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 and nutritional insecurity in 2019, with more than five million Haitians projected to be acutely food insecure between April and June. Out of this number, 2.6 million people require assistance to cover their basic needs. Prevalence of acute malnutrition among children under the age of five remains high and above WHO emergency levels in several locations, including the northwest department.
More than two years after hurricane Matthew made landfall on the Haitian coasts, over 140 000 affected households still lack access to earthquake-resistant homes and shelters. Humanitarian needs persist in internally displaced camps set up after the 2010 earthquake. Roughly 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 people have crossed the border from the Dominican Republic into Haiti, including over 4 000 unaccompanied minors.
In 2018, 3 733 new suspected cases of cholera were reported, including 43 associated deaths. This represents a decrease of 72% of suspected cases and associated deaths recorded, compared to the same period last year.
Since 1994, the European Commission has provided €401 million in humanitarian aid to Haiti, making it the largest beneficiary of EU humanitarian aid in Latin America and the Caribbean. EU aid brought relief to the victims of the 2010 earthquake and several major hurricanes. EU humanitarian aid 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 2018, the EU invested €3.4 million in disaster preparedness initiatives including water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) preparedness, rapid response capacities, disaster-resistant shelter building techniques and drought preparedness. An additional €12 million was mobilised to respond to acute food insecurity and shelter needs and to increase coordination across humanitarian operations.
In 2016 and 2017, almost €20 million in emergency aid was mobilised to cover the immediate the needs of people most affected by hurricane Matthew; this included providing food, shelter, water, livelihood support, nutritional assistance, and education.
Since 2014, €49 million has 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 totalling €52.7 million helped to fight the consequent cholera outbreak, targeting close to three million people.
Since 1998, the EU has invested over €22 million in its disaster preparedness programmes (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.