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Map of Haiti
UNICEF photo: a girls standing on the shore looks out at sea © UNICEF Haiti/2016/Bradley A girl whose brother got sick with cholera but survived looks out at the ocean.


In 2017, UNICEF and partners plan for:
1.24 million

people reached by cholera rapid response teams and benefiting from the cordon sanitaire


people provided with safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene


children aged 6 to 59 months treated for SAM

2017 Requirements: US$42,352,000

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Total people in need: 2.7 million
Total children (<18) in need: 1.1 million1

Total people to be reached in 2017: 1,237,500
Total children to be reached in 2017: 532,1252

Even before Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti in October 2016, children were suffering from high levels of vulnerability due to the three-year El-Niño-induced drought, related food insecurity and malnutrition, and considerable child protection concerns. The cholera crisis has continued, with a spike in suspected cases since October 2016 due to the hurricane. In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, the population’s coping mechanisms and the Government’s capacities have been stretched to the breaking point. The hurricane displaced 175,000 people to temporary shelters and left 806,000 people in dire need of life-saving multi-sectoral assistance.3 In 2017, an estimated 48,000 children under 5 will suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM), including 18,000 affected by humanitarian situations. Disruptions in access to safe drinking water, adequate hygiene and sanitation are further increasing the risk of water-borne diseases, including cholera. Between October and December, there were 7,803 suspected cases of cholera. There is a growing protection crisis, especially for children without parental care in hurricane-affected zones, and for unaccompanied and separated children (UASC) of Haitian origin who are repatriated or deported from the Dominican Republic. Children are also exposed to risks due to disruptions in schooling.

Humanitarian strategy

2017 programme targets


  • 1.24 million people reached by rapid response teams and benefiting from the cordon sanitaire
  • 770,000 people reached through the oral cholera vaccine campaign


  • 13,000 children aged 6 to 59 months treated for SAM7
  • 15,600 children aged 6 to 59 months treated for moderate acute malnutrition (MAM)


  • 34,100 children under age 1 receiving routine vaccinations8
  • 39,200 pregnant women attending at least two pre-natal visits


  • 150,000 people provided with safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene
  • 150,000 people reached with key hygiene behaviour messages including hand washing
  • 40,000 people accessing safe sanitation

Child protection

  • 4,000 UASC assisted with interim care and family reunification support
  • 3,500 people accessing social work to prevent family separation


  • 85,000 children aged 5 to 14 received learning materials to access education
  • 48,000 children’s access to education supported through rehabilitation and/or equipping of schools

In line with the forthcoming 2017 Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), UNICEF is addressing the immediate basic needs of children and families affected by humanitarian crises, including those impacted by Hurricane Matthew and cholera. In order to sustain the expanded cholera response4 in Haiti and the response to hurricane-affected people, UNICEF is facilitating an integrated, multi-sectoral set of activities aimed at controlling the disease. This includes strengthening community-based surveillance, establishing rapid response alert systems, protecting at-risk water systems and restoring safe conditions in hurricane-affected treatment centres. Efforts will be made to integrate cholera and other humanitarian responses into existing programming, provide supplies, equipment, training and operational support to cholera treatment and response actors in hurricane-affected areas, and scale up responses to emerging needs. Further to this approach, UNICEF and the humanitarian community will continue its focus on cholera in the 2017 HRP, combining health, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), education and Communication for Development interventions all under one sectoral response. UNICEF will support the Government by co-leading coordination in the WASH, education and nutrition sectors and the child protection sub-sector. UNICEF will support health-related coordination led by the Pan American Health Organization and the Ministry of Health.

Results from 2016

As of 31 October 2016, UNICEF had received US$20 million against the US$36.6 million appeal (55 per cent funded).5 Within six weeks of Hurricane Matthew, UNICEF contributed to cholera prevention by scaling up the number of response teams from five to 36 within the first six weeks post-hurricane, and through support to the 2016 cholera vaccination campaigns, which reached at least 807,395 people, including 309,000 children aged 1 to 14 years. UNICEF’s vaccination intervention emphasized information and social mobilization, including the promotion of good hygiene and sanitation practices for cholera prevention. In addition, nearly 294,000 people received safe water for drinking, cooking and personal hygiene and 450,000 people benefited from a complete WASH package. In response to the effects of the El Niño-induced drought, 15,260 children received micronutrients to prevent malnutrition. With the Ministry of Public Health, UNICEF developed a crisis communication plan and prepared a radio programme on Zika prevention, which was broadcast on 40 community radio stations. In response to both the bi-national6 and post-hurricane crisis, UNICEF also supported unaccompanied children with family tracing and prevention of exploitation and abuse, and provided technical support to the national Child Welfare Service. More than 23,000 people received information on violence, child abuse and gender-based violence, and 14 schools were rehabilitated to ensure adequate learning environments. UNICEF’s response to Hurricane Matthew will continue into 2017 with much of the scale up that was realized in 2016 bearing results in 2017.

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Funding requirements

In line with the forthcoming Haiti HRP, UNICEF urgently needs US$42.4 million to meet the humanitarian needs of children and women in Haiti in 2017. With this funding, UNICEF will be able to scale up the level of surveillance and rapid response required nationwide for each case of cholera and increase it in the areas affected by Hurricane Matthew, ensure nutritional surveillance and treatment of children suffering from SAM and MAM, assist vulnerable children – including those being repatriated or deported from the Dominican Republic – and restore access to basic health and nutrition services in emergency-affected regions of the country.

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1 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, ‘2017 Haiti Humanitarian Needs Overview’, OCHA.
2 Calculated based on the demographic percentage of the population that is children under 18 years of age (43 per cent) and applied to the total number of people to be reached (1,237,500).
3 Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, ‘2017 Haiti Humanitarian Needs Overview’, OCHA.
4 This is in line with the national strategy and the United Nations New Approach to Cholera in Haiti.
5 Available funds included funding received against the current appeal of US$15 million and US$5 million carried forward from the previous year.
6 Bi-national refers to the crisis of the Dominican Republic deporting and repatriating individuals of Haitian origin to Haiti.
7 This is a subset of the nationwide projected caseload of 48,596. In Humanitarian Action for Children 2017, UNICEF is targeting children with SAM that are also affected by humanitarian emergencies. Additional SAM programing will occur through regular programming.
8 Routine vaccination includes Bacillus Calmette-Guérin, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, poliomyelitis, haemophilus influenza, polio, measles and rubella.
9 The targets for 2017 are smaller than those of 2016 to account for the reduction of acute needs immediately following hurricane Matthew.
10 The cholera response encompasses a multi-sectorial intervention with a strong WASH, health and Communication for Development component. As such, the cholera financial requirements are relatively elevated when compared with other sectors.