HUMANITARIAN BULLETIN ( 19 AUGUST - 20 SEPTEMBER 2011 )
- Downward trend of new cholera cases and mortality rates confirmed in all ten
- Threats of forced evictions from camps multiplied by 400 per cent in one year
- Number of IDPs in camps below the 600,000 threshold
- Food insecurity affects 4,5 million Haitians
Number of new cholera cases reduced by half
The number of new cholera cases declined by over 50 per cent within the last two months. According to data provided by the Population and Public Health Ministry(MSPP), there were 20,093 new cholera cases in August compared to 40,873 new cases reported in July. The number of deaths also decreased significantly during this period, from 376 in July to 298 in August. Mortality rates are steadily abating in all ten departments. The cumulative mortality rate nationwide reached 1.4 percent as of 29 August, down from 1.6 in May.
If the current trend continues, new cases will total 75,000 at the end of this year, reports the Health Cluster. It is projected that the current epidemiologic curb will remain the same for the coming 2 to 3 years with moderate peaks before stabilizing into an endemic phase. Due to vulnerability factors such as poor access to water and sanitation, population density and natural hazards, the Artibonite and Ouest department, including Port-au-Prince metropolitan area, are likely to be the most affected. Peaks are also expected in the Centre and Grande Anse departments
In the Sud-Est Department where daily cumulative mortality rates are the highest of the country (5.0 per cent) the Sanitary Directorate (DSSE) is planning to launch mid-term and long term World Bank funded initiatives. Programmes include the setting up of 50 Oral Rehydration Points (ORPs) in the 10 departmental communes and three Cholera Treatment Units (CTUs) in Grand-Grosier and Marigot, which are not covered by humanitarian partners. To support the strategy aimed at integrating Cholera Treatment Units (CTUs) to existing health facilities, six isolation rooms will be opened in community hospitals of Belle Anse, Thiotte, Grand Grosier, Marigot and Jacmel.
In Léogâne, Gressier, Petit Goâve and Grand Goâve (Ouest department) the community response to a 20 per cent increase in new cholera cases due to heavy rains from 5 to 12 September has been adequate and well managed, according to health partners.
A downward trend of new cholera cases and steady decrease in mortality rates were made possible by a rapid and coordinated response of the Haitian authorities, supported by humanitarian partners and donors. In 2011, donors have contributed close to $107 million to respond to the epidemic, which accounts for 97 per cent of the initial cholera appeal of $ 110 million. However, additional needs will not be covered should severe outbreaks of cholera occur due to rains and flooding.
As of 19 Sept 2011:
- 37 Cholera Treatment Centres
- 277 Cholera Treatment Units
As of 29 Aug 2011:
- 1.4% Cumulative mortality rate nationwide
- 439, 604 Cumulative cholera cases
- 6,266 Number of deaths
Forced evictions increase by 400% in one year
The number of camps under threats of eviction increased by 400 per cent between July 2010 and July 2011, according to the latest IOM report on evictions. As of July 2011 175 camps, about 19.5 per cent of the total number of IDP sites, were under threat of eviction. Approximately 121,405 IDPs are living in camps which are currently threatened with forced eviction. This represents 20.41 per cent of all people living camps.
Out of the 348 camps affected by threats of eviction, 99 (28 per cent) have already been evicted, 26 (8 per cent) have been partially vacated, while 148 (43 per cent) are still going through a mediation process.
The commune of Delmas is the most affected with 98 sites under threats of eviction, of which 26 have already been evicted. It is followed by Pétionville with 44 sites threatened and 23 evicted and Tabarre with 36 sites under threat and 3 evicted. Carrefour however has the highest number of displaced population living under threat, with 14,590 IDPs who have already been evicted. Delmas comes second with 9,993 individuals, followed by Petionville with 6,496 IDPs.
The eviction report also shows that 89 per cent of IDP camps currently under threat are privately owned and 8 per cent publicly owned. In the remaining 3 per cent of camps under threat, ownership status of the land is unknown reports the CCCM Cluster.
