• Crisis Severity ?
    3.6
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Impact ?
    3.9
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Humanitarian Conditions ?
    3.7
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Complexity ?
    3.3
    0 Very low
    Very high 5
  • Access Constraints ?
    3.0
    No constraints
    Extreme constraints

Key figures

  • 10,898,000 Total population [?]
  • 4,416,000 People in Need [?]

Overview

09/07/2021

Haiti is regularly affected by natural disasters such as floods, earthquakes, landslides, and droughts. At least 4.4 million people in Haiti (about 40% of the population) were in need of humanitarian assistance as at March 2021; almost 49% of them are children. Food insecurity persists across the country, with approximately 4.1 million people in acute need of food assistance. This is caused by the combined effects of natural hazards and poor socioeconomic conditions. In November 2020, 69% of 11,600 households surveyed reported a decrease in their incomes as a result of the pandemic. During 2019–2020, four million children did not have access to education. Haiti experiences political and social turbulence because of gang violence, which has been on the rise since the second half of 2020. Since June 2021, approximately 18,100 people have been displaced by armed violence, and about 1.5 million have been affected by the inability to access basic services in Port-au-Prince during clashes between gangs. The assassination of President Jovenel Moïse on 7 July adds a new element of political instability to the current crisis, although the potential developments and consequences of the event are not yet clear. ?

INFORM measures Haiti's risk of humanitarian crisis and disaster for 2019 to be high at 6.5/10. Lack of Coping Capacity is of particular concern, at 7.4/10.?

Latest Developments

23/11/2021

23/11/2021: Lack of access to safe water in Haiti has increased following the 14 August earthquake. Shortages in Port-au-Prince are mainly due to a lack of fuel for pumps, while infrastructure damage is the main factor in rural areas. Spread of diseases such as COVID-19 and respiratory infections are a concern because of the lack of water for handwashing. The lack of safe water also raises concern of a cholera resurgence, after almost three years of no reported cases, as the disease is transmitted via contaminated water. Insecurity, lack of road infrastructure, and fuel shortages have led to a reduction in humanitarian organisations’ distribution of drinking water in Haiti. In rural areas of Sud and Grand’Anse departments, people are still affected by water infrastructure damage caused by the 2010 earthquake and have relied on humanitarian aid, or rainwater, as their main sources of safe drinking water. ?

10/11/2021: Political instability and control by criminal gangs has expanded in Haiti since the assassination of President Moise in July. Armed clashes, intimidations, assassinations and kidnapping threaten the lives and safety of the local population. Kidnapping, mainly of Haitians, has become a main source of financing for criminal gangs, with more than 750 people reported to have been kidnapped this year as at mid-October, including children, adolescents, and women. Gang activity has also had a significant impact on children’s access to education.  Since the beginning of the school year in September, at least seven schools in Port-au-Prince and area were forced to pay for assurances of safety and security. Threats, assaults, and armed attacks are also reported, and endanger both students and teachers. The overall situation has increased the school dropout rate. Harassment, threats, blockades and territorial control by armed gangs are barriers to humanitarian access. ?

Find more detailed information in the latest ACAPS special report.

Humanitarian Access

21/07/2021

HIGH CONSTRAINTS 

Escalating insecurity since the beginning of 2021 has increasingly hindered humanitarian access both for people in need and for humanitarian organisations. Since early June, there has been a surge in intergang clashes in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince for territorial control, with the communes of Bas Delmas, Bel Air, Martissant, and Saint Martin being the most affected. Frequent shootings and road blockades limit people’s access to medical centres and displacement camps. The displaced population experiences difficult access to clean water, food, personal hygiene items, and health and protection assistance. Haiti has poor basic infrastructure and is prone to natural disasters such as hurricanes and earthquakes, which cause severe disruption and damage to infrastructure. In some remote areas of the country, access to people in need is particularly difficult.

Read more in the latest ACAPS Humanitarian Access Overview.

Risk

Worsening insecurity and deteriorating living conditions in Haiti increase cross-border movement in Central America, resulting in high food, shelter, and protection needs for displaced populations Latest update: 26/10/2021

Probability

Highly unlikely Somewhat likely Highly likely

Impact

Very low Moderate Major

Rationale

Since the beginning of 2021, clashes between rival gangs in Haiti have increased insecurity and displaced more than 19,000 people in Port-au-Prince. Although clashes have decreased since August – when aid organisations negotiated a humanitarian corridor to send aid to southern Haiti after the 14 August earthquake – gangs continue to fight and patrol the streets of Port-auPrince. This fighting poses a risk for IDPs wanting to return home?. Haiti also faces high political instability stemming from the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse and repeatedly postponed general elections?. The destruction of crops and food production infrastructure during the 2021 earthquake in southern Haiti, coupled with high inflation rates and the consequences of Tropical Storm Grace, has resulted in a projection of 980,000 Haitians in Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or worse levels of food insecurity between September 2021 and February 2022 in the departments of Grand’Anse, Nippes, and Sud?. Gang violence and the 2021 earthquake have also had a significant impact on access to essential services, increasing the WASH, healthcare, and education needs?. The combination of these events is likely to result in an increased number of Haitians leaving the country. Many cross-border population movements from Haiti have been recorded since the 2010 earthquake, mainly to Brazil and Chile?.

