IOM has been present in Haiti since 1994, when the organization began partnering with the Government of Haiti on migration management and capacity building programs following years of turmoil that had caused internal and international displacement, forced migration and considerable economic decline. In later years, IOM extended its cooperation to address and mitigate the effect that natural disasters have on the most vulnerable sections of the population.
Such cooperation has included addressing the consequences of Tropical Storm Jeanne and the massive flooding in Fonds-Verettes, to which IOM responded by adding drainage, reforestation and watershed management to its project portfolio.
Across the globe, IOM responds to emergencies that result in mass displacement. IOM acts as the lead agency for the Emergency Shelter and Camp Coordination and Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster in the event of a displacement crises caused by a natural disaster. After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, IOM personnel responded within 24 hours, providing and coordinating life-saving services and eventually partnering with the Government of Haiti and the international humanitarian community in the search for durable solutions to the displacement crisis.
During the rainy seasons of 2010, 2011 and 2012, IOM acted as the agency of last resort in the provision of emergency shelters and NFIs for the camp resident IDPs and communities. In August and October, 2012, the country was struck by Tropical Storm Isaac and Hurricane Sandy. The two disasters caused landslides and floods, resulting in massive agricultural devastation and new internal displacement. The latest hurricane to hit Haiti, Sandy, resulted in 54 deaths, 33,760 houses that were flooded, damaged or destroyed, and 2,949 people in emergency shelters, out of which 2,298 have no access to alternative shelter solutions. These new challenges compound the unmet humanitarian needs from previous disasters, including the 2008 hurricanes and subsequent food riots, and of course the January 2010 earthquake. In support to the Government of Haiti, IOM prepared for and responded to Hurricane Sandy and its effects through the following activities: Accompanied Evacuations; Communications and Sensitizations; Needs and Damage Assessments in Camps and Communities; NFI Distribution; and Cholera/Health Response.