The mission of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors.
Haiti • Earthquake
Situation Report #14
27 January 2010
This report was issued by OCHA New York. The next report will be issued on or around 29 January 2010.
I. HIGHLIGHTS/KEY PRIORITIES
• Hundreds of thousands of people remain in need of food and shelter.
• Thousands of stoves are required in order to transition from ready-to-eat meals to the provision of dry rations of rice and beans.
• Cases of tetanus have been reported as well as suspected cases of measles in Leogane, according to WHO/PAHO. A vaccination campaign for diphtheria and tetanus, DTT and measles will begin next week.
• All schools remain closed but schools in non-affected departments will reopen on 1 February, according to UNICEF.
• Cash-for-work and cash-for-food programmes are starting to be used to engage Haitians in the recovery effort and to help stimulate the local economy.
• The multi-cluster rapid assessment is ongoing. The results will provide an overview of the population’s status regarding health, nutrition, shelter, water and sanitation.
II. Situation Overview
As of 27 January, the Government is reporting that 112,392 have died and 196,501 people have been injured by the earthquake. Some 262,901 people have left the earthquake-affected areas for departments in the north and west, according to the Government. The number of displaced people ranges from 800,000 to one million.
Relief supplies are being distributed throughout affected areas but the needs continue to outweigh the response. The priorities for assistance are food, including ready-to-eat meals and beans and rice, and shelter, including tents and shelter material such as plastic sheeting The Shelter Cluster is currently trying to ascertain
the exact numbers of tents in country and in the pipeline. Stoves are required to support the cooking of dry rations.
A Joint Operations Tasking Center has started operations and will enable the Haitian Government, MINUSTAH, the humanitarian community, the US and Canadian militaries to coordinate their support to the affected population. An increase in number of cancelled flight slots or no-show slots has been reported at Port-au-Prince airport. All carriers are urged to contact the flight operations centre at + 1850 283 54 77 if they are unable to meet scheduled arrival slot times. This will allow for urgent relief items to be delivered
instead. Flights into Port-au-Prince should only contain cargo that is consigned to organizations that are able to move the cargo from the airport upon arrival and distribute or utilize the materials immediately.
While commercial activities have resumed in many parts of the country, retailers are expressing concern about the difficulties with procurement of new supplies to replenish stocks. All entry points in the country are being used exclusively for humanitarian aid, interrupting normal commercial supply lines. An increase in commodity prices has also been reported further increasing the number of people who are dependent on humanitarian assistance.
In order to help stimulate the local economy, UNDP has started engaging Haitians in cash-for-work programmes. So far, some 7,500 people have been hired for initial activities such as rubble removal and road clearing. UNDP and WFP are currently discussing the possibility of accompanying the daily cash remuneration (150 Gourdes/$3) with a food ration, bringing the remuneration to 200 Gourdes/$5 a day. The second phase of the programme will focus on hiring people for reconstruction activities.
A joint OCHA/EU assessment of Leogane on 25 and 26 January found that food, water and health remain priority concerns. Apart from one large settlement area at the Stade Gerard Christophe which houses about 400 families, no large makeshift camps were observed; most of the affected populations are in minor settlements throughout the town. According to the assessment team, a sense of frustration was expressed by the local population due to assistance not reaching those most in need. The team found that a number of organizations are distributing aid and providing assistance without coordinating their work with the local authorities.
The interagency rapid multi-sectoral needs assessment is underway and preliminary findings are expected by the end of the week. The assessment is being undertaken by 113 people working on 28 teams. As of 27 January, 25 out of 54 areas within Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas have been assessed. The results will provide an overview of the population’s status regarding health, nutrition, shelter, water and sanitation.
A scoping mission for the Post Disaster Needs Assessment (PDNA) will start on 8 February. The team will include representatives from the EC, the World Bank, the Inter American Development Bank and UNDP. It is likely that the full PDNA will take place during the last two weeks of February. The assessment will be used to understand longer term recovery needs. The findings and recommendations of the PDNA will be presented at the donor conference being planned for late March in New York.
Some 43,000 radios have been distributed to people in Port-au-Prince by the US as part of an overall effort to reach the people of Haiti via FM/AM broadcasting of Haiti public service announcements. PAHO/WHO is preparing key health messages (e.g. water sanitation, handling patients, etc.) and translating them for dissemination to the public.
