Latin America and the Caribbean Weekly Situation Update from May 3, 2024 – Haiti



787,000 people face crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity in Artibonite, Haiti

351,000 people affected by flooding in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil

4.8 million cases of dengue in the region as of epidemiological week 13


In Artibonite, the department with the second highest multisectoral needs in the country, conditions are rapidly deteriorating. Since the second quarter of 2023, the spread of gang violence has led to significant access restrictions, especially in rural areas such as Bas Artibonite. In the first months of 2024, almost all humanitarian indicators in the department have deteriorated. As of March 2024, 787,470 people (53 percent of the department’s population) face crisis or emergency levels of food insecurity, while acute malnutrition is expected to deteriorate from stress to crisis in less than three months. Limited access to water, education, markets and healthcare is worsening amid rising prices and debt. Gender-based violence, exploitation and forced recruitment are exacerbating the protection crisis and highlighting the urgent need for humanitarian intervention.


In the municipality of Policarpa, Nariño, clashes broke out between the National Army and a non-state armed group (NSAG), with the local community caught in the crossfire. As a result, more than 504 farmers and Afro-descendants, as well as refugees and migrants from Ecuador and Venezuela, have been displaced within the urban area. In addition, around 178 people remain locked up in San Pablo, Santander and La Independencia due to the violence. In addition, about 200 people from the Alto Mira and Frontera Community Council in Tumaco were forced by another NSAG to obstruct the National Army’s access to the territory. This group has also deployed anti-personnel mines in the area, 34 of which have been successfully deactivated. Similar events have occurred in the municipalities of El Charco, Policarpa and Cumbitara, where people who resist compliance face forced displacement, forced labor or fines.


Dengue cases continue to rise across the region, with cases reported in 24 countries. As of epidemiological week 13 in 2024, there were 4,820,955 suspected cases of dengue. This figure is more than recorded in all of 2023, the previous record year with more than 4.5 million cases, and represents an increase of 448 percent compared to the average of the past five years. The most affected countries are in the Southern Cone sub-region, including Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina, where the hot and rainy season is conducive to high infection rates. In Guatemala, where transmission typically peaks in the second half of the year, the health ministry has declared a national public health emergency due to rising cases. As of April 20, 14,697 cases of dengue had been reported, 4.8 times more than the 2,537 cases recorded during the same period in 2023.


Authorities have declared a state of emergency in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul after heavy rainfall led to floods, landslides and the overflowing of rivers and dams. As of May 3, heavy rains have affected 351,639 people, killing 37, reporting 74 missing and 7,949 taking refuge in shelters. Floods and landslides have damaged bridges and roads, isolating communities and hampering emergency response efforts. The Copernicus Emergency Management Service (EMSR) was activated on May 3 to detect flooding following a dam breach in the municipalities of Cotiporã and Bento Gonçalves. Further rainfall is forecast across the state over the next 72 hours.


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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