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HAITI EARTHQUAKE: SITUATION UPDATES



16 April 2010 Deputy-Secretary General Migiro visits Haiti

The main priorities for humanitarian assistance in Haiti remain: Emergency Shelter, Site Management and Sanitation.

The Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro, visited Haiti three months to the day after the earthquake. The Deputy Secretary-General held discussions with President René Préval on the challenges facing the country, education reform, law enforcement, social and political stability. Another objective of her mission was to survey efforts made by the UN and the Haitian Government to protect camp residents from sexual violence and related problems. During her visit to a camp in Port-au-Prince, Ms. Migiro held informal talks with residents and formal meetings with women’s groups, who complained of sexual abuse in the camps. She assured them of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s firm resolve to work with the Government and its partners to improve their conditions. In dispatching Ms. Migiro, Mr. Ban voiced particular concern at reports of sexual violence against women and children. She also met with officials from the UN peacekeeping mission (known as MINUSTAH) and leaders of various humanitarian bodies working on delivering assistance and providing protection to the hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the quake.

First lady Michelle Obama and Dr Jill Biden visited Haiti on 13 April to see first-hand the progress of relief efforts. They met with President René Préval to re-iterate the support of the United States in assisting Haiti to build back better. Both ladies visited a camp for displaced people in Champs de Mars and a school which offers children a sense of normalcy during this relief and recovery phase. They recognised the effort of humanitarian actors and the global commitment to assist Haiti.


12 April 2010 UN Shelter cluster on target to deliver two tarpaulins per family by May

The International Donors’ Conference Towards a New Future for Haiti demonstrated an international commitment to Haiti’s short and long-term recovery and yielded more than $9 billion for Haiti’s reconstruction. The funds will support essential social services, governance, broad-based sustainable development and preparation against natural disasters. Of this amount, about $5.3 billion was pledged for the next 18 months to begin Haiti’s path to long-term recovery from the 12 January earthquake. More than 150 countries and international organizations gathered on 31 March at the UN headquarters in New York in support of the people and Government of Haiti. The money pledged at the donors’ conference, will be used not only to rebuild Haiti over the long-haul, but to build back better.

These funds will support the vision and Action Plan presented by the Haitian Government which incorporates the results of the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA). The Plan will be delivered in a manner that strengthens the authority of the State, makes local Governments more effective and builds the capacity of local and national institutions. It will also reinforce mutual accountability and transparency to all Haitians. Participants at the conference welcomed the concept of political, institutional, and economic decentralization enshrined in the Haitian vision, in order to promote more broad-based development. They also reaffirmed that Haitians from all walks of life must be included in the long term recovery efforts and recognized that women’s leadership and participation is critical.

According to the PDNA document, the total value of recovery and reconstruction needs is estimated at $11.5 billion and is distributed as such: almost half in social sectors, 17 per cent in infrastructure, including housing, and 15 per cent in the environment, risk and disaster management.

With the main aim of ensuring effective coordination mechanisms in response to the 12 January earthquake in Haiti and following a request by the Government of Haiti for enhanced coordination measures, a Coordination Support Committee (CSC) was established to help strengthen coordination among the major operational responders in-country in support of the Government. Members include the Government of Haiti, Senior UN staff and Donors. Following the CSC’s joint multi-dimensional assessment team visit to Leogane on 27 March, the following priorities were set for Leogane, Gressier, Petit and Grand Goave.

Flood risk and mitigation control: There is a risk of severe flooding of urban areas including settlement sites due to blocked drainage canals as a result of the earthquake, long term silting and blockage of water evacuation systems and urban drainage systems by piles of debris.

Shelter: There is urgent need to extend emergency shelter assistance to affected people living in mountainous areas. Secondly, people living in the plains are in dire need of Transitional Shelter assistance before the start of the rainy season.

Debris Removal (space recovery): As a result of the huge damage sustained following the earthquake, the city Leogane has enormous quantities of debris around. Widespread destruction of homes and infrastructure has left community members without shelter and essential services. The clearing of these spaces is required to enable the re-establishment of services and municipal functionality.

Roads: Road damage from the earthquake has increased the inaccessibility of some areas. This condition could deteriorate further during the rainy season. Surveys have been carried out on the Jacmel highway and this is currently prioritized as an activity for the Korean contingent.

A replication of the workshop on Contingency Planning organized by the Civil Protection Directorate (DPC) in Port-au-Prince in March is currently ongoing; simultaneously in all Departments until 10 April with the support of OCHA, the Haitian Red Cross, the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank and the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). The outcome of this process will be a first draft of the Contingency Plan for each Department to be finalized by 15 April.


31 March 2010 Ahead of donor conference in New York, Ban talks of building back better

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has stated that on 31 March, world leaders will gather at UN headquarters in New York for a critical donor’s conference, a tangible expression of solidarity with the Haitian Government and its people. Haitian President René Préval calls it a "rendez-vous with history," a compact to build what he calls "a new Haiti," a Haiti transformed. The conference is considered to be a mission to offer and deliver hope. He stated that their challenge in New York is not to rebuild but to "build back better," to create a new Haiti. Under the Haiti strategic action plan, an Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission would channel nearly US$4 billion into specific projects and programs during the next 18 months. Over the next 10 years, reconstruction needs will total an estimated US $11.5 billion. This assistance must be well-spent and well-coordinated. It must also provide for continuing emergency relief: food, sanitation and, most urgently at this moment, shelter.

With regards to the shift from emergency aid to longer-term reconstruction, the UN Secretary-General talks of a wholesale national renewal. In partnership with the international community, Haiti's leaders are committing to a new social contract with their people. That means a fully democratic Government, grounded in sound economic and social policies that address extreme poverty and deep-rooted disparities of wealth. This social contract must empower women as heads of households providing for their families, as entrepreneurs developing businesses, as advocates for the vulnerable, with full rights as decision makers in evolving democratic institutions and civic action organizations. It must offer new opportunities for economic advancement and above all, jobs. The UN cash-for-work program should be a model. Finally, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated that only Haitians can build Haiti back better.

Oxfam America recently published findings of a survey carried out in Haiti prior to the crucial Donors’ Conference in New York on 31 March. The survey was conducted by an independent Haitian polling consultant from 9 to 12 March in Leogane and Port-au-Prince including Petion-Ville, Delmas and Carrefour. It was funded by Oxfam. According to the survey of over 1,700 people, the most pressing needs for Haitians are jobs (26 per cent), schools (22 per cent) and homes (10 per cent). With regards to implementation of the reconstruction plan, respondents propose an integrated approach involving the Government and Haitian civil society. These opinions are the result of an extensive one-on-one survey of Haitians of different age groups, socio-economic status, and location. Haitians also expressed their opinions on the relief effort following the 12 January earthquake and the overall performance of agencies on the ground. Over 60 per cent of people surveyed thought the quality and efficiency of aid distribution by international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) was positive. Over 70 per cent praised the actions of foreign governments during the post-earthquake relief period. Many people did not give an opinion on the effectiveness of aid distribution, showing the gaps and misunderstandings about such a massive aid operation.

In its report Haiti: A Once-in-a-Century Chance for Change, Oxfam calls on governments and international lenders to urgently prioritize sanitation and shelter needs.
According to findings of a recent consultation (in its report entitled Anticipating the future: Children and young people’s voices in Haiti’s Post Disaster Needs Assessment - PDNA) carried out by Plan International, children and youth represent more than half of the population affected by the Haiti earthquake. Children and youth are on the one hand among the most vulnerable groups affected by the disaster, yet on the other hand many of them have already mobilized to support their communities in the response and taken on strong leadership roles. Despite this, their voices, needs and priorities have yet to be adequately listened to or taken into consideration. For this reason Plan International in partnership with the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) initiated a survey with about 1,000 children and youth to hear their ideas and priorities for the country’s reconstruction. Their views were gathered with the purpose of feeding into the PDNA document. Local facilitators experienced in working with children and youth conducted 54 focus group consultations in nine Departments (exception of South-West).

Separated and unaccompanied children and those who have lost parents in the disaster are particularly vulnerable to the psychological impact of the disaster, to illness, abduction, trafficking, sexual abuse and violence. Similarly the very young are at particular risk of under-nutrition and prolonged psychosocial problems (particularly as their care-givers have also been profoundly impacted) and there are concerns regarding the long-term impact of the disaster on their integral development. The consultations reveal that children and youth in all nine Departments are experiencing trauma and fear. Most children and youth show signs of being traumatised by witnessing the numerous deaths, injuries and disabilities caused by the earthquake. All children have had their lives disrupted and their daily routine, including their ability to go to school shattered. It is the children, women, the poor and those from rural areas who in the long-term will bear the greatest impact from the earthquake and who will take the longest to recover. It is these same groups who were already living under extremely difficult situations prior to the earthquake.

In its report, Plan International mentions that the preamble to the Haitian Constitution of 29 March 1987 states its objective as: “To establish a system of Government based on fundamental freedoms and the respect for human rights, social peace, economic equity, dialogue and the participation of all population in major decisions affecting the national life through effective decentralisation’. Also, while ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Haitian State committed to undertake every possible measure to ensure the implementation of the right of children to participation, as recognised by Article 12 of the convention. The consultations reveal the willingness of children to participate in any recovery activity related to improving their lives and their future; as stated in the following testimony from a girl (within the 11 to 16 years age group) in
Croix des Bouquets: “I’m sure we’ll have a better Haiti with the participation of youth and children. Then, Haiti would become a beautiful country. Haiti cannot be rebuilt without the participation of children and youth, we are Haiti’s present, we will be Haiti’s future” (Extract from Plan’s report).

In conclusion, the following recommendations were made:

  1. Participation: The right of children and youth to participate in all matters affecting them should be prioritised;
  2. Education: The highest priority must be given to children’s and youth’s right to education through the development of a free, inclusive and high quality education system;
  3. Protection: Children’s right to protection against all forms of violence must be realised by strengthening the capacity of the Haitian State including its child protection institutions;
  4. Inclusion and Gender Equality: The rights of all Haiti’s children should be guaranteed without discrimination and a gender equality approach must be utilized.

With regards to Contingency Planning and Preparedness, Government led efforts are underway to update the National Contingency Plan and put in place emergency preparedness plans at the regional level. Following a Civil Protection Directorate (DPC) led workshop held in Port-au-Prince on 19 and 20 March, regional workshops will be convened this coming week to update the hazards in each of 10 departments and identify populations at risk. From this work, the intent is to both update the contingency plan and prepare regional preparedness plans.


24 March 2010 Haiti families move to first transitional site

From 3 to 6 February, World Vision carried out an assessment in 20 camps and surrounding areas in Port-au-Prince and 40 villages in the following regions: La Gonave, Plateau Central, the Southern and Northern parts of the country. Included in the assessment sample were 60 village leaders and representatives of community committees. The assessment findings reveal priority problems in the graph below. Although most of the problems enumerated are chronic issues which existed prior to the earthquake, they have now been exacerbated by extensive population movement since 12 January. In target communities across both Port-au-Prince and the regions, respondents unanimously identify children as the most vulnerable group.

The IASC contingency planning mission has rendered its final report and discussions are underway with the Government’s Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC) for joint immediate preparedness actions. The main priority according to the report is supporting an early warning system for floods and storms. The report strongly emphasised the need for planning at the local level between clusters and the Haitian authorities for short-term preparedness actions. Humanitarian partners are actively engaged in supporting the Government in setting up a harmonised contingency plan in preparation for the 2010 hurricane season. As opposed to last year’s plan, the 2010 contingency plan will include natural hazards such as earthquakes and landslides.