UN Independent Expert concerned at multiplication of evictions
Visiting UN Independent expert on the situation of Human Rights in Haiti, Michel Forst, urged the Haitian Government to give clear instruction to the Haitian national police not to support the forced eviction of people living in formal or informal IDP camps, outside of the procedures established by Haitian laws, regardless of whether those camps are on public or private land.
On his ninth mission in Haiti, which ended on 3 September, Mr. Michel Frost reiterated his call to national and international actors to ensure the implementation of durable housing solutions that have already been identified. He stressed that those solutions should take into account the public good, the rights of affected persons as well as the legitimate concerns of private owners of the land occupied by IDPs.
The independent expert also noted that the humanitarian crisis was not over and stressed that it will not be an easy task to transition from a humanitarian crisis of this magnitude to a development phase.
Also read the statement on evictions on behalf of the Humanitarian Coordinator in Haiti, Nigel Fisher.
IDP population drops by 61% in one year
IDP population living in camps dropped by 61 per cent from July 2010 to July 2011 totaling 594,811 individuals living in 894 camps today, as opposed to 1,5 million living in 1,555 sites a year ago, according to the latest Displacement Tracking Matrix report released by IOM. However, from March to July 2011, the rate at which camp resident have been leaving camps has slowdown, falling within 7 to 6 % per cent, as opposed to 47 per cent from July 2010 to January 2011.
Number of IDPs and Camps
A total of 87,261 IDP households (58 per cent) continue to reside in 66 of the larger identified camps hosting more than 500 households. Those sites however make up only 7 per cent of the total number of camps. On the other hand, small sites hosting less than 100 households make up 72 per cent of the total number of IDP camp. Yet they host only 14 per cent of the total IDP population.
Comparison across the seven communes of Port-au-Prince metropolitan area shows that the most notable decline in the number of IDP households for this reporting period is once again observed in Port-au-Prince. However, while it was reported in May 2011that 7,529 IDP households left the sites, the decrease observed in July 2011 is much less, with a reduction of only 2,180 IDP households. The next most significant decrease is reported in Carrefour, followed by Tabarre and Croix-des-Bouquets. On the other hand, there has been very little reduction in the number of IDP households in the communes of Cite Soleil, Delmas, Ganthier and Pétion-Ville where less than 350IDP households have left IDP sites in each commune.
In the southern regions, Léogâne reported the largest decrease in the number of IDP households, with 1,050 households reported to have left between May and July 2011. The second largest decrease in the regions was observed in Petit Goâve with 591 less IDP households identified in the sites.
The phase 2 IDP registration mid-year review on the profile of IDP also confirms the “proximity” characteristics of IDP movements with 65 per cent of registered IDPs being displaced within their communal section of origin and 29 per cent from another commune. When comparing Phase 2 data to Phase 1 data, it is also observed that the percentage of IDPs that are tenants increased substantially. During Phase 1, some 60per cent of registered camp residents reported being tenants as opposed to 78 per cent in Phase 2. This might be attributable to the higher propensity of owners to leave the camps.
Inauguration of Camp Mayard resettlement site
The Mayard resettlement site hosting 335 IDP households was inaugurated on 6September by the Humanitarian Coordinator, Nigel Fisher, in the presence of humanitarian partners and local authorities.
The construction of this planned resettlement site was completed in two phases. Last August, Mayard started hosting 182 families in transitional housing units designed to provide a minimum living space of 24m². Those families used to live in tents under hazardous conditions in several IDP camps in the commune of Jacmel, notably Camp Pinchinat. The second phase was completed in July 2011 and included the construction of 155 additional units.
The project was funded through the Emergency Relief Response Fund (ERRF), USAID and ECHO. The International Organization for Migrations (IOM) and implementing partners(municipality of Jacmel, Save the Children, Medair, PNH MINUSTAH and UNFPA) provided site planning/site preparation, camp management, WASH and Shelter services, lighting and security/protection programs.
Launch of the second phase of IDP documentation project
The Haitian NGO Action Citoyenne pour l’Abolition de la Torture (ACAT), with the financial support of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)launched the second phase of its documentation project, targeting individuals who lost their birth certificate during the earthquake. The programs is also directed at those who were never registered with the national identification office.
