Crisis report : Haiti

The crisis and the response

  • The US military’s post-earthquake management of entry to Haiti prioritised US flights and expensive search and rescue missions and delayed the response of experienced actors. l An influx of small, often in-experienced, INGOs reduced the quality of the humanitarian response.
  • It has proven uniquely challenging to determine the number of humanitarian actors, the total level of funding and to prepare accurate 3W (who does what, where) information.
  • OCHA’s ability to undertake basic post-emergency tasks was undermined by low capacity and sidelining of the HCT.
  • The cluster system was weakened by the number of actors and failure to sufficiently involve the Haitian state or civil society.

Donor performance

  • Funding decisions were largely made at headquarter level and not based on needs assessments.
  • Donor failure to insist on UN and national government leadership of the response exacerbated frustrations and duplication of effort.
  • Donors have funded INGOs to provide basic services and paid little attention to building the capacity of the Haitian state or civil society.
  • There is an unprecedented mismatch between reconstruction pledges (US$5.3 billion promised in March 2010) and actual disbursements (US$509 by early October 2010).
  • Looking prematurely towards recovery, donors have been slow to acknowledge the ongoing humanitarian crisis and mounting evidence of failure to provide adequate shelter or protection for the 1.3 million homeless displaced.

Key challenges and areas for improvement

  • Donors should encourage simpler, compatible reporting formats.
  • Quicker pooled fund disbursement is imperative.
  • Donors must require greater accountability to beneficiaries and the Haitian government from INGOs they fund.
  • Donors must acknowledge the pressing need to provide permanent housing for the displaced. They should only fund actors committed to sustainable and equitable urban development and transparent land allocation and registration procedures.

Download the full Haiti Crisis Report