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Haiti: Deteriorating economic state impacts humanitarian situation

27 Dec 2019

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Residents of Lasinal, a neighbourhood in the seaport town of Les Cayes in Haiti. Credit: OCHA/Christian Cricboom

The humanitarian situation in Haiti has been negatively impacted by the deteriorating economic state in 2019, with a low growth rate, high inflation, and an increased price of a basic food basket.

The security context and social tensions during the year have also impacted the humanitarian situation and limited humanitarian access in a large part of the country.

As a result, the number of food-insecure Haitians rose from 2.6 million at the end 2018 to 3.7 million by the end of 2019. This number is expected to increase to 4.2 million by March 2020, including an estimated 1.2 million people who will likely face emergency levels of food insecurity.

The situation is expected to remain unstable in the coming months, which will further weaken the country’s economy and, consequently, the ability of the poorest Haitians to meet their basic needs as well as the capacity of the State to provide essential services.

In the first nine months of 2019, the UN and humanitarian partners provided aid to 455,000 people. The lack of funding has been the main obstacle to reaching more people in need. The Haiti Humanitarian Response Plan for 2019 was only 32 per cent funded – one of the lowest in the world. 

In 2020, 4.6 million Haitians – about 40 per cent of the total population – will require urgent humanitarian assistance. Of the total figure, more than 57 per cent of people are women and 45.5 per cent are children. 

The UN and humanitarian partners seek US$252.5 million to assist 2.1 million people in 2020.