Haiti quake 2 years on: most vulnerable must not be forgotten
Two years since its devastating earthquake, efforts to help Haiti need to continue, according to children’s organisation Plan International.
There are still some 500,000 people living in temporary shelters among them many tens of thousands of children and young people.
“Haiti is a very young nation with around half of its population aged under 18. There are many vulnerable young people at risk if we allow this to become simply 2010’s forgotten crisis,” said Plan’s director in Haiti, John Chaloner.
“Many of them in the camps lack the most basic of resources, proper support and protection. This resilient young generation needs continued support in quality education and employment to give them real hope for the future and the opportunities they deserve.”
Plan, like many NGOs believes that it is the Government of Haiti’s responsibility to take leadership on shelter, healthcare, education and economic growth. But with the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere still struggling to rebuild, the challenge facing the government is major.
Plan is concentrating its focus on 3 areas:
– Safe, quality education and opportunities for young people
– Full social participation for Haitian girls – this includes campaigns targeting education, gender based violence, youth pregnancy and work rights.
– Birth registration – to enable young people to participate and benefit from services such as education, as well as helping to reduce child trafficking and tackle child abuse.
Mr Chaloner said: “If Haiti is to rebuild from this terrible disaster as a self-sustaining, successful country its young people need strong child protection systems and access to quality health care and education and we remain optimistic that, given time, this can be achieved.”
Plan, has operated in Haiti for 37 years and currently has projects in the following areas: the south-east including Jacmel and Lavallée; the west including Croix-des-Bouquets; and the north-east including Fort-Liberté, Ouanaminthe and Trou-du-Nord.
In the last 24 months, Plan has:
– Helped over 31,000 children return to school
– As one of the first INGOs to have plans for semi-permanent schools approved by the Government – built 257 classrooms in Jacmel and Croix-des-Bouquets
– Provided access to psychosocial to over 14,000 people (12,000 being children).
– Organised cash-for-work projects for over 36,000 people thus strengthening the economic coping capacity of families
– Provided over 22,000 people with tents and basic living provisions in the direct aftermath of the earthquake, and partnered with the Irish NGO Haven to provide 100 small wooden houses to mothers with young children who’d lost their husbands during the earthquake.
– Reached more than 400,000 people in Plan’s emergency cholera response work.
For more details contact:
Communications Manager Plan International HAITI + (509) 3 445-2702 Skype: donmoisa Jessica.Theodore@plan-international.org
At Plan HQ
+(0) 7500 066 891