UN: In-need children in Haiti up half million in 2 years

In this photo taken on July 30, 2022, children take refuge at a Catholic school in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, after escaping gang violence in the Cité Soleil area. More than 300 Haitian children try to forget, at least for a time, the gang violence that forced them to flee their homes. (PHOTO / AFP)

UNITED NATIONS — Some 2.6 million children in Haiti are expected to need lifesaving assistance this year, an increase of half a million over 2021, a UN spokesman said on Monday, citing the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

UNICEF believes that the rise in armed violence, combined with the resurgence of cholera, food insecurity and inflation, have restricted access to essential health, nutrition, water, hygiene and education services for millions of children and their families, said Stephane Dujarric, the chief spokesman for UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.

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"Working with partners on the ground, and the government, UNICEF has scaled up its humanitarian response. But they are calling for more support," said Dujarric.

The spokesman said the agency's humanitarian response in Haiti received about 40 percent of its required funding last year, making it the most underfunded appeal by UNICEF for its emergency operation in Latin America and the Caribbean.