627 views | Akanimo Sampson | January 12, 2020
The International Organisation for Migration (IOM) in Haiti, its Goodwill Ambassador Phyllisia Ross and a group of Haitian women artists have released the song ‘Goudou Goudou‘ on video to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Haiti earthquake and remember its victims.
The 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated Haiti on January 12, 2010, and IOM in coordination with the government of Haiti, United Nations and other humanitarian agencies, has resettled 98 per cent of 1.5 million Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who were relocated due to the natural disaster.
After the earthquake, which caused the death of at least 220,000 people and injured tens of thousands more, IOM, the leading agency of the Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster, supported the collection and monitoring of data on IDPs through the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM). From this data, the necessary action in disaster management, shelter and non-food items, protection and health could be determined.
IOM Chief of Mission in Haiti, Giuseppe Loprete, said “after the earthquake struck, IOM staff responded within 24 hours. We provided and coordinated the necessary services for survival, worked closely with the Government of Haiti and international humanitarian aid agencies to find lasting solutions to the crisis that left millions of people homeless and living in 1,500 camps.”
IOM also supported the government in generating a national policy on short-term evacuation that covers preparation, pre-evacuation, evacuation and post-evacuation in the event of an emergency of this nature and magnitude.
More than 20,000 people were trained in basic first aid and disaster risk management in communities or camps. IOM also supported the construction or rehabilitation of 39 buildings that can be used as a short-term evacuation centre.
IOM Haiti, through the Shelter Cluster, distributed grants to support the costs of renting accommodation to over 19,000 households. In coordination with other organizations, IOM also distributed more than 2,550 shelters, 20,000 reinforcement kits and 500 repair kits for timber-framed houses.
As of last December 31, many of some 1,477 evacuation shelters need at least some remediation. IOM Haiti maintains that it is crucial to continue strengthening the capabilities of the National System for Disaster Risk Management in terms of evacuation shelter management and other responses to disasters.
In addition to addressing building needs, IOM provided immediate responses in areas such as gender-based violence (GBV), child protection, assistance to more vulnerable populations and mediation support during forced evictions. As a result, more than 16,500 people at risk have been supported in the camps (972 of which were for GBV), and 3,333 people have received their identity documents.
Health has also been a major issue since the earthquake. As part of the response to possible cholera outbreaks, IOM assisted 4,037,301 people in 532 camps and communities. In addition, IOM collaborated in the construction of four diarrheal disease treatment centres and installed 386 necessary medical structures.
Despite all these efforts, many people affected by the earthquake continue to face challenges and to date, still lack access to basic services, electricity, water, food, health, education and livelihood opportunities, as do many others in Haiti. Migratory flows from Haiti to neighbouring countries as well as to North and South America are increasing as the most vulnerable population seeks new opportunities abroad.