Kitchen and housing kits distribution in Gressier, 30 km from Port-au-Prince. Credits: CARITAS/ Mathilde Magnier

Kitchen and housing kits distribution in Gressier, 30 km from Port-au-Prince.
Credits: CARITAS/ Mathilde Magnier

Caritas is focusing on rebuilding homes, providing education and training to help Haitians get back on their feet following the 12 January earthquake.

Caritas members working in Haiti will spend US$176 million over a twelve month period that began in May 2010. Over 1.5 million people will benefit from the programme.

The work includes supporting education for 50,000 students and homes for approximately 100,000 people. Caritas works throughout the country.

The action plan also covers providing clean water and health care, food and putting people back in work.

“It is essential that Haitians have homes, schools and training so they can have a future,” said Lesley-Anne Knight, Secretary General of Caritas Internationalis.

“Responding to immediate needs along with longer-term issues such as housing and jobs is a complex challenge, but Caritas is committed to helping Haitians rebuild their homes and lives today, tomorrow and for a long time to come,” she said.

Over 230,000 people were killed as a result of the Haiti earthquake. One and a half million people were left homeless after almost 190,000 houses were damaged or destroyed along with hospitals, churches, schools and government buildings.

Caritas responded immediately to the earthquake by providing food, water, temporary shelter, healthcare and counselling.

Many people still face enormous daily challenges as they still live in camps, infrastructure remains badly damaged and poverty levels are high.

The focus of the first phase was saving lives. The second phase of the five year response is looking at answering the medium-term needs of people who have lost family, homes and livelihoods.

Initiatives such as providing farmers with tools and seeds and training women entrepreneurs aim to support Haitians towards work and independence.

Caritas is working with local communities to develop the capacity of Caritas offices at a diocesan level and improve the reach of Caritas assistance.

For more information, please contact Michelle Hough on +39 06 69879721/+39 334 2344136 or hough@caritas.va