THE AMERICAS AND CARIBBEAN Haiti
Sisters are treated for cholera in Artibonite Department. The cholera epidemic that began in October 2010 struck a blow to efforts to recover from the 12 January earthquake that killed more than 222,000 people and displaced more than 2 million.
Children and women in crisis
The situation for women and children in Haiti was defined in 2010 by catastrophic emergencies that raised extreme challenges for the population. The earthquake on 12 January killed more than 220,000 people and displaced 2.3 million. An estimated 1 million people, including 400,000 children, are still living in crowded temporary settlements that elevate health and protection risks. Flooding caused by Hurricane Tomas in early November resulted in additional deaths, temporary displacement and aggravated food insecurity. By 15 December, a cholera epidemic had sickened over 117,580 people and caused the deaths of 2,481 people, including 169 children under 5. The impact of these crises was particularly severe due to the already deep vulnerability of children; the major emergencies further exacerbated food insecurity, degraded water and sanitation infrastructure, elevated protection risks for children, decimated the school system and led to disruptions in a weak health sector. When cholera emerged in the rural Artibonite region, it rapidly gained a foothold and spread nationwide, -confirming that stark disparities in access to social services across the country represent a real and pressing threat to the health and stability of the nation as well as a denial of children’s basic rights. The humanitarian mission rapidly introduced life-saving services and interventions designed to meet basic needs of earthquake- and cholera-affected children – but the challenge is ensuring that these services are decentralized and firmly rooted in sustainable community-based structures.
Meeting urgent needs and building resilience in 2011
UNICEF will provide leadership for the WASH, education and protection clusters in Haiti during 2011 and will continue to work with the Government of Haiti, other UN agencies and NGOs.
- At least 2.5 million people at high risk of cholera infection will have access to safe drinking water as a result of improved surveillance and treatment. More than 9 million will be reached with health and hygiene messages designed to prevent the spread of cholera.
- Up to 3 million people will receive preventive and curative health services, with crucial supplies distributed and costs supported for facilities including cholera treatment centres and oral rehydration points. UNICEF will help nurses, auxiliary health-centre staff and community health workers improve their ability to recognize and manage cholera cases.
- 10,000 children 0–59 months old who are suffering from severe acute malnutrition (30 per cent of all those in need) will be treated with timely, quality care. Fifty thousand pregnant women – 17 per cent of all pregnant women in Haiti – will have increased knowledge on infant feeding, nutrition and cholera prevention.
- Around 90,000 children will benefit from the construction of 100 additional semi-permanent schools in earthquake-affected or marginalized areas.
- More than 500,000 earthquake-affected and other extremely vulnerable children and 20,000 women at risk or survivors of violence will benefit from protection and essential services, including HIV-related prevention, care, support and treatment.
Humanitarian funding at work: Highlights from 2010
In the immediate aftermath of the disaster, UNICEF appealed for US$222,757,000, adding US$127,243,000 in requirements through the Humanitarian Action Report (HAR) over a two-year timeframe. As of October, US$66,992,052 had been received against the HAR. With the generous funding of donors, UNICEF and partners were able to reach more than 1.9 million children with immunizations and close to 1.8 million people with basic health services through the distribution of 177 emergency kits to health-care facilities. Over 11,250 children with severe acute malnutrition received life-saving treatment in one of 159 outpatient therapeutic feeding programmes or 28 stabilization centres set up after the earthquake. Over 678,000 people had access to safe drinking water via trucking in the early recovery phase, and the installation of 8,900 latrines gave over 1.1 million access to emergency sanitation. More than 4,000 separated children were registered, and over 1,000 were reunited with family, with the rest accommodated in safe temporary care.
Funding requirements for 2011
In 2011, UNICEF is requesting US$156,967,000 for its humanitarian work in Haiti. This request exceeds the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) requirements because it includes commitments related to the expanded cholera response. Immediate and adequate funding is needed to avoid further degradation of the humanitarian situation in Haiti, and to build on the resilience already demonstrated by the country’s women and children.
UNICEF Emergency Needs for 2011 (in US dollars) Total $156,967,000