Haiti is a chronically fragile state, highly vulnerable to natural hazards and human-induced disasters. The country is regularly impacted by natural hazards and catastrophes, and is also facing an increasing issue with gang violence and socio-political instability.
Currently, gang-related violence has reached unprecedented levels. Nearly 60% of the capital city Port-Au-Prince is under gang control, affecting the lives of 1.5 million people.
The situation is dire, with 5.2 million Haitians in need of humanitarian aid. They are suffering from a food crisis and malnutrition, violence, an ongoing migration crisis cholera epidemic, and the impact of natural hazards.
What are the needs?
Haiti has been grappling with a food crisis for the past 5 years. Some 4.9 million people (nearly 47% of the population) are currently facing acutely food insecurity, including 1.3 million living in an emergency situation.
The ongoing clashes between rival gangs in and around Port-au-Prince have created a hostage-like situation for people, making it difficult for them to access basic services. Over 155,000 people had to leave their home to survive, becoming internally displaced.
The extreme levels of violence have also made it challenging for children to access education. Gangs have targeted 72 schools in the first quarter of the academic year, looting school equipment and food items used for school meals. More than 1 in 4 schools has remained closed since October 2022.
In addition, cholera has made its way back into the country. As of March 2023, Haiti recorded at least 2,495 confirmed cases and 594 deaths, although these figures could be underestimated due to the collapse of monitoring systems.
Haiti was also hit by a 7.2 magnitude earthquake in August 2021, with more than 2,000 people killed. This event is listed among Latin America’s 10 deadliest earthquakes of the last 25 years.
The complex situation has forced many Haitians to leave their country. According to official figures, there are over 1.2 million Haitian migrants across the world (although nonofficial estimations indicate that the figure might be much higher, standing at 3 million). They mainly reside in the United States, Canada, France, the Bahamas, and the Dominican Republic.
According to migration authorities in Panama, as of March 2023, 1 every 5 migrants crossing the dangerous jungle between Panama and Colombia (known as the Darien) is Haitian. In 2022, at least 176,777 Haitians were forcefully repatriated.
How are we helping?
Since 1994, the EU has provided €471.5 million to Haiti to help victims of major crises, including the current humanitarian needs related to (i) the violent context, (ii) the effects of the 2021 earthquake, (iii) COVID-19, and (iv) food shortages and malnutrition in recent years.
In 2022, EU allocated €20.5 million to address the needs of the most vulnerable population. The funding included:
- €2.5 million to address the needs generated by recent political and gang-related violence, forced displacement, and migration
- €13.65 million to support urgent food and nutrition needs of vulnerable households in rural and urban areas
- €2 million to strengthen communities’ capacity to respond to disasters
- €1.1 million to support safe and quality education for girls and boys in targeted schools
- €1 million to support the emergency response to the cholera epidemic affecting Haiti.
To respond to the August 2021 earthquake, the EU deployed 3 Humanitarian Air Bridge operations carrying over 177 tonnes of cargo. EU humanitarian partners operating in the country distributed this assistance. The EU also coordinated the assistance mobilised by Member States, including a water treatment plant, medical equipment and medicines, and more.
In 2020, the Commission released more than €10 million to help Haiti fight the spread of COVID-19. The funding helped provide health and training equipment, water, sanitation and hygiene assistance and logistical support for transport and surveillance. The EU also launched 2 Humanitarian Air Bridge operations to ensure the mobility of humanitarian personnel and the delivery of vital goods.
After the 2010 earthquake, the EU provided shelter, clean water, healthcare services, food and protection to 5 million people. EU humanitarian assistance of €52.7 million targeting nearly 3 million people also helped tackle the cholera epidemic that followed.
Since 1998, the EU has invested around €38 million in its disaster preparedness programme, aiming to put in place early warning systems and rapid response capacities.
This funding aims to strengthen the emergency response through strategic partners working closely with national response bodies against recurring natural hazards. Improving the resilience of the most vulnerable communities to natural and epidemic risks remains a priority.
Last updated: 14/04/2023
Facts & figures
5.2 million people in need of humanitarian aid
4.9 million people are estimated to be acute food insecure (September 2022)
177,000 forced repatriations reported by IOM from January to December 2022.
EU humanitarian funding:
€471.5 million since 1994
Print friendly pdf
- Descarregarfrançais(349.26 KB - PDF)