Revision of the Flash Appeal for Haiti 2010

18 February 2010
Flash Appeal: 15 January 2010

Duration: January to December 2010
Key milestones
Planting seasons: March, June
Rainy season: April-June and August-November
Harvests: June, October
Hurricane season: June-November
Key issues of concern
Shelter & sanitation before April rainy season to mitigate morbidity from water-borne diseases
Rubble removal
Camp management
Cash for work
Restoring livelihoods / economic activities, particularly agricultural input support
Earthquake-related disabilities
Protection concerns, particularly sexual violence in temporary settlements
Funding requested per beneficiary: $481 
Total funding requested: $1.4 billion

The strongest earthquake in Haiti in more than 200 years, measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale, rocked the impoverished Caribbean nation on 12 January 2010 in the late afternoon.  The earthquake struck Ouest Province around an epicentre 17km south-west of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, which suffered extensive damage.  The nearby cities of Carrefour and Jacmel and other areas to the west and south of Port-au-Prince were also affected, with the town of Léogâne reported to be 80% destroyed.  The exact number of people killed will probably never be known, and surveys and verification are ongoing, but the most recent Government estimates place the figure at some 217,300 dead, and some 300,600 wounded.  Over 97,000 houses were destroyed, and over 188,000 damaged to some degree.  Three million people have been affected, of whom the Government estimates 1.9 million have lost their homes and over 511,000 have left the affected cities.  All organisations and institutions – Governmental, national and international – which would normally have responded to the needs were all heavily affected through loss of personnel and equipment.

A massive international relief effort was rapidly put in place in spite of extraordinary logistical challenges, particularly the earthquake’s destruction of entry points into Port-au-Prince.  Damage to Port-au-Prince’s seaport forced aid agencies to try to supply a city of three million using the sole runway at the capital’s airport, plus some overland transport from the Dominican Republic.  The seaport was completely unusable for the first ten days of the aid operation and is still not functioning at normal capacity.  A Flash Appeal, requesting US$562 million  (later adjusted to $577 million) in emergency humanitarian assistance, was launched on January 15.  As of February 16, it was 100% funded, although funds are not evenly allocated and some sectors such as agriculture remain severely under-funded. 

The need for a continued international humanitarian response is currently assessed as extremely high in terms of both scale and urgency.  Some three million people require humanitarian assistance of some kind, most of whom are estimated to require urgent, life-saving or life-sustaining response, while some mainly require livelihood support without being at increased risk to life, health or safety.  Two million require food assistance.  Host families and communities are bearing much of the burden of supporting displaced people, and need a range of assistance.  Although some economic activity has resumed, the livelihoods of the majority of the affected population seem to have been severely affected by the earthquake.  Much is expected from the Post-Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) in terms of identifying longer-term needs. 

The emergency phase of humanitarian relief operations will endure for many months to come, and challenges to the international humanitarian response remain significant, mainly operational constraints which include logistics, communication and coordination among the very large number of humanitarian organizations (around 1,000) now on the ground.  Protection and assistance needs of internally displaced people (IDPs) in the border area and victims arriving in the Dominican Republic are also a concern.  Contingency planning is underway to prepare for the upcoming rainy and hurricane seasons from April to November, and their related hydro-meteorological hazards such as flooding, mudslides, and storm surges, as well as further aftershocks, taking into consideration displaced populations and logistical impediments.  Over 90% of the recent disasters in Haiti have been linked to hydro-meteorological and climate-related hazards such as tropical cyclones, flash floods and landslides, all of which have been further exacerbated by massive deforestation.  The effect of the rainy season, once it begins in earnest, and flooding on already damaged buildings and infrastructure is causing serious concern.

While significant improvements have been made in the ability to reach those in need with food, water, healthcare and shelter, humanitarian needs in Haiti remain immense.  Until the situation stabilizes and plans for recovery and reconstruction are clearer, plus bearing in mind the urgent need to prepare for the rains and likely flooding, the current level of humanitarian response – relief and early recovery – must increase and be expanded to more people and to yet-unreached parts of the country.  The overarching humanitarian objective is to provide an environment for safe and healthy living for all affected people until reconstruction restores normality.  The strategy to achieve this will involve a mixture of accommodation and support in medium-term camps and settlements, support to those dispersed to host communities and to their hosts, and support in situ in damaged towns for those who can stay.  To this end, the Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) in Haiti has revised the Flash Appeal into a full humanitarian appeal with a planning and budgeting horizon of 12 months. 

The Revised Humanitarian Appeal is a strategic and detailed plan aiming to assist the three million people directly affected by the earthquake and to support host families in the departments that have received the half million people that fled the capital.  It also includes planning and preparedness ahead of the impending rainy season, including for disaster risk reduction, and significant early recovery priorities including further expansion of cash-for-work programmes.  The overall objectives identified for the Appeal are to:

  • Provide the full needed range of humanitarian support for at least 1,200,000 earthquake-affected people who need shelter and other time-critical life-saving actions, especially in water/sanitation/hygiene, health care, basic household items, food aid, nutritional support, and protection, emphasising the key linkages among these sectors
  • Re-establish existing or establish temporary new physical and social infrastructure and services for three million earthquake-affected people in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, including health, food security, economic livelihoods support, education, community spaces and community groups
  • Continue the strengthening of Government capacity for coordination at all levels and the rapid scale-up of common services, including logistics, telecommunications, security, and coordination in the face of current severe conditions, plus expected worse conditions in the near future
  • Put in place preparedness, disaster risk reduction, and contingency planning (each mainstreamed throughout clusters) in anticipation of worsening conditions resulting from the imminent rainy and hurricane season and their associated risks of flooding, mudslides and storm surges

The priority needs in the Appeal at the moment are:

  • Shelter provision to IDPs through identification of safe sites, distribution of shelter materials, and appropriate water and sanitation before the rainy season
  • Increasing cash-for-work to support livelihoods especially through rubble removal which facilitates aid operations, return and reconstruction
  • Food aid, nutritional and agricultural support, with an increasing emphasis on food-for-work specifically targeting rural and host communities to which IDPs have moved
  • Health, in particular primary health care and monitoring
  • Protection activities for IDPs, women, children and other vulnerable people who are at heightened risk of various forms of exploitation, neglect or abuse
  • Education activities, emphasizing psycho-social support and limiting disruption to learning by rapidly opening temporary schools
  • Logistics and emergency telecommunications to support efficient and timely aid delivery

Revised financial requirements for one year have been assessed at $1.4 billion, including the original six-month Flash Appeal amount.  The Revised Humanitarian Appeal has expanded to include the activities of 76 aid organizations.  With the initial Flash Appeal having received 100% funding (counting committed as well as paid funding), plus existing funding for some of the projects newly presented in this revision, unmet requirements for this emergency in 2010 are $768 million.

Document History

18 February 2010
Flash Appeal: 15 January 2010

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