A follow-up workshop was organised from 19 to 20 March in Port-au-Prince, attended by the Minister of Interior, the Director of the DPC, senior officials from the DPC, UN Development Programme (UNDP), International Federation of Red Cross (IFCR), the Haitian Red Cross and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). The DPC Director addressed issues relating to the current political and socio-economic contexts, guidelines/procedures on data/information collection, lessons learnt from previous hurricane seasons, resources and the coordination mechanism at national and regional levels. A World Bank expert on Disaster Risk Management presented hazards that affected Haiti in recent years (earthquakes, floods, landslides and mudslides) and a map of potential threats to the country in the short term. He also stated that Haiti faces a tsunami threat, while recommending that these hazards be taken into consideration in the final document.

Planning figures for the 2010 contingency plan (populations at risk, number of deaths, wounded, missing and displaced people) were discussed and approved by the participants. It was also agreed that the departmental contingency plan will be developed based on the contributions of municipal committees. Joint missions (DPC, UNDP and OCHA) will be carried out in the regions to support local authorities to setting up regional contingency plans. The deadline for finalizing the draft national contingency plan is set for 15 April.

Former United States Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton visited Haiti as part of their fundraising efforts to aid the country after it was hit by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake. They visited settlements for displaced persons and met President René Préval. They said they wanted to attract investment to Haiti and to ensure the effective use of aid donations. President Clinton renewed his commitment to provide large stormproof shelters to each large settlement site in preparation for the 2010 hurricane season. Both former Presidents were asked by President Barack Obama to lead US fundraising after the devastating 12 January earthquake. The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund was created to support earthquake relief and recovery efforts in Haiti.

Following heavy rains in Haiti last week, the DPC states that no damage to infrastructure or loss of life has been reported.


19 March 2010 Disaster Assistance Response Team conducts assessment

On 12 March, the United States Agency for International Development/Disaster Assistance Response Team (USAID/DART) and USAID/Haiti staff conducted an assessment of humanitarian conditions for displaced persons and host families in and around Cap-Haitian municipality. The assessment found that the presence of an estimated 40,000 displaced individuals in the area had affected host families’ livelihoods, straining limited pre-earthquake household resources. Local officials and residents cited food assistance as the primary remaining need. The Government’s Directorate of Civil Protection reports that more than 40,000 displaced persons from earthquake-affected areas are currently residing with host families in the North department.

According to the USAID/DART assessment findings, displaced individuals in Cap-Haitien are residing with host families rather than in spontaneous settlements. The USAID assessment indicated that hosting arrangements have placed considerable economic strain on households in Cap-Haitien. Increased pressure on host family incomes has caused some individuals to cease small business activities due to a loss of monetary resources available for such ventures, according to USAID. As a result, the USAID assessment team recommended the implementation of augmented cash-for-work and other economic recovery and market systems interventions in the Cap-Haitien area to help support displaced and host families.


16 March 2010 Secretary-General notes progress made two months after quake

Two months after Haiti was hit by the devastating 12 January earthquake, official figures from the Government’s Directorate of Civil Protection states that an estimated 222,517 people died and another 310,928 were injured.

On 14 March, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, accompanied by a high level delegation including Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, John Holmes, visited Haiti to notably assess first hand the progress made in the humanitarian relief efforts since his last visit in January. The Secretary-General highlighted the progress made in supplying emergency food and water to affected populations. The Secretary-General re-affirmed UN commitment in supporting the Haitian Government through the transition from emergency to early recovery and reconstruction.

Following his visit to a camp for displaced people in Petionville, the Secretary-General mentioned that the most urgent challenge was shelter. Discussions held with President Préval also focused on their plans for the international donors’ conference to be held at the United Nations headquarters on 31 March. Haiti needs funds for schools, infrastructure, roads and power. For the foreseeable future, the Government of Haiti will need international assistance to cover its payroll for teachers, police, doctors, nurses, civil servants and basic services. The Secretary-General acknowledged the generous support received from the international community and pledges his commitment to continue resource mobilisation efforts for under-funded programs including early recovery and agriculture.

An IASC Contingency Planning workshop was organised in Port au Prince on 12 March. Thirty participants attended from the Government’s Directorate of Civil Protection, national, international, the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), nongovernmental organisations and United Nations Agencies. The main objective of the workshop was to discuss scenarios and planning figures of populations at risk and identify areas and gaps where preparedness is needed in anticipation of the rainy/hurricane seasons.


12 March 2010 Emergency shelter and sanitation are main priorities two months after quake

The humanitarian community, in support of the Government of Haiti, is moving ahead with preparing two sites on public land already identified for the relocation of displaced persons who are the most at risk. Of the five plots of land that were identified by the Government for relocation, two have been secured and surveyed. The Coordination Support Committee (CSC) Task Force will work on site preparation at Villages Des Oranges, while the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) will work on site preparation at Tabarre 2 ISSA. Work will start this weekend. Agencies have been selected for camp management, shelter and WASH (water and sanitation hygiene) provision for the two sites. The remaining three sites are still subject to land negotiations with the property owners.

The Inter-agency Standing Committee (IASC) contingency planning mission, consisting of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Food Programme (WFP), Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Department of Peacekeeping (DPKO) and International Federation of Red Cross (IFRC), has visited Cap Haitian, Gonaives, Leogane, Jacmel and Les Cayes in order to identify preparedness and response capacity gaps in those areas likely to be hit worse by rain and storms. Meetings were held with the Directorate for Civil Protection (DPC), senior local government officials, MINUSTAH, UN agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The team will conduct a workshop for the Humanitarian Country Team and clusters on 12 March to present their findings. The aim of the mission was to develop an operational plan that builds on the existing National Contingency Plan, taking into account hazards that have emerged following the 12 January earthquake.

Two months into the humanitarian response, the Government of Haiti and humanitarian organizations have made significant progress, particularly in the areas of food, water and health. Emergency shelter and sanitation remain the main priorities ahead of the rainy season. Support to the agricultural sector, food and cash-for-work activities, as well as education will be essential to support affected populations in the coming months.

WFP’s food surge operation in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake assisted nearly 3 million people to meet urgent needs and help stabilize conditions in Port-au-Prince, Jacmel and Leogane. WFP and major NGO partners, in cooperation with the Government and local mayors, commenced the second phase of a general food distribution in the greater metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince over the past weekend. The distribution will target approximately 1.9 million vulnerable persons with a full food basket of commodities, including oil, salt, rice, beans, and corn-soya blend (CSB). A total of 40,403 families (242,418 people) have been reached to date. WFP is working closely with the Ministry of Agriculture on the design and implementation of its distribution programmes in order to avoid off-setting local production and to ensure that the needs of those most affected by the earthquake are met.

The national vaccination programme supported by WHO, UNICEF and other partners will be rolled out in Jacmel this week. Overall, more than 300,000 children and adults have been vaccinated to date under the programme. Adults have received vaccines for tetanus and diphtheria, while children under eight years received vaccinations against tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (whooping cough), rubella and measles, and a dose of Vitamin A.

Shelter cluster members have reached over 56 percent of the known caseload of 1.3 million people (over 650,000 people) with emergency shelter materials. The cluster aims to deliver two tarpaulins per family by 1 May, with the arrival of pipeline supplies set for the end of March.

Sanitation partners are accelerating their activities under a two-pronged strategy that aims to set up 12,950 latrines in the short-term (before the end of March) and an additional 21,000 latrines in the mid-term (before the end of June). Of the 12,950 latrines, 3,673 have been installed to date, which represents 33 per cent of the target to be reached before the end of March. This is a seven per cent increase towards the target since last week. Some 88,500 hygiene kits have been distributed across the country, reaching 510,000 persons (46 per cent of the target). However, a recent WASH cluster survey found that 70 per cent of interviewed people were in need of soap, highlighting the need for additional distributions.

The main planting season begins in March and supplies 60 percent of national food production needs. The Agriculture cluster estimates that 2,800 metric tonnes of seeds, root crop cutting, tools and other inputs, as well as 17,000 metric tonnes of NPK fertilizer and 6,000 metric tonnes of urea fertilizers are required to support the planting season in March. Despite this, funding to the Agriculture Cluster remains low.

The Education cluster carried out a rapid needs assessment and found that 87 percent of schools in Port-au-Prince were damaged or destroyed; 96 per cent of schools in Leogane were damaged or destroyed; and 88 per cent of schools in Jacmel were damaged or destroyed. Priorities for intervention identified by children, communities and education personnel were the establishment of temporary learning spaces; replacement of educational materials; and provision of psychosocial support. The Ministry of Education is working on the reopening of schools across the country for the first week of April through the establishment of temporary structures while school reconstruction continues. To date, 23 tent-based temporary learning spaces are operational in settlement sites. UNICEF is providing 150 school tents, 6,000 school-in-a-box kits, 2,835 school-in-a-carton kits and 866 recreation kits, as well as 1,400 early childhood development (ECD) kits throughout the country.

The child protection response in Haiti needs to scale up rapidly in order to meet the existing demands for child protection services. The Child Protection sub-cluster has started to receive an increased number of reports on individual cases of gender-based violence. It is essential to increase overall capacity to address these reported violations.
Following an increase in security concerns regarding the protection situation of displaced populations, a joint civil-military assessment of the current security situation will be undertaken in order to determine ways to provide security that are acceptable to the concerned populations.


9 March 2010 UN assists Dominican Republic with influx of families from Port-au-Prince

Contingency planning remains a priority ahead of the upcoming rainy/hurricane seasons. A one-week inter-agency standing commission (IASC) contingency planning mission aimed at supporting the Haitian Government and the humanitarian community in Haiti in this regard started today. Building on the existing National Contingency Plan, the mission will support the development of a light operational plan for the next six months in respect of increased vulnerabilities arising from the earthquake. The plan will cover all regions of Haiti and will be closely coordinated with contingency planning efforts in the Dominican Republic. The mission is comprised of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Food Programme (WFP), Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), Department of Peacekeeing (DPKO), International Red Cross (IFRC) as well as the Government’s Directorate of Civil Protection.

Efforts to identify earthquake-affected communities that have not yet received sufficient assistance both within Port-au-Prince and in outlying regions continue. Humanitarian organizations report that in Port-au-Prince alone some 13,000 people have not yet received any support. The situation in other affected regions continues to be worrisome, including in Artibonite where the influx of more than 160,000 people appears to have led to a significant increase in prices, and services such as health and education that had serious limitations before the earthquake are also now stretched.

Approximately 160,000 people are also estimated to have arrived to the border areas with the Dominican Republic from other areas affected by the earthquake. The majority of these displaced persons have not been accommodated in camps or settlements but by host families in communities. These communities, particularly in rural areas, where the displaced have arrived and found refuge have historically been very poor. With the arrival of large numbers of people from Port-au-Prince, the basic services there - schools, health centers, water supply - as well as the local economy - have been severely overstretched. UN missions visiting these areas inside Haiti, such as Fonds Verrettes in the South-East, or Ouanamithe in the North-East, have witnessed households that were composed of only 4 to 5 persons before the earthquake, are now housing 12 to 15 individuals. Operational agencies confirm that the population of existing settlement sites has generally increased by around 10 percent over the past four weeks. A rapid survey will be undertaken to establish the reason for this increase.

