Haiti

UN humanitarian agencies deliver relief aid directly to people affected by violence in Cité Soleil

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Port-au-Prince, Haiti, 25 July, 2022: United Nations humanitarian agencies have started delivering humanitarian assistance directly to the most vulnerable inhabitants of the commune of Cité Soleil as well as to some of the most vulnerable people in other neighbourhoods of the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, following the recent spike of violence.

Deliveries began on Tuesday, 19 July and have included basic relief items:

• 1400 kits including hygiene and baby supplies, plastic sheeting, jerry cans for water, blankets, solar lamps and repair items for houses were provided by the UN’s International Organization for Migration (IOM).

• The UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF, delivered 312,000 litres of drinking water, enough for 20,000 people for two days and 300 hygiene kits to serve 1,500 people, and assisted 780 children with psychosocial support activities of whom 110 received treatment at a mobile clinic.

• The World Food Programme (WFP) distributed food including rice, beans, oil, which can feed 7,000 people for a week.

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Haiti, Ulrika Richardson, the organization’s most senior humanitarian official in the country said: “The humanitarian needs in Cité Soleil are immense and are growing due to poverty, lack of basic services, including security, and a recent spike in violence. The UN is committed to continuing to deliver aid to the most vulnerable children, women and men in need, in line with the principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence.”

Protection remains a real concern. According to the UN, between 8 and 17 July 2022, over 471 people were killed, injured or unaccounted for. Serious incidents of sexual violence against women and girls as well as boys being recruited by gangs have also been reported. Around 3,000 people have also fled their homes, including hundreds of unaccompanied children, while at least 140 houses have been destroyed or burnt down.

Access to health care is limited or non-existent with many health centres closed and limited access for medical staff to the area, while food and water has been in short supply.

“UN humanitarian agencies are providing immediate life-saving assistance in Cité Soleil,” said Humanitarian Coordinator, Ulrika Richardson, “but a more sustainable and holistic approach needs to be found for the medium and longer-term development of this emblematic commune which has a strong human potential, so that unmet needs can be satisfied; this should include protection, and a return to a life of dignity for its inhabitants.”

The UN provided direct assistance to the most vulnerable based on a coordinated joint needs assessment undertaken by IOM, UNICEF and WFP in Cité Soleil. It is working with Haiti’s civil protection agency (DGPC), the Office for Citizen Protection (OPC), the Economic and Social Assistance Fund (FAES), other local and government agencies as well as other actors in order to provide a more comprehensive response to the vulnerable communities.

Cité Soleil with a current estimated population around 300,000 is one of the most deprived commune in Port-au-Prince and its humanitarian and development needs were huge even before the current upsurge in violence. The Humanitarian Coordinator calls on all parties to remain committed to end the deadly violence and ensure an open humanitarian corridor to Cité Soleil to allow unhindered access to emergency humanitarian and medical assistance to civilians in need.

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For more information contact:

Federica Cecchet, IOM Haiti, fcecchet@iom.int

Christian Cricboom, Head of Office OCHA, cricboom@un.org

Ndiaga Seck, Chief of Communications, UNICEF Haiti, nseck@unicef.org, +509 37446199

Jean-Martin Bauer, Country Director WFP Haiti jean-martin.bauer@wfp.org

Daniel Dickinson, Office of the Humanitarian Coordinator dickinsond@un.org