PORT-AU-PRINCE: The United Nations and the government of Haiti are seeking close to $40 million in extra funding for humanitarian needs in the wake of the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy last month.
“An additional $39.9 million is required to address rising food insecurity and provide shelter, health services and potable water for more than a million people,” the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) stated, citing the amount added to more than $110 million sought before Hurricane Sandy struck.
“Of this, $23.2 million is needed to meet the most urgent needs in 2012,” said OCHA.
The increase brings the total amount sought to meet Haiti’s humanitarian needs over the next year to a little more than $151 million, according to the Emergency Revision of the Haiti Consolidated Appeal: Needs Arising from the Impact of Hurricane Sandy, released on Monday in Geneva, Switzerland.
54 people were killed in Haiti by Sandy, which struck the nation on October 23. According to OCHA, 2,300 people are in shelters after the storm destroyed or damaged 27,701 homes. The storm also destroyed 61 cholera treatment centres at a time when new cases of the water-borne disease are being reported.
Haiti is still recovering from the January 12, 2010 earthquake that left millions homeless. It was also stuck by Tropical Storm Isaac in August and parts of the country have suffered a prolonged drought.
The government of Haiti said the nation’s agricultural sector has “lost a third of its annual production” because of Sandy, Isaac and the drought, according to OCHA.
“This is a major blow to Haiti’s reconstruction effort, making life for the most vulnerable Haitians even more precarious,” said the UN Humanitarian Coordinator in Haiti, Nigel Fisher, who also serves as Deputy Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General in Haiti. “In the meantime, international partners’ ability to respond has been reduced by dwindling donor support.”
Fisher said increased funding is urgently required “to meet both immediate humanitarian needs and recovery efforts.”
The UN Deputy Emergency Relief Coordinator, Catherine Bragg, and the Chargé d’Affaires at the Haitian Permanent Mission to the UN in Geneva, Jean-Bony Alexandre, joined Fisher in Geneva earlier this week in releasing the revised appeal, which follows the UN’s allocation of $4 million in emergency funding for Haiti in Hurricane Sandy’s immediate aftermath.
“The impact of the hurricane has generated a number of critical needs and exacerbated existing ones,” the executive summary of the revised appeal states of Hurricane Sandy. “Of utmost concern are the 1.5 million people living in severe food insecurity in rural areas most affected by the hurricane.”