Humanitarian actors met in Port-au-Prince at the end of September to discuss strategic planning for Haiti in 2012. Representatives from the Haitian Government at local and national levels, donors, humanitarian agencies from the United Nations, and nongovernmental agencies reviewed humanitarian need assessments with the aim of establishing a common humanitarian response strategy for 2012.
The group worked to identify the most critical gaps and humanitarian activities directed at protecting the health and saving lives among the most vulnerable groups.
Participants agreed to focus on supporting specific actions in preparing and responding to disasters. The most pressing needs continue to be in the health sector, water and sanitation, coordination, management of temporary shelters, food, early recovery, agriculture, education, and logistics, among other sectors.
After the devastating earthquake in January 2010, which left much of Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas in ruins, the country has had to deal with a cholera epidemic that has affected more than 400,000 persons and cost the lives of 6,200. As a result of these two devastating events, a massive intervention has been ongoing to stop the spread of the disease, involving many sectors and the humanitarian community.
The development and rate of the epidemic varies from place to place. According to experts the epidemic affects rural and urban populations differently, with preliminary data indicating that mortality rates are nearly three times higher in rural areas.