Haïti : Looking Back on Five Years of Action
(Development and Peace) January 12th, 2015, will mark the 5-year anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti, an earthquake which caused over 200,000 deaths, injured more than 300,000 people, left 1.3 million people homeless and destroyed over 200 000 homes. In that time, Development and Peace has carried out a reconstruction program of over $28 million, including $21 million in donations from the Canadian public and $7 million from the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development (DFATD) Canada.
This 5-year anniversary is an opportunity for Development and Peace to reiterate its deep and ongoing commitment to the most vulnerable in Haiti. This reconstruction program is one of the most extensive ever carried out by Development and Peace in one country. Five years after the earthquake, the challenges remain enormous, but Development and Peace is committed to continue working on the reconstruction and long-term development of Haiti with local civil society actors in civil society.
In the hours following the earthquake, Development and Peace and its partners immediately took action by allocating financial resources and deploying human and material resources to provide critical assistance to affected populations. This allowed for the following humanitarian assistance to be provided:
- Food for 1.2 million people.
- Potable water for 75,310 people.
- Temporary shelters for 130,330 people.
- The distribution of 18,221 hygiene kits.
- Health care and psychosocial support for 102, 031 people.
- The training of 65 stakeholders to provide psychological support.
After the earthquake, the reconstruction of housing and infrastructure were the most obvious priorities in Haiti. Development and Peace and its partners achieved several significant results in this area:
- Housing for 470 vulnerable families.
- Provision of 586 water tanks, reservoirs, wells and water supply points.
- A training centre for 140 seminarians.
- The reconstruction of 3 schools for 1,079 students.
- An experimental farm to provide training for 500 young entrepreneurs.
Development and Peace's approach to its reconstruction program was based on the following principles:
- The creation of local wealth and the use of local resources available within the country;
- The search for sustainable solutions for and by the Haitian people;
- The inherent dignity of all human beings;
- The prevention of violence and the recognition of human rights; and
- The prioritization of the most vulnerable, specifically women and children.
The protection of human rights has always been a central concern of Development and Peace. In the post-earthquake context, in which thousands of people were left homeless, the importance of defending human rights was felt more strongly than ever. Through Development and Peace's program 3,124 female victims of violence were able to receive assistance and 6,369 people were educated on gender-based violence.
Food security and food sovereignty have always been major components of Development and Peace's programming in Haiti, even from before the earthquake of January 12, 2010. After the earthquake, food security became a growing concern, since most agricultural activities were massively disrupted, and many people left areas affected by the earthquake to resettle in rural areas.
Thanks to the work of its partners, Development and Peace was able to offer:
- Agricultural tools for 2,658 people.
- Training related to agriculture, entrepreneurship, and the environment for 15,000 people.
- The distribution of 8,997 farm animals, including mules, poultry, goats and pigs.
- Seedlings to more than 14,000 families.
- 38 tonnes of seeds (beans, corn, peas, yam and millet) to almost 50,000 families.
Development and Peace's reconstruction program in Haiti could not have been carried out without the support of its donors and the commitment of its partners in Haiti. We would like to thank all those across Canada, who showed such exceptional generosity toward the people of Haiti following the earthquake.
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