One Year After the Earthquake – Haitians Still Living in Crisis

For Immediate Release

Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH)
Contact: 

Regine Theodat, Esq., regine.theodat@gmail.com, +509 3 885-7413 (Port au Prince, Haiti)
Thomas Griffin, Esq., griffin@msgimmigration.com, (215) 925-4435 (Philadelphia, PA)
Nicole Phillips, Esq., nicole@ijdh.org, +509 3 419-0888 (Port au Prince, Haiti)
Brian Concannon, Esq., brian@ijdh.org, (617) 652-0876 (Boston, MA)

 

One Year After the Earthquake – Haitians Still Living in Crisis

Human rights investigation finds few resources in displacement camps to prevent cholera

WASHINGTON - Despite the global promise of 11 billion dollars in assistance from
donor countries and over a billion more donated to relief organizations,
Haitians struggle to find shelter, clean water and food in displacement
camps, according to a report released today by the Lamp for Haiti
Foundation and the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti
(IJDH). The report, titled One Year After the Earthquake – Haitians Still Living in State of Crisis,
documents continuing desperation in Haiti’s camps even after the
cholera outbreak, and recommends a rights-based approach to recovery and
reconstruction.

One year after the January 12, 2010 earthquake, one million Haitians
still live in 1,000 internally displaced persons (IDP) camps scattered
around Port au Prince.  The sudden and profound impact from the cholera
outbreak - over 3,000 deaths and 130,000 people infected – demonstrated
the failure of relief and reconstruction efforts by donor countries, aid
agencies and the Haitian government.  While cholera has not yet fully
spread to the camps, given the extremely unsanitary conditions and
overcrowded camps, the results would be disastrous. An estimated 400,000
Haitians could be infected within a year. 

The LAMP/IJDH reportis based on a survey in December that is part of a
longitudinal analysis of living conditions in Haitian camps and the
on-the-ground impact of relief efforts from the international community.
The report indicates that despite the significant risk of cholera, 50
percent of respondents surveyed had not received any cholera preventive
aid, not even education.  Only eight percent of respondents received all
or most of their drinking water from aid agencies.

According to Regine Theodat, an attorney with the Lamp for Haiti
Foundation and report co-author, “the inadaptability and late response
of aid organization to the cholera epidemic needs to be corrected
immediately to prevent rampant spread in the camps.” In the absence of
sufficient water provision, only 39 percent of respondents had access to
drinking water daily. Twenty-one percent had no access to drinking
water at all.

The report found that families continued to live in a state of crisis. 
Sixty percent of families lived on less than $1 a day and struggled to
find food and provide clean drinking water. One in two families reported
not being able to feed their children for a full day the previous week.
 “With few work opportunities, aid assistance is necessary for most
Haitians living in IDP camps,” says Nicole Phillips, Staff Attorney with
IJDH and report co-author.  But Phillips cautions that “aid be planned
and coordinated to advance self-sufficiency and permanence.”  The report
recommends that this include investing in water treatment facilities
rather than distributing bottled water, and installing compost toilets
in lieu of portable toilets that require regular emptying.

The full report can be viewed at http://ijdh.org/archives/16403. The February Report is available at:  http://www.lampforhaiti.org/~lampforh/?q=content/idp-investigation-finds-desperate-conditions-haitis-tent-cities. The July Report is available at: http://www.lampforhaiti.org/~lampforh/?q=content/neglect-encampments-haitis-second-wave-humanitarian-disaster.

About the Orga­ni­za­tions:

The LAMP for Haiti Foun­da­tion advo­cates for the respect and
pro­tec­tion of basic human rights in the areas of great­est mis­ery and
poverty in Cite Soleil, Port-au-Prince. Lamp works at the cross section
of human rights and medicine, housing both a human rights law office
and a medical clinic in Bwa Nef, Cite Soleil, a slum of Port-au-Prince.


The Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti(IJDH) and its Haiti-based affiliate the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux(BAI)
strives to work with the people of Haiti in their non-violent struggle
for the con­sol­i­da­tion of con­sti­tu­tional democ­racy, jus­tice and
human rights, by dis­trib­ut­ing objec­tive and accu­rate infor­ma­tion
on human rights conditions in Haiti, pur­su­ing legal cases, and
coop­er­at­ing with human rights and sol­i­dar­ity groups in Haiti and
abroad.

 

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