Efforts to decongest overcrowded settlement sites in Port-au-Prince continue, with priority being given to sites that are particularly prone to floods and landslides during the rainy season. Relocating some 200,000 persons currently displaced in high-risk settlements would require approximately 600 hectares of land. The Government has so far identified five sites comprising a total of about 220 hectares in the following locations: Sibert, Villages Des Orangers, Carail Cesselesse, Villages Des Antilles and Tabarre Issa. These five sites identified by the Government for resettlement of displaced people have been assessed and are judged to be fit-for-purpose although some drainage work is required. Preparation of sites will commence in the next three days on 12 hectares of land that are public property; the remainder is still subject to negotiation for purchase
with the landowners. Humanitarian actors are currently identifying organizations to support the Government in site planning and development, as well in the preparations for relocation. Meanwhile, the relocation site Santo 17 is almost complete in terms of site development and should be inaugurated shortly.

The immediate provision of emergency shelter remains a top priority for responding humanitarian agencies. To date, some 650,000 people, or 50 percent of those in need, have received emergency shelter materials, including 202,500 tarpaulins and over 28,000 family-size tents. This represents a nine percent increase since the last report. On average, 11,500 tarpaulins per week have been distributed since the beginning of the response. While over 58,000 households have been supplied with ropes and fixing materials, the distribution of fixings continues to be vital for the emergency response. Shelter cluster partners have also distributed 20,000 kitchen sets, 143,000 hygiene kits, 142,000 blankets and 42,000 mosquito nets.

In addition to shelter, camp management and coordination, sanitation and food continue to be the priorities of the humanitarian response at this stage. Protection cluster monitoring teams are carrying out field visits on a daily basis and report their findings to relevant clusters. According to statements by affected communities and site managers, there is a need to review current access to food aid, to improve security at sites, to provide shelter material and appropriate fixings, as well as to increase access to latrines, potable water and ensure the installation of sufficient water containers. Distributions need to target the most vulnerable while assistance strategies need to take into account people who have not relocated to visible settlements but are in equal need of assistance.

While the national epidemiological surveillance system has detected no major outbreaks of infectious disease, Government figures show a steady rise in reported cases of suspected malaria. This is to be expected during the current season and considering the conditions of people living in close quarters in the spontaneous settlements.

With children reportedly constituting 45 percent of the Haitian population, continued education in earthquake affected communities is a concern. The Government had set a deadline of 1 April to open schools. However, the Ministry of Education supported by education partners is now developing a new strategy to provide children with education in camps or other alternative locations. There is also a need for wide distribution of
recreational materials for children as well as psychosocial services.

Due to the recent reinstatement of standard customs procedures, slow customs processing and clearance is still a problem at the Jimani border crossing.

Haitian President René Préval is scheduled to travel to the United States to meet with President Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. on 10 March in order to discuss the recovery of Haiti following the 12 January earthquake.

On the margins of the Human Rights Council meeting in Geneva, OCHA chaired a panel discussion on 8 March entitled "Next Steps for Haiti: Re-Building the lives of Haiti's Internally Displaced Persons" in collaboration with OHCHR. The panelists included the Chargé d'Affaires a.i. of the Permanent Mission of Haiti to the UN Office in Geneva and the UN Representative of the Secretary-General on the Human Rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs).

The 12 clusters designated in the Flash Appeal are holding regular meetings to coordinate their joint efforts.


4 March 2010 Humanitarian actors coordinating needs following floods

President René Préval flew to the Sud department on 4 March in order to survey the damage caused by the floods over the weekend. The Direction for Civil Protection (DPC) reports that the floods have affected a total of 4,417 families in Nippes. 26 people were reported wounded and one person is missing. The DPC also reported a total of 2,295 houses inundated and the loss of 7,099 cattle.

While the full scale of humanitarian needs is still emerging, preliminary findings by the DPC show the need for food, water and NFIs (kitchen utensils, hygiene kits, sleeping sets and clothing) for 4,417 families. The World Food Programme (WFP) has conducted field visits and meetings with key stakeholders in the affected departments and will be able to
commence distributions following a rapid assessment and information from the local authorities on affected population. Under the newly opened sub-office in Leogane, WFP undertook a rapid assessment in Nippes. WFP already distributed MREs to flood affected persons. In most areas the water has now receded and cleaning activities are ongoing.

The figures provided by the DPC concerning the number of victims of the 12 January earthquake remain unchanged since the last report. The number of people living in spontaneous settlement sites is estimated at over 1.3 million people, while 604,215 people are reported to have left Port-au-Prince for outlying departments. The majority of this group, totaling 162,509 people, is displaced in Artibonite department, north-west of Port-au-Prince.

Priority needs continue to be emergency shelter, site management, sanitation and food. An urgent need for funding remains for agricultural inputs before the beginning of the main planting season in March, which usually supplies 60 percent of national food production needs. Efforts must focus on emergency support that aims at increasing national food production, access to food, create employment and prevent further deterioration of food security.

The Coordination Support Committee (CSC) on 2 February tasked the Planning Task Force (previously known as the Debris Management Task Force) to address the situation of displaced communities living in unsafe conditions. The concept involves gaining access to large tracts of land outside the Port-au-Prince city area for use as either debris management sites or settlement sites. The final costing has yet to be completed but the initial programme of activities is estimated at US$ 50 million.

Agreements between the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) cluster, UNOPS and UN-HABITAT are being finalized to perform site planning activities at the five plots of land that the Prime Minister has recently made available to set up transitional settlements. Preparing these sites for voluntary relocation of the displaced will be a key priority in this phase of the response.

In order to manage the relocation process in line with international standards, the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti’s (MINUSTAH) Human Rights Section, through its leadership of the Protection Cluster, has already begun advising its partners on the Guiding Principles on Internally Displaced Persons and other guidelines. The Protection cluster is generally advocating to increase focus on facilitating return of people to their original places of origin (where possible) or to stay with host families. Relocating families to new transitional shelters should be the last resort for people who have no other alternatives.

The CCCM cluster is coordinating with its partners in order to create an early warning system indicating flood and landslide related risks at existing sites. A quick risk analysis assessment, performed by IOM in the 21 congested priority sites, show that 3,000 of the people living in four camps located on the Valley de Bourdon (by the Bois de Chène river) are at high risk of flooding from heavy rain and the accumulation of rubble in river
beds.

The Shelter cluster continues to implement its two-pronged strategy. The target for the cluster remains at delivering two tarpaulins per family by 1 May. This will be achieved through the continuing surge of activity by cluster agencies in terms of distribution of in-stock material. Additional tarpaulins and tents are expected to arrive in Haiti by the end of March. To date, emergency shelter material has reached nearly 525,000 people, or 41 percent of those in need. Altogether, 162,981 tarpaulins and 23,348 tents have been distributed. An additional 79,152 tarpaulins and 4,863 tents are currently in stock, with another 164,302 tarpaulins and 13,588 tents in the pipeline. Shelter cluster members will also assist in the planning and preparation of identified sites for transitional shelter.

Following completion of the registration process at Champ de Mars last week, registration at Petionville Golf Club has also been completed by Catholic Relief Services (CRS). Registration is still ongoing at the Ancien Aeroport Militaire, but is expected to be concluded on 5 March. The registration of displaced persons has also started in Pinchinat and four other sites in Jacmel. All registration data will be processed and sent to the CSC Planning Group to prioritize rubble removal in places of origin of the displaced people.

UNITAR/UNOSAT, EC JRC and the World Bank produced a building damage assessment atlas series for Haiti, including 1,051 map-sheets. Places and areas for which building damage atlases are produced include: Delmas, Petionville, Petit Goave, Grande Goave, Tabarre, Gressier, Cite Soleil, Jacmel, Carrefour, Leogane and Port-au-Prince. All of the above maps and analyses, including a building damage intensity map for Delmas are available at www.unosat.org.

A change in customs procedures has been implemented on the Haitian side of the Jimani border crossing requiring all trucks to present a complete packing list (corresponding to the waybill and including the exact number, description and value of all items) signed and stamped by the organization moving the cargo.

The security situation throughout the country remains stable, although some isolated criminal incidents have been reported.


1 March 2010 UN Agencies, Government provide shelter to more than half-million people

Heavy rainfall caused by a cold front led to flooding in Nippes and Sud departments in the South of Haiti on 27 February.

The Government’s Direction for Civil Protection (DPC) reported that an estimated 13 people were killed in Acquin (1), Cavaillon (4) Les Cayes (4), and Saint Louis du Sud (4). Three people were reported missing in Cavaillon (2) and Baradères (1). A total of 3,428 people were evacuated, with the majority coming from l’Azile, Anse à Veau and Baradères. Local Civil Protection Committees were mobilized to evaluate damages and needs of the affected populations.

Two surveillance flights over affected areas were carried out with the support of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) on 28 February and 1 March respectively. Participants included representatives of the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), World Food Programme (WFP) and World Health Organization (WHO). It appeared that flood waters in Les Cayes had already subsided, roads and bridges were cleared and the situation had returned to normal. All evacuees had reportedly returned to their homes and evacuated patients to the hospital. While significant flooding was initially still observed in Baradères, evacuees there have also by now been able to return to their homes. However, water levels of Baradères River were still high and some fields were inundated. More in depth requirements will be provided by the local governments in the coming days.

The figures provided by the DPC concerning the number of victims of the 12 January earthquake increased slightly since the last figures were published on 22 February. The number of estimated deaths has risen to 222,570 people, an increase of 53 people. The number of people living in spontaneous settlement sites is estimated at 1.3 million people, while 604,215 people have left Port-au-Prince for outlying departments.
However, humanitarian organizations report that displaced people looking for an occupation may increasingly consider returning to Port-au-Prince, which underlines the need for cash-for-work programmes in areas outside of Port-au-Prince.

The registration process at Champ de Mars was completed in three days (24 to 26 February) and resulted in the registration of 4,943 families (26,658 individuals). This means that the average area per person in Champ de Mars is 5 square meters. While the SPHERE standard is 45 square meters per person, the Coordination Support Committee (CSC) Planning Group (formerly the Debris Management Planning Group – now expanded in scope) has agreed on standards of 15 square meter per person in the center of Port-au-Prince, 30 square meters in suburbs, and 45 square meters elsewhere as a transition measure until the end of June.

Registration data showed that 77 percent of the displaced are from the 6th Turgeau section, a hilly residential area in the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. Subsequently, 33 streets have been prioritized for rubble removal and street maps have been provided to the Coordination Support Committee (CSC) Planning Group. The Planning Group has identified three more sites for immediate registration: Petionville Golf Club, Ancien
Aeroport Militaire and St. Louis Gonzage. A simultaneous registration process at five large identified sites in Jacmel will be completed by the end of the week with the support of local authorities and local NGOs.

The Government has proposed a five-pronged approach for persons displaced from their homes: return to safe homes; return to safe plot and erection of transitional shelter; resettlement in proximity to destroyed houses; support to host families; and resettlement in new neighborhoods. The Prime Minister of Haiti has approved five plots of land (Sibert, Les Orangers, Site des Antilles, Corail Cesselesse and ISSA) to set up transitional settlements. The Prime Minister has also approved eight plots to collect and treat debris in the metropolitan area (Sources Puantes, Bon Repos, Hasco, Port, Martissant, Carrefour, Unibank and ED1). In addition, eight sites have been identified by the Government to become transitional settlements in Leogane. Negotiations between the Ministry of Environment and private land owners are ongoing. Kits for temporary
shelters have started to arrive in Haiti with a total of 25,000 expected in country before the end of April.

Meanwhile, shelter cluster partners continue to distribute as much plastic sheeting, tarpaulins and tents as possible before the upcoming rainy season. To date, more than 523,000 people, or 40 percent of those in need, have received emergency shelter materials; 160,211 tarpaulins and 24,500 tents have been distributed. An additional 232,000 tarpaulins and 22,000 tents are currently in the pipeline and will be distributed immediately upon arrival.

