April 6, 2011
—With Wednesday's open debate on Haiti in the Security Council of the United Nations, World Vision and other leading organizations have signed a joint letter urging the UN to prioritize care of Haiti's women and children.
H.E. Ambassador Nestor Osorio
President of the Security Council
H.E. Mr. Ban Ki-moon
Secretary General of the United Nations
H.E. Ambassadors Members of the U.N. Security Council
H.E. Mr. William J. Clinton
United Nations Special Envoy for Haiti
Our organizations have a long term commitments to the children and families of Haiti
. After the devastation suffered by its people in the 2010 Earthquake, we mounted a major humanitarian effort to save lives, provide relief and support and to ensure a sustainable reconstruction process.
As the humanitarian community’s response transitions from emergency programming to long-term development, while emergency interventions continue to be a necessity, our concern for the most vulnerable, particularly women and children continues to be a priority.
We welcome the Government of Colombia’s initiative to hold a Security Council open debate on April 6, 2011 on the international community’s commitment to Haiti. Therefore, we wish to contribute by calling your attention to the following:
1. Despite the fact that the internally displaced population has gone down from 1.5 million people to 680,000, IOM, 16 March 2011: Haiti Camp Coordination Camp Management Cluster. Displacement Tracking Matrix. the reality is that over half a million people are still at high risk. With the approaching rainy and hurricane season in a country still fighting cholera infections, the vulnerability of these people will increase even further. Humanitarian support and protection to displaced persons living in camps remains an imperative.
Resettlement plans and policies are urgently required and both the Government of Haiti and the international community need to intensify efforts to find durable and sustainable solutions. Haitian stakeholders should be meaningfully engaged in the decision making process to ensure ownership and respect of their human rights.
2. Protection of the most vulnerable groups must be a priority. Violence against women, youth and children has continued and in some areas has increased. Our first hand observation, numerous reports and studies indicate that over 60% of women and children in camps fear sexual violence being perpetrated against themselves or a member of their family and over 70% are more worried about sexual violence since the earthquake. Sexual Violence Against IDPs Camps: Results of a Household Survey. March 2011. Center for Human Rights and Global Justice. New York University. School of Law.
3. Decentralization of government resources and services is key to long term sustainable development in Haiti. The international community should encourage civil society capacity building and the mobilization of programs to strengthen the ability of communities to both lead and manage their own development. These programs should have a strong focus on the participation of children, women, youth and other vulnerable groups.
4. The international community must renew and demonstrate its support to building and strengthening the Government of Haiti’s structural and institutional capacity, especially at this point in time when Haiti is about to usher in a newly elected President and Parliament. Moreover, it must strongly promote participation of the Haitian population in the major decision-making processes that concern their own futures and need to create a culture of participation.
Both the Government of Haiti and the international donor community must work to strengthen the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission Established by the Government of Haiti on April 21, 2010. to realize its mandate of implementing the Action Plan for National Recovery and Development of Haiti. Government of Haiti. March 2010. To date, the IHRC has focused too heavily on projects and not enough on sustainable sector-wide approaches to Haiti’s recovery and development. To address this systematically, the IHRC should oversee the re-establishment of Haitian-led, multi-stakeholder Sector Tables. The Sector Tables should provide the IHRC Board with evolving sector strategies that allow the Board to better identify and address structural, institutional and programmatic challenges and priorities. At present, the Sector Tables seem to constitute a parallel process to the IHRC which undermines an inclusive, coordinated and strategic approach in Haiti.
We acknowledge the international community has made commendable efforts and contribution in Haiti so far. Nevertheless, our combined efforts and support to the people of Haiti and its Government are still critical to ensure long lasting development that guarantees access by the most vulnerable to healthcare, education, social protection, basic services as well as participation, particularly of women, youth and children.
Kind Regards,Signing organizations
World Vision International
Save the Children International
SOS Children’s Villages International
International Rescue Committee
Catholic Medical Mission Board
Finn Church Aid Act Alliance
Plant with Purpose
United Methodist Committee on Relief
America’s Development FoundationAbout World VisionWorld Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve the world's poor -- regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. For more information on their efforts, visit WorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews