious officials, to enable families to remain in these facilities until a viable relocation solution is found.

To date 1,924 shelter kits have been distributed to families who were sheltered in schools and were willing and able to go home. Cluster members will conduct an assessment of the needs of families in non-school emergency shelters as from today.

Update on relief efforts:

Nutrition: Humanitarian efforts continue to be strengthened in Baie d'Orange, in the South-East commune of Belle Anse, following the identification of a pocket of severe malnutrition at the end of October. On 8 November, 10 additional children with severe malnutrition were evacuated from Baie d'Orange to Port-au-Prince by WFP helicopter. More than 30 malnourished children have been evacuated since severe hunger was reported in the mentioned community.

Agriculture: The Minister of Agriculture visited the Plain of Gonaives on 3 November, to launch the rehabilitation of agricultural infrastructures heavily damaged by hurricanes and storms. The Minister announced that agricultural inputs will be made available to farmers and jobs will be created to help recapitalise rural populations. The Ministry is releasing 36 million USD in order to fund emergency agricultural activities throughout the country.

Education: Schools re-opened in Gonaives on 10 November, where 100 schools were cleaned thanks to WFP Food for Work activities and supervision from its field partner, AMURT. Schools are re-opening one month after the national date and two months after hurricanes and tropical storms hit the city. However, not all schools are able to open because of the quantity of mud still to be removed. Schools that did open reported a reduced number of students.

Protection: An increase in aggression and violence, including psychological and sexual violence, has been reported in Gonaïves. This was confirmed by a recent survey by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour (MAST) and the Civil Protection (DPC), which has not yet been released. Violent and aggressive behaviour are said to be rising, especially amongst adolescent males.

Food: WFP has distributed 7,867 metric tons of food to 627,803 direct beneficiaries. The total number of distributed rations is 1,314, 685. To date, WFP has distributed some 5,049 metric tons of food assistance to Gonaives.

NUTRITION

Humanitarian efforts continue to be strengthened in Baie d'Orange, in the South-East commune of Belle Anse, following the identification of a pocket of severe malnutrition at the end of October. The nutritional situation is still of concern.

On 8 November, 10 additional children with severe malnutrition were evacuated from Baie d'Orange to Port-au-Prince by WFP helicopter. The evacuation was requested by MSF Belgium. The children are receiving care in the capital from Médecins du Monde Canada. More than 30 malnourished children have been evacuated since severe hunger was reported in the above mentioned community.

The following strategy will be put in operation over the next 10 days, with a partnership between the Ministry of Public Health, United Nations agencies (PAHO/WHO, UNICEF) and international organizations (MDM Canada, MSF Belgium and MSF Holland);

- Installation of a re-nutrition capacity at the paediatric unit of Jacmel hospital, to cover the South-East department.

- Systematic exploratory missions in isolated zones.

- Installation of a re-nutrition centre at Baie d'Orange if needed.

In order to strengthen the medical-nutritional capacity at Jacmel hospital, PAHO/WHO has requested to place four to six nurses for one year for the paediatric unit of Jacmel and await the response. Caritas will fund two nurses for two months; PAHO/WHO will fund two resident nutrition specialists, for four to six weeks, being one based at Jacmel and the second in a mobile clinic. PAHO/WHO has also signed an agreement with MDM, to support the installation of the re-nutrition unit in Jacmel for one month.

In addition, PAHO/WHO will provide 15 paediatric beds with mattresses on 13 November and UNICEF will provide therapeutic milk and other nutritional products. PAHO/WHO continues to offer a bus service on request to transport severely malnourished children to Jacmel.

MSF Belgium will undertake systematic exploration in the East towards Marigot, from its provisional base in Baie d'Orange. MSF Holland will explore towards the West from Fonds Verrettes. These assessments aim to detect and immediately treat pockets of malnutrition moderate to severe and do not take the place of exhaustive nutritional evaluations foreseen by UNICEF and the Ministry of Public Health.

Moreover, MSF Belgium has requested its head office to provide one or two teams and tents for therapeutic feeding to increase its treatment capacity if new cases of malnutrition are discovered. These services if required will have a limited duration of one month.

Save the Children has also assisted with the identification and therapeutic feeding of severely malnourished children aged six to 59 months in Baie d'Orange, in coordination with the Department of Health. They are currently undertaking a rapid evaluation of the nutritional status of children under five, in five out of 10 communes in the South-East.

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