Globally, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a tremendous negative impact on vulernable communities, creating massive pressure on local economies and collapsing existing public health systems. In Haiti, the authorities had recorded more than 30,340 cases of Covid-19 as of February 23, 2022. The devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the South Department on August 14, 2021 intensified the humanitarian needs resulting from the simultaneous food insecurity and the nation's ongoing political crisis. Approximately, 53,000 homes were destroyed and more than 77,000 homes sustained damage. About 800,000 people have been affected and an estimated 650,000 people – 40% of the 1.6 million people living in the affected southern departments – were determined in need of humanitarian.
Since this earthquake, Action Against Hunger has been responding to the identified needs in water hygiene and sanitation (WASH), mental health and nutrition in the South Department. However, the response to the disaster has been quite limited in comparison to the consequences of the earthquake, which have exposed the population to even more precarious situations in terms of hygiene and water access. Additionally, the destruction of infrastructure during the earthquake had a serious impact on the spread of Covid-19 due to disruptions to the health system, which has impacted both testing and treatment. For instance, in 2020, the South Department registered a total of 262 Covid-19 cases while 892 cases were registered in 2021. Between January and February 2022, 211 cases have been registered.
Currently, Action Against Hunger's programs are focused on mitigating the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on vulnerable communities in the disaster affected department through improving access to basic health, WASH and nutrition services.
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