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Cablegate: Usaid/Dart Haiti Earthquake Humanitarian Update #5: One


DE RUEHPU #0156/01 0422248
O 112246Z FEB 10



E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: PORT A 0124; PORT A 0118; PORT A 0096

1. Summary. One month after the earthquake, the humanitarian
community continues to make significant progress in responding to
the emergency needs of the affected population, providing food
assistance to nearly 2.5 million people, increasing the
distribution of emergency shelter materials to ensure adequate
coverage prior to the rainy season, and expanding the geographic
scope of the relief effort to areas outside Port-au-Prince.
Improved coordination, coupled with the expansion of targeted
humanitarian assessments, continues to facilitate accurate,
needs-based assistance provision, enabling organizations to begin
to direct resources and attention to early recovery needs as well.

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2. USAID's Disaster Assistance Response Team (USAID/DART) in Haiti
continues to assess humanitarian needs, coordinate assistance with
the humanitarian community and Government of Haiti (GoH), and
inform additional programming by USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign
Disaster Assistance (USAID/OFDA). Significant developments for the
USAID/DART in the last week include the contribution to the Water,
Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) Cluster strategy for rapidly
addressing mounting sanitation concerns, progress on advising the
Government of Haiti (GoH) on settlements planning and the
pre-requisite rubble removal effort, and participation in
preliminary planning efforts with the U.S. military to ensure a
seamless and timely transition of current military relief
operations to civilian humanitarian organizations. To date, USAID
has contributed nearly
$304 million in earthquake response funding to address the critical
needs of affected populations. End Summary.




3. From January 31 to February 10, lead non-governmental
organizations (NGOs), with support from the U.N. World Food Program
(WFP), distributed food to more than 1.5 million people through the
16 fixed-point distribution system. As of February 10, WFP
implementing partners had provided food assistance to nearly 2.5
million earthquake-affected individuals in and around
Port-au-Prince. Lead NGOs at four sites - where distributions
commenced after the January 31 start date of the two-week operation
- plan to continue general distributions beyond the previously
scheduled end date of February 13 in order to complete
distributions to all identified households. These areas also host
a higher number of affected households.

4. WFP negotiations regarding the next phase of the operation
continue with select NGOs, including organizations distributing
food under the current scheme. Partners will distribute a more
diverse ration, including pulses and oil, to selected households.
WFP expects the next phase to commence on or near February 20. The
Food Cluster has not yet determined the number of targeted
households or security requirements. During the first phase,
however, all partners successfully conducted distribution without
incident and therefore anticipate fewer security requirements in
the second phase. If necessary, partners will seek security
support from the Haitian National Police and the U.N. Stabilization
Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH).

5. The GoH National Committee on Food Security, with support from
WFP, the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, the USAID-funded
Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWSNET), Oxfam, and Action
Contre La Faim, is conducting an Emergency Food Security Assessment
in 119 areas, villages, and settlement sites. The preliminary
results are scheduled for release on February 25.


Emergency Relief Supplies


6. As of February 7, USAID/OFDA partner the International
Organization for Migration (IOM) had reached more than 48,000
families, or approximately 232,000 individuals, with USAID/OFDA
emergency relief supplies. Families received varying combinations
of hygiene kits, water containers, kitchen sets, and plastic

7. The USAID/DART observed two well-organized and expeditious
distributions by IOM and Project Concern International in
Port-au-Prince neighborhoods during the week of February 8.
USAID/OFDA consigns relief commodities to IOM, which partners with
Project Concern and a number of other NGOs in the Non-Food Item
Cluster to expand distribution capacity throughout affected areas.
IOM also recently provided 20 NGOs with USAID/OFDA commodities,
primarily plastic sheeting, for distribution to affected

8. As of February 8, the Non-Food Item (NFI) and Shelter clusters
had distributed 63,275 blankets, 83,672 water containers, 57,869
hygiene kits, and 23,387 kitchen sets since the January 12
earthquake. In addition, coordination among partners distributing
relief supplies in Petit Goave, Grand Goave, Jacmel, and Leogane
continues to improve, with partners establishing regional
distribution hubs to reduce pipeline congestion in Port-au-Prince
and expand distributions to areas outside the capital, according to
the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

9. Agencies continue to explore a range of options for the
systematic and targeted distribution of NFIs, while noting strong
support in the cluster for the current community-based distribution
system. USAID/DART staff and other humanitarian donors met with
the U.N. and NGOs on February 10 regarding NFI distribution
schemes, including tandem NFI and food distributions at the 16
fixed food distribution points, an option proposed by WFP but which
raises some concerns for NGOs.




10. On February 9, the U.N. Children's Fund (UNICEF) and WFP
successfully conducted the first pilot blanket supplementary
feeding intervention at two settlement sites in the Tabarre
neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. Teams registered all children
under five years of age, as well as pregnant and lactating women in
the two camps. After conducting mid-upper arm circumference and
vitamin A screenings, teams provided infants and young children
between the ages of 6 and 59 months with three-week supplies of
high energy biscuits. Children between the ages of 6 and 36 months
also received supplementary plumpy rations. The intervention also
included de-worming for children between the ages of one and five
years and referrals of severe acute malnutrition to a stabilization
center at Saint Damien's Hospital. Nutrition partners will work to
expand the program to all spontaneous settlement sites in
Port-au-Prince, targeting 40,000 children under 5 years of age and
17,000 pregnant and lactating women.

11. As of February 9, nearly 90 community outpatient centers and
mobile units for the treatment of severe acute malnutrition had
resumed operations throughout Haiti, according to the Nutrition
Cluster. Cluster partners plan to open 52 additional sites within
the next two to three weeks.