The security situation in Port-au-Prince and other affected areas remains stable. There has been a need for crowd control measures at food distribution points and some distributions have been disrupted. Military escorts are required for UN relief distributions. MINUSTAH continues to assist nationwide efforts to apprehend recent prison escapees.
III. Humanitarian Needs and Response
The 12 clusters1 designated in the Flash Appeal are holding regular meetings to coordinate their joint efforts.
The Logistics Cluster reports that the airport at Port-au-Prince continues to receive large quantities of incoming goods but the situation on the tarmac is improving. Goods are offloaded into a secure humanitarian cargo area with a military unit in place, with loading and transport for airlift if required. Port-au-Prince can only handle about 6 wide body planes per day. Smaller planes are preferred. Larger planes can land but it adds to the congestion. In order to ease traffic at the Port-au-Prince airport, flights can choose to arrive in the Dominican Republic, from where cargos can be transported to Haiti by road.
A taskforce has been formed in Miami with representatives of SOUTHCOM, UNHAS and the Logistics Cluster to establish slot prioritization procedures at Port-au-Prince’s Toussaint L’Ouverture Airport.
UNHAS expects to deploy three helicopters, based in Barahona from 28 January. The helicopters are primarily for cargo transport, with a capacity from 2 to 4 metric tons depending on flight distance. Passenger capacity is 20 persons. A small cargo aircraft has been mobilized by UNHAS from Santo Domingo and can be tasked to bring in urgent cargo should the need arise.
Requests for security in Port-au-Prince will soon be accommodated by the new Joint Operations Tasking Centre, which will designate the appropriate personnel to meet the request, whether MINUSTAH, UNPOL, or potentially US Military. Requests for security for areas outside Port-au-Prince should be directed to the regional MINUSTAH units.
The Logistics Clusters has asked all organizations operating in the Haiti response to provide their pipeline information for better coordination and overview of the humanitarian response.
As of 26 January, WFP and its partners have distributed approximately 3.6 million food rations to a total of 458,000 people. Some 283,000 people have been reached in Port-au-Prince, an increase of 40,000 people since 24 January (as reported in the last situation report). A total of 175,000 people have been reached in other affected areas, an increase of 18,000 people over the past two days. WFP estimates that an additional 70,000 people have been reached in Port-au-Prince by other food actors over the past two weeks.
The WASH Cluster reports that water it is reaching 308,000 people through 133 distribution points in Port-au- Prince. Cluster partners are expanding coverage, specifically to Leogane and Jacmel. Additional boreholes and new contractors are being identified to increase production and distribution capacity. Five private companies are currently involved in water production and distribution. UNICEF is supporting the overall operation with provision of fuel and cash assistance.
In addition to water distribution, sanitation is a high priority for the cluster, especially with the onset of the rainy season approaching. Latrines have been constructed in Leogane, Petit Goave and Grand Goave, supporting 20,000 people as of 25 January.
According to the Office of the Resident Coordinator in the Dominican Republic, a monitoring visit to Buen Samaritano hospital found that the centre is experiencing problems with the water supply. The 65,000 gallon reservoir may have cracked following an aftershook and is being tested. The hospital reportedly needs 1,000 gallon water tanks, portable toilet units and bags for waste disposal.
The Ministry of Health has defined the current priorities as post-operative care and specialized services (such as rehabilitation from amputations). They have also asked for support in increasing the capacity of health facilities outside of Port-au-Prince.
MSF is reporting that the psychological impact of the disaster is becoming more apparent in the symptoms being seen at MSF’s general clinics; one, in Leogane, reported that approximately half of the people receiving treatment were suffering from mental trauma.
In Leogane, medical teams have reported a growing caseload of diarrhea in the last two to three days. There have also been cases of tetanus reported as well as suspected cases of measles in Leogane. PAHO/WHO is working to strengthen surveillance networks to ensure that outbreaks of communicable diseases, particularly water-borne and respiratory diseases, are identified early for more rapid control and saving of lives.
UNICEF, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and WHO/PAHO, will begin a vaccination campaign against diphtheria and tetanus, DTT and measles on 2 February. Children aged 6 months to at least 5 years will be among the targeted groups (approximately 600,000 children) and will also be provided vitamin A.
