In 2023, UNICEF estimates that more than 4 million children will need humanitarian assistance in Haiti. Affecting them are many difficult conditions: increased gang-related violence, internal displacement, civil unrest, political instability as the country still reels from the killing of the President and indefinitely postponed elections, a socioeconomic crisis, rising food insecurity and malnutrition, the resurgence of cholera and the continued expulsion of Haitian migrants from several countries in the Americas, including the neighbouring Dominican Republic.
UNICEF supports the Government and humanitarian partners in ensuring access to and continuity of basic services for affected children and families. UNICEF provides water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), education, health, nutrition, child protection and social protection services, and is also responding to the resurgence of cholera. An important component of UNICEF’s work is disaster risk reduction and emergency preparedness activities.
UNICEF is requesting US$210.3 million to meet the humanitarian needs of Haitian children and their families in 2023.
KEY PLANNED TARGETS
652,200 children and women accessing primary healthcare
1 million children accessing formal or non-formal education, including early learning
1.3 million people accessing a sufficient quantity and quality of water
4.5 million people in need of health assistance
778,600 children in need of nutrition services
1.2 million children in need of protection services
4 million children in need of education support
3.3 million people lack access to safe water
HUMANITARIAN SITUATION AND NEEDS
In Haiti, nearly 59 per cent of the population lives below the poverty line, with limited access to basic services. Haiti ranks 163 out of 191 countries on the 2021 Human Development Index,10and is affected by political turmoil; cholera; poverty; institutional and socioeconomic crises; and natural disasters. Together, these challenges have resulted in persistent humanitarian needs.
A resurgence of cholera in Haiti was confirmed on 2 October 2022. As of 10 November, 734 cases had been confirmed in four departments.
The cholera outbreak is layered over major social unrest and gang-related violence, which has gripped the country since September. At the same time, severe fuel shortages restrict utilities and the delivery of basic services, including water and health care. In 2020, 33 per cent of the population was deprived of access to a basic water service,12 and UNICEF estimates that needs will increase with more people affected by the current overall deterioration. What’s more, the impact of fuel restrictions on medical facilities and workers prevents some services from being provided, with severe implications for the management of the cholera outbreak. The fuel restrictions also impact aid delivery, data collection and transportation of test samples and results.
September 2022 saw a peak in violent protests, which had been building since mid-2021 due to gang violence and the killing of the President. Civil unrest and gang violence have directly affected access to education and health services for at least 1.5 million people,13 while more than 4 million children continue experiencing malnutrition and poor access to education, protection14 and basic services. The premises of United Nations agencies and nongovernmental organizations have been targets of violent lootings. At least 96,000 people are internally displaced in Haiti due to gang violence and civil unrest,15 including unaccompanied children exposed to abuse, exploitation and violence.
A nutrition assessment in Cité Soleil, an impoverished neighbourhood in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area, revealed that 20 per cent of children under age 5 are wasted.16 All told, 4.7 million people in Haiti are facing acute hunger.
Where health services are not closed or damaged, irregular availability of electricity, water and fuel jeopardizes activities, aggravating the cholera risks. Around 4 million children aged 5-19 years risk losing learning opportunities.18 In 2022, 60 per cent of 3,000 schools assessed by UNICEF and the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training have been vandalized, and more than 500,000 children have lost access to education.
Haitians also face natural hazards and the continued expulsion of Haitian migrants from several countries in the Americas including the neighbouring Dominican Republic.
Furthermore, reconstruction efforts remain limited following the 2021 earthquake in the south, with more than 250,000 children there still without access to adequate schools9 and several health centres still in need of reconstruction.
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