Haiti: Humanitarian funding to address critical needs in 2013

18 December, 2012
UN agencies and partners teamed up to donate and distribute bleach and water purification tablets to families in this camp in Port-au-Prince. They also delivered and installed two water cisterns and 10 latrines in preparation for hurricane Sandy. Credit: MINIUSTAH/Logan Abassi
UN agencies and partners teamed up to donate and distribute bleach and water purification tablets to families in this camp in Port-au-Prince. They also delivered and installed two water cisterns and 10 latrines in preparation for hurricane Sandy. Credit: MINIUSTAH/Logan Abassi

The UN and humanitarian partners appealed on 18 December for US$144 million to help more than a million Haitians in 2013. The funding will allow aid agencies to respond to food insecurity, cholera and the displacement crisis in the Caribbean country.

Some 2 million Haitians face severe food insecurity, including more than 80,000 children under five who are acutely malnourished and urgently need treatment. Over 350,000 people are still living in camps facing deteriorating conditions, dependent on humanitarian aid. Partners on the ground are concerned that a resurgence of cholera in remote areas during the rainy season could affect more than 100,000 people in 2013. 
   
“The national authorities and humanitarian partners have worked tirelessly and made significant progress since the earthquake but there are new challenges,” said the Humanitarian Coordinator for Haiti, Nigel Fisher. “Drought and storms such as Hurricanes Isaac and Sandy this year have left millions of people with less food and fewer jobs. If we do not help people recover, much of what has been achieved so far may be lost.” 
 
Since the earthquake, which killed more than 200,000 people and left over 2 million homeless, aid organizations have worked with the Government to move about 1.5 million displaced people from camps to houses. More than 260 camps were closed in 2012 and the number of displaced people was reduced by 31 per cent to just over 350,000. 
 
Cholera prevention and treatment programmes have helped to reduce the number of new infections and lower the mortality rate to 1.2 per cent. But infection and fatality rates, which were steadily declining for the most of 2012, spiked following Tropical Storm Isaac and Hurricane Sandy. 
 
Part of the funding for next year will be used to help more than 70,000 people who were affected by Hurricane Sandy in November and still need assistance. Many of them lost their homes, and need shelter and other aid. Families whose homes were damaged will receive construction and repair kits as well as training to rebuild their houses. 
 
This year’s humanitarian appeal, seeking $151 million, is only 41 per cent funded and is one of the top five underfunded appeals of 2012. 
 
“We call on humanitarian partners and donors to keep supporting Haiti and its people. A lack of funding for humanitarian work in 2013 would exacerbate the current crisis,” warned Mr. Fisher.