12. Current nutrition support to the affected population includes
approximately 60 sites established to provide counseling to
caregivers on infant and young child feeding practices. Nutrition
partners report counseling more than 7,800 caregivers in affected
communities and nearly 1,200 people residing in spontaneous
settlements, as of February 9.




13. According to the Health Cluster, trauma injuries constitute
approximately 10 percent of all consultations as - a significant
reduction in the last week - while the number of acute respiratory
infections continues to increase, accounting for up to 25 percent
of all consultations. Health partners report a low incidence of
infectious diseases to date.

14. The GoH Ministry of Health has approved the shortened disease
surveillance form developed by the Mobile Health Clinic
Sub-Cluster. On February 8, the sub-cluster began training health
workers on use of the form, and data collection is scheduled to
commence later in the week, according to the USAID/DART.

15. USAID/DART staff report that the U.N. World Health
Organization is providing 180 additional emergency health kits,
with the first 60 kits scheduled to arrive in Haiti during the week
of February 15. The contribution will bring the total number of
kits in-country to nearly 200 - including nine provided by
USAID/OFDA - and the total number of beneficiaries over a
three-month period to approximately 2 million people.




16. WASH cluster partners are providing safe drinking water to
over 780,000 people per day through water tankering operations and
water treatment plants at 300 sites across Port-au-Prince, Leogane,
and Jacmel, up from the 519,000 individuals reached per day as of
February 1. In Jacmel, more than 260 temporary settlement sites
are receiving water from cluster partners. The cluster aims to
increase the daily target for safe drinking provision to 1.1
million persons.

17. The WASH Cluster continues to prioritize sanitation support
for earthquake-affected individuals, particularly those residing in
spontaneous settlements. The WASH Cluster and the GoH National
Potable Water and Sanitation Authority (DINEPA) plan to release the
finalized cluster strategy on February 11, according to the
USAID/DART. USAID/DART WASH officers contributed to the strategy,
which prescribes both the construction of trench latrines in less
densely-populated settlement sites and the provision and regular
maintenance of portable facilities in remaining sites.

18. USAID/DART staff expect the required 3,000 to 3,500 portable
facilities to arrive within one month. The WASH Cluster has
identified 1,000 completed trench latrines in the settlement sites
to date, and USAID/DART WASH officers expect USAID/OFDA partners to
complete construction on the remaining requirement of 3,000 trench
latrines by the last week in February.

19. A team of Swedish engineers arrived in Port-au-Prince on
February 8 to construct a waste-disposal site in a suitable
location, and thereby discourage the current practice of
unsanctioned disposals in numerous unsafe sites across the city
that increase flood risks.




20. The January 12 earthquake displaced between 240,000 and
300,000 households. Since the earthquake struck, approximately
93,500 households (approximately 468,000 people) have received
transportation assistance to communities outside Port-au-Prince.
[Note: The GoH revised the number of households receiving
transportation assistance to fewer than initially reported, likely
due to improved reporting and monitoring mechanisms. End note.]
According to MINUSTAH, 90 percent of people transported outside
Port-au-Prince are residing with friends and relatives, reducing
the number of households in need of immediate assistance to between
146,500 to 206,500 families. As of February 10, more than 73,000
households (approximately 366,000 people or 31 percent of the
affected population) had received shelter assistance, primarily
plastic sheeting and tents, from the 24 humanitarian organizations
reporting to the Shelter Cluster.

21. The USAID/DART currently estimates sufficient quantities of
plastic sheeting and tents in-country for at least 260,000
households, at the rate of one plastic sheet of
internationally-recognized quality per household. [Note: Given
current space constraints in a majority of the spontaneous
settlements, the cluster agreed on February 7 to provide households
less than the standard-sized transitional shelter in the immediate
term in order to meet all emergency shelter needs before the start
of the rainy season on May 1. If partners provide structures
smaller than 18 square meters - the internationally recognized
humanitarian standard - the humanitarian community must also
develop a plan to mitigate the effects of crowded living conditions
on drainage, sanitation, hygiene, health, and livelihoods,
according to the USAID/DART. End note.] After meeting emergency
shelter needs, the cluster plans to provide four plastic sheets to
each family to meet transitional shelter needs.

22. According to OCHA, as of February 10, ten organized
settlements existed in Port-au-Prince, housing nearly 77,000
people, or 13 percent of the displaced population remaining in
Port-au-Prince. More than 300 spontaneous settlements still exist.
The Shelter Cluster, the USAID/DART, and the GoH continue to
evaluate potential locations for additional settlement sites,
noting that the rapid removal of all rubble remains critical to the
effort. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently arrived in
Port-au-Prince to lead the U.S. Government effort to expedite
rubble removal in the city. The USAID/DART shelter and settlements
advisor reports additional efforts by Italian, Swedish, and
MINUSTAH teams, as well as local private sector construction
entities, to engage heavy equipment in the rubble removal process.

23. In addition, on February 7, the National Geo-Spatial
Intelligence Agency presented the USAID/DART a map of vacant and
underutilized land in Port-au-Prince that identifies at least 45
square kilometers of vacant land, indicating the availability of
sufficient land for potential resettlement of earthquake-affected
households, pending additional analyses of disaster risks and land
tenure issues. The USAID/DART shelter and settlements advisor
expects the finding to help inform rubble removal and settlement
planning by the GoH and humanitarian community.




24. As of February 10, USAID had contributed more than $303.6
million in earthquake response funding, including more than $201.5
million from USAID/OFDA in support of all humanitarian sectors, $68
million from USAID's Office of Food for Peace, $20 million from
USAID's Office of Transition Initiatives (including $15 million
transferred from USAID/Haiti), nearly $11.1 million from
USAID/Haiti, and $3 million from USAID/Dominican Republic. In
total, the U.S. Government has contributed more than $537.6 million
to the earthquake response.


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