UNICEF ensures access to safe drinking water for 30,000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Port-au-Prince amidst crises.

08 May 2024
un enfant apprend à se laver les mains lors d'une session de sensibilisation organisée par un partenaire dans un site de personnes déplacées
un enfant apprend à se laver les mains lors d'une session de sensibilisation organisée par un partenaire dans un site de personnes déplacées

PORT-AU-PRINCE, 8 May 2024 – Since the coordinated attacks that paralyzed the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince, UNICEF, alongside the National Directorate for Water and Sanitation (DINEPA) and partners, has provided about 2,66 million liters of safe drinking water to over 30,000 displaced children and families across 20 Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) sites in the city.

The recent escalation of violence by armed groups has compounded the already dire situation faced by children and families in Haiti. Most of the capital city remains engulfed in extreme violence, exacerbating the challenges faced by countless families and children who lack essential support and facilities. The situation is further exacerbated by the rainy season, leading to major floodings in lowlands of Port-au-Prince and the resurgence of cholera cases in the area of Cite Soleil.

"With no drinking quality water and adequate sanitation and hygiene facilities, displaced children are exposed to water-borne diseases, more specifically to a widespread cholera outbreak" says Ruben Um Bayiha, Chief of UNICEF's Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Programme.

"Operating in such an insecure and volatile environment is akin to navigating a war zone every day. Despite these challenges, UNICEF and its partners are intensifying efforts to protect children and families and provide the lifesaving support they desperately need," he emphasizes.

UNICEF leads the Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) response, providing over 50% of overall support, ensuring safe drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene services at all displacement sites. Initiatives include trucking water, treating piped water, repairing water supply and sanitation systems, building temporary latrines, providing essential hygiene items, and delivering hygiene messages.

Throughout March, UNICEF's WASH efforts have yielded significant outcomes, with over 700,000 gallons (2,66 million liters) of chlorinated water distributed to displaced families and children. Collaborative efforts with partners such as Solidarités International, ORRAH, and ACTED have ensured that essential needs were met even in the most challenging circumstances.

Furthermore, UNICEF and partners have distributed hygiene kits to almost 11,000 internally displaced persons across six sites. UNICEF has also prioritized improving sanitary conditions in the high-risk IDP sites, including removing and safely disposing about 78 m3 of fecal sludge from three (3) IDPs sites accommodating about 7,000 individuals.

Looking ahead, UNICEF remains committed to addressing the evolving needs of vulnerable populations, particularly as the region braces for the upcoming cyclone season.

"This crisis will worsen unless the response is scaled up urgently. UNICEF appeals for flexible funding that enables swift, adaptable, and life-saving responses to the most urgent needs of impacted populations," Mr. Ruben Um Bayiha emphasizes.

In 2024, UNICEF aims to reach across Haiti 884,000 people accessing a sufficient quantity and quality of water for drinking and domestic needs, 176,400 people accessing appropriate sanitation services, and 884,000 people reached with critical WASH supplies.

These humanitarian relief activities were made possible thanks to the financial support from USAID-BHA, the Government of Canada, the Worldbank, the Spanish Committee for UNICEF and the United Nations Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

Media contacts

Lalaina F. Andriamasinoro
Chief communication
Tel: +50937048893
Gessika Thomas
Communication officer
Tel: +50947503125

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