The Israeli field hospital located on the national road number 1 is closing on 28 January. This field hospital was installed on 15 January and provided treatment for 1,200 patients, completed 300 surgeries and assisted 16 births. Médecin sans Frontières France has opened a field hospital with 180 beds and two operating theatres in Delmas 33 (in the soccer field Saint Louis de Gonzague).
Shelter/Non-Food Items (NFIs)
The Government has requested that all available tents should be set up in visible sites as soon as possible. The Cluster site planning sub group has decided to target all available tents to large sites instead of delivering them in insufficient numbers to a number of spontaneous settlements, creating protection issues and discontent.
The Shelter Cluster has distributed non-food items (tarps, tents and blankets) to 9,524 households over the past two days. Hygiene kits, jerry cans and buckets have been distributed to 266 households in Port-au- Prince over the same period. In addition, cluster partners are in the process of installing 400 shelter boxes in the settlement site “Congrès Charismatique” in Tabarre – a site identified by the site planning sub group.
IOM reports that some 4,000 tents of various sizes are available in country. Cluster partners have further reported that a total of 41,530 tents are currently in the pipeline (arrival date unknown). These numbers are considered as preliminary and their verification by IOM is continuing.
The Shelter Cluster is urging all partners to report shelter and NFI numbers in order to gain an overview of the distributions so far and what is in the pipeline. Despite improvements, data collection remains a challenge due to the extent of sites, fluctuating data quality, difficulties in communication and highly dynamic migration patterns. The cluster is calling for the mobilization of more experts to assist in the planning of the cluster response.
The main challenges for the Shelter Cluster include: the scarcity of open spaces in Port-au-Prince; the uncertainty regarding the security of remaining buildings; the density of the population; and the approaching rainy season. The combination of immediate shelter assistance with more durable settlement solutions also remains a challenge.
UNICEF is finalizing two partnership agreements with Action Contre La Faim and Concern to begin substantive nutritional programmes. Interventions will include treatment of severe acute malnutrition targeting an estimated 40,000 children. The Centre for Disease Control is providing technical support to get more precise demographic data for use by all nutrition cluster partners. Priority areas for treatment include spontaneous and organized camp sites, orphanages, health facilities and displaced families integrated into
Due to high numbers of orphans and mothers who are not able to breastfeed, there is a need for infant formula, but this should be provided in a controlled way. The cluster calculates that approximately 300,000 children from age 2 and younger may require support for infant and young child feeding. A sub-cluster has been activated in Port-au-Prince to oversee all aspects of infant feeding and to ensure coordination. A major concern remains the handling of unsolicited goods, especially goods that may cause harm if misused, such as breast milk substitutes.
The Ministry of Education and the Education Cluster are planning a rapid needs assessment of public and private schools in three affected areas (Port-au-Prince, other affected cities in West department, and South department) and seven non-affected departments with displaced populations. Inspectors and partners are being trained on the assessment methodology. The assessment is scheduled to start on 1 February.
The cluster estimates that 1.8 million children and 5,000 to 8,000 schools have been affected by the earthquake. All schools remain closed but schools in non-affected departments will reopen on 1 February.
The Ministry of Education, education partners and private sector institutions are discussing a short, mid and long-term strategy for education. Efforts are underway to use the crisis as an opportunity to establish a harmonized education system for the country, with one curriculum for public and private institutions under the lead of the Ministry.
A Protection sub-cluster group on gender-based violence (GBV) met on 22 and 25 January (UNIFEM, UNFPA, UNAIDS, MINUSTAH, ActionAid, CARE and Plan). Efforts are being made to find out which centres and services are able to function and to better understand which national NGO partners are capable of working to promote the application of the GBV platform. A workshop is planned to map out coverage areas and to identify training and material needs. Existing national guidelines, which mirror those of the IASC, will
The child protection sub-cluster continues rapid assessments in settlement sites, orphanages, and hospitals. Some 60 orphanages have been reached so far. The rapid registration of especially vulnerable unaccompanied children has started with specific agreed-upon criteria for registration, including unaccompanied children who are under five and those with mental or physical disabilities. A database for separated or unaccompanied children will be operational by 28/29 January.