A monitoring exercise supported by UNICEF, Oxfam, DINEPA, Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and USAID, is in progress with the objective of surveying about 300 temporary settlement sites across the country. By the end of February, 133 sites were assessed. Preliminary results suggest that 25 percent of the visited sites lack latrines. Up to 52 percent of the surveyed population practice open defecation near their camps and more than 70 percent use plastic bags for excreta disposal.

Cluster partners underline the importance of allocating funds in time to support the forthcoming planting season. This will not only provide food and income in the rural areas but will also contribute to alleviate a deteriorating food security and nutritional situation. Funds will be used to provide seeds, tools and small livestock to vulnerable farmers.

A challenge for the health sector in the coming weeks will be to move patients recovering from the effects of the earthquake from hospitals to external locations where they can continue to receive care. Meanwhile, national sentinel surveillance sites report a slight increase in the proportion of consultations related to suspected malaria. There are 52 national sentinel surveillance sites throughout the country, usually in large health centres or hospitals that see a large number of patients.

Following discussions with UNICEF, the Ministry of Education and partners will begin to operationalize a Movement for Education in Haiti designed to give all children access to learning. The movement will take a phased approach, with initial activities focused on allowing children to get into a rhythm of learning, psychosocial support and non formal activities, ongoing as of now, but accelerating before the end of March, and again in August and September in time for the new school year.

The transition from US Military assets to commercial handling for humanitarian cargo entering the port and airport is complete. The humanitarian cargo village at the airport is closed and all offloading is performed by privately contracted entities. Requests for berthing slots at the port are now managed by the APN (Autorite Portuaire Nationale). The US will continue support at the port in a coordination and management role for the coming month.

The High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the European Commission, Ms. Catherine Ashton, and the EU Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection, Ms. Kristalina Georgieva, are visiting Haiti to meet Haitian Government authorities at the highest level, evaluate the impact of European humanitarian aid on the ground, and assess needs to be addressed in the future. Commissioner Georgieva arrived in Haiti on 28 February and the High Representative will arrive on 2 March. The European Commission has allocated an additional envelope of EUR 90 million (US$ 122,048,000) to support Haiti.

The security situation throughout the country remains stable.


25 February 2010 WFP transitions to next phase of emergency operation

The figures provided by the Direction for Civil Protection (DCP) concerning the number of victims of the 12 January earthquake remain unchanged. The DPC estimates that 222,517 people have died. The number of people who have left Port-au-Prince for outlying departments stands at 597,801. While the Haitian Government and humanitarian agencies estimate that 1.2 million people are currently in need of shelter, the ongoing registration led by the Government with the support of the Camp Coordination and Camp Management cluster (CCCM) will provide more accurate figures.

While not yet registered, humanitarian actors report that arrivals of displaced from Port-au-Prince in Jacmel has led to an estimated 15 per cent increase in the population. The process of registering displaced populations in order to decongest the Pinchinat site is being hampered by additional people settling in the site spontaneously.

World Food Programme (WFP) is in the final stages of concluding agreements for phase two of its emergency operation, which will aim to assist 300,000 families in the Port-au-Prince area with a full food basket of commodities (corn-soy blend, oil, salt, beans and rice). Committees are being formed between WFP, partner non-governmental organizations (NGOs), local authorities and civil society to refine targeting throughout the course of the second surge operation. Initial findings from the Protection focus groups conducted as part of the Emergency Food Security Assessment (EFSA), indicated that there is an increase in sharing of food and communal eating. Marginalized groups, such as street children, who used to suffer a higher degree of food insecurity before the earthquake, are reportedly often taken care of by other families.

While in Port-au-Prince the immediate emergency needs, such as food, drinking water and health care, are being covered, organizations working in the surrounding regions continue to deal with an important number of daily requests from individuals and communities in need of shelter, water, food and medicines. The main priority in all affected areas remains the provision of adequate housing to the displaced.

Response efforts in support of the Government are being accelerated in order to meet the vast humanitarian needs before the upcoming rainy season. In parallel, the Government, humanitarian and other relevant stakeholders are working on contingency planning.

Joint planning by the Government, humanitarian organizations, military contingencies, service providers, and engineers is aiming at a coherent approach to the registration of displaced people, selection of sites for debris removal, building damage assessments, as well as planning for relocation sites for those who will not be able to return to their damaged or destroyed houses. The Debris Management Task Force presented an action plan for debris removal and management to the Coordination Support Committee (CSC) on 23 February. The implementation of the plan is starting this week with efforts to clear the canal surrounding Solino camp, as well as registration of displaced people aimed at the eventual decongestion of the Champ-de-Mars site. The task of debris removal is enormous, as an estimated 285,000 houses were damaged or destroyed by the earthquake. The CSC recommended that the mandate of the Task Force be enlarged to include land allocations. The CCCM cluster estimates that between 450 and 500 hectares of land are needed to decongest the identified 21 priority sites (exceeding 5,000 people).

Together with the decongestion of spontaneous settlement sites, creating adequate sanitary conditions and waste disposal systems will be crucial in order to mitigate the risk of a large-scale outbreak of waterborne diseases in the coming weeks.

The second meeting between the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) coordination team and the thematic coordinators took place on 23 February. The sectoral/thematic groups have been formed including government representatives as well as national and international experts. The themes and sub-themes of the PDNA report have been revised as follows: cross-cutting issues, governance, production, social sector, infrastructure, macro-economic analysis, territorial development and environment/disaster risk management.

Humanitarian assistance and associated early recovery activities, adequately targeting and responding to the needs of women and children must remain a priority. Intensive work is needed to get children into schools by the target date set by the Government of the end of March 2010. It is estimated that 2.5 million children in Haiti do not have access to school.

The vaccination campaign in the temporary settlements that started on 16 February will continue until the end of March. In order to finish the campaign as scheduled, more immunization teams are needed. The Ministry for Public Health and Population is aiming at training more staff with the NGOs involved. More than 62,533 people or 10 per cent of the 599,156 target population has been vaccinated. These figures include 8,294 children under seven years of age vaccinated against diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis and 5,362 against measles and rubella.

The process of handing back management of the airport and the port to the Haitian authorities and commercial operators is underway. The humanitarian cargo village at the airport will be closing at the end of this week. Commercial entities will be in charge of all handling as of 1 March at both entry points. The US is continuing to support the national port authority (APN) at the port in coordination and management.

The Emergency Relief Coordinator (ERC), Mr. John Holmes, held an UN Member States briefing on the humanitarian situation in Haiti on 24 February in New York. The ERC cautioned that despite significant achievements in the humanitarian response, the emergency phase of the relief effort was not yet over and would remain for months to come, in parallel with the reconstruction phase.

The security situation throughout the country remains stable. While some isolated cases of criminal activity have been reported, there is no confirmed rise in organized crime.


22 February 2010 Shelter and sanitation remain concerns as new food programme for infants launched

As of 22 February, the Direction for Civil Protection (DCP) estimates that 222,517 people died following the 12 January earthquake, an increase of 5,000 people since the last estimates were released on 15 February. The number of people who have left Port-au-Prince for outlying departments has increased to 597,801 people from the previous figure of 511,405. The increase in figures mainly relates to Grand-Anse and Sud departments, where an additional 21,000 and 63,000 people, respectively, have been registered.

Despite the reported increase in people who left Port-au-Prince and efforts to provide assistance to people in not directly affected areas, the Government has noted some signs of displaced people returning to Port-au-Prince, possibly in search for work or humanitarian relief. Clusters are working closely with their Government counterparts to identify populations who have not yet received sufficient assistance; some clusters are moving towards organizing distributions outside camps, in order to meet the needs of those who stay elsewhere and to avoid an additional influx of people into the already overcrowded sites.

Providing people with waterproof shelter materials is a priority ahead of the upcoming rainy season. Organizations are working through the Shelter cluster to distribute as much plastic sheeting as possible. To date, more than 66,000 families (330,000 people) have received emergency shelter materials, about 30 percent of the estimated 1.2 million in need of shelter. In order to fill remaining gaps, the Shelter cluster has launched a massive procurement campaign, including 232,000 tarpaulins and 22,000 tents currently in the pipeline, which will be distributed immediately upon arrival.

Addressing drainage and solid waste management is also an urgent priority, especially in the context of the approaching rainy season. Other priority needs in the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) Sector remain sanitation and hygiene.

Meanwhile, efforts are ongoing to register and identify the home areas of people living in prioritized spontaneous settlement sites. A key challenge is to remove debris from those areas, so that people can return to their home areas. While building assessments have started, there is a pressing need to identify suitable land to build transitional shelter for those whose houses are uninhabitable.

Security in displacement sites, especially in large settlements, continues to be a concern and requires a more permanent police presence. The Protection cluster has set in place a regular monitoring mechanism in Port-au-Prince to visit sites not yet reached by aid workers in order to identify particularly vulnerable persons and their needs. Monitoring teams go out on a daily basis.

There has been an increase in allegations of gender-based violence in general terms. Cases are being referred to health services. The Ministry of Women Affairs (Ministere a la condition feminine et droits de lafemme) presented a plan of action on gender based violence (GBV) for the short and long term. Implementation will be supported by the GBV sub-cluster.

The Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP), World Health Organization (WHO), World Food Programme (WFP), UN Population Found (UNFPA) and UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) started a program to prevent severe malnutrition in infants and children living in makeshift shelters across Port-au-Prince. The program includes distribution of three-week rations of high-energy biscuits to pregnant and lactating mothers, and to children aged three to five years; as well as the distribution of a peanut-based paste to infants 6 to 35 months. The program also identifies and refers children suffering from severe malnutrition to mobile nutrition therapy centres. UN agencies hope to reach more than 16,000 women and 53,000 children living in more than 300 settlements in the capital with this program. The program has the support of Haitian students and the UN Police.

UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) convened a meeting with UNESCO Member States and partner organizations on 16 February in Paris. The meeting, which was co-chaired by Ms. Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassègue, Haiti’s Minister of Culture and Communication, examined the most urgent measures to be taken to respond to the damages caused by the earthquake to heritage and culture industries, as well as to lay the foundation for an International Coordination Committee (ICC) for Haitian culture.

The first commercial passenger flights since the earthquake landed in Port-au-Prince airport on February 19. The transition phase of handing operations at the port back to APN and the Haitian Government is underway. No fixed demobilization date has yet been established for US Military personnel and assets. Goods entering Santo Domingo without the proper paperwork, consignee details or clear markings are causing a bottleneck in the Dominica Republic ports. Customs remains an issue, especially regarding NGO registration.

An estimated 160,000 persons have come from Port-au-Prince to the border area of Haiti with the Dominican Republic. The majority of displaced persons have been received by host families, increasing the number of inhabitants in houses from around 5 to 10-15 persons in many cases. The vulnerability of these host communities, who lack basic infrastructure and services such as water and sanitation, health and education facilities, has therefore increased dramatically. In addition, some 8,000 houses have been reported destroyed or damaged by the earthquake in this area only. Host families have received little support so far. There are some 17,000 reported internally displaced persons (IDPs) staying in formal and spontaneous camps in the border area, of which only a minority has received some very limited and irregular assistance. An NFI distribution organized by UNHCR has started in Fond Verrettes for some 8,000 people. Remote communities have not yet been reached.


19 February 2010 OCHA launched Revised $1.44 Billion Humanitarian Appeal

Since the launch of the Haiti Flash Appeal on 15 January 2010, more rigorous needs assessments have been completed and it is clear that the current level of humanitarian response must increase to cover the needs of more people, and address needs in yet unreached parts of the country.

