The January 2010 earthquake destroyed or damaged more than 300,000 houses and displaced 1.5 million people. As the agency with the mandate to provide shelter for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) whose displacement is caused by a natural disaster, IOM has a responsibility to provide Durable Housing Solutions in order to end displacement. Housing solutions provided have evolved with the different phases from emergency to development, viz., Emergency, Transitional, and Permanent shelter assistance. Having constructed over 11,400 T-Shelters, the team has the requisite experience in addressing land tenure obstacles, planning sites, and identifying beneficiaries that support permanent housing reconstruction initiatives. Now that Haiti has entered a reconstruction and development phase, IOM has implemented permanent housing pilot project and is in the process of scaling-up its reconstruction activities. These permanent housing solutions will allow for an increase in the housing stock available in Haiti, and facilitate the return of IDPs remaining in camps after three years.
Site Planning & Engineering
To support the various housing/shelter solutions provided to IDPs, the Site Planning and Engineering team identifies, designs and constructs safe, durable and sustainable return and relocation solutions for displaced populations. Since the January 2010 earthquake, this has included the planning and implementation of new relocation settlements (5 sites developed; 10,320 persons relocated) in accordance with international humanitarian standards, land suitability assessments and physical hazard assessments (730 assessments conducted). Additionally, the Site Planning team implements mitigation works in spontaneous settlements (works implemented in 8 camps), debris removal and community reconstruction projects in Port au Prince and other earthquake-affected communes. Using a community-based approach, the Site Planning Team designs urban plans in earthquake-affected neighbourhood to reflect the desires and needs of local residents.
Infrastructure and Environment
IOM Infrastructure and Environment implement community-driven planning and implementation towards mitigating the push factors that cause irregular migration, namely: natural disasters, unemployment, endemic violence, and lack of access to basic infrastructure.
Having worked both in the most violent neighbourhoods in Port au Prince (e.g. Martissant and Cite Soleil, inter alia), and hotspots throughout the country (e.g. Gonaives and Cap Haitian, inter alia), the program facilitates cooperation between government and marginalized communities by creating opportunities for dialogue and collaboration around the rehabilitation of public infrastructure. Schools, small roads, canals, bridges, public squares, water systems, peri-urban agriculture and irrigation infrastructure improvement are part of a larger campaign to promote positive civic participation, community cohesion and reconciliation. These activities that facilitate stabilization of Haiti are also designed to highlight the importance of community commitment and involvement in the peace, reconciliation and development process. These activities have participated in conflicts reduction, including through the promotion of sustainable economic development in volatile vulnerable areas.