Haiti at a glance
Skimpy Living Swept Away by Storms
Between 26 August and 8 September 2008, hurricanes Fay, Gustav, Hannah and Ike smashed the Artibonite, south and south-east regions of Haiti, killing nearly 800 people and affecting more than 800,000. The disasters hit during a difficult year for the Caribbean country, marked by rising food prices, deadly riots and political instability. Although donor funding allowed humanitarian agencies to prevent an even greater tragedy, donors adopted a low profile in dealing with the crisis, and their response was slow, partial and not always based on proper evaluation of needs. This has raised doubts about the aid community’s effectiveness and ability to manage the transition from relief to recovery and development. Most worryingly donors demonstrated insufficient knowledge of the GHD initiative itself and largely failed to respect fundamental Principles and Good Practice of Humanitarian Donorship (GHD) in particular Principles six, seven, nine, 18 and 21, around funding in proportion to needs; involving beneficiaries in all stages of the humanitarian response; providing humanitarian assistance in ways that are supportive of recovery and long-term development; supporting contingency planning and strengthening capacities for response; and supporting learning and accountability initiatives.