828K PEOPLE AFFECTED FOLLOWING BACK-TO-BACK IMPACTS OF EARTHQUAKE AND TD GRACE
650K PEOPLE IN NEED OF HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE
130K+ HOMES DAMAGED OR DESTROYED
Haiti continues to deal with the backto-back impacts of a powerful 7.2 earthquake and tropical depression Grace that affected southern Haiti on 14 and 17 August, respectively. Together with existing chronic food insecurity and recent socio-political turmoil and forced displacement, humanitarian needs are climbing as national authorities and humanitarian partners work to reach affected populations. Per the UN System in Haiti, some 650,000 people require emergency assistance in the badly affected Grand’Anse, Nippes and Sud departments.
As of 21 August, the death toll has risen past 2,200 people, with another 12,200 injured and more than 340 people missing. Health systems in the three departments are becoming increasingly strained, more so with health sector assessments indicating 32 damaged health facilities, including 12 with critical damage, and 4 destroyed facilities.
With more than 130,000 homes either damaged or destroyed, thousands of now-homeless families are in dire need of access to shelter, safe water and sanitation, food and protection.
Conditions on the ground after Grace’s passage are preventing a full assessment of shelters and other buildings that could accommodate displaced people, forcing many to set up makeshift accommodations in public spaces.
More than 119,000 people are estimated to be in urgent need of access to safe water. Agriculture and related livelihoods in affected areas have suffered a significant impact, posing a threat to food security in a country where nearly 40 per cent of the population, or some 4.4 million people, are already acutely food-insecure. Initial assessments in Sud cite that 94 of the department’s 255 schools have either been destroyed or partially damaged ahead of the September start of the school year. Between the scale of the destruction to education facilities and ongoing displacement, children and adolescents, many of whom have already been out of school for months at a time in the past two years, may not be able to continue their education or access school feeding and health services.
Beyond leading to immediate humanitarian needs, these disasters are greatly elevating risks with the peak of the 2021 hurricane season on the horizon. Growing tent settlements and makeshift hospitals require durable shelter and rehabilitation solutions to mitigate vulnerability in a part of Haiti that is frequently subject to the impacts of tropical cyclones.
Haiti is receiving aid from various members of the international community, many of whom are on the ground and in the capital of Port-auPrince tackling the access challenges posed by security concerns and damage to roads that have slowed delivery of assistance to affected areas. The Directorate General of Civil Protection (DGPC) indicates the Government is working to scale up humanitarian convoys by land through the humanitarian corridor brokered by the Government and humanitarian partners.
Efforts to scale up access come amid rising tensions, with reports of people surrounding the Les Cayes airport just as an aid flight unloaded supplies, communities blocking convoys and criminal violence affecting aid deliveries and personnel.
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
- To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.