Geneva, 17 December 2013: Today, the Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator for Haiti – Mr. Peter de Clercq – briefed on the humanitarian situation in Haiti and on the 2014 Humanitarian Action Plan (HAP). The Plan outlines the needs of 817,000 Haitians in 35 of the country’s 140 communes and the strategy proposed to address the most critical of these needs.
“We have to recognize the remarkable progress made since the earthquake. This has taken the combined efforts of the Haitian Government, the Haitian civil society and the international humanitarian community”, said Peter de Clercq. Eighty-nine percent of the displaced population from the 2010 earthquake has left the camps; the incidence of cholera has been reduced by over 50 percent since the outbreak in 2010 and severe food insecurity has been brought down from 1.5 million affected people in early 2013 to 600,000 in October 2013. These facts, indicating clear progress, are not necessarily known. Capacities of the Haitian authorities to coordinate and manage emergency preparedness and response have also been strengthened.
“But we have to remain on alert. We realize that we are in a difficult global financial environment and that major crises are happening elsewhere in the world. Yet, we cannot afford ignoring the humanitarian situation in Haiti”, Mr. de Clercq added. Haiti ranks as one of the most exposed countries to natural disasters and climate change in the world. 817 000 Haitians still need humanitarian assistance, whether they are experiencing severe food insecurity or malnutrition, deteriorating living conditions in the remaining 306 IDP camps or are at high risk of being forcibly evicted from camps or affected by cholera. Despite a significant decrease in the overall number of cholera-related deaths, Haiti still hosts half of the world’s suspected cholera cases. Cholera in Haiti remains a humanitarian crisis. 45,000 people could be affected by the epidemic in 2014.
“We, the humanitarian community, do not want to overextend our stay in Haiti. But there are still important humanitarian needs that we simply cannot ignore”, Mr. De Clercq signaled. The objectives and actions described in the 2014 HAP are based on a careful analysis of needs carried out with national authorities in the various priority sectors: 1) Basic services, protection and durable solutions for IDPs, 2) Health and WASH related to the cholera epidemic, 3) Severe food and nutrition insecurity, and 4) High vulnerability and low resilience to natural hazards.
169 million USD are needed for the implementation of the HAP 2014. Half of the requirements are intended to provide basic services and durable solutions for 100% of the remaining 145,000 estimated to be in camps in early 2014. While durable solutions are being pursued, protection in camps remains a priority as remaining IDPs live at hightened risk of forced evictions. Camp residents are also affected by violence perpetrated by criminal gangs operating in their neighbourhoods and sometimes in the camps themselves. Gender-based violence and an inadequate access to medical, psychosocial and legal assistance for victims continue to be of grave concern. A further 40 million is required for health and wash life-saving actions to support Government efforts in combating the cholera epidemic. The remaining needs pertain to food security, nutrition, as well as minimum preparedness activities required to face a potential disaster.
The humanitarian community remains determined to continue working with Haitian authorities and national civil society organizations to improve the living conditions of the most vulnerable. But we rely on global solidarity and voluntary contributions to pursue our actions. “We call on donors and humanitarian partners to continue their support to Haiti and its people” concluded Mr. de Clercq.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.