Poor response to Haiti’s needs

The United Nations says it is cutting back on the amount of international aid money it is seeking to help Haiti because the response from donors has been disappointing so far this year.

The UN Humanitarian Coordinator (UNHC) in Haiti, Nigel Fisher, said that funding for remaining humanitarian needs clearly is insufficient and that the original budget for 2012 had been estimated at US$231 million.

He said by midyear, only 20 percent had been received to help Haiti as the French-speaking CARICOM country recovers from the January 2010 earthquake that killed an estimated 300,000 people and left more than a million others homeless.

According to the UN, as a result of the slow response from international donors the new budget has been put at US$128 million.

“The original budget for 2012 for Haiti was US$213 million. However, in the middle of the year, the consolidated appeal was only funded by 20 percent. Therefore, facing this sharp reduction of humanitarian resources available, the humanitarian country team and national authorities have revised the consolidated appeal at the mid-term review,” he said.

The consolidated appeal seeks international funding to support Haiti’s most vulnerable population affected by humanitarian crises. Three sectors still need urgent support.

The UNHC said while cholera epidemic has diminished, it remains at epidemic proportions with 50,000 cases reported so far for this year.

It said the number of people still living in camps following the earthquake has declined to 390,000, but with the hurricane season going on till the end of November, funds are needed for preparedness and emergency response.

OCHA head in Haiti, Johan Peleman told reporters that a withdrawal of donors has had an impact on managing shelters and IDP camps, the health sector, the water sector and the sanitation and protection sector.

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