The humanitarian situation in Haiti greatly deteriorated since August 2022, with peaks of widespread civil unrest and gang violence, and the resurgence of cholera in October 2022 after more than three years without a single case in the country. This exacerbated an already challenging situation, shaped by persistent political instability, socioeconomic crisis, rising food insecurity and malnutrition, remaining needs in earthquake-affected areas, internal displacement, expulsion of Haitian migrants from several countries, and cross-border migration.
UNICEF Haiti is scaling-up support to the Government and humanitarian partners to ensure access to and continuity of basic services, including water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), education, health, nutrition, child protection and social protection services. To curb the transmission of cholera and prevent spreading, UNICEF will promote rapid targeted response around cases and case clusters.
UNICEF has revised its appeal for 2022 to US$ 104.3 million, to meet the humanitarian needs of Haitian children and their families, including of those affected or at high risk and exposed to cholera.
HUMANITARIAN SITUATION AND NEEDS
After more than three years with no cases of cholera reported in Haiti, on 2 October 2022, health authorities declared a cholera outbreak in the country. As of 2 November, 502 cases and 97 fatalities had been confirmed, and 4,194 suspected cases were undergoing investigation across six departments. Children under age nine, represent nearly 37 per cent of the suspected cases. The cholera outbreak came on the heels of compounding crises, with unprecedented peaks of widespread violence – including systematic sexual violence, rising food insecurity – with a record high of 4.7 million people facing acute hunger (among them 19,000 people in Catastrophe phase), overall socioeconomic and political turmoil, and growing civil unrest.
Access to and from the main point of entry for fuel and supplies remains blocked since September, severely impacting transportation and the functioning of basic services and infrastructure, including the operation of hospitals, water distribution facilities or communications infrastructure. With systems on the verge of collapse, many areas lacking safe water provision, access to toilets and waste management, there is a high risk of a rapid increase in cholera cases, thousands of children and families are increasingly exposed. The devastating impact of fuel restrictions on medical facilities and health care workers continues to prevent some services from being provided. It has been estimated that some 29,000 pregnant women and their newborns may not receive the critical assistance they need, especially if they contract cholera, while another 10,000 obstetric complications may not be treated. The escalation of civil unrest and gang violence is compromising humanitarian access and basic services for over 1.5 million people trapped in gang-controlled areas. In addition, humanitarian needs persist in parts of south-western Haiti, after a 7.2 magnitude earthquake struck on 14 August 2021. Rehabilitation of essential services, infrastructures and housing, remain needed in these communities.
Furthermore, the increased repatriation of Haitian migrants from Latin America and Caribbean countries since mid-September 2021, has also compounded humanitarian needs. Over 21,000 migrants have been returned in 2022,10 19 per cent of them children who are in need of access to basic services, including education, and have been exposed to child protection risks such as family separation, trafficking and gender-based violence (GBV).
The combined impact of natural hazard-related disasters, persistent political and socioeconomic crisis, gang-related insecurity, forced returns and internal displacement as well as COVID-19 is being felt by the most vulnerable.
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