Guernsey’s Overseas Aid & Development Commission has agreed to make a donation of £30,400 to Plan International UK to provide relief for victims of flooding and landslides in Haiti, and £50,000 to the British Red Cross for famine relief in Somalia.
Against a backdrop of civil unrest, food scarcity, a cholera outbreak of 20,000 cases and rising poverty, Haiti was struck by torrential rains in June, causing flooding and landslides that have killed 58 people and injured 143. Almost 45,000 households were affected with 34,500 homes flooded with 3,000 significantly damaged or destroyed. The effect on food security has meant normal UN operations are overcapacity and so the role of third-party support is greater than ever.
In Haiti, Plan International has a base of operations and logistical support in the second most affected region of Sud-Est, and has implemented a response plan totalling £299,282.
Guernsey’s contribution of £30,400 will help to feed families, secure water supplies, provide hygiene and menstrual health kits, supply educational materials, and set up child protection facilities.
Somalia continues to suffer the worst drought in 40 years. Alongside the drought, the impact of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on grain supplies and the global surge in food prices have contributed to famine. The recurrent nature of the crises have caused crop production to plummet by 70%. Furthermore, 11 million animals in the Horn of Africa have died over a period of two years, which spells disaster for a region dependent on husbandry.
The Red Cross is on the ground and says an estimated 30% of Somalis need humanitarian assistance and protection. They are working to secure food and livelihoods, health, nutrition, and basic water and sanitation. Funding from the Commission will go towards providing food and shelter, with specific products including nutritional supplements, ready-to-use food sachets and kitchen sets.
Deputy Chris Blin, the President of the Commission, said: “I am pleased that we are able to make a donation towards Plan International UK’s efforts in Haiti, with our contribution making a real difference to its overall response.
“The general situation in Haiti has grown dire, with 4.7 million people in need of urgent support, of which nearly 80% are children. The region of Sud-Est which Plan International are supporting has seen significant damage to roads and infrastructure due to floods, which has only worsened the cholera outbreak by making areas inaccessible to medical support. Water and sanitation support such as hygiene and water purification kits will be vital.
“We are also supporting the Red Cross targeting Somalia in the ongoing Horn of Africa food crisis. With 2023 being the fifth failed crop harvest in a row, with a projected sixth next year, long term damage is being inflicted on the suffering population. The Red Cross has an excellent reputation and package of relief items in place, and we are pleased to support them again in their emergency relief efforts.”
Pictured: Lettycia, a 10-year-old girl living in the South East of Haiti, often spends the day without eating anything. Picture credit: Plan International UK