Due to its vulnerability to natural hazards and high levels of poverty, Haiti has limited capacity to cope with recurring emergencies such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and prolonged droughts.
Acute food insecurity and malnutrition, epidemics, and the humanitarian needs generated by the ongoing migration crisis require sustained humanitarian assistance.
Haiti faces critical food shortages in 2019. Between April and June, more than five million Haitians are not able to put food on the table, of which 2.6 million people require urgent food and nutritional assistance. The prevalence of acute malnutrition among children under five years of age remains high, and above World Health Organization (WHO) emergency levels in several locations, including the North-West department.
More than two years after Hurricane Matthew struck the Haitian coasts, more than 140 000 affected households still lack access to seismic-resistant homes and shelters, and remain highly vulnerable to future disasters. Humanitarian needs persist in internally displaced camps set up after the 2010 earthquake. Around 37 500 Haitians are still sheltered in camps, where access to water and basic services remains limited.
Additionally, about 230 000 Dominicans of Haitian descent are at risk of becoming stateless and deported to Haiti. Since June 2015, over 260 000 individuals have crossed the border from the Dominican Republic into neighbouring Haiti, including over 4 000 unaccompanied minors.
Despite the progress achieved, the country remains exposed to the risk of water-borne diseases. So far in 2019, 308 new suspected cholera cases with three associated deaths have been reported, which represents a 75 percent decrease compared to the same period one year ago.
Haiti is the largest beneficiary of the European Commission's humanitarian aid in Latin America and the Caribbean, with €404 million provided since 1994. EU aid brought relief to the victims of the 2010 earthquake and several major hurricanes. The EU assistance also helps tackle the cholera epidemic, droughts, and the migration crisis, while strengthening local capacities to prepare for, and respond to, natural and epidemic hazards.
In 2019, the EU will invest €3 million in disaster preparedness and will consolidate the food assistance response.
In 2018, the EU invested €3.4 million in disaster preparedness including: water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) preparedness, rapid response capacities, disaster-resistant shelter techniques and drought preparedness. An additional €12 million were mobilised to respond to acute food insecurity and shelter needs, as well as to increase coordination across humanitarian operations.
In 2016 and 2017, almost €20 million in emergency aid to cover immediate the needs of those most affected by Hurricane Matthew, ranging from food to shelter, livelihood, water, nutrition, and education.
Since 2014, €49 million have been allocated to address acute food and nutrition needs through cash transfers, provision of safe water, and livelihood support.
After the 2010 earthquake, the EU provided shelter, safe drinking water, healthcare, food and protection to five million people. EU aid worth €52.7 million addressed the consequent cholera outbreak, targeting close to three million people.
Since 1998, the EU has invested over €25 million in its disaster preparedness programme (DIPECHO) to set up early warning systems and to strengthen shelters and infrastructure against recurring hurricanes, floods, and other natural disasters. Increasing the resilience of the most vulnerable communities in the face of natural and epidemics hazards remains a priority.