What are the needs?
Four years after 7.0 degree earthquake that devastated Haiti, adequate housing solutions remain a major need but also access to basic services, especially water, sanitation and health services. Although the number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in camps has decreased significantly; as of April 2014, around 137 000 individuals (or 37 000 households) continue to live in 243 camps, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The IDPs are considered amongst the most vulnerable categories of the population. As humanitarian actors exit camps, IDPs face increasingly worse living conditions.
The number of cholera cases and the related mortality rate have gone down, but cholera can flare up again at any moment. The usually strong hurricane seasons and the overall weaknesses of sanitary infrastructure remain serious concerns. Therefore, besides curative care for cholera patients, activities aimed at promoting hygiene and improve sanitation in the communities are needed, as well as actions that will strengthen the local authorities to cope with an outbreak.
How are we helping?
Haiti is home to the largest operation of the European Commission's Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) in Latin America and the Caribbean. The EU total humanitarian aid contribution to Haiti since the 2010 earthquake stands at over €236 million.
Since 2011, ECHO support covers notably:
- basic services and protection to those still living in camps, while at the same time supporting the ongoing efforts to relocate the remaining displaced population to decent housing in neighbourhoods where basic services are available. Through its partners, ECHO supports projects addressing gender based violence, the critical lack of documentation and the extreme vulnerability of displaced populations to forced evictions.
- cholera treatment and prevention; ECHO’s goal is to help reduce the number of cholera cases and the mortality rate below 1% through the promotion of access to safe water and proper sanitation and hygiene.
- assistance following extensive damage after Tropical Storm Isaac (€3 million) and Hurricane Sandy (€6 million) in 2012. This emergency aid focused on food security (assist affected people to cope with the loss of assets and restoring livelihoods), shelter and cholera surveillance.
- increased resilience towards natural hazards; ECHO funds Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) and disaster preparedness interventions, and all humanitarian interventions have DRR components integrated so that all humanitarian projects help decrease the risks in case of a disaster.