Analysis of the context, crisis and needs
Haiti has faced recurring sociopolitical and economic challenges for several decades. These challenges are mostly based on deep-rooted structural issues, and the country remains highly prone to natural hazards and the effects of climate change. In 2020, Haiti suffered further from the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of confirmed cases and fatalities remains relatively low compared to other countries in the region, but the secondary consequences have impacted access to essential services and increased the risk of violence and stigmatization.
The country’s economic situation further deteriorated in 2020, closely linked to the value of the local currency and the consequences of the pandemic. Economic growth is expected to decline by 3.1 per cent in 2020 as the service sector contracts and supply chains are disrupted, as the global economy heads into recession. The fiscal deficit is expected to widen to over 6 pe cent of GDP (from a pre-COVID-19 forecast of 3 per cent) and inflation is expected to reach over 20 per cent.
An upsurge in gang violence has displaced hundreds of families. In late August, Tropical Storm Laura caused flooding in several departments, directly affecting around 8,800 families. The decrease of the overall PIN from 4.6 to 4.4 million is mostly linked to the fact that more than 1 million people facing food insecurity in 2020 have been assisted. Food insecurity, health, education, access to water and protection were the most affected sectors in 2020. This was due to adverse climatic, economic and political conditions, access constraints due to the pandemic and heightened insecurity. The IPC analysis conducted in August 2020 estimated that 4 million people are currently affected by acute food insecurity (phases 3 and 4).
Projected situation in 2021 and beyond
The humanitarian landscape in Haiti in 2021 will largely depend on the evolution of the country's political and socioeconomic situation, which could further affect access to essential services and impact the most vulnerable people. The risk of violence due to legislative elections next year must be accounted for. Gang violence, corruption, impunity, poverty, gender inequality, limited access to basic services and severe depletion of natural resources will remain at the root of recurring political and socioeconomic crises. Moreover, any sudden-onset emergency (hurricane, earthquake) or climate-related impact (e.g. drought) will represent a threat to Haiti’s recovery efforts.
In 2021, around 4.4 million people will need humanitarian assistance. Pregnant or breastfeeding women, children, the elderly, people with disabilities, displaced people and those in rural areas are likely to suffer from increasingly difficult living conditions. The changes and their associated effects on people are expected to last beyond 2021, as trends show continued high levels of food insecurity, violence and displacement. The HRP will be revised accordingly for 2022.
Response priorities in 2021
In 2020, an estimated 1.4 million people received humanitarian assistance – 61 per cent of the targeted population. Food security assistance has enabled people to maintain their livelihoods. The health impact of the pandemic has been largely contained due to the joint efforts of all partners in supporting the Haitian authorities. Despite many difficulties, thousands of people continued to benefit from essential services even though access was limited.
Insecurity, poor road conditions, and logistical and COVID-19-related constraints hampered physical access to affected populations. Pre-existing coordination challenges were further compounded by the inability of partners and stakeholders to meet in person, and frequent electricity and network interruptions.
Around 1.5 million people of the 4.4 million who need humanitarian assistance will be targeted in 2021. This number includes all people in IPC phase 4 and the most vulnerable populations in 65 (out of 140) communes prioritized in the HRP.
The HCT has identified four strategic orientations for the response over the next two years:
- Reduce acute vulnerabilities and strengthen resilience through joint efforts of humanitarian and development actors, considering the structural nature of humanitarian needs in Haiti.
- Increase people’s capacity to meet their basic needs through strengthening access to basic services, improving food security, and decreasing mortality and morbidity due to preventable diseases.
- Enhance accountability to affected populations, particularly to the most vulnerable groups, by strengthening their access to protection services, engaging them in all phases of the response and increasing their self-reliance.
- Strengthen emergency preparedness and response to restore access to services and autonomy following a disaster, and to contribute to the empowerment of institutions and civil society.
Acute vulnerabilities have increased over the past few years due to a combination of sociopolitical crises and shocks. Despite this, financial requirements have slightly decreased compared to those established in 2019. This is mainly due to the commitment to better prioritize humanitarian interventions, and to strengthen the partnership with development actors within the nexus framework.