The second phase of the project aims at providing documents to 3,000 people in the communes of Carrefour, Léogâne and Petit-Goâve. In Petit- Goâve alone, 10,000 individuals lost their identification documents during the earthquake which prevent them from accessing many services, including the banking and education system.
The project also aims at strengthening institution capacities and civil society organizations. ACTAT is now looking for additional sources of funding to extend the project to other communes, such as Gressier and Grand-Goâve.
New excreta treatment site opens in Morne-à-Cabris
A new excreta and waste water treatment site was inaugurated on 8 September in Morne-à-Cabri, in the town of Croix-des-Bouquets, north-east of Port-au-Prince. The site, covering an area equivalent to three soccer fields, will receive excreta and waste water produced daily by 500,000 people. In the past, human wastes from Port-au-Prince metropolitan area were treated at the Truitier site which reached full capacity at the beginning of the year. The National Directorate for Water and Sanitation (DINEPA) has established the site with financial and technical support from CERF, UNICEF, ECHO, IDB and UNOPS. Another site is expected to open in Carrefour that will serve the southern area of the capital.
Close to 5 million m3 of debris cleared
According to the latest estimates from the Early Recovery Cluster, nearly half of the 10 million cubic meters of debris generated by the earthquake as a result of the collapse of 80,000 buildings have been cleared. Debris management activities have intensified this year and administrative difficulties in obtaining permits for demolition and clearing buildings are about to be resolved, reports the Cluster.
In the coming months, the Cluster will focus on ensuring finalization and validation of the national strategy for the management of debris and identify funding mechanisms. It will also work toward the development of statistical analysis of collapsed buildings in order to estimate the remaining volume of debris to be cleared by the end of 2012.
Education: From emergency to recovery
The new academic year 2011-2012 will see a significant shift from emergency to recovery and emergency preparedness, reports de Education Cluster. Partners are planning to support the construction or rehabilitation of 160 schools, teaching and learning material provision for 5,200 schools, institutional capacity building, training on disaster risk reduction and school fee subsidy. Approximately 780,000 students will benefit from these activities in earthquake affected areas and across the country.
Despite significant progress and concerted school construction efforts, the Education Cluster estimates that there are still several hundred schools operating under tents, which makes them particularly vulnerable to natural disasters. At the same time, sustainable solutions for water provisions in school remain an other significant gap. Some cholera prevention activities in schools, such as distributions of water purification tablets, rely on water availability.
Food insecurity affects 4, 5 million Haitians
Preliminary results from the latest national food security survey, conducted by the CNSA, FAO, WFP and other partners, indicate that more than a year and a half after the earthquake, hunger remains a problem for many Haitians.
On a three-day visit to Haiti from 11 to 14 September, Gemmo Lodesani, the World Food Programme’s newly appointed Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean expressed concerns about the food security situation in the country. “Much work has been done since the earthquake, he said, but there are still 4.5 million people in Haiti who do not have access to sufficient quantities of nutritious food on a regular basis.”
The survey, which is currently being finalized, shows that food prices have been on the rise in the country, creating an additional burden for a population that is still trying to get back on its feet following the earthquake.
Poor households in the Northwest, the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince (including the slum areas and IDP camps), and the Northeast are facing Stressed and Crisis (IPC Phases 2 and 3) levels of food insecurity, and will remain mostly stressed through December, notes FEWS NET in its latest report covering July-December. Pockets of acute food insecurity were mostly driven by dry spells during the beginning of the rainy season in April, the consequent low spring harvest production, and current high prices.
The absence of rain between March and June resulted in low agricultural production for the spring season. Instead of covering 60% of the national agricultural yield, the spring season reached only 40 per cent of its usual production capacity.
Harvests in the Nord and Nord-Est departments were almost nonexistent. In the Sud-Est, bean production reached 20 per cent of a regular production year and maize between 30 and 50 percent. In the Artibonite Department, beans and corn production are expected to be lower than usual due to a lack of water. Substantial harvests, although lower than usual, were only reported in the southern peninsula, parts of the Ouest department and some irrigated areas of the Nippes and Artibonite.
