Number of Haitians living in post-earthquake camps drops sharply


The latest IOM Haiti Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) published this week reports a decrease of some 6,400 households or 27,230 people in Haiti’s camps for internally displaced persons (IDPs) between January and March 2013.

The largest decrease was reported in the commune of Delmas (2,623 households), followed by Port-au-Prince (2,229) and Pétionville (946), which together accounted for 94% of the decrease in internally displaced households.

Compared to the height of displacement in 2010, when some 1.5 million Haitians were living in camps following the January 2010 earthquake, the number of IDPs has now shrunk by 79%. But 81,350 households or 320,050 individuals still remain in 385 sites countrywide.

About 60 per cent of the reduction in displaced households in the last three months can be directly linked to the government’s rental subsidy programs, carried out by various partner agencies, including IOM.

Of the families remaining in camps as of March 2013, 14,430 families (17.7%) are being lined up to join the rental subsidy support program.

But almost 67,000 households still have no prospect of moving out of the IDP sites, and 21,600 of them are at risk of being evicted. Since January 2010, evictions have accounted for 6% of the overall decrease in IDP households.

According to the DTM, most of the 385 IDP sites that remain consist of precarious, makeshift structures that leave residents extremely vulnerable, particularly during the hurricane season. Some 86 per cent of the sites have no transitional shelters (T-Shelters); about 11 per cent have mixed structures that include tents, makeshift shelters and some T-Shelters.

Adding to the dreadful living conditions, only 22 of these 385 sites, hosting 32 per cent of the displaced households (nearly 96,000 individuals), have dedicated camp management support. This support includes capacity building of camp committees, rapid assessment following floods, emergency and routine distributions, and reporting of camp vulnerabilities such as sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) cases. It is critical because camp coordinators act as the voice of IDPs to external actors, both local and international.

“Earlier this month, IOM received a generous contribution of C$1.2 million from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) that will allow us to continue to provide camp management and camp assessments in all remaining IDP sites for the time being,” said Gregoire Goodstein, IOM Chief of Mission in Haiti.

“But we are still appealing for US$ 900,000 to ensure the continuity of our Displacement Tracking Matrix at least until June 2014,” he added.

As displaced families become more difficult to identify two years after the earthquake, the DTM has become an increasingly essential tool for the government and the humanitarian community.  It generates lists of individual beneficiaries which are shared with government and partners who manage return and housing projects. The lists are crossed-checked with the database in order to keep track of all individuals who have already benefited from some form of assistance, to avoid duplication of support.

“Without this capacity, and regular updates of IDP site registrations, the government and humanitarian partners would not have an effective verification tool to make grant and relocation decisions. This could lead to a situation where it would be impossible to distinguish IDPs from the urban poor,” says Goodstein.

For more information, please contact

Michela Macchiavello
IOM Haiti

For IOM’s latest DTM on Haiti, please visit: