Haiti continues to face multiple ongoing crises, including cholera outbreaks, food insecurity and malnutrition, as well as the Haitian-Dominican migration situation. The country remains vulnerable to natural disasters, and in October 2018, was hit with an earthquake in the North West department. The cholera response progressed well in 2018, reaching the last mile towards complete elimination, with a 70 per cent decrease in suspected cases since 2017. The risk of an upsurge in cholera cases remains high, however, as evidenced by the localized outbreaks in Artibonite,
Centre and West departments in 2018. An estimated 982,000 people are still facing severe food insecurity; 39,000 children under 5 years will be affected by acute malnutrition in 2019; and over 640,000 people will require access to primary health care, including maternal and child health services. The Haitian-Dominican migration situation remains a concern, as most of the deportees arrive in Haiti under very precarious conditions, without resources and separated from their families. On average, 10,000 Haitians are expelled from the Dominican Republic every month. This has created a significant protection challenge, with some deportations failing to meet due process requirements and children requiring specific attention not systematically referred to appropriate services.
In 2019, UNICEF will continue to support to the implementation of the National Plan for the Elimination of Cholera (2013-2022) through surveillance and coordination, rapid response in communities, hygiene awareness activities, and engagement with local authorities and communities.
Rapid response activities will be reinforced through the chlorination of water supply systems, the emptying and safe disposal of septic tanks, hygiene promotion and the distribution of household water treatment supplies.
UNICEF will strengthen national capacities for the management of acute malnutrition, infant and young child feeding and the prevention of micronutrient deficiencies.
Protection assistance will be provided to children suffering from abuse, exploitation and family separation due to natural disasters and migration.
Schools will be adequately equipped and alternative learning programmes will target migrant children returning to Haiti to ensure their reintegration into the education system. UNICEF will maintain contingency agreements with partners and stocks of pre-positioned supplies to respond to humanitarian situations as they arise. The Government will be supported to strengthen humanitarian coordination and response and disaster preparedness, focusing on mainstreaming climate change adaptation into UNICEF programmes. To enhance efforts to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse,
UNICEF will strengthen systems for reporting, survivor assistance and accountability to affected populations.
Results from 2018
As of 31 October 2018, UNICEF had US$12.1 million available against the US$30 million appeal (40 per cent funded). In line with the cholera elimination plan, UNICEF provided technical and financial support to rapid response teams and community-level awareness raising, benefiting over 514,000 people. Over 240,000 persons affected by cholera and the October earthquake accessed safe water through water treatment/trucking and/ or chlorination. The cold chain was partially restored and strengthened, facilitating the vaccination of over 33,400 children under 1 year in the south. In the absence of a domestic budget for nutrition, UNICEF covered 90 per cent of the country’s therapeutic nutrition commodity needs, reaching over 14,500 children under 5 years suffering from acute malnutrition and 26,100 children aged 6 to 23 months with micronutrient powder. UNICEF reached 155 unaccompanied and separated children with interim care and family reunification support, and over 1,800 individuals received messages on preventing family separation. Over 37,000 children aged 5 to 14 years received learning materials, and 3,700 children affected by natural disasters resumed school. Lack of funding hampered the delivery of protection services for children affected by migration, as well as community management of acute malnutrition and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) shield activities.