UN launches $84 million appeal to address urgent needs of Haiti’s poor

22 April 2003 –

The United Nations today launched an $84 million appeal to support its efforts to address over the next 18 months the emergency needs of the most vulnerable in Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

The appeal seeks to mobilize the international community to respond to an extremely serious humanitarian situation affecting the poorest of Haiti’s 8.3 million people, a crisis that the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said could deteriorate.

Launched in Port-au-Prince by the UN Country Team for Haiti, the “Integrated Emergency Response Programme (IERP): Targeting Vulnerable Communities and Populations in Haiti,” aims to meet immediate humanitarian needs in the short-term and improve food security in the long-term. OCHA said the programme has three overlapping phases covering periods of six, 12, and 18 months.

The first phase, which seeks $14.4 million, comprises emergency interventions to prevent loss of life and alleviate suffering. The most vulnerable populations, including families who have taken children orphaned by HIV/AIDS, will receive food aid, essential medicines and water through programmes of six months’ duration.

Farmers will receive assistance to enable them to resume production and improve access to basic services during the 12-month second phase. Roughly $22 million is sought for projects, which include providing farmers with agricultural inputs and livestock.

The UN needs $47.5 million for the final phase of projects designed to reduce food insecurity by diversifying opportunities for economic growth and development over an 18-month period. Projects will also seek to reduce vulnerability to natural disasters, as well as improve education, governance and security in the country.

According to the UN Development Programme (UNDP), 56 per cent of Haiti’s population is suffering from malnutrition. Only 46 per cent of the population has access to clean drinking water and 42 per cent of its population lives beneath the poverty line.

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