More than one month after the earthquake, a better picture of its impact and the humanitarian requirements is emerging, indicating the need for a continued and large-scale response. The Revised Appeal requests US$1.4 billion (which includes the original $562 million) to cover emergency humanitarian assistance and key early recovery projects for 12 months (January-December 2010). This equates to an average of $481 per affected person. Counting funding already received in response to the original Flash Appeal ($ 673 million), the outstanding requirement is $768 million. The Revised Appeal was developed in Haiti by humanitarian clusters and includes projects submitted by 76 aid organizations (21 United Nations organizations, 54 NGOs, and the International Organization for Migration). The Haiti Revised Humanitarian Appeal, launched on 18 February in New York by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Special Envoy Bill Clinton, and Emergency Relief Coordinator John Holmes can be downloaded by clicking here.

The Haiti Revised Humanitarian Appeal aims to assist the three million people directly affected by the earthquake as well as support host families in the departments that have received the almost half million people that fled the capital. It also includes planning and preparedness ahead of the impending rainy season and disaster risk reduction activities. Based on current and projected humanitarian needs and gaps, the Appeal aims to implement time-critical life-saving activities, especially water and sanitation, health care, shelter, non-food items, food aid and nutritional support and protection. Equal attention will be given to reestablishing existing or establishing new physical and social infrastructure and services such as health, food security, economic livelihoods support, education, community spaces and community groups for three million people. The appeal includes provisions to provide increased support to strengthen Government capacity for coordination at all levels, and the rapid scale-up of common services, including logistics, telecommunications, and security.

The priority needs for humanitarian assistance at this stage of the response and for the duration of the Appeal are identified as follows: ensuring shelter to displaced populations through the identification of safe sites; rubble removal; distribution of shelter materials; and appropriate water and sanitation. The Appeal envisages an increasing focus on livelihood activities, with cash for work and rubble removal aimed at supporting return and reconstruction. Rural and host communities to where displaced people have moved will be targeted with food aid, nutritional and agricultural support. Health, in particular primary health care, protection activities for displaced, women, children and other vulnerable groups, as well as education, will also continue. The response will require sustained logistical and emergency telecommunication support in order to implement activities on behalf of the affected population.

The Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA), to be carried out by the Government of Haiti and supported by development partners including the World Bank, the United Nations and the European Union, was officially launched in Port-au-Prince on 18 February. Focusing on key areas of the early recovery phase (sanitation, food security, water, debris management and removal and transitional shelter), the PDNA will form the basis for early recovery interventions in the coming months.

While humanitarian and development actors are closely coordinating to support the Government in the planning for transition from emergency relief to early recovery, it will be critical to maintain focus on populations who have not received sufficient assistance, especially in areas outside of Port-au-Prince.

The security situation remains stable, and while some demonstrations have taken place in Port-au-Prince over the last days, no major incidents have been reported.


17 February 2010 WFP reaches 3.4M with food assistance; Rubble removal priority for settlement space

As of 15 February, the national Civil Protection Agency estimates that 217,366 people died from the 12 January earthquake, an increase of 5,000 people since the last estimates were released on 6 February. The number of people who have left Port-au-Prince for outlying departments has increased to 511,405 people from the previous figure of 467,701 people. The increase in figures mainly relates to Grand Anse department where 98,871 people have been registered, up from 55,167. The department with the highest influx of people continues to be Artibonite with 162,509 arrivals. The Government estimates that 97,294 houses were destroyed and 188,383 were damaged across all affected areas.

A school in Cap Haitian was hit by a mudslide on 15 February and the Government has confirmed that the incident caused four deaths. It is being investigated whether the cause of the mudslide was a tremor that occurred the previous night.

The priority needs for humanitarian assistance at this stage of the response include the provision of shelter material and site management; sanitation and hygiene; food security (food aid, nutritional and agricultural support); cash-for-work programmes to support livelihoods; and protection of vulnerable groups. Logistics and emergency telecommunications remain overarching priorities to support the ability of the humanitarian community to deliver relief aid. In addition to main affected cities, important humanitarian needs are also registered in directly and indirectly affected rural areas, not least those where the arrival of displaced populations are causing prices to rise and creating additional pressure on basic social services.

Provision of shelter and camp coordination continue to be challenging, including the need for debris removal and the identification of land for settlements. There is an urgent need to create adequate sanitation conditions for displaced populations, especially in congested settlement sites. The WASH (Water and Sanitation Hygiene) Cluster estimates that a total of 1.1 million displaced people in Port-au-Prince, Leogane, Petit Goave, Gressier and Jacmel require emergency latrines. The interim plan is to provide 12,950 latrines by April (for approximately 650,000 people using 1 latrine for 50 people ratio in acute phase) and 21,000 more within 6 months (moving towards goal of 1 latrine for 20 people).

The Nutrition Cluster has received reports on the inclusion of powdered infant formula in some general food rations distributed by small non-governmental organizations (NGOs), as well as with some general Plumpy’nut distributions. The cluster is investigating the reports and continues to emphasize the potential harm posed by general distribution of infant formula, given the current poor sanitation situation and associated challenges with ensuring a hygienic environment and clean water availability.

The International Organization on Migration (IOM) is working with some 40 agencies in the field of mental health and psychosocial support to provide emergency help to tens of thousands of people living in spontaneous settlements in Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas. IOM and its partners from the Faculty of Psychology of Port-au-Prince University and other international experts will train 550 humanitarian workers, religious leaders and community health professionals to increase their understanding of the psychosocial consequences of the earthquake and to provide them with the knowledge and skills to manage the short, medium and long term needs of affected individuals.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) are jointly urging countries to suspend all involuntary returns to Haiti due to the continuing humanitarian crisis. They have called on all countries to continue granting interim protection measures on humanitarian grounds until such time as people can return safely and sustainably.

The Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes visited Haiti and the Dominican Republic from 11 to 14 February. During his stay in Haiti, Mr. Holmes visited earthquake affected areas in Jimani, Malpasse, Leogane and the Petionville golf club site in Port-au-Prince. Meetings were held with the President and Prime Minister of Haiti, UN Agencies and NGOs, the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), US and Canadian military interlocutors, and other partners.

The security situation remains stable despite reports of isolated criminal acts.


11 February 2010 Haiti marks one-month mark with Day of Mourning; aid distribution improving

The Haitian Government announced a day of mourning for 12 February to mark the one-month anniversary of the earthquake. No large gatherings will be held as there is no space available. A small official ceremony will be presided over by the President of Haiti and will be transmitted live through loudspeakers in affected neighborhoods. All national staff working for international aid organizations have been given the day off. No United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) helicopter cargo flights will take place and truck movements as well as warehouse operations will be shut down across the country on the 12th of February, according to the Logistics Cluster. Port-au-Prince airport operations will not be affected as they are still managed by the US military.

The Government reported that 211 live rescues were achieved by international and national search and rescue teams as of 9 February. A total of 139 live rescues were carried out by international teams and 72 by national teams.

On 9 February, another aftershock (4.0 on the Richter scale) affected Port-au-Prince, causing further damage at the Caribbean Market on Delmas Avenue. Several people were trapped by falling debris and later rescued by US and French military forces.

Humanitarian assistance commodities are moving at a steady rate and distribution is improving. Shelter and sanitation continue to be issues of concern as the rains begin and disease control gains prominence. The World Food Programme (WFP) food distribution surge has reached 1.6 million people with a two-week ration of rice over the past eleven days. The Government and aid organizations are also focused on the needs of the estimated half-million people who have moved to outlying departments.

In the context of the upcoming rainy season, settlement location can be as much a factor in the loss of life as whether or not shelter material has been received. Sites need to be found that take the following into consideration: flood risk, congestion, clearance of rubble, and proximity to services. The CCCM Cluster is advocating with the Government to fast track the expropriation of large quantities of suitable private land within and outside the city, to enable safe decongestion in flood prone areas and move vulnerable populations to new safer sites before the start of the rains in early April.

The Petionville spontaneous settlement site (at the golf course) was assessed by a Shelter Cluster team on 9 February and is reported to be one of the most vulnerable sites for epidemics and flooding. The team estimates that 25,000 people are living at the site which is very densely populated. A large number of shelters are on unstable slopes and heavy rains will cause them to slide. Low lying areas are at significant risk of flooding, with the market area most at risk. The team also found insufficient fire breaks with no fire risk mitigation strategy for the site. The team recommended that new sites are identified for families to move to on a voluntary basis. This must be conducted after families are registered in order to ensure coverage of assistance.

The Dominican Republic Humanitarian Country Team completed an inter-agency assessment of the border area. The team estimates that approximately 168,000 internally displaced persons are living along the border on the Haitian side. The majority of them are living with host families. There are some spontaneous settlement sites, such as in Anse-a-Pitre, where there are more than 1,000 people living. Another 400 people are in a spontaneous settlement in Ganthier, very near to the road leading to Port-au-Prince. A joint assessment mission led by WFP will take place on 12 February to evaluate their needs.

To avoid an increase in unsolicited bilateral donations arriving in Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the Logistics Cluster has prepared a briefing paper that provides practical information for all entities wishing to send donated goods. All humanitarian aid sent to Haiti must be addressed to an entity as the intended recipient. Sending goods addressed to “The people of Haiti” is not sufficient. In accordance with internationally accepted guidelines, donations and distribution of bottles, infant formula and other powdered or liquid milk should not be made. The briefing paper is available on the Logistics Cluster website at: http://www.logcluster.org/ops/hti10a/briefing-unsolicited-donations

The security situation throughout the country remains stable despite increased reports of insolated incidents. Security around food distributions remains a concern and requires close coordination between MINUSTAH and humanitarian partners. The Government’s state of emergency period is scheduled to expire on 15 February.

The Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, Mr. John Holmes, arrived in Santo Domingo on 11 February to begin a three day visit to the Dominican Republic and Haiti.


8 February 2010 UN provides 272,000 Haitians with shelter; 1.1 million with food

The Civil Protection Agency of the Government of Haiti issued new statistics on the damage caused by the 12 January earthquake. As of 6 February, the estimated number of deaths has been assessed at 212,000 people and the estimated number of injured at more than 300,000 people. More than 1.2 million people are in spontaneous settlements and 467,701 people have left Port-au-Prince for outlying departments. Over 162,000 people have arrived in Artibonite department and over 90,000 in Centre department.

The provision of shelter material continues to be a priority in all affected areas. Approximately 272,000 people have been reached with emergency shelter support out of an estimated 1.2 million people displaced. The Shelter Cluster is working to synchronize its distribution of tents and tarpaulins in Port-au-Prince with the ongoing food distribution in order to centralize access points. The Government announced closure of all stone pits in order to stop any unplanned reconstruction.

Sanitation in the temporary settlement sites remains a concern. The WASH (Water and Sanitation Hygiene) Cluster estimates that 18,000 latrines are needed in Port-au-Prince to support 900,000 people. This would require 18,000 m2 of space for latrines but the physical space is not available due to congestion. It is estimated that less than 5 percent of the needs for latrines has been met based on one latrine per 50 people. The lack of dumping sites for waste is also a constraint.

With the arrival of thousands of people from Port-au-Prince in villages along the border with the Dominican Republic, the food security situation, which was already precarious prior to the earthquake, is getting worse due to the increased demand for food. The main source of income in the Haitian border area is subsistence farming with limited fertile soil. Trade flow between Port-au-Prince has been disrupted, making the supply of goods coming from the capital more difficult. This situation is further exacerbated by the inability of local communities to sell their surplus in Port-au-Prince markets. Due to the high level of deforestation, the border area will be particularly vulnerable during the rainy season.

