Haiti – IOM and its partners this week inaugurated a new shelter centre that will house 600 displaced Haitians previously living in destitute conditions in a makeshift camp.
The centre, located in the commune of Cassagne, near the western city of Leogane, the epicenter of the 2010 earthquake, has 134 houses, which will provide a safe, clean and healthy environment for 600 people.
It was developed by a variety of partners. The Korean organization Serving Friends International facilitated the long-term lease of the site, the sanitation and built a school for the children of the centre and of the area.
The UN Mission for Stabilization in Haiti (MINUSTAH) donated all of the material needed to build the 134 structures. And the Korean contingent of MINUSTAH participated in the preparation of the grounds, building a bridge and the drainage system, and planting trees. IOM built the 134 houses with funding of US$ 300,000 from the Government of the Republic of Korea.
The site includes toilet blocks, solar lighting, shower facilities and water. It is located near the centre of Leogane, where the resident can access health facilities.
"The school that our organization built will provide education to the children of this Centre and from the area. It is our hope that these children will become independent and be instrumental in the development of their country,' said Heegon Moon, President of Serving Friends International.
The funds also allowed IOM to assist a group of 66 internally displaced families in the Gressier area, also in Haiti's western region, to leave a camp and move into houses.
"The local Council of Leogane was instrumental in facilitating the work and in making this project a reality. The issue of return to decent accommodation for displaced persons living in camps almost three years after the earthquake has been identified by the President and the Prime Minister of Haiti as one of their top priorities," said Gregoire Goodstein, IOM Chief of Mission in Haiti.
"The latest information in the IOM Data Tracking Matrix or DTM confirmed that at the end of October 2012 there were 90,415 families, or 357,785 individuals, still living in camps," added. Goodstein.
Since 2010, IOM has provided transitional shelters to 739 families in Leogane. Leogane still has 1,724 families, or 5,931 persons, living in precarious conditions in camps.
"The number of families still living in camps is much too high a number so long after the earthquake. More needs to be done to finally end the displacement crisis in Haiti," declared Goodstein.
IOM will continue supporting the efforts of the Government of Haiti in finding long-term solutions for those still displaced and living in camps, especially for those with special protection needs such as the disabled and other vulnerable groups.
Since 2010, the international community has assisted a total of 158,833 Haitian families, or approximately 635,332 individuals living in camps since the earthquake to find housing solutions. These include 110,964 transitional shelters built by members of the IOM-led Emergency Shelter Cluster; 23,233 rental subsidies for one year; 5,911 permanent shelters; as well as repairs to damaged houses.
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