Haiti

Haiti’s homeless earthquake victims drop significantly, but worry continues

 

The number of people internally displaced by Haiti’s January 2010 earthquake and living in squalid camps has dropped by 91 percent.

 
Port-au-Prince police patrol the crowded streets after an earthquake destroyed the city on January 12th, 2010.
Port-au-Prince police patrol the crowded streets after an earthquake destroyed the city on January 12th, 2010.
CHARLES TRAINOR JR / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

jcharles@MiamiHerald.com

They once numbered as many as 1.5 million, living underneath tattered tents and in squalid camps dotted across Haiti’s congested capital and nearby cities.

But four years after the country’s devastating earthquake, the number of Haitians displaced by the Jan. 12, 2010, disaster and still living in camps has dropped to 137,553 in 243 camp sites, the International Organization for Migration said Monday.

Still, there are some worrying trends despite the 91 percent drop: families unable to pay rent are returning to the camps, while other camps are showing little to no prospect of ever being emptied, the Geneva-based humanitarian group said in its latest report.

“The phenomenon of new families moving into camps and families splitting and occupying more tents constitutes a worrying trend observed in 68 [camp] sites,” the report said.

Reversing the trend and emptying out the remaining camps require a strong commitment from the Haitian government to come up with solutions, the report said.

Among the report’s other highlights: None of the 30 camps that closed between January and March did so because of forced evictions, an ongoing concern for international human rights and humanitarian groups.

Most of the closures were the result of a government-led effort to relocate people from squalid camps into permanent housing with the help of rental subsidies. The initiative is financed by the international community.

Clément Bélizaire, director of the government’s camp relocation and rehabilitation program, said despite the challenges the progress shows the government remains committed to making tent cities a thing of the past. Since June 2011, 339 have closed.

“Since 1986, this the first time I’ve seen so many projects being implemented, and in many ways, a lot of neighborhoods today are in much better shape than before the quake due to significant investments made in infrastructures,” he said.

Read more Haiti stories from the Miami Herald

  • Haiti

    U.S. lawmakers to Haitian Senate: Vote for election law

    A bipartisan group of 15 members of the U.S. Congress have written to Haitian Senate President Simon Desras calling on senators to pass the legislation necessary for long overdue elections to take place this year.

  •  
A supporter of Haiti's former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide holds up a picture of him, while demonstrating in front of his house during a protest in his support, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Thursday, Aug. 21, 2014. Supporters of the former president have been blocking the street in front of his house as the popular former leader faces possible arrest for not providing court-ordered testimony in a criminal investigation.

    Haiti

    Despite election delays, Aristide remains focus

    Defying a judge’s order, opposition leaders in Haiti plan to visit former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was put under house arrest last week as part of an ongoing criminal investigation.

  •  
Haiti's first lady Sophia Martelly, right, talks with Health Minister Florence Duperval Guillaume in a warehouse housing a donation of kits to treat chikungunya, in the Cite Soleil slum, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. The U.S. medical group Direct Relief donated millions of kits to treat the mosquito-borne virus that has sickened tens of thousands across the Caribbean over the past year.

    Haiti gets help for mosquito-borne virus outbreak

    Haiti has received a large shipment of treatment packets to help it deal with an outbreak of the mosquito-borne virus known as chikungunya amid a rainy season expected to result in a surge of new cases in the country, officials said Wednesday.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category