The Nutrition Cluster reports that the Global Acute Malnutrition (GAM) rate is expected to rise in the coming months due to the stress of displacement, the rainy season and the seasonal hunger gap. The rainy season will increase morbidity rates for childhood diseases (ARI, diarrhea) while the hungry season (May-July) is anticipated to be particularly severe since the Gonaives area is likely to receive less rainfall than usual diminishing the harvest. The spring harvest usually accounts for up to 60 percent of the country’s yield.

Although post-crisis nutritional surveys and assessments are pending, the pre-crisis GAM rate was estimated at 4.5 percent for the affected areas, with severe acute malnutrition at 0.8 percent. At these levels, an estimated 17,500 children are suffering from acute malnutrition and 3,100 of these are severely malnourished and in need of life-saving assistance. Assessments are underway to determine the post-crisis GAM levels in highly affected areas.

Assessment by the OCHA sub-office in Leogane indicate that approximately 14,000 people are living in spontaneous settlement sites, while others are living closer to their destroyed homes. An estimated total of 80,000 to 120,000 people are in need of humanitarian assistance in Leogane commune. The most urgent needs are shelter, sanitation, food and water.

The Communication with Disaster Affected Communities (CDAC) group continues to work with partners to get messages to affected people. The Creole radio show, Novelles Utiles (News You Can Use), which is broadcast on 25 stations including MINUSTAH FM, the radio station of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti, has set up a phone line and begun soliciting feedback from listeners asking them to call in with questions about aid. Over 800 calls/texts have been received as of 7 February. The top question currently is about World Food Programme (WFP) distribution, specifically: how do I get a coupon; how much rice am I entitled to; what's going to happen when the two week programme ends. CDAC has been working closely with WFP to explain and promote the system, including interviewing a WFP spokesperson daily.

The data-collection phase for the country-wide multi-sectoral needs assessment has been completed. The data is being statistically weighted against existing population figures. Final results are expected by mid-week.

The security situation remains unchanged but there is growing concern over potential restiveness and crime prompted by shortages of shelter, jobs and sanitation.


5 February 2010 Officials plan for upcoming rainy season; Special Envoy Clinton visits region

The Haitian Prime Minister declared on 3 February that the death toll could be as high as 200,000 people with some 300,000 injured. The Government’s Civil Protection Agency is verifying the latest figures for dead and injured but has not issued an official update since 28 January when it reported that 112,405 had died and 196,595 were injured. The number of people leaving Port-au-Prince for rural areas – around 482,349 people – has also not been revised since 28 January.

Sanitation and vector control is becoming a major concern in many of the spontaneous settlements, which lack proper site planning, according to the WASH (Water and Sanitation Hygiene) Cluster. So far, seven organized settlements have been established for 42,000 displaced people but some 460,000 people are still living in 315 spontaneous settlements throughout Port-au-Prince, according to IOM. Available land continues to be sought particularly in the vicinity of heavily crowded spontaneous settlements in Champs de Mars, Place Boyer and Place St Pierre. UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) reports that there are an increasing number of children with diarrhea in temporary settlements.

To date, there has been no notification of events with epidemic potential, according to the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO). Disease surveillance continues. There are 52 government-defined sentinel sites, 12 of which are located in the metropolitan Port-au-Prince area. Investigations are also being conducted by three mobile teams from the Ministry of Health, the US Center for Disease Control and PAHO/WHO. The National Directors of Epidemiology of Haiti and the Dominican Republic conducted a joint visit to the border area in order to reactivate the surveillance network there.

The targeted immunization campaign (measles, diphtheria, rubella, tetanus and whooping) continues to focus on people living in densely populated temporary settlements. Six suspected measles cases have been reported (three in Port-au-Prince and three in Jacmel). Of these, one case in Port-au-Prince was confirmed as varicella and the other two discarded. The three cases in Jacmel are being investigated. Indigenous measles
had been eliminated from all countries in the Americas and intense efforts continue to keep the region measles-free and to control imported cases. Numerous cases of tetanus have been reported (one by University Hospital, four by MSF and more than nine by the Cuban brigade.)

The World Food Programme (WFP)-led food surge continues. Some 600,000 people have received a two-week ration of rice from 31 January to 4 February. WFP reports that people are having difficulty in the North and North-East departments to meet their basic food needs due to an increase in food prices. In addition, people in regions previously considered food secure are reportedly facing difficulties as prices of wheat and bread are become out of reach for the general population. WFP is reinforcing food assistance in the South West, North and Artibonite departments which are hosting significant numbers of displaced people from Port-au-Prince.

Contingency planning is underway to prepare for the upcoming rainy season, taking into consideration displaced populations and logistic shortcomings. Haiti experiences two rainy seasons: April to June and October to November; the hurricane season is from 1 June to 30 November. Over 90 percent of the recent disasters in Haiti have been linked to hydrological and clime-related hazards such as tropical cyclones, flash floods and landslides, all of which have been further exacerbated by massive deforestation.

The Government is evaluating the physical status of various ministries and state institutions, many of which were destroyed during the earthquake. The World Bank, EU, Canada and the US have offered to help with the relocation and reconstruction of buildings for the Government authorities. Given the level of damage inflicted on the Ministry of Education building, UNICEF has provided a 71m2 tent to ensure adequate working space for civil servants. The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) continues to provide support to the Ministry of Justice in retrieving archives from collapsed judicial buildings.

The UN Special Envoy for Haiti, President Bill Clinton, visited Port-au-Prince on 5 February after being asked by the Secretary-General to take on an expanded role in the relief and recovery effort. This was his second trip to Haiti since the 12 January earthquake. In his capacity as Special Envoy, President Clinton met with Haitian leaders and visited the Gheskio clinic and a camp for displaced people in Port-au-Prince. He also delivered approximately 1,900 pounds of much needed medical supplies. The former President also met with senior leadership of the UN, who briefed him on the situation on the ground, as well as with women leaders to answer their questions and listen to their concerns.

The security situation remains unchanged but there is growing concern of restiveness and crime prompted by shortages of shelter, jobs, and sanitation.


3 February 2010 Assistance to Haitians in outlaying areas remains a concern

Shelter assistance remains an urgent priority. Plastic sheeting is preferred over tents due to the lack of physical space and because it allows people to remain close to their homes. Four sites have been identified as official planned settlements for over 5,000 people but more suitable sites are needed. An additional 56 assessed sites could, pending available resources and Government approval, host at least 65,000 people, according to the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Sanitation is becoming a major concern at many of the temporary sites.

The removal of rubble from affected areas will help to expand the available land to accommodate displaced. According to US Agency for International Development Disaster Assistance Relief Team (USAID/DART), preliminary estimates indicate the presence of up to 20 million cubic yards of rubble to be removed from Port-au-Prince. Some 32,000 people have been hired through the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) cash-for-work programme to help clear rubble and remove waste in tented settlements and communal washing areas.

Getting assistance to people who have moved to outlying departments remains a concern. The World Food Programme (WFP) is reinforcing food assistance in Artibonite department. Food prices are reportedly still rising and people are having difficulty in the North and North-East departments in meeting their basic food needs, according to the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) offices in those areas. There is a concern that, due to lack of rain, the harvest in February/March will yield less than normal in the Gonaives area, which is considered the bread basket of the region.

Schools in unaffected areas were re-opened on 1 February but attendance has been low in the North-West and South departments. The Government has declared that all remaining schools will reopen by 1 March.

The immunization campaign started as planned on 2 February in Port-au-Prince, including at the soccer stadium hosting approximately 4,000 displaced. The overall target for the campaign is to reach around 530,000 children under 7, including approximately 250,000 children in settlements and 280,000 outside settlements, according to the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF). The vaccines include diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis for children under 7 years of age (with vitamin A) and diphtheria and tetanus for everyone aged over 8 years. The campaign is being led by the Ministry of Health with support from UNICEF, Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and partners and is expected to continue for the coming weeks.

Health Cluster partners have recorded over 1,000 amputations in Port-au-Prince. There are also reports that some 50 people have been paralyzed from spinal cord injuries. Amputees and patients with severe injuries need follow-up care after surgery to avoid complications or permanently disabling after-effects. Discharged patients are currently being sent back to their community or temporary settlements without the necessary essential basic care to avoid complications. Therapists are needed to provide post-surgery care.

MINUSTAH’s Human Rights and Child Protection Sections carried out an assessment mission in Léogane and surrounding areas to identify protection issues. The evaluation team reported that aid was reaching the metropolitan area of Léogane but areas outside of the city were neglected. The following areas had received no or very little aid to date: Orangers, Parcques, Beauséjour, Citronnier, Fond d’Oie, Gros Mornes, Cormiers, Petit Harpon, Fond de Boudoirs and Palmiste à Vin. Coordination with local authorities is viewed as crucial for effective delivery of humanitarian aid.

The overall security situation remains unchanged. On 1 February the Acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General traveled to Cite Soleil to meet with local officials and police. The SRSG noted that the restoration of security throughout Haiti was an ongoing priority of MINUSTAH. Together with the Haitian National Police, MINUSTAH has launched a campaign to identify and return escaped prisoners. Growing gang rivalries remains a concern in Port-au-Prince. UNPOL and HNP continue to maintain increased patrols in Cite Soleil and Marche de Fer. The Government decided to extend the state of emergency which was due to expire on 1 February for a further two weeks.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon asked UN Special Envoy for Haiti, President Bill Clinton to take on an expanded role in the relief and reconstruction efforts in Haiti. The Special Envoy will draw on the lessons learned in the aftermath of past disasters such as the Indian Ocean tsunami and through previous work in Haiti. In this role, President Clinton will continue to work with the Government and people of Haiti as they lead recovery and reconstruction efforts.


27 January 2010 Needs continue to outweigh relief response

As of 27 January, the Government is reporting that 112,392 have died and 196,501 people have been injured by the earthquake. Some 262,901 people have left the earthquake-affected areas for departments in the north and west, according to the Government. The number of displaced people ranges from 800,000 to one million.

Relief supplies are being distributed throughout affected areas but the needs continue to outweigh the response. The priorities for assistance are food, including ready-to-eat meals and beans and rice, and shelter, including tents and shelter material such as plastic sheeting The Shelter Cluster is currently trying to ascertain the exact numbers of tents in country and in the pipeline. Stoves are required to support the cooking of dry rations.

A Joint Operations Tasking Center has started operations and will enable the Haitian Government, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), the humanitarian community, the US and Canadian militaries to coordinate their support to the affected population. An increase in number of cancelled flight slots or no-show slots has been reported at Port-au-Prince airport. All carriers are urged to contact the flight operations centre at + 1850 283 54 77 if they are unable to meet scheduled arrival slot times. This will allow for urgent relief items to be delivered instead. Flights into Port-au-Prince should only contain cargo that is consigned to organizations that are able to move the cargo from the airport upon arrival and distribute or utilize the materials immediately.

While commercial activities have resumed in many parts of the country, retailers are expressing concern about the difficulties with procurement of new supplies to replenish stocks. All entry points in the country are being used exclusively for humanitarian aid, interrupting normal commercial supply lines. An increase in commodity prices has also been reported further increasing the number of people who are dependent on humanitarian assistance.

In order to help stimulate the local economy, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has started engaging Haitians in cash-for-work programmes. So far, some 7,500 people have been hired for initial activities such as rubble removal and road clearing. UNDP and World Food Programme (WFP) are currently discussing the possibility of accompanying the daily cash remuneration (150 Gourdes/$3) with a food ration, bringing the remuneration to 200 Gourdes/$5 a day. The second phase of the programme will focus on hiring people for reconstruction activities.

