Coordination Activities in the Field
|Income from Voluntary Contributions1||287,580|
|Consultant Fees and Travel||–|
|Supplies, Materials, Furniture and Equipment||28,800|
|Fellowships, Grants and Contributions||4,000|
|Programme Support Costs||53,375|
|Total Expenditure (US$)||463,946|
|1 Includes allocations from the Field Coordination Reserve Fund of US$ 287,580|
While there was overall progress in Haiti in 2006 – from its peaceful transition to a democratically elected government earlier in the year and local elections in December – violent crime remained widespread and armed gangs continued their effective control of some neighbourhoods in the capital, most notably Cité Soleil. Gang violence often resulted in civilian deaths, obstructing the local population’s access to public services and hampering humanitarian organizations in delivering assistance to those in need.
Populations across Haiti remained vulnerable to economic and political instability, forcing unknown numbers of people to leave their homes in search of safety in other parts of the country. In some communities, anywhere from a third to a half of the population was internally displaced. After the elections there were fewer mass migrations, but significant numbers of Haitians continued to cross unregulated into the neighbouring Dominican Republic, where they found better security and greater economic opportunities. Population movements from the poor interior areas of the country to the capital Port-au-Prince continued, and it is estimated that around 230 individuals arrived daily.
The food security situation remained precarious because of low income levels, in some cases leading to chronic malnutrition. Lack of access to drinking water was a severe public health problem, with water-related diseases a major cause of child mortality. The majority of Haitians remained extremely vulnerable to health emergencies and infectious diseases because of limited access to health care and a shortage of available treatments for chronic conditions. The deterioration of environmental conditions impacted further on the humanitarian situation, particularly because the country is already prone to natural hazards to which the government and infrastructure cannot respond adequately.
The 2006 hurricane season was relatively mild, and both the international community and the government were able to cope with the needs of the affected population– particularly in the aftermath of tropical storm Ernesto and floods in November 2006.
In August 2006, the DSRSG/RC/HC sponsored a workshop on humanitarian reform that was supported by the OCHA Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean and attended by representatives of all United Nations agencies and the IFRC. Humanitarian reform and the cluster approach were presented to United Nations agencies and partners, including donors, to facilitate their implementation in Haiti. However, the IASC-CT was not established; some sector leads were yet to be identified and all still had to establish their terms of reference.
In 2006 OCHA facilitated Haiti receiving a total of US$ 1 million from the CERF under-funded window for three projects with the following goals: mitigating the humanitarian impact of landslides during tropical storm Ernesto; reducing mortality rates related to water-borne diseases; and increasing access to potable water for more than 150,000 people in Cité Soleil.
By mid July, humanitarian coordination – which had previously been undertaken by the HDCS of MINUSTAH– was redirected to OCHA. On the request of the RC/HC, OCHA opened an independent Humanitarian Information Unit which was recognized for providing a coordinated and efficient response to disasters. Following the tropical storm Ernesto and major floods in November 2006, the Government of Haiti had (for the first time) allocated and pre-positioned funds to deal with emergencies related to the natural or man-made disasters, and timely dissemination of information by OCHA facilitated the coordination of an appropriate and adequate response. From August 2006, OCHA convened a bi-weekly humanitarian forum with humanitarian and development actors in Haiti aiming to share information and to discuss relevant humanitarian issues.