Haiti - IOM Haiti this week received UKL 4.8 million in new funding from the UK's Department for International Development (DFID) that will allow the safe and dignified return and relocation of 5,164 internally displaced households (some 17,505 displaced individuals) from 20 camps in the Port-au-Prince area.
The 20 selected camps were on the list of priority camps, either due to environmental risks such as flooding and/or mudslides, or under threat of imminent eviction.
In some of the selected camps, living conditions are particularly difficult, with very limited space, serious water, sanitation and hygiene challenges, and a very high risk of disease for camp dwellers.
The targeted camps have also experienced gender-based violence. The IOM Protection Unit has been providing support to the victims of violence and delivering training on gender-based violence to community leaders, youth and women committees in camps. The unit is also providing support in mediating against illegal forced evictions, a constant threat in these camps.
"This project will renew the hope of a large number of families who have been waiting for the past three years to be relocated from a camp environment with high prevalence of crime, disease and sanitary issues, into communities of their choice with better security and basic services, allowing them to get back to a long desired normalcy," said Gregoire Goodstein, IOM Chief of Mission in Haiti.
Although there has been an overall decrease of around 80 per cent in the displaced population, and 77 per cent in the number of camps, the latest IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) of July 2013 estimated that 278,945 individuals (or some 70,910 households) still remain in 352 sites. At the height of displacement in 2010, some 1.5 million Haitians were living in camps.
Through the cash grant rental subsidies, the Government of Haiti has enabled over 33,184 families to move from Haiti's displacement camps into safe housing so far. Since August 2011, when the rental subsidies approach started to be applied in Haiti, it has proven to be a fast, cost-effective, results-oriented method of providing housing solutions and the best way to facilitate IDP returns from camps to communities in the short-term.
IOM has also been engaged in cholera-related activities since the cholera outbreak in October 2010. Activities include health and cholera prevention training, first-line cholera treatment (rehydration and triage to decide if further medical referral is needed) and medical referrals.
In preparation for the 2013 hurricane season which began on June 1st, the IOM Health Unit installed three Oral Rehydration Posts in the area to address the needs of camp residents.
"With the tropical storm season underway, the United Kingdom is pleased to be able to support the relocation of those most vulnerable into new and safe accommodation and improve access to water and sanitation. This project is expected to last until May 2014," said Rick Shearn, British Charge d'Affaires in Haiti.
"Closure of the camps is an important step in Haiti's long-term recovery and I was pleased to be able to participate in the first phase of the relocation and meet a number of the beneficiaries. Following the re-opening of the British Embassy in Port-au-Prince last month, ties between the UK and Haiti are going from strength to strength," he added.
Through the cash grant rental subsidies, the Government of Haiti has enabled over 33,184 families to move from camps into safe housing.
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