Farmers also indicated that unlike the spring season of 2010, they have not received significant agricultural inputs from the state and its partners for the 2011 spring and summer campaigns. Their production alone will simply not meet their food needs from July to December. As a consequence, Haiti is expected to experience a shortage of cereals and leguminous, according to FEWS NET.
At the same time, prices of some imported food such as rice and corn are rising again in markets of Port-au-Prince and other areas of the country. The price of black beans increased by 41 per cent in Cap Haïtien (Nord department), and 8 per cent in Jacmel (Sud-Est department). The depreciation of the local currency (from40.75 to 41 gourdes to the dollar) and rising rice prices on the international market are likely to exacerbate the prices of imported goods until around December. Given the importance of these commodities to the food basket for poor households, food insecurity is likely to be significantly impacted by this decreased purchasing power, adds FEWS NET.
HCT and MINUSTAH endorse civil-military guidelines
The Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) in Haiti and the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) endorsed on 29 August a set of guidelines specific to Haiti for the engagement and coordination of humanitarian actors and military and police actors. These civil-military guidelines, developed by OCHA, aims at guiding the interaction between humanitarian, military and police actors, other civil law enforcement agencies and relevant governmental authorities in a context characterized by a substantial presence of military forces mandated to provide support to the UN operational response system to natural disasters and humanitarian emergencies.
The resolution 1927 adopted on 4 June 2010 by the United Nations Security Council “requests MINUSTAH to continue, within its current mandate, its collaboration with OCHA and the United Nations Country Team in supporting the humanitarian and recovery efforts and further encourages all actors to continue to engage in joint planning and coordination at the national and local level.”
The Guidelines detail the coordination mechanisms that have been established in Haiti to ensure efficient and coordinated use of military and UN mission assets, promote an effective information exchange among humanitarian, military and police actors, and provide support to cross-sectoral emergency assessments, relief coordination and response.
Capacity building for tsunami early warning and response being strengthened
The Directorate General for Humanitarian Aid (DG ECHO) and UNESCO signed an agreement to implement the project "Capacity Building in Haiti, early warning and Tsunami preparedness”. This 15 month project, amounting to 500, 000 euros, will work towards strengthening institutional awareness of tsunami hazard and the capacity to cope with them at institutional level.
UNESCO, through its Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) assists Member States in strengthening their capacity to assess tsunami risk, implement early warning systems and better prepare at-risk populations.
The project includes awareness campaigns targeting 40,000 people in coastal areas, including representatives of state and religious authorities, local committees of the Directorate for civil protection (DPC), the Haitian Red Cross, teachers and school inspectors, students and the general public. It also focuses on training sessions for the installation of tide gauges by the Maritime and Navigation Service of Haiti (SEMANAH) and analysis of seismic data for technicians of the Bureau of Mines and Energy (BME).
A tsunami steering committee has been working since October 2010 in coordination with UNESCO to develop standard operating procedures for tsunami warning. This committee is currently composed of the Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC), the National Meteorological Centre (CNM.
From 12 to 16 October the Thematic Committee on Education and Public Awareness (CTESP) of the DPC will organize a series of activities to raise awareness on natural hazards affecting the Nord Department. Activities include interactive debates, meetings with risk and disaster management experts, and training of journalists in risk and disaster management procedures.
Planning for the 2012 Consolidated Appeal Process (CAP) has started. The CAP will focus on residual humanitarian needs while strengthening linkages with development issues. It will be in line with priorities identified during the mid-year review such as water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health, Camp coordination/camp management (CCCM), shelter, emergency preparedness, food insecurity and protection.
The deployment in 111 municipalities of 252 first aid devices (DIPS) is expected to begin at the end of September 2011. Mandated by the European Natural Disaster Risk Reduction Programme, Internews conducted from July 27 to 2September information and awareness raising activities on the functioning of the DIPS.
Head of OCHA Haiti: Philippe Verstraeten Email: email@example.com
Spokesperson/ Public Information Officer: Emmanuelle Schneider
Public Information Officer: Rachelle Elien: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Reporting Officer: Abdourahmane Diallo Email: email@example.com / firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on the response in Haiti, please visit:
United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, (OCHA), Boulevard Toussaint Louverture et Clercine 18, Port-au-Prince, Haiti.