Hurricane Matthew that hit the Caribbean in October 2016 has resulted in the largest humanitarian crisis in Haiti since the 2010 earthquake. This is at a time when the country already faces an increase in the number of cholera cases, severe food insecurity and malnutrition. UN needs help from the private sector to provide humanitarian relief and recovery in Haiti.
The timing of the hurricane, which struck during the second main harvest season, has compromised food security levels. Large areas of crops have been destroyed, which may lead affected communities to resort to negative coping strategies in the medium-term. Heavy rainfall and landslides have also damaged infrastructure – particularly in the south-west, south, and south-east but also in the north-west – making roads impassable, destroying bridges on critical supply lines and disrupting private-sector food supply chains. Food prices are expected to rise due to high demand, depletion of local supplies, and access constraints. WFP/FAO, national authorities and other humanitarian partners have begun immediate emergency assessments of food security needs (EFSA 72h), as well as a food market availability. Considering the negative impact of the hurricane on food availability and access, and the resulting reliance of the affected population on food relief, a deterioration of the nutritional status of vulnerable groups is anticipated in
the short term, particularly for children under five, pregnant and lactating women. Some parts of the departments hit by the hurricane were just recovering from a drought-induced nutrition crisis. Capacity of the health system for management of malnutrition is inadequate in this part of the country to absorb caseloads increases. To address acute malnutrition and associated morbidity and mortality, a combined approach aiming at treating severe cases and preventing deterioration is required.
For this, $56 million is required to reach 750,000 people. Priority Actions include:
1. Distribute relief food to 750,000 beneficiaries in the first 30 days to meet food needs and enhance food consumption of the most vulnerable and food insecure populations in the most affected areas.
2. Distribute cash to 750,000 beneficiaries in the following 60 days to meet food needs, enhance food consumption and nutritional diversity of the most vulnerable and food insecure populations in the most affected areas.
3. Restore and expand capacity for life-saving nutrition interventions for children under five suffering from Severe Acute Malnutrition (SAM) living in hurricane-affected districts.
4. Provide support to promote and sustain recommended IYCF (Infant and Young Child Feeding) practices in emergency context for children under two living in hurricane-affected districts.
5. Recover agricultural production through the distribution of seeds and planting material, restoration of small livestock and rehabilitation of rural assets and small irrigation infrastructures.