Progress in Haiti three months after earthquake
09 April 2010
Progress is underway in Haiti as Caritas relief efforts have reached more than 1.5 million survivors three months after a devastating earthquake. The 12 January quake killed 230,000 people, destroyed infrastructure, affected three million people, and pushed a poor and underdeveloped country further into misery.
Caritas cash for work beneficiaries offloading a food truck at a distribution in Pétionville Club, Port-au-Prince
Caritas members from over 60 countries have been supporting relief efforts to provide food, shelter, livelihoods, clean water, a safe place for children to play and learn, healthcare, and trauma counselling. Caritas has spent over US $14 million (Euro 10 million) so far and plans to respond to the emergency in Haiti over the next five years to help Haitians build a self-sufficient country.
Caritas shelter programmes have provided 100,000 people with tents or tarpaulins in the capital Port-au-Prince, in Léogâne, Jacmel and other communities. Working with affected communities means providing meals for 1.5 million people, trucking in 30,000 gallons of clean water to four camps every day, building latrines and giving out hygiene kits, jerry cans, and water purification kits.
Caritas is also working with the international community on finding safer places for people at present in makeshift camps to move to while ensuring their rights are respected. To prepare Haiti’s regions for an influx of 600,000 displaced people from the capital, Caritas has distributed emergency food aid in areas preparing for an influx of 600,000 people.
Caritas cash-for-work programmes have employed 2,000 Haitians since the quake. Canals posing a serious health threat in Solino camp in Port-au-Prince have been cleared. A home for the elderly and the disabled and a primary school in Léogâne have been made safe for use. Hiring people to help clean up also injects cash into the local economy.
Over 350,000 people in Haiti have benefited from Caritas healthcare programmes. These include trauma care, 480 surgeries, and primary care in 21 hospitals and heath posts, distribution of health kits and medicine, and supporting a public health campaign. As part of that, Caritas is working with graffiti artist Jerry Rosembert to create city wide signs in Port-au-Prince to remind people to wash their hands.
Caritas held two seed fairs in the south for farmers, who were given vouchers so they can get the seeds, fertilizer and supplies they need from local merchants. Caritas is also working with farmers to prevent soil erosion by encouraging them to plant fruit trees with their regular annual crops.
Caritas staff give counselling to more than 2,000 children in camps. Counselling has been set up to help children and give them back some normality in their lives. 25 school tents have been set up and 53 schools have received materials so they can begin lessons again. Caritas is also working on family reunion programs for children that were separated from their parents in the earthquake.
Please call Patrick Nicholson on +39 06 698 79 725 or +39 334 359 0700 or email email@example.com with any requests or Caritas Communications Officer in Haiti Mathilde Magnier (French/English) on 0033678065736 or firstname.lastname@example.org