Four years after the Haiti earthquake, Habitat for Humanity continues long-term community development and capacity building
ATLANTA (Jan. 9, 2014) – Four years after the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010, Habitat for Humanity is focusing on long-term community development and capacity building. Habitat’s five-year disaster recovery program, aimed at helping more than 50,000 families or approximately 250,000 individuals in Port-au-Prince, Léogâne and Cabaret, was completed two years ahead of schedule.
The disaster recovery program included the distribution of emergency shelter kits with partner organizations, construction of transitional and upgradeable shelters, house damage assessments, home repair and rehabs and new permanent home construction. Habitat also trained thousands of individuals in construction techniques, financial literacy, damage assessments, disaster risk reduction and business development. In addition, approximately 2,100 job opportunities were created through the program.
“We are now focusing our efforts on helping communities rebuild and develop their capacity to organize and advocate for the benefit of all residents,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “We are committed to continuing our work in Haiti and helping more Haitian families move into safe, permanent homes and neighborhoods.”
In Simon-Pelé, a high-density, informal settlement in Port-au-Prince, Habitat is working in partnership with community leaders and residents to develop and execute a municipal development plan, including infrastructure projects, new home construction, home repairs and training. In addition, Habitat is partnering with Simon-Pelé’s community council to strengthen its expertise and capacity to organize and seek support for the needs of the community.
“Land tenure remains the biggest roadblock to reconstruction,” said Claude Jeudy, national director of Habitat for Humanity Haiti.” Habitat continues to play a leadership role in the Haiti Property Law Working Group to promote stable land development.”
In 2013, the Haiti Property Law Working Group published its first how-to manual and related training materials to bring clarity and transparency around land ownership in Haiti. Later this year, with input from more than 100 stakeholders, the second manual on securing land rights will be published with a focus on both public and private land. Together, the two manuals will facilitate private investments to create jobs, tenure security for informal settlements, the resettlement of camp dwellers and the use of housing and land as collateral for housing microfinance.
The earthquake damaged nearly 190,000 houses in Haiti, of which 105,000 were completely destroyed. Of the more than 2 million affected survivors, approximately 172,000 are still displaced, according to the International Organization for Migration.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International’s vision is a world where everyone has a decent place to live. Anchored by the conviction that housing provides a critical foundation for breaking the cycle of poverty, Habitat has helped more than 4 million people construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes since 1976. Habitat also advocates to improve access to decent and affordable shelter and supports a variety of funding models that enable families with limited resources to make needed improvements on their homes as their time and resources allow. As a nonprofit Christian housing organization, Habitat works in more than 70 countries and welcomes people of all races, religions and nationalities to partner in its mission. To learn more, donate or volunteer visit www.habitateurope.org.