“FORGETTING THE FORGOTTEN”: ON THE VERGE OF A DEEPENING, CHRONIC CRISIS:
Press Release from CLIO and CCO
We, members of CCO & CLIO, the 2 largest NGO associations in Haiti, raise the alarm on the intensifying consequences caused by the neglected management of the chronic and severe hazards devastating Haiti. On October 4th, Hurricane Matthew slammed the western coasts of the island to devastating effect. Packing 240 km/h gusts, the Category 4 storm killed hundreds of people & destroyed houses, roads, livelihoods, schools, health facilities, agriculture and livestock. Compounding the devastation, several weeks later, 4 days of consistent rains caused massive flooding, exacerbating a 6 year cholera epidemic underlined by spikes in new infections and even deaths. Prior to the storm’s passage, the extremely exposed nation was already struggling to overcome a severe drought caused by the El Nino weather phenomenon. Taken together, approximately 50% of the country’s population of 10.5 million has been affected and is now even more vulnerable than before.
1 month after the event, only 40% of the UN & Haiti Government flash appeal is accounted for, while one of the most productive agriculture areas in the country has seen unprecedented levels of damage. 80% of the food chain capital has been wiped out thereby obstructing the country’s ability to even feed itself in the coming weeks and months. The ecosystem in those areas is destroyed. The timing was also devastating given that harvests were being prepared as the storm irreversibly smashed into the island. If a strong, consolidated and sustained response is not triggered the consequences will be unbearable regarding the populations health, nutrition, shelter, livelihoods and more. In summary given the scope of damages as well as human suffering, it is shocking to see the relatively small attention afforded it in comparison to emergencies of similar scale in other areas of the world. As such we demand the following:
- Donor commitments must be raised by at least 60% to ensure the full funding of the flash appeal
- The donor community must follow up with specific attention paid to the upcoming humanitarian needs overview and commit to resourcing the recovery plan
- Long term donors must engage with relevant Haiti government and civil actors on early transition work to allow for a prompt rehabilitation and reconstruction without delay
- Support must be increased to the Haiti government to ensure a responsible governance of the response, particularly on communications and multi-sector strategizing and implementation
In conclusion, we members of the CCO & CLIO question the tolerance of donor governments faced with the plight of millions in despair. We call on the principle of needs based funding in respect of humanitarian core values to guide decision-making and resource allocation to Haiti, as well as Cuba and Dominican Republic. The time for action is NOW!!! Otherwise, if the response doesn’t go correctly, this situation could trigger a series of actions that could go from bad to worse and difficult to repair. And humanity collectively runs the risks of counting the costs of the legacy of a forgotten crisis.
For more information, please do not hesitate to contact:
Secrétaire exécutive du CLIO: Isabelle Faucon [email protected]
Représentante du CCO: Rosa Parés Canela [email protected]