United Nations - Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
LAUNCH OF HAITI 2012 CONSOLIDATED APPEAL PROCESS WORKSHOP
PORT-AU-PRINCE - In support of the Haitian Government, the humanitarian community, today opened the Haiti 2012 Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP) workshop. More than 130 representatives of ministries, UN agencies and NGOs started a two-day discussion to develop a collective action plan to respond to the humanitarian needs of vulnerable people.
"We need a CAP that is based on clearly identified needs," said the Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, who began a two-day visit to Haiti. She reiterated the need for the humanitarian response to complement critical development initiatives, and strengthen communities’ capacities to cope with natural disasters.
The camp population has decreased by 61 per cent since July 2010, when 1.5 million people were living in tents or under tarpaulins. The rate of departures from camps has however, slowed since March 2011. The number of community-based housing, employment and social service projects is increasing, but hundreds of thousands of displaced Haitians do not yet have access to these programs. Maintaining access to safe drinking water, ensuring minimum standards of hygiene and sanitation and guarding against gender-based violence and forced evictions in the hundreds of residual camp remains critical.
Improved sanitation is also critical in the fight against the cholera epidemic, which has already claimed the lives of 6,334 people and affected more than 450,000 individuals. The downward trend in mortality is good news, but heavy rains in September set off new outbreaks of cholera throughout the country. Improving sanitation and drinking water supply is a national priority and the Ministry of Public Health and Population is progressively increasing management capacity in cholera treatment centres. Nevertheless, gaps in coverage for the most vulnerable require the ongoing assistance of national and international humanitarian partners.
Food security concerns were also highlighted, with 4.5 million people across the country at risk.
Challenges in addressing food needs include the loss of jobs by households affected by the earthquake, negative economic growth of 5 per cent between 2010 and 2011 and soaring food prices.
The country's vulnerability to natural disasters also makes strengthening preparedness for risk management and maintaining emergency response capacity essential, particularly during the upcoming June to November hurricane season.