UNICEF has established three temporary shelters in Port-au-Prince with a capacity of accommodating 900 separated or unaccompanied children. Some 220 children are being supported with tracing/reunification, food, psychosocial support and medical assistance. Following continuous reports of children being released from hospitals without authorized caregivers, a procedure has been put in place with hospitals to contact UNICEF in case of discharge for the child to be referred to one of UNICEF’s temporary shelters.
The Agricultural Cluster is monitoring prices in areas receiving displaced urban populations. The first indications show significant price increases for the main food items. Work is underway to monitor the prices in more locations and have a better understanding of the impact of the earthquake on food prices.
Rapid assessments in the rural areas from Leogane to Jacmel showed two different levels of devastation: from Leogane to Fond d’Oise, rural houses have been seriously affected and many are destroyed; after Fond d’Oise, destructions of rural houses is less serious with some still standing. The road to Jacmel and the agricultural market of Marigot, one of the most important in the South East department, is broken in different areas, slowing down traffic and reducing lanes to one, in part of the road. Trade of agricultural and food
products has been affected and there is a noticeable reduction in the number of intermediaries and traders of food in main market areas along the food supply chain.
The cluster reports that security and logistics remain a challenge to their operation. The high number of users is creating congestion to the network provided to the humanitarian community. In addition, the lack of proper office facilities and high temperatures are causing strain on the communications equipment further interrupting access to the internet. The cluster has created a helpdesk for staff and organizations in need of assistance.
The UNDAC team has ended it operations in Haiti and handed over its functions to the OCHA Haiti Office, which has a presence in Port-au-Prince, Leogane and Jacmel. (UNDAC team members are still operating in Santo Domingo). The OCHA Haiti Office is focusing on the establishment of a ‘who is doing what where’ (3W) matrix to support overall coordination and identify gaps in the response.
The Joint Operations Tasking Center (OCHA, MINUSTAH and international military forces) became operational on 26 January. It is systematizing requests and coordination for the use of military assets by humanitarian partners. A UN civil military coordination officer has been dispatched to Leogane to ensure liaison and coordination between humanitarian organizations and the international military operating in the area.
An InterAction representative arrived in Port-au-Prince and is setting up an NGO coordination cell which will be co-located with the OCHA office. The main functions of this cell will be assistance with inter-NGO coordination, facilitation of NGO-UN coordination, and ensuring inclusion of national NGOs in humanitarian coordination structures. The NGO coordination cell will be reinforced by an ICVA representative next week.
According to the Financial Tracking Service (FTS), the Flash Appeal is currently 77 percent funded. Of the $575 million requested, $443 million has been received and $12 million has been pledged. Donors are urged to convert all pledges into cash. Agriculture, Early Recovery and Education sectors remain under-funded.
FTS documents all contributions and pledges to projects not listed in the Flash Appeal. To date, the combined total is more than $742 million in funding with almost $920 million in uncommitted pledges.
The Emergency Relief Response Fund for Haiti so far has $23 million. To date, 30 project proposals have been received. Global Cluster Leads are requested to review and coordinate proposals with their field-based clusters prior to submitting their projects to Caroline Peguet, firstname.lastname@example.org and copied to errf-Haiti@un.org.
All companies that wish to donate funds are urged to use the new UN/business partnership gateway, at http://business.un.org. This function matches offers of support with UN needs.
All humanitarian partners, including donors and recipient agencies, are encouraged to inform FTS of cash and in-kind contributions by sending an email to: email@example.com.
Websites and document links:
Haiti coordination website: http://haiti.oneresponse.info
For more information, please visit: www.reliefweb.int
For information on OCHA: http://ochaonline.un.org/haiti
Guide to humanitarian giving for the Haiti Earthquake: http://ochaonline.un.org/donatetohaiti
For information on ICRC’s family tracing service, go to: http://www.familylinks.icrc.org/familylinks.
For the logistics cluster: http://www.logcluster.org/ops/hti10a
For the shelter cluster: http://groups.google.com/group/shelterhaiti2010
ICRC Q&A on the risk of dead bodies to public health: http://www.icrc.org/web/eng/siteeng0.nsf/htmlall/health-
UNHAS flights from SD to PAP: http://www.logcluster.org/ops/hti10a/flash-news-17-january-2010-unhas
Gender ABCs for Haiti: http://oneresponse.info/crosscutting/gender/
If you would like to be added to deleted from OCHA’s global sitrep mailing list, please email
firstname.lastname@example.org with sitrep in the subject line.
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