A joint Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA)/European Union (EU) assessment of Leogane on 25 and 26 January found that food, water and health remain priority concerns. Apart from one large settlement area at the Stade Gerard Christophe which houses about 400 families, no large makeshift camps were observed; most of the affected populations are in minor settlements throughout the town. According to the assessment team, a sense of frustration was expressed by the local population due to assistance not reaching those most in need. The team found that a number of organizations are distributing aid and providing assistance without coordinating their work with the local authorities.

The interagency rapid multi-sectoral needs assessment is underway and preliminary findings are expected by the end of the week. The assessment is being undertaken by 113 people working on 28 teams. As of 27 January, 25 out of 54 areas within Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas have been assessed. The results will provide an overview of the population's status regarding health, nutrition, shelter, water and sanitation.

A scoping mission for the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) will start on 8 February. The team will include representatives from the EC, the World Bank, the Inter American Development Bank and UNDP. It is likely that the full PDNA will take place during the last two weeks of February. The assessment will be used to understand longer term recovery needs. The findings and recommendations of the PDNA will be presented at the donor conference being planned for late March in New York .

Some 43,000 radios have been distributed to people in Port-au-Prince by the US as part of an overall effort to reach the people of Haiti via FM/AM broadcasting of Haiti public service announcements. PAHO/WHO is preparing key health messages (e.g. water sanitation, handling patients, etc.) and translating them for dissemination to the public.

The security situation in Port-au-Prince and other affected areas remains stable. There has been a need for crowd control measures at food distribution points and some distributions have been disrupted. Military escorts are required for UN relief distributions. MINUSTAH continues to assist nationwide efforts to apprehend recent prison escapees.


25 January 2010 Shelter a major priority as humanitarian efforts progress

At the Ministerial Conference on Haiti in Montreal, held on 25 January, the President of Haiti said that the priority needs are tents and food. He said that some 200,000 family tents are urgently needed for temporary shelter and that they should be transported to airports in Port-au-Prince , Barahona or San Isidoro. The need for tents is especially urgent due to the upcoming rainy season, which begins in April. He further asked for 36 million rations of ready-to-eat food to meet the needs of 1.5 million people for 15 days. Rice, beans and oil could be supplied as alternatives to cover some of these needs.

The Government is reporting that the movement of populations towards rural areas to the north and west of Port-au-Prince has slowed and has assessed the overall figure at 235,916 people, an increase of less than 1,000 over the past day. The largest influx, some 62,500 people, remains in Artibonite department.

In response to these population movements, joint assessment teams (UNDAC/EU/CDC and US military) have been visiting cities in six departments, including North, North West , Centre, Artibonite, Grand Anse and Nippes. To date, the findings indicate that although people are traveling to these areas in large numbers, the majority are being accommodated by relatives or returning to family homes. Large-scale shelter support is unlikely to be needed. Instead, local officials in some departments have indicated a need for medical support, food, non-food aid and security. Medical teams are reported to be present in good numbers in Center department but more support is needed in the other departments. The assessment teams were also told of an increase in crime in some areas and the risk from escaped convicts.

International Urban Search and Rescue teams (USAR) are continuing their drawdown. A small number of USAR teams remain active to respond to requests for search activities from the population, and to assist the Government with expertise and heavy-lifting equipment for debris removal.

Normal activity has returned to some parts of Port-au-Prince and market-level commerce is increasing, including the resumption of banking services, the opening of supermarkets and availability of fuel at most gas stations. The Government has contracted various companies to distribute water throughout the capital. The Government is also focused on resuming the country's public administration (specifically through the resumption of the payroll and pension system).

The Office of the Resident Coordinator in the Dominican Republic reports that the situation in Jimani remains stable. The Dominican Government, along with the UN and humanitarian actors, is improving coordination to ensure the quick transit of relief goods and personnel to Haiti . The port and airport at Barahona are fully operational. The World Food Programme (WFP) has negotiated exemption from taxes at the airport on all incoming humanitarian goods for the next six months.

The Ministry of Health of the Dominican Republic estimates that as of 22 January, 495 Haitian patients are in nine hospitals in the Dominican Republic . The majority (247 people) are in the Buen Samaritano Hospital in Jimaní. The influx of patients requiring emergency care in these hospitals is declining. International Organization for Migration (IOM) is assisting with the voluntary return of affected people to Haiti . A joint rapid assessment is being organized with cluster members in the Dominican Republic ; the focus will be on the following border towns: Jimani, Dajabon, Pedernales, Monte Cristi and Comendador. Preliminary results will be tentatively ready by the end of the week.

The United States Geological Service (USGS) has issued an assessment of aftershock hazards in Haiti . They report that the aftershock sequence of a magnitude-7 earthquake will continue for months if not years in the affected area. The frequency of events will diminish with time, but damaging earthquakes will remain possible in the coming months. The USGS estimates a 90 percent probability of one or more earthquakes of magnitude 5 or greater. They advise taking these findings into account during the rebuilding effort.

The overall security situation in Port-au-Prince remains stable but there have been isolated instances of looting and a recent incident where the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) troops fired warning shots and used tear gas. More and more police officers are reporting for duty, increasing capacity to an estimated 60-70 percent of pre-earthquake levels in Port-au-Prince .


24 January 2010 Humanitarian need and United Nations response

The United Nations Emergency Relief Coordinator and Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs John Holmes, the UNDP Administrator Helen Clark, and acting Special Representative of the Secretary-General Edmond Mulet are today attending the high-level ministerial conference in Montreal to prepare for Haiti 's reconstruction.

As of 24 January, the Haitian Government estimates the death toll from the 12 January earthquake at 112,250 deaths and 194,000 injured. The number of people in need of shelter ranges from 800,000 to one million. Delmas in Port-au-Prince has the highest number of displaced people, according to the Shelter Cluster. Tents and shelter material are urgently required and there is a need to start camp construction and management for displaced families.

An increasing number of people are leaving Port-au-Prince for outlaying areas. The Government estimates that 235,000 people have left the capital city using free transportation provided by the Government. There are 62,573 people who arrived in Artibonite department (administrative division used in Haiti ) as of 24 January. The numbers for other departments include: North, 13,500; North West : 31,250; North East 7,700; Center, 14,680; Grand Anse, 30,000; South, 22,425; Nippes, 30,000; and West, 22,800. Aid organizations are working to verify the numbers of people moving to rural areas. The numbers listed above do not include people leaving Port-au-Prince by private means, which remain undetermined.

The MINUSTAH (United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti ) presence in the Artibonite region reports a substantial increase in arrivals to the coastal port town of Saint Marc . Since new arrivals are being cared for by family members and friends, no new settlements sites have been developed. Aid organizations are encouraging new arrivals to register so that assistance can reach them. Several medical teams are operating in the Artibonite. They report that there is a need for orthopedic surgical material and blood. The overall situation is assessed to be under control.

The food cluster has reached over 500,000 people. The Haitian Government, World Food Programme (WFP) and other partners such as ADRA, ACTED, GOAL and MDM are involved in food distribution. As of 23 January, WFP has distributed 2.1 million rations to 321,313 people. Some 207,392 people were in the Port-au-Prince area and an additional 113,313 people were in other affected areas. WFP has also reached 900 people in the departments that are now hosting displaced people. The Government of Haiti is distributing food kits (staples, cooking gear) to 100,000-150,000 people a day. There have been two incidents of unrest at food distribution sites reported in Port-au-Prince over the last two days.

There are no reported outbreaks of communicable diseases including cholera, measles and rubella, according to WHO/PAHO. The Haitian Ministry of Health, in collaboration with PAHO, has developed an epidemiological surveillance form as part of an early warning system for communicable diseases. Completed forms will be collected daily from 31 sites composed of departmental hospitals, university hospitals, field hospitals and spontaneous settlements and sent to the National Epidemiology Office based at the National Health Laboratory.

The OCHA supported multi-cluster rapid need assessment will start on 25 January. It will be used to analyze the needs in health, food, shelter/NFI (non-food items), protection, and WASH (water and sanitation/hygiene). Twenty teams, composed of 3-5 national and international assessors trained in assessment methodology, will carry out the assessment by road and by helicopter from 25-27 January in Port-au-Prince and other affected areas. Information will be collected from 105 sites across Haiti (57 in Port-au-Prince and 48 outside of Port-au-Prince ). The information will be used to provide baseline information for humanitarian operations and to inform future requirements.


22 January 2010 Humanitarian efforts continue as search and rescue phase winds down

Humanitarian relief efforts continue in Port-au-Prince, Jacmel, Leogane and other affected areas. A lack of shelter and the overwhelming number of people with untreated injuries remains a concern. More aid is reaching people as additional transportation and fuel are becoming available for relief operations. There are reports that roads are more congested as fuel becomes available, potentially slowing the delivery of relief items. According to the Government, some 30 percent of gas stations are now operational.

As of 22 January, the Government has accounted for 111,481 confirmed deaths in four departments (South East, West, Nippes and West). It has also accounted for some 609,000 people without shelter in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area. These numbers remain preliminary while assessments continue.

The Government declared the search and rescue phase over at 1600 local time on 22 January. There were no new live rescues reported for the third day in a row. At the peak of the response there were 67 USAR teams in Haiti consisting of 1,918 staff and 160 dogs. One hundred and thirty-two live rescues were recorded by these teams between 13 and 21 January.

The Government continues to encourage people who have relatives in non-affected regions to leave Port-au-Prince . It is offering free transportation to those wishing to leave. So far, more than 130,000 people have been assisted by the Government with transportation to leave the city, according to the Civil Protection Department. The largest population movement has been to Artibonite department where 50,573 people have traveled. Some 30,000 people have gone to North West department, 20,530 to Centre department, 12,500 to North department, over 9,000 to Grande Anse, and over 9,000 to South department.

The total number of people leaving Port-au-Prince by private means remains undetermined. Aid agencies are reporting new influxes in St. Marc (Centre department) and Anse-a-Galets, Gonâve Island. Many of those arriving have injuries resulting from the earthquake.

From its discussions with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Food Agricultural Organization (FAO) estimates that the number of people fleeing damaged cities (Port-au-Prince and other affected cities such as Jacmel) to rural areas could get as high as one million. Approximately 50 percent of people in Port-au-Prince have family in other parts of the country and many can be expected to return for shelter and safety to their rural relatives, putting further pressure on already limited resources. Some 50 percent of Haitians (total population is 9 million) live in the countryside and 80 percent of those people live on less than a dollar a day, according to FAO.

Following the Government's encouragement to involve national voluntary associations in the relief effort, volunteers have offered their capacity and expertise to international partners and are now being utilized in Jacmel, Petit Goave, Carrefour and Port-au-Prince, among other places. Aid agencies also recognize the importance of starting cash-for-work and cash-for-food programmes to engage Haitians in the recovery effort and to help stimulate the economy.

According to the Office of the Resident Coordinator in the Dominican Republic , there are some 2,000 Haitians seeking assistance in Jimani and this number remains stable. The Dominican Government has designated a centre in Fond Parisien (in Haiti ) as a recuperation centre for patients being discharged from medical facilities in the Dominican Republic . The UN is establishing a coordination centre in Jimani to assist with relief activities. Strains are being placed on the water and sanitation systems in hospitals and other collective centres where Haitians are being treated or congregating. The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) continues to monitor children crossing the border to prevent unauthorized departures of minors.

