PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI – Nearly half of Haiti’s population needs humanitarian assistance this year due to gang violence, hunger, and cholera. The United Nations and its partners are seeking $720 million to provide lifesaving assistance.
Haiti’s appeal for funds this year is more than double the amount requested in 2022, underscoring the scale, severity, and urgency of the humanitarian crisis in the country.
Over the past five years, Haiti has seen an increase of 5.2 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. It is estimated that 60 percent, or 3.2 million, of people in need will be reached by the 2023 Humanitarian Response Plan. The plan will be published in full on 19 April.
“This year’s Humanitarian Response Plan comes at a critical time,” said Ulrika Richardson, the Humanitarian Coordinator in Haiti.
“With the situation in the country rapidly deteriorating, this year’s Plan will address the most immediate humanitarian and protection needs while strengthening people’s and institution’s resilience to natural shocks. At the same time, what the people of Haiti desperately want is peace and security, and we should all support efforts to that end.”
Gang violence is one of the key drivers of the crisis, which continues to spread across the country. In the suburbs of Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital, nearly 80 percent of the area is controlled or influenced by gangs, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
“There is a constant climate of fear, especially in Port-au-Prince,” Ms. Richardson said. “Haitians put their lives at risk simply by trying to go to work, feed their families or take their children to school.”
The impact of armed violence is disproportionately felt by women and girls, and also by boys. In the country, gang rapes and other forms of sexual violence are terrorizing the population, including young children as young as 10. While this is happening, children are being recruited and used by gangs for a variety of purposes as well.
Haiti’s UN and partners are preserving humanitarian space and providing access to the most vulnerable, including in gang-controlled areas. In order to reach the millions of people in need, funding for this year’s Humanitarian Response Plan is essential.