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Ongoing efforts

World Vision’s continued work in Haiti

“Responding to an earthquake of such strength would be complicated even in the best-resourced nations. The factors that made Haiti so vulnerable to this calamity compound the difficulties of responding to it.”
—Kevin Jenkins, president, World Vision International

Thanks to our established presence in Haiti, World Vision was able to respond within hours to the 7.0-magnitude earthquake in January 2010. Since then, we’ve provided life-saving assistance to individuals in 27 displacement camps and helped thousands of children and families begin rebuilding their lives. And our work continues.

Though signs of progress in Haiti are plentiful, the road to recovery is long. More than 1 million people remain displaced, due in many cases to conflicts over land ownership, shortages of space for safe structures, and overwhelming amounts of remaining rubble in hard-to-access locations.

In addition to providing ongoing support to earthquake survivors, World Vision is also helping the country respond to new emergencies — including hurricanes and the cholera outbreak — and prepare to respond effectively to any future disasters.

World Vision’s cholera response

In October 2010, Haiti suffered an outbreak of cholera that spread to affect more than 44,700 people had hospitalized some 47,000 persons and resulted in more than 2,100 deaths in less than two months as of mid-December. World Vision’s response was immediate, with distributions of medical supplies, emergency medications, and water purification tablets in affected areas around Port-au-Prince.

In displacement camps within Port-au-Prince, where crowded conditions made families particularly vulnerable to the spread of disease, World Vision ramped up proactive prevention efforts including hygiene education, hand-washing demonstrations, and soap distributions.

As the threat of cholera continues, World Vision remains committed to helping affected individuals get critical care and working to prevent the spread of the disease — particularly within the Port-au-Prince displacement camps. Our ongoing water, sanitation, and hygiene programs — which include continued hand-washing training – are encouraging healthy practices that will help combat future illness.

Children carefully wash their hands at a World Vision Child-Friendly Space in St. Marie Therese, a camp for internally displaced persons.

Disaster preparedness and response

As hurricane season approached in the late summer and fall of 2010, World Vision was particularly concerned for displaced families. In preparation, we provided disaster preparedness and response training and strategically positioned staff and supplies so we could respond immediately in the event of a hurricane.

On November 5, 2010, Hurricane Tomas made landfall in southwestern Haiti, affecting several areas where World Vision has community development projects. World Vision staff quickly set up temporary shelters and distributed food to those affected. Thankfully, no deaths or serious damages were reported among sponsored children and their families.

World Vision displacement camps in Port-au-Prince, where families affected by the earthquake are living in temporary shelters, were not directly impacted by the hurricane. However, some camps experienced flooding, which contributed to conditions that encouraged the eventual cholera outbreak.

A World Vision aid worker delivers World Food Program supplies to quake-affected families on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince.

In the months and years to come, as Haitians settle into transitional shelters, displaced families will remain extremely vulnerable to new emergencies. As always, World Vision is committed to helping families prepare for and respond to disasters, and will continue to maintain pre-positioned goods that enable us to act immediately to help those affected.

Sustainable, long-term development

World Vision’s goal is to encourage community development and enable families to secure sustainable livelihoods, always with the best interests of children in mind. In the first year following the Haiti quake, we focused on ensuring access to food and helping families become self-reliant. Now, by equipping families to engage in agriculture and providing them with small business training, we are helping them create reliable sources of income and contribute to rebuilding their communities.

In partnership with other organizations and local government agencies, World Vision is also working to improve infrastructure and community services in Haiti. “Access to clean water, sanitation facilities, healthcare, and education will create a stronger Haiti in the future,” says Sabrina Pourmand-Nolen, World Vision’s emergency program director in Haiti.

Mothers in Haiti’s Parc Acra displacement camp learn about proper nutrition at the World Vision Mother’s Club.

As we did in the wake of the 2004 South Asia tsunami, World Vision has established a five-year plan for our recovery work in post-quake Haiti. Following this time frame, in accordance with our relief, recovery, and development model, we will continue to support long-term development programs to help Haitians build stronger communities — and a stronger country — for themselves and their children.



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