Haiti is an extremely fragile state, vulnerable to natural hazards and human-made disasters. The country requires sustained humanitarian assistance due to (i) food shortages and malnutrition, (ii) disease epidemics, and (iii) the humanitarian needs generated by the urban violence and the ongoing migration crisis.
Haiti is the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. The socio-political situation deteriorated over the last years with increased violence in the political struggle between opposition figures and the Government.
In 2020 the crisis was further exacerbated by the negative impact of COVID-19 and the spread of violence and criminality. The killing of Haiti´s President in July 2021 made the situation even more uncertain.
In 2021, 4.4 million Haitians (40% of the population) need emergency food assistance due to a roaring food crisis. Acute malnutrition is increasing in drought-affected areas where only 1 in 10 children consumes the minimum acceptable nutritional intake.
The intensified gang clashes and violence, mainly in the metropolitan areas of Port-au-Prince, resulted in the displacement of thousands of people (19,000 IDP in August 2021)- They have urgent protection needs and lack access to basic services.
Haiti is facing a third wave of COVID-19, with a chronically fragile health system. The country is also struggling to access vaccines – so far, Haiti has only received 500,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine.
The country is extremely exposed to natural hazards. In August 2021, an earthquake killed more than 2,000 people and injured over 13,000 people, according to UNICEF. The country’s lack of coping capacities is one of the worst in the world.
With €451 million allocated since 1994, Haiti is the main recipient of EU humanitarian aid in Latin America and the Caribbean.
The EU has provided humanitarian aid to victims of major disasters and crises in Haiti, including the coronavirus pandemic, food shortages and malnutrition in recent years, Hurricane Matthew (2016), the epidemics of cholera, and the 2021 and 2010 earthquakes.
In 2021, the EU is allocating €14 million to address the needs of the most vulnerable people in Haiti. The funding will cover:
Following the devastating earthquake of 7.2 magnitude that hit Haiti on August 14, the EU allocated a further €3 million in humanitarian funding to address the most urgent needs of the affected communities.
To facilitate the delivery of life-saving aid, the EU deployed 3 Humanitarian Air Bridge operations carrying over 177 tonnes of cargo. The assistance is distributed by EU partners and humanitarian organisations operating in the country.
After the 2010 earthquake, the EU provided shelter, clean water, healthcare services, food and protection to 5 million people. EU aid of €52.7 million targeting nearly 3 million people also helped tackle the cholera epidemic that followed the earthquake.
In 2020, the Commission released more than €10 million to fight COVID-19, providing health and training equipment; water, sanitation and hygiene assistance; and logistical support for transport and surveillance. The EU also launched 2 Humanitarian Air Bridge operations to ensure the mobility of humanitarian personnel and the delivery of vital goods.
Also in 2020, EU humanitarian aid invested €3 million in disaster preparedness and €2 million in protection measures. The funding helped migrants and returnees vulnerable in the context of the violence. An additional €6 million has been earmarked for the response to the food crisis.
Since 1998, the EU has invested more than €35 million in its disaster preparedness programme, aiming to put in place early warning systems and rapid response capacities.
With its disaster preparedness funding, we aim to strengthen shelter and infrastructure against hurricanes, floods and other recurring natural hazards. Improving the resilience of the most vulnerable communities to natural and epidemic risks remains a priority.