Concern escalates humanitarian response in Haiti

ByConcern Worldwide

Concern escalates humanitarian response in Haiti

Concern Worldwide is scaling up its humanitarian response in Haiti where violence caused by armed groups has left the Caribbean nation in turmoil. The concern is addressing a major food insecurity crisis and responding to the needs of people displaced due to violence and extreme poverty.

It is also ensuring families have clean water and sanitation, as well as access to referrals for cases of sexual and gender-based violence in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince.

Haiti remains one of the top five most food-insecure countries in the world, with tens of thousands of people living one step below the technical threshold for famine in some areas.

Many areas of the small island nation are gripped by gang violence with more than 4,700 murders and over 2,500 kidnappings reported in 2023. Concern has received an additional $2.1 million in funding from USAID to assist over 32,800 people to help relieve the hunger crisis.

The aid organization also receives approximately $1 million a year from Irish Aid for its long-term development programs in Haiti.

“Our team in Haiti is providing life-saving support in response to this escalating humanitarian crisis. We are providing food assistance, via electronic vouchers, to help families purchase food from local vendors so that they can feed their families and prevent malnutrition in children as the situation worsens. The water-borne disease cholera continues to be a major problem. It killed more than 1,150 people last year alone. Our team is working with the local authorities and communities to prevent and mitigate the spread of cholera with waste removal, the installation of hand washing stations and the distribution of hygiene kits. We are especially focused on ensuring babies have clean water to prevent disease and to save their lives. The cycle and level of violence over the past year has led to increases in sexual and gender based violence [SGBV]. In collaboration with our local partners, Concern is improving access to services, including psychosocial support, for survivors. In 2023, Concern provided care to 3,077 SGBV survivors, ” said Concern’s Haiti Country Director Kwanli Kladstrup.

Concern has been working in Haiti since 1994 when the organization responded to Hurricane Gordon and has since responded to over 17 major disasters in the country. They included the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck on January 12, 2010, killing about 220,000 people, and the 7.2 magnitude earthquake which struck in the southern and western parts of Haiti on August 14, 2021.

Haiti also faces major development challenges with low levels of education, poor sanitation, and inadequate infrastructure.

These challenges are intensified and multiplied by the country’s extreme vulnerability to frequent natural disasters and the effects of climate change and epidemics.