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WNN Improve It
(WNN/OCHA) Port-Au-Prince, HAITI, AMERICAS: According to the latest data, signifigant progress has been made in Haiti since the devastating 2010 earthquake, as well as the floods and cholera that came after, says the OCHA – UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Almost 80 percent of people displaced following the 2010 earthquake have left the camps, many of them thanks to return and relocation programs. Haiti’s people and leaders have demonstrated their determination to overcome shocks and move towards development. National authorities have demonstrated a stronger aptitude for leadership in planning, coordinating and executing a number of key programs designed to improve living conditions for Haitian people.
New data is bringing new insights also as child mortality rates have been reduced from 68 per 1,000 live births in 2005 to 59 per 1,000 live births in 2012; primary school enrollment increased from 49.6 percent to 77 percent over the same period; access to sanitation facilities also improved from 13.6 percent to 27.7 percent and access to prenatal services increased from 84.5 percent to 90.5 percent .
Over the last six months, humanitarian aid has helped hundreds of thousands of vulnerable Haitians.
Food aid and nutritional assistance have been provided to an estimated 700,000 people most affected by severe food insecurity; 38,000 people benefited from assistance to leave IDP (Internally Displaced Persons) camps and seek alternative housing solutions; 50,000 victims of Hurricane Sandy received shelter or reconstruction support; an estimated 1,000 families were spared from forcible eviction from camps thanks to mediation and advocacy efforts; and 20,000 people affected by cholera received adequate medical care. Over 600 latrine de-sludgings have been done, in several hundred IDP camps benefiting over 260,000 IDPs. Additionally, all IDP camps have been surveyed at least three times for WASH (hygiene promotion) indicators during 2013. As part of the surveillance system of residual chlorine (SISKLOR), 1,059 residual chlorine samples were taken at more than 250 sites (including 221 sites in the Displacement Tracking Index).
Despite these efforts over a million Haitians remain vulnerable and exposed to future shocks.
These include 1.5 million people currently facing severe food insecurity. Following long periods of drought and the destruction of harvests by Tropical Storm Isaac and Hurricane Sandy in 2012, more than 15 percent of Haitians face a significant risk of food shortages and are only barely able to meet minimum food requirements by liquidating livelihood assets. As many as 81,600 children under five are acutely malnourished; 20,000 of these suffer severe acute malnutrition and are nine times more likely to die than healthy children. 320,000 internally displaced people remain in camps facing deteriorating living conditions and increased vulnerability to violence. They urgently need return solutions and, meanwhile, essential services in camps to meet the most basic standards of protection and dignity. Those on private land are also vulnerable to forced illegal eviction. The upcoming rainy and hurricane season is likely to bring about an increase in cholera cases, with 38 cholera alerts reported so far and 20,000 affected people. Predictions suggest up to 100,000 people could be affected by the end of the year, while funding gaps have led to a serious decrease in the capacity to respond.
The 2013 hurricane season is likely to exacerbate existing needs and strain coping mechanisms.
Predictions for the 2013 hurricane season foresee above-average activity with 18 named storms between 1 June and 30 November, of which 9 are expected to become hurricanes. Four of these are projected to become major hurricanes (category 3/4/5). This is likely to result in death, destruction of agricultural crops and land, damages to basic service infrastructure and heavy economic losses. An estimated 600,000 people may be directly affected by the hurricane season and could require temporary evacuation and emergency assistance during the first 72 hours following a disaster. Out of these, 225,000 may require assistance beyond the 72-hour window. Preparedness and the strengthening of response capacities in light of these predictions are key priorities. Priority actions reflected in the Humanitarian Action Plan (HAP) Mid-Year Review (MYR) for the remainder of the year are focused on 935,500 of the most vulnerable people who have not yet received assistance, on potential victims of cholera and on the upcoming hurricane season. Those currently needing assistance include 800,000 in urgent need of food assistance, employment opportunities and agricultural support; 120,000 displaced people awaiting return solutions; 100,000 potential victims of cholera; and at least 225,000 people expected to be severely affected by the hurricane season.
Key revisions in the 2013 HAP strategy for the remainder of the year include:
Increased details on scenarios, planning figures and critical needs related to preparedness and emergency response to a possible disaster during the hurricane season; revised planning figures for all key sectors—particularly food security—as well as the alignment of the cholera objective of the HAP to support the implementation of the recently developed cholera contingency plan. Geographical priority areas have also been revised and broadened from a previous focus on Sandy-affected areas in the south of the country to departments and communes that have developed high levels of vulnerability, particularly the West (and Gonâve), Artibonite, North-West, North-East, Centre, South-East departments for food security and the West, Centre, Artibonite and the North for cholera.
HAP requirements have increased from US$144 million2 to $150 million of which $53 million have so far been funded.
Through the HAP MYR, a number of projects previously funded outside the HAP have now been integrated into the Plan. Funding requirements for food security and preparedness and response to the hurricane season have also increased. Efforts to prevent and respond to cholera—particularly the reinforcement of health activities—are one of the least-funded rubrics in the HAP, with only 16 percent of requirements met so far. This is followed by WASH and food security and nutrition activities which have only received 25 percent and 34 percent of critical funding requirements respectively. Whilst resources to facilitate return solutions for 100,000 IDPs by the end of the year are likely to be met (taking into account funding for HAP projects and projects outside the HAP), funding to provide basic services in camps remains a critical gap.