Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti on October 4, 2016, and devastated homes, harvests, and infrastructure. The Governmental Directorate of Civil Protection (DPC) of Haiti confirmed that 75% of the population was affected, with more than 546 deaths and 438 injured. A total of 1.4 million people required humanitarian assistance, including 546,000 women of reproductive age and 112,500 children under five. In some affected communities, up to 100% of harvests were destroyed by the hurricane, threatening household food security. The World Food Program (WFP) announced that there were nearly 806,000 people at extreme levels of food insecurity due to the impact of the hurricane. This, coupled with water supply shortages and cholera epidemics, increased the risk of disease and malnutrition, especially in children under 2 years of age.
The GNC TST was requested to help design the Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergency (IYCF-E) response by assessing priority needs and strengthening the capacity of nutrition stakeholders to deliver the response.
A powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake and tropical depression hit Haiti in August 2021, exacerbating the already fragile situation due to gang related displacement, food insecurity and climate shocks. The earthquake caused a death toll of more than 2200 with a lot more missing. On top of that, Tropical depression Grace triggered floods affecting more than 500 homes and delaying humanitarian response in some regions. Before the crisis, breastfeeding in Haiti was already poor with only 40% of children exclusively breastfed and during the earthquake, children lost their mothers and were at risk of death requiring urgent interventions. The nutrition cluster identified several interventions to promote children's nutrition such as management of non-optimal infants and young child feeding, no untargeted breast milk substitute, identifying and targeting infants under 6 months who are not breastfed and lipid-based nutrition supplementation.
There was a lack of capacity in Haiti to support the Infant and Young Child Feeding in Emergency (IYCF-E) solutions as such the nutrition cluster in collaboration with UNICEF requested GNC Technical Support.