The Haiti Red Cross Society (HRCS) advanced with relief and response efforts to support the public authorities in the response actions after the 14 August 2021 earthquake. The population of Haiti continues to face a deterioration of humanitarian conditions, civil unrest, and insecurity.
Despite the multiple and complex challenges, the different teams of the Red Cross Movement are delivering key humanitarian assistance to the population targeted by this appeal, including:
Rehabilitation of 4 Systeme D’Adduction D’eau Potable or Potable Water Supply Systems (SAEPs) in the South Department (Maniche, Camp Perrin, Chardonnieres, Chantal and Torbeck)
Hygiene promotion services in schools that receive their water supply through one of the rehabilitated SAEP systems:
During the emergency phase alone, 4,280 people received WASH support
10,782 people reached with Hygiene Kits
13,527 people benefited from hygiene promotion activities
National Society Strengthening
Effective and coordinated international disaster response
119 international rapid response (through Emergency Response Units) deployed to Haiti Summary of major revisions made to emergency plan of action:
The emergency budget as well as the Plan of Action have not changed, but the operational budget has been revised to reflect the additional funding (specially from American Red Cross to support WASH activities).
The WASH response has been further agreed for implementation through the Netherlands Red Cross expertise and country presence, with financing from the American Red Cross pledge. Due to this change, the implementation of WASH initiatives is on track.
Nevertheless, the context in Haiti has been consistently deteriorating since August 2021. The multiple challenges – fuel shortage, exacerbating security situation and steep inflation – has led to a small delay in the implementation of the WASH project as reflected in the following changes:
A. SITUATION ANALYSIS
Description of the disaster
The 7.2-magnitude earthquake on 14 August 2021, with its epicentre 13 km southeast of Petit Troup de Nippes (Nippes department) had a severe impact on Haiti’s departments of Sud, Nippes and Grand ‘Anse. The Haitian General Directorate of Civil Protection (DGPC) reported 2,248 deaths, and 12,763 injured people. This institution has identified 53,815 destroyed homes and 83,770 damaged homes.
Following the 14 August earthquake, more than 900 aftershocks have been registered; of these, 400 have had a magnitude of 3 or more. This includes a 4.85 magnitude aftershock on 18 August that provoked the collapse of already damaged structures. Following the rapid assessment done by the Haitian departmental health directorates, with PAHO/ WHO support, a total of 88 health centres have been identified as severely damaged (28) and slightly damaged (60). According to a satellite assessment by the World Bank, quoted by the DGPC, the country has approximately 1.5 billion US dollars (or 10 per cent of Haiti’s gross domestic product) in economic damage and losses.
Independent of the wide range of figures, the humanitarian needs continue increasing and do not indicate signs of abating. The REACH resource centre assessment conducted with ACTED reports 14,790 displaced people in Camp-Perrin, Cavaillon, L’Asile, Maniche and Peste communes. This population is distributed in 87 different sites, of which 30 have more than 100 people. This figure is substantially higher than the IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix for Haiti, that reports 1,644 people (602 families) displaced due to the earthquake; of these 489 families (1,256 people) are in Sud department and 113 families (388 people) in Grand ‘Anse department. The internally displaced population in the two departments is located in 24 evacuation centres (22 in Sud and 2 in Grand ‘Anse) and 12 regrouping centres (9 in Sud and 3 in Grand ‘Anse). The DTM does not report displacement figures for Nippes.
The risk of hurricanes and tropical storms remain latent in Haiti. Atlantic hurricane season that spans from 1 June to 30 November has its peak months between August and October.
The Government of Haiti requested support for food, health, shelter, and water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) needs for the affected population in Sud, Nippes, and Grand ‘Anse departments. On 15 August, the Office of the Prime Minister provided a list of requested goods, later further detailed by the Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSSP), ordered from the international community. The DGPC concluded its first phase of emergency response actions on 3 September. This report estimated the affected population as at over 690,000 people and informs that the search and rescue activities ended, and actions are shifting to recovery.
This emergency response operation is being implemented amidst a sensitive and volatile security context. While there was a respite from blocked roads by non-State armed actors and a decrease in the looting of goods in transit to the most affected areas, reports indicate a new upturn of security incidents. This situation continues to challenge the Red Cross to remain efficient and effective.
During late January and early February 2022, heavy rainfalls hit several departments of the country notably the North, the Northeast and the Nippes departments. According to Directorate General of Civil Protection (DGPC), at least 20 municipalities were affected by floods caused by overflows from some rivers. Consequently, 2,578 houses flooded and 3 destroyed, leaving nearly 10,750 people (2,500 families) in need of temporary shelter (disaster families) as well as food, NFIs, and drinking water. Furthermore, damage to road infrastructure has hampered humanitarian access.
Haitians continue to face adversity, and many are leaving the country daily despite the ongoing deportations from neighbouring Dominican Republic and the United States. As stated by Human Rights Watch, 49 people were interviewed during a visit to Haiti in December 2021(including 9 Haitians expelled from the US and the Dominican Republic, representatives of UN agencies, civil society members; and Haitian justice and executive branch officials). This article refers to the multiple complexities Haitians are still facing and the imminent situation surrounding the deportations: “From 1 January 2021 through 26 February 2022, 25,765 people were expelled or deported to Haiti, data collected by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) show. Of those, the US returned 79 percent (20,309 people) while The Bahamas, Cuba, Turks and Caicos Islands, Mexico, and other countries returned the rest.” Furthermore, the official data of the Government of Panama indicates that 89,311 Haitian migrants crossed the Darien Gap between January 2021 and August 2022.
According to the ACAPS complex crisis update from 16 February 2022, “reporting indicates SGBV including rape has been used in recent months to intimidate and control local populations, mainly affecting children, adolescents, and women. Survivors have been reporting SGBV in conjunction with other forms of violence such as kidnapping. SGBV is often invisible and underreported, due to shame, stigmatisation, fear of reprisals, and mobility restrictions for survivors. Recent data is unavailable; however, from 2017 to 2021 at least 7,000 people, half of them under the age of 18, presented for SGBV treatment in health clinics. Insecurity and targeted threats against humanitarian workers have limited the provision of the specialised mental and physical health services that SGBV survivors need.”
The living conditions continue to deteriorate in Haiti’s. Since late August 2022, fuel shortages continue limiting the already precarious situation of the people. Following the Government’s decision to raise the price of fuel, a high tension has erupted all over the country with violent demonstrations which have again paralyzed all activities for the weeks. Civil unrest continues with burned tires, looting, kidnapping, gang violence and even deaths. On 16 September, the warehouses of WFP and Caritas were looted in Gonaives where protestors took stocks of rice, cooking oil, generators, furniture and other items. Multiple businesses, banks, and government offices have been looted, burned partly or entirely. The demonstrators urged the Government to keep subsidizing the fuel price due to other problems of famine and insecurity the country is already facing.
The HRCS, the IFRC and Red Cross partners in Haiti, as well as other humanitarian actors continue to support the response to the effects of the August 2021 Earthquake whenever necessary. The IFRC Go page for the Haiti: Earthquake contains information from the field, as well as informative materials and documents regarding the Haiti Red Cross Society-led response operation.
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