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Haiti - FLASH : Humanitarian needs in Haiti are reaching alarming level
19/03/2023 10:49:58

Haiti - FLASH : Humanitarian needs in Haiti are reaching alarming level
The humanitarian situation in Haiti is deteriorating day by day due to a spiral of violence, emergencies related to protection, human rights and food insecurity, as well as an epidemic of cholera. The United Nations and its partners have issued an urgent appeal for increased humanitarian access and resources to provide aid to populations in desperate need.

"We cannot let Haiti become a forgotten crisis," said Tareq Talahma, Acting Director of the Operations and Advocacy Division of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), at the end of a two-day mission in the country.

The influence of armed gangs is growing exponentially in Port-au-Prince and beyond, including in the Artibonite department, the country's breadbasket. Armed violence, including kidnappings and sexual violence against women and girls, is also on the rise.

Six representatives of UN aid agencies and international NGOs have just concluded a visit to Haiti, where they met people affected by the humanitarian crisis, as well as local and international partners. They met with Acting Prime Minister Ariel Henry and other senior government officials.

The delegation also met with representatives of communities in areas controlled by or under the influence of armed gangs.

"We have appreciated the frank, honest and sometimes uncomfortable discussions with people impacted by the multiple crises in this country, government leaders, UN officiais, and national and international NGOs," said Mark Smith, World Vision's Vice President of Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs.

Sara Bordas Eddy, Chief of the Humanitarian Field Support Section of UNICEF, underlined "The degradation of the humanitarian needs in Haiti is unprecedented. The suffering of a Haitian child today is not comparable to the suffering of a Haitian child a few years ago. As humanitarians, we are finding ways to reach those in need including in gang-controlled areas. For that to happen in a sustainable way, we also need the donor community to not give up on Haïti."

Despite the difficulties, UN and NGO officials noted that the humanitarian response continues to intensify and pledged to provide more support to aid workers on the ground.

"The population feels desperate, but I also saw the resilience and potential of the women and girls who want to help build a better future for their country, communities and families," said Shoko Arakaki, Director of the Humanitarian Response Division of UN Population. Adding "They need urgent health and psychosocial support, but also livelihood and economic empowerment for recovery."

This year, the UN and its partners will need US$715 million to help more than three million people in Haiti. This is more than double the sum appealed for last year, and the highest amount since the 2010 earthquake.

"More than just humanitarian assistance, what the people of Haïti need is peace, security and protection," said Mr. Talahma.

Also participating in this visit were Osnat Lubrani, Acting Director and Head of the Humanitarian Section of the UN Women office in Geneva and Dominic MacSorley, Humanitarian Ambassador of Concern Worldwide.

HL/ HaitiLibre

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