The Government of Haiti has declared a national state of emergency and has called for international assistance. In support of the Government efforts, humanitarian actors including the United Nations, have released a UN Flash appeal of USD 39.2 million, while the IFRC has launched a preliminary Emergency appeal of EUR 1.8 million.
In 6 out of 10 departments, the agricultural situation is very worrying, with reports about substantial losses to crops and livestock, compounded by the fact that many of the affected areas had previously been hit, subsequently, by a drought and Tropical Storm ISAAC two months ago.
Rural areas and specifically the Grande Anse, South, South East, Nippes and West departments have been most affected by the hurricane. In the Grande Anse and South departments (which, after the drought and Tropical Storm ISAAC, were the only areas with substantial agricultural production left), some communes are estimated to have lost more than 50% of their harvest, some areas report losses in food crops of up to 80%.
Losses of livestock and fishery assets, including boats are also significant, resulting in a acute food insecurity in large parts of the country.
1,500,000 people are now at risk of severe food insecurity, according to the UN appeal, due to the loss of agricultural land, assets and harvests. Prospects of the food security situation at medium term remain a serious concern.
The hurricane is a reminder of the extreme vulnerability of the earthquake IDP population to natural disasters and epidemics. Like the rest of the population, the IDPs have also been affected by both Tropical Storm Isaac and Hurricane Sandy.
Damage to shelters (up to up to 33,000 homes were flooded/damaged/destroyed), to water and sanitation infrastructures (including severe damage to Cholera Treatment Centres and water supply network), to road infrastructure (with areas still inaccessible), is reported. With the extensive flooding, the number of cholera cases is on the rise and needs to be monitored closely to avoid a massive outbreak, in a context of reduced presence of humanitarian actors.
DG ECHO's own assessment and as well as assessments of partners reveal that the priority needs are food assistance/food security (including interventions related to restoring assets and livelihoods lost), shelter (emergency shelter, shelter kits, material and/or vouchers/cash, together with training on safe self-reconstruction), non-food relief items, emergency water, sanitation and hygiene activities, health with focus on epidemics surveillance and cholera response, replenishment of emergency stocks and DRR mitigation activities.
To address the situation and the needs of families in the most affected departments, the total amount allocated to this HIP is increased by EUR 4,000,000 under the Humanitarian budget line.