More than five years after the devastating earthquake of January 12th 2010, an estimated 64,680 IDP individuals or 16,230 IDP households remain in 66 IDP sites in Haiti. Given the lack of durable housing solutions and despite a considerable reduction in the total displaced population since the onset of the emergency, the current numbers provided by the Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) show that the trend of decreasing displacement is slowing.
Camp Management Operations (CMO) & Returns
As the Camp Coordination, Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster lead, IOM leads the management of camps, in coordination with local organizations, authorities and camp committees, and community leaders. In addition, this leadership entails a responsibility to assist IDPs to access durable solutions within the framework of Government return and relocation strategies. We are working in the seven communes of Port au-Prince (Carrefour, Delmas, Croix des Bouquets, Petionville, Tabarre, Cite Soleil and Port-au-Prince) and the affected southern regions of Jacmel, Gressier, Leogane, Petit Goave and Grand Goave.
Bearing in mind the vulnerability of the persons remaining in camps almost three years after the January 2010 earthquake, the Government of Haiti (GoH) and the humanitarian community see the decommissioning of camps as a high priority. To date, the most effective strategy to facilitate voluntary camp exits is direct rental assistance that allows IDPs to identify a safe home in a neighborhood of their choosing for a 12-month period. Through this approach, IOM has facilitated more than 53,000 IDP households voluntary exits from the camps as of June 2015.
Conditions in camps are deteriorating rapidly as humanitarian actors exit due to a lack of funding. For those remaining in camps awaiting returns assistance, a coherent CCCM response is required to maintain basic levels of internationally accepted standards for infrastructure, water sanitation and hygiene (WASH) services, and mitigation works in camps. Aimed at responding to the needs of all IDPs currently living in camps, the Camp Management Operations (CMO) Unit carries out camp management activities throughout all IDP camps. CMO teams are needed to continue working closely with the GoH to improve camp conditions and provide for the protection and security of IDPs. Since 2010, to ensure the sustainability of its activities, IOM has carried out capacity building activities for DPC staff in CCCM. This has enabled the GoH to assume a more visible and responsive role in CCCM.
The technical unit of WASH supports the return process through the upgrading of infrastructure in return and relocation areas, while keeping-up a minimum level of life-saving services in IDP camps.
The WASH team works closely with the Government of Haiti through the Direction National de l’Eau Portable et l’Assainissement (DINEPA), to carry out its activities in existing camps and neighbourhoods in the earthquake-affected areas. WASH activities include 6 general areas, namely, Water, Sanitation, Solid Waste Management, Mitigation, Hygiene Promotion, and Cholera Response.
These activities are implemented in camps and neighborhoods, based on participative approaches aimed at providing sustainable, community-managed solutions related to water and sanitation services, ensuring basic service-provision for the IDPs in the camps and responding to emergencies.
IOM’s protection unit, in coordination with IOM’s Camp Management Operations, Counter-Trafficking, Health and Psychosocial units, intervenes directly throughout the IDP camps providing immediate response to Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV), child protection concerns, assistance to the most vulnerable, and preventive measures through awareness-raising campaigns. IOM Protection has supported the construction and operation of a safe house in a confidential location and works closely with the Ministry of Women’s Affairs to reinforce response for victims.
IOM Haiti Protection Unit is very active in the various return projects, ensuring that protection is mainstreamed within IOM team and governmental counterparts. Protection represents a cross‐cutting theme which runs across every step of the return process. Ensuring respect of the rights of the families in camps and placing the protection of the vulnerable at the core of these programs fundamentally improves the returns and relocation strategy. Services and support provided to IDPs include: Vulnerable IDP case management; Coordination with stakeholders; Logistical and material assistance; Awareness-raising campaigns, in addition to support in mediations during forced evictions.
In coordination with the CMO, the IOM Protection unit monitors ongoing eviction threats affecting the IDP population. There are currently 105 camps under threat of eviction. IOM, in coordination with the Protection Cluster and the MINUSTAH Human Rights Section, will continue monitoring and mediating between the municipalities, landowners, and IDP representatives.
In collaboration with MINUSTAH Gender and Human Rights Unit, the CCCM cluster, Protection Cluster, IOM’s Protection unit seeks to develop procedures and strategies to ensure the mainstreaming of protection for IDPs.