Since 2019 though, there has been a change in migration routes following the outbreak of violent protests against the Government and a new migration law introduced in 2020 in Chile, as well as the health crisis in Brazil initiated by COVID-19?. Haitian migrants and asylum seekers have started travelling towards North America more frequently, passing through the Colombia-Panama border and Central American countries?. A further increase in migrants and asylum seekers from Haiti travelling through Central America is highly likely in the upcoming months, given the country’s deteriorating living conditions and heightened insecurity.

Impact

Haitian migrants and asylum seekers going from South America to North America necessarily pass through the Darien region, a jungle area connecting Colombia and Panama. Between January–August 2021, the Government of Panama registered 70,986 migrants travelling through the country, accounting for almost 40% of the migrants who have passed through Panama over the past 12 years?. Panama only allows 650 people to cross the border per day, resulting in many getting stuck on the Colombian side of the border?. Organised crime groups in Colombia offer to transport migrants and reportedly use violence to coerce them to carry drugs?.

Some Central American countries have expressed concern about the potential increase in arrivals, citing lack of capacity to speed up migration processes (even when migrants are not going to stay in the country), which could generate new migrants and asylum seekers stuck at the borders of transit countries through Central America?. The number of migrants in need of shelter and food will likely increase. When in transit at the Colombia-Panama border and through Central America, they will be vulnerable to the activities of organised crime groups, including kidnapping for ransom, gender-based violence, and robbery?.

Read this risk

Update from the October 2020 Global Risk Analysis

06/04/2021

An unusually active hurricane season leads to higher levels of food insecurity and humanitarian needs in a country with already limited national response capacity

Even though the latest Atlantic hurricane season did not affect Haiti as expected, social and economic factors have continued to impact people’s food security and overall living conditions, as highlighted by ACAPS in the October 2020 Global Risk Analysis. The high prices of goods, the weakened value of the Haitian gourde, the economic effects of COVID-19, and below-average autumn harvests continue to affect livelihoods and drive acute food insecurity countrywide.? 4.4 million people are expected to face Crisis (IPC Phase 3) or higher levels of food insecurity in the months of March-June 2021. 4 million people were projected to face IPC Phase 3 levels and above in the August 2020-February 2021 period.?

Security conditions have also deteriorated in Haiti as a result of an increase in kidnappings for ransom, assassinations, and social and political protests. These factors were not taken into consideration in the risk analysis published in October, and are having a significant impact on food security and other sectors such as education. New protests broke out in the capital Portau-Prince in mid-February 2021 in an effort to drive out President Jovenel Moise, whose term was expected to end on 7 February. Continued violence, civil unrest, and kidnappings could constrain access to markets or close down market areas, disrupting market supply and further deteriorating food availability and access.?

Read the full latest Global Risk Analysis here.

Key Priorities

25/08/2020
  • Food Security: expected declines in crop production due to below-average and irregular rains since March, continued inflation, and the effects of COVID-19 containment measures are affecting food security. The high prices of staple goods are making it hard for the poorest households to access food. WFP estimates that the number of people in severe food insecurity could rise from the current 700,000 to 1.6 million in the coming months.?

Political Instability

14/10/2021

Since President Jovenel Moïse took office in February 2017, Haiti has faced repeated periods of civil unrest. Recurrent protests took place between 2018–2021. Among the causes of these demonstrations were the rejection of the election results, rising fuel prices, discontent over stark socioeconomic inequalities, and the lack of adequate social services across the country. ?

The assassination of Jovenel Moïse on 7 July 2021 was followed by an escalation in gang violence, with shootings and blockades reported – particularly in the capital city of Port-au-Prince. ?Political instability has increased as Prime Minister Ariel Henry was linked to the assassination of the president on 14 September. Presidential elections scheduled for 26 September were postponed to 7 November, but the dismissal of the Provisional Electoral Council on 28 September could again delay the process. ?

Since July 2021, gang violence remains a concern and a driver of humanitarian needs in Haiti. Confrontations between urban gangs have caused the displacement of around 19,000 people, especially in Delmas, Fontamara, and Martissant neighbourhoods of Port-au-Prince, and resulted in the damage of thousands of houses. ? Gang violence has left around 1,100,000 people in need of immediate humanitarian assistance. ?

COVID-19 Outbreak

12/05/2020

The first two confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported on 18 March. As of 12 May, Haiti has registered 209 confirmed cases with 16 deaths. Current numbers could grow considering the return of many Haitians who lost their jobs in the neighbouring Dominican Republic – almost 15,000 voluntary returns estimated between 17 March and 3 May – and deportation of Haitian citizens from the US without systematic testing. Pre-existing vulnerabilities include fragile healthcare and sanitation systems, six million Haitians living below the poverty line, a deteriorating economic and political situation, deepening food insecurity, and the presence of slums where self-isolation measures are hardly possible. Onset of hurricane season in June might further stretch humanitarian response capacities. The government declared a state of health emergency until 20 May with the closure of airports and ports, but the lockdown has not been systematically enforced as informal workers continue working to survive. There are shortages of medical and protective material.?