People Helped in 2017: 569,451
Years of political instability and recurring natural disasters have kept Haiti in an impoverished tailspin, placing one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after another in their path to development, with some 55% of the Haitian population currently living below the poverty line.
More than half of Haiti’s total population is chronically food insecure, and 22 percent of children are chronically malnourished. Underlying drivers of this situation include extreme poverty and frequent natural disasters. On the 2017 Climate Risk Index, Haiti is ranked third among the countries most affected by extreme weather events. Action Against Hunger improved the nutritional status of pregnant and lactating women and children by distributing preventive rations and food vouchers, in addition to promoting healthy behavior change. We also strengthened the technical and material capacity of the Ministry of Health to improve the country’s health centers.
Devastating Earthquake in 2010
In January of 2010, a major earthquake struck Haiti with devastating consequences. The capital city, Port-au-Prince, and its surrounding communities were heavily affected: over 220,000 Haitians lost their lives, more than 400,000 were injured, and a staggering 1.2 million people were left homeless. Practically speaking, half of the city of Port-au-Prince was destroyed.
With nearly three decades in Haiti, Action Against Hunger’s teams were well positioned to respond immediately to this latest catastrophe, setting up emergency water points that served some 800,000 displaced individuals for over a year, building latrines for over 100,000 people in Port-au-Prince, and distributed over five million water purification tablets to stave off the threat of waterborne diseases.
Hurricane Matthew in 2016
Then, in October 2016, Hurricane Matthew made landfall in Haiti, the strongest storm to hit the island in more than 30 years. Strong winds at approximately 140 miles per hour and torrential rain caused mudslides and extensive damage, especially in coastal areas. We immediately mobilized our emergency response team from Paris, and we sent 20 tons of emergency supplies from our logistics headquarters to Haiti to meet the needs of disaster victims.
Our emergency teams responded in the Lower Northwest of Haiti (specifically Bombardopolis) and in North Artibonite: both areas were strongly affected by the hurricane and are at particular risk of cholera. Families in the Lower Northwest and North Artibonite struggle with chronic poverty and weak infrastructure for water: the hurricane has damaged homes, crops, roads, in these already vulnerable communities.We distributed emergency hygiene kits, food and safe water to displaced people in emergency shelters and health centers.
Of the 2.1 million people affected by Hurricane Matthew, one million are still in need of humanitarian assistance.
Our work in 2017
We provided beneficiaries with cash transfers, "Cash for Work" activities, food vouchers targeting the acutely food insecure, as well as voucher-based social safety nets. Action Against Hunger teams supported family farming with technical training for farmers and occasional inputs support at critical periods. We also set up Village Savings and Loans Associations and contributed to regional analyses of food and nutrition security data.
In addition to responding to cholera outbreaks, Action Against Hunger promoted access to water, hygiene and sanitation, built and rehabilitated water sources and infrastructures, and promoted good hygiene practices.
Action Against Hunger is committed to meeting the great needs in Haiti, and to helping as many children and their families as possible.