The call comes amid reports that the situation in Haiti is deteriorating by the day, with citizens facing spiraling violence, human rights and food emergencies, as well as a cholera epidemic.
The influence of armed gangs is growing exponentially in the capital Port-au-Prince and beyond, reaching the Department of Artibonite, the country’s breadbasket. Armed violence – including kidnappings and sexual violence against women and girls – is also on the rise.
The six senior officials, representing UN aid agencies and international non-governmental organizations, met with people in need of humanitarian assistance, as well as with local and international partners.
They also held talks with Prime Minister Ariel Henry and other senior government officials, and met community representatives from areas controlled by or under the influence of armed gangs.
“The humanitarian needs in Haiti are unprecedented,” said Sara Bordas Eddy, director of the humanitarian field support section at UNICEF, at the end of the two-day journey. – The suffering of a Haitian child today is not comparable to the suffering of a Haitian child a few years ago. As humanitarians, we find ways to reach those in need, including in gang-controlled areas. For that to happen in a sustainable way, we also need the donor community not to give up on Haiti.”
Despite the difficulties, UN and NGO officials noted that humanitarian efforts continue to scale up, and pledged even more support to aid workers on the ground.
“The population feels desperate, but I also saw the resilience and potential of women and girls who want to help build a better future for their country, communities and families,” said Shoko Arakaki, UN Population Division Director of Humanitarian Affairs. Fund (UNFPA). “They need urgent health and psychosocial support, but also livelihoods and financial empowerment for recovery.”
This year, the UN and its partners will need $715 million to help more than three million people in Haiti. This is more than double the amount appealed for last year, and the highest amount since the 2010 earthquake.
Tareq Talahma, Acting Director of the Operations and Advocacy Division of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, also participated in the visit (AND A), Osnat Lubrani, Acting Director and Head of the Humanitarian Section at the UN Women’s Office in Geneva, Dominic MacSorley, the Humanitarian Ambassador for Concern Worldwide, and Mark Smith, Vice President of Humanitarian and Emergency Affairs of World Vision.
“More than just humanitarian aid, what the people of Haiti need is peace, security and protection,” Talahma said. “We cannot let Haiti become a forgotten crisis.”