Thursday, April 18, 2024
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United Nations and partners call for US$720M to address surging humanitarian needs in Haiti

PORT–AU–PRINCE, Haiti – With gangs, hunger and cholera plunging nearly half of Haiti’s population into humanitarian need, the United Nations and its partners are seeking $720 million to deliver lifesaving assistance this year to more than 3 million people.

This year’s funding appeal for Haiti is the largest since the devastating 2010 earthquake – and more than double the amount requested in 2022 – underscoring the scale, severity and urgency of the country’s humanitarian crisis.

Overall, the number of people who need humanitarian assistance in Haiti has doubled over the past five years to 5.2 million. The 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan, to be released in full on 19 April, aims to reach 60 percent, or 3.2 million, of people in need.

“This year’s Humanitarian Response Plan comes at a critical time,” said Ulrika Richardson, the humanitarian coordinator in Haiti. “With the situation in the country rapidly deteriorating, this year’s Plan will address the most immediate humanitarian and protection needs while strengthening people’s and institution’s resilience to natural shocks. At the same time, what the people of Haiti desperately want is peace and security, and we should all support efforts to that end.”

A key driver of the crisis is gang violence, which continues to spread across the country. The UN’s office for the coordination of humanitarian affairs estimates that nearly 80 percent of the metropolitan area of Haiti’s capital, Port-Au-Prince, is either under the control or the influence of gangs.

“There is a constant climate of fear, especially in Port-Au-Prince,” Richardson said. “Haitians put their lives at risk simply by trying to go to work, feed their families or take their children to school.”

Armed violence disproportionately impacts women and girls, but boys are also affected. Rape, including gang rape, and other forms of sexual violence, is being used to terrorize the population, including children as young as ten. Meanwhile, many gangs recruit children and use them for multiple purposes.

The UN and its partners in Haiti are working to safeguard humanitarian space and expand access to reach the most vulnerable people, including in gang-controlled areas. Funding for this year’s Humanitarian Response Plan will be critical in reaching the millions of people in need.

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