Haiti, four years later
Since the devastating earthquake of 12 January 2010 that killed more than 200 000 people, damaged or destroyed more than 300,000 buildings and left 1.5 million people displaced from their homes, UNDP has been working with the Haitian government to help communities to rebuild, recover and become more resilient to future catastrophes.
Efforts have focused on building a sustainable future for the country and developing capacity in: recovery and poverty reduction, democratic governance, environmental protection, disaster risk management, and the fight against HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis, while paying particular attention to women’s empowerment.
- Reconstruction: 97 percent of the 10 million cubic debris removed from the streets and 20 percent recycled.
- Recovery: 11,000 displaced families relocated and 50 camps closed.
- More than 4,000 meters of river bank protection structures has been constructed to guard against floodingl.
Recovery and poverty reduction
Ninety-seven percent of the ten million cubic meters of debris generated by the earthquake has now been cleared. The joint UN debris management project alone contributed to the removal of one million cubic meters of debris, recycling the rubble into paving stones, stairs, corridors, houses and public spaces.
The number of people living in camps decreased from 1.5 million to 145,403 today, allowing over one million people to return home. With UNDP help, more than 11,000 families have now been relocated, allowing for the closure of 50 temporary camps.
In order to identify the families most at risk from poverty, UNDP has helped government social workers to survey households across the country. Nearly 15,000 households in low income areas have now been identified as "vulnerable." This represents close to 100,000 people. The information gathered through the surveys will assist the government in channeling resources to the poorest and most at risk.
Various joint initiatives with the Ministry of Commerce and Industry support broader job creation across the country. The Supplier Development Programme aims to stimulate the economy by connecting small farmers to markets and strengthening the competitiveness of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises through partnerships with large companies.
In Port-au-Prince more than 500 men and women in vulnerable situations have been incorporated into an economic production centre, which has trained them in handicrafts and small scale industry and allowed them to improve their economic prospects.
Disaster risk reduction
In 2013, UNDP supported the Government of Haiti in defining a “Roadmap for earthquake risk reduction in Haiti”. Zoning maps of the four major cities of the north of the country confirmed the high level of risk that exists should another major earthquake occur.
Preventive measures are now being adopted to ensure that earthquake-resistant buildings are built, and Haitians know what to do to keep themselves safe in the event of a disaster. So far 600 master trainers, 300 students and more than 180 aid volunteers have been trained and are raising awareness across the country.
More than 4,000 meters of river bank protection has been constructed to guard against flooding, which occurs regularly during hurricanes and torrential rainfall. Many of these structures were completed using recycled debris.
In 2013, UNDP strengthened the dialogue between the ministries of the environment from both sides of the Haitian-Dominican border. Through the “Green Border” project, more than 400 hectares of land were reforested in an effort to make the country more resilient to natural disasters and 800 short-term jobs were created, of which more than a third for women. Both countries continue to exchange best practices, strengthening South-South cooperation.
In addition, UNDP has been working closely with the Ministry of Environment on the development of a national policy on adaptation to climate change that must ultimately prepare the country to counter the effects of global warming, especially in the sectors of agriculture, health, economy and urbanisation.
In 2013, UNDP and its partners continued to pursue the implementation of the administrative reform project, designed to provide a regulatory and operation framework for land use and economic and social development.
In the justice sector UNDP supported the formation of teams within the judiciary training school that specialize in training prospective legal practitioners in gender-based violence, investigative techniques and detecting graft.
Fight against HIV/AIDS and TB
Nearly 52,000 people living with HIV continue to receive antiretroviral therapy, and more than 7,000 counselling sessions were organised, to help strengthen their resilience to the disease.
More than 2,000 sex workers received awareness training on HIV/AIDS and condom use. Over 18 million condoms were distributed between 2012 and 2013 and 500,000 people were tested. During 2013, 264 centres provided diagnostic services and tuberculosis treatment.
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UNDP has been working for the past four years with relevant ministries to support the transition from emergency to development.
UNDP’s goal is not just to enable a rapid transition to long-term recovery, but also to offer hope
and means to those who survived the crisis to rebuild their lives.
The recovery process will take many years, but numerous results have already been observed on the ground over the past 24 months.
Families, communities and women themselves are at the forefront of the collaborative efforts in building a more resilient in Haiti.
Photo gallery: Rebuiding Haiti