The timing, scope and focus of a Government-led Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) are being discussed by the Haitian Government, the European Commission, United Nations, World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank. All parties are working to support the Government on issues relating to the PDNA in advance of the scheduled ministerial meeting on Haiti that will be held on 25 January in Montreal, Canada. The assessment itself will be preceded by a planning mission. The dates have not been determined. Advance preparations will include reviewing humanitarian assessments for recovery-related information. The PDNA is used to determine longer term recovery needs.

The security situation remains stable but the potential for unrest remains. There is concern that in some Port-au-Prince neighbourhoods (Belair, Martissant and Cité Soleil), formerly incarcerated criminals have returned and are attempting to reconstitute gangs.

Aftershocks continue to be felt in the area around Port-au-Prince , include two strong ones on 21 January. Some 50 aftershocks of magnitude 4.5 or greater have reportedly occurred since 12 January.


20 January 2010 Aftershock rocks area south of Port-au-Prince as humanitarian efforts continue

An aftershock of 6.1 magnitude on the Richer scale hit Haiti at 06:03 local time on 20 January. The epicenter of the aftershock was 5km south of the city of Petit Goave (approximately 60 km southwest of Port-au-Prince ). Search and rescue and assessment teams were dispatched to Petit Goave and Leogane to evaluate damage and to resurvey buildings for potential trapped survivors from the 12 January earthquake. No new deaths were reported but there were a number of injuries. Medical teams are remaining in Petit Goave overnight to provide assistance.

USAR teams continued their activities on 20 January. It was unclear if there had been additional live rescues at the time of reporting. Search and rescue activities will continue.

The Haitian Directorate for Civil Protection (DCP) has estimated that the earthquake resulted in 75,000 persons killed, 200,000 injured and one million displaced. Approximately half of all structures in Port-au-Prince are believed to have collapsed.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) estimates that there are more than 300 makeshift settlements scattered throughout the city, with an estimated 370,000 people living under improvised shelter with no access to water supplies, according to recent assessments. Until tents can be provided, priority needs for those in these settlements include plastic sheeting, water containers, and water purification tablets.

Work has started at a site recently identified in the suburb of Croix des Bouquets for a temporary settlement. A Brazilian battalion deployed with the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) is leveling the land for the establishment of a 30,000 person tented settlement which will facilitate aid delivery to a large numbers of displaced. The Inter-American Development Bank is planning to build permanent houses for 30,000 people at the same location.

The Government's free transport service for people wanting to leave Port-au-Prince remains active and many people are leaving affected areas. According to MINUSTAH Regional Office in Les Cayes, populations are arriving in Grande Anse, Nippes, South, and South west departments. The provision of tents to these populations and the installation of more organized and structured transit centres is priority.

The Prime Minister confirmed the Government's intention of building temporary settlements. The Government reminded humanitarian partners of the upcoming rainy season which starts in April and expressed its wish to provide shelter to all displaced by that date. President Préval broadcasted from radio MINUSTAH to the people of Port-au-Prince on 19 January sending a message of encouragement and explaining what the international community was doing to help Haitians.

The overall security situation remains stable despite isolated instances of looting and unrest. The conditions of prison facilities and earlier prison escapes continue to be cause for concern.


18 January 2010 Wide-range humanitarian response coordinated by United Nations underway

Urban Search-and-Rescue (USAR) activities continue with an additional two live rescues reported on 18 January. The total number of live rescues is 90 people by the USAR teams. USAR will continue operations and teams are increasingly reaching out to affected areas outside Port-au-Prince . The immediate priorities for the wider humanitarian response continue to be medical assistance, corpse management, shelter, water, and food and sanitation.

The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) reports that the overall security situation in Port-au-Prince remains stable, with limited, localized violence and looting occurring. It has assessed that most security incidents have been reported from areas that were categorized as high risk prior to the earthquake. Military escorts are required for the delivery of humanitarian assistance. The Government has declared a state of emergency throughout the country and national mourning for one month until 17 February.

The Government is prioritizing a rapid return to economic activities through the establishment of food and cash-for-work programmes, and through efforts to re-establish power and remove debris from roads. The Government has further advised severely affected populations to leave the city if they have family or friends in non-affected areas. To this end, it provided cash and fuel to a transport company to provide free transport. Reports have been received that thousands of displaced are leaving Port-au-Prince for rural areas.

Local banks have announced their plans to open 30 to 40 distribution points within the week for the population to access their bank accounts. The World Food Programme (WFP) reports that ad hoc sales of fruits and vegetables are sporadically beginning in the city. However, access to staple foods remains extremely difficult and expensive. Long, chaotic lines are forming at the few gas pumps that still work.

A slot system has been created for Port-au-Prince airport by the US Government. Slots are given pending the size of aircraft (bigger aircraft take longer to offload and take more space); aircraft requiring ramp space (small aircraft are parked on the grass, requiring no ramp space); and cargo transported as per priorities.

On 17 January, a technical assessment mission was carried out by IOM, the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and Haitian Government officials at Croix des Bouquets to gauge the area's suitability as a possible location for a large 100,000-person settlement. Further assessments were planned for 18 January with the aim of not just setting up a temporary settlement, but also starting construction of new houses with IADB funding.

An initial assessment by the United Nations Environment Programme, from 13 to 17 January, indicated no major acute environmental emergencies, but enormous issues for the anticipated recovery phase. The most urgent issues include waste management, medical waste, disposal of corpses and disposal of demolition material.


15 January 2010 Rescue operations and relief efforts

The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) reported that its military operations remain focused on supporting the delivery of humanitarian assistance and rescue operations.

MINUSTAH is reinforcing military and UN Police patrols throughout the city to prevent criminality.

The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in Haiti is coordinating more than 25 search-and-rescue teams that are now working on hospitals, schools, hotels and larger buildings. A further 13 teams are mobilizing and will receive support from the UN’s Disaster Assessment and Coordination Team at the airport.

With roughly 100 UN personnel believed to be trapped in the rubble of the Christopher Hotel, rescue efforts continued to locate people, using sniffer dogs and sensors, among other assets, but no new people have been found alive as of mid-day on Friday.

An aerial reconnaissance was conducted over Port au Prince on 13 January to detect the most affected areas and identify others where people have sheltered. This allowed aid workers to start distributing humanitarian assistance as of 14 January.

On the humanitarian side, flights carrying humanitarian aid have arrived from Spain, France, USA, Peru, Chile, Canada, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Brazil, with medical personnel and supplies, search and rescue teams, and food.

The Haitian Prime Minister and President met Thursday with MINUSTAH’s Deputy Special Representative in Charge of Humanitarian Assistance, Kim Bolduc. The Minister of Interior was assigned as a liaison officer to coordinate relief efforts with the international community, as per normal Government procedures.

On Friday, Jordanian, Brazilian and Colombian mobile military hospitals were expected to arrive to support the humanitarian efforts. One of them is to be soon installed nearby the Police Academy to take care of injured Haitian National Police Officers.

Food and water supplies were distributed in two main areas, and continues today in five others. The main zones of distribution are currently located in: Delmas 33, Bourdon (Primature), Centre Ville (downtown) and Place Boyer. The distribution has been carried out by MINUSTAH military personnel in cooperation with international humanitarian organizations and NGOs.

The World Food Programme (WFP) started feeding 8,000 people on a regular basis several times a day since Thursday.

The strong need for medical supplies and equipment prevails, as the situation in local hospitals remain precarious in terms of personnel and equipment.

At the nearby airport, the United Nations was working in strong coordination with the US Government, which has brought its own assets and expertise to the area, and with the Haitian Government, to whom the airport belongs.

The United Nations continued to look after security, in concert with the Haitian National Police.

An air shuttle service between Port au Prince and Santo Domingo would operation between the Haitian and Dominican Republic’s capitals once a day. Its purpose is to assist with rescue efforts and the delivery of humanitarian assistance, and to shuttle people on a priority basis. Journalists will be able to use this depending on availability.


13 January 2010 Assessing quake impact

Initial reconnaissance and aerial assessments have been undertaken. It is now clear that the earthquake has had a devastating impact on the capital, Port-au-Prince . The National Palace , the Cathedral, the Ministry of Justice and other important Government offices have been destroyed. Hotels, hospitals, schools and the national penitentiary have all suffered extensive damage.Buildings and infrastructure were heavily damaged throughout the capital. Basic services such as water and electricity have collapsed almost entirely. The remaining areas of Haiti appear to be largely unaffected, except for Jacmel..

The UN Headquarters at the Christopher Hotel collapsed in the quake. Many people are still trapped inside. Other UN offices have also been damaged, and 10 people are missing from the UNDP compound that houses UNFPA, UNAIDS, UNIFEM, WFP, OCHA and UNEP.

While the earthquake was felt as far afield as Les Cayes in the southwest and Gonaives to the north, little destruction has been reported in far-flung areas of the country. However, in the capital region, destruction is massive and broad, while Haitian services are visibly unable to cope.

The UN Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) has around 3,000 troops and police in and around Port-au-Prince to help maintain order and assist in relief efforts. MINUSTAH engineers have also begun clearing some of the main roads in Port-Au-Prince which will allow assistance and rescuers to reach those in need.

Casualties, which are vast, can only be estimated. An unknown number –tens if not hundreds of thousands –have suffered varying degrees of destruction to their homes.

UN personnel seriously injured in the earthquake were evacuated from all sites overnight to UN medical facilities near the airport, which remains operational.

Haitians, fearful of houses collapsing on them or of a second earthquake, slept in the streets of Port-au-Prince Tuesday night. Electricity supplies have been interrupted. Water is in short supply. Some major transportation routes have been severely disrupted by surface cracks, rocks and boulders, fallen trees and smashed cars.

UN family mounts rescue and aid effort

Both the Government of Haiti and the UN in Haiti have appealed for immediate and extensive relief supplies and assistance, including search and rescue capacity and medical personnel.

A team of search and rescue experts from China arrived today to assist MINUSTAH's efforts. Other search and rescue teams are reported to be arriving from Guadeloupe and the Dominican Republic and the United States . They will be deployed to major Government buildings, hotels and hospitals.

UN soldiers and police are helping to maintain law and order, as well as assisting with rescue operations.

Staff from the UN agencies, funds and programmes and from MINUSTAH's offices at Hotel Christopher have regrouped at the mission's logistics base, attached to the Port-au-Prince airport, where they continue to coordinate and support the incoming international relief effort.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that immediate health priorities in Haiti include search and rescue of survivors trapped underneath rubble plus the treatment of people with major trauma injuries. Other priorities are: the prevention of the infection of wounds, the provision of clean water and sanitation and ensuring breast-feeding is continued. WHO says that control of communicable diseases, such as diarrhoeal diseases and respiratory infections, will be another major concern in coming days.

In addition, WHO is deploying a 12-member team of health and logistics experts. The WHO experts being sent include specialists in mass casualty management, coordination of emergency health response and the management of dead bodies.

The World Food Programme (WFP) is mobilising all available resources to provide urgently needed food assistance as part of a swift and coordinated recovery effort. WFP is immediately airlifting an additional 86 metric tons of food from its emergency hub in El Salvador , which will provide more than half a million emergency meals.

In the initial stages of this crisis, WFP will be providing significant quantities of ready-to-eat food that can be consumed immediately by those who have no access to cooking facilities. High-energy biscuits will also be distributed to those who have lost their homes and can no longer feed themselves.

UNICEF says that it is clear that the consequences of the earthquake are severe and many children are among the victims. UNICEF is deploying necessary supplies to the affected areas as quickly as possible to assist with recovery efforts, including clean water and sanitation, therapeutic foods, medical supplies and temporary shelter.

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