People Helped in 2018: 174,460
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.
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.
Our Work in 2018
In 2018, heavy rains in January and a magnitude 5.9 earthquake in October affected thousands of people in the North-West and Artibonite Departments of Haiti. 2018 was also marked by a tense security and political climate.
Drivers of hunger include low precipitation, soil erosion, and a lack of available and accessible local food and supplies. In 2019, food security is expected to worsen and enter crisis levels. At 15% in North-West and Grand‘Anse, malnutrition rates remain high. Cholera cases continue to occur in Artibonite, but the outbreak is contained in the North-West, where there have been no confirmed cases since July 30, 2018.
Our teams worked to sustainably improve food and nutrition security by supporting savings and loans groups, creating income-generating activities, building water storage systems, training mothers to screen children for malnutrition, and improving sanitation. We also provided cash-based food assistance to help families affected by drought.
In response to the October 2018 earthquake, we supported local authorities with field evaluations, needs assessments, partner coordination, shelter management, and advocacy. We also provided cash vouchers, clean water, access to sanitation infrastructures, and emergency supplies.
Thanks to efforts by Action Against Hunger and partners, the end of the cholera epidemic is near. Our work in 2018 included active case finding and sensitisation activities to prevent outbreaks. We promoted household water treatment by providing supplies to 7,500 families and pursuing market-based solutions by identifying local suppliers of treatment products. Finally, we strengthened access to water and sanitation by rehabilitating and constructing latrines and water points.