ATLANTA (Jan. 11, 2013) — Three years after the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on Jan. 12, 2010, Habitat for Humanity’s five-year disaster recovery program has helped more than 50,000 families or approximately 250,000 individuals in Port-au-Prince, Léogâne and Cabaret.
As part of its effort to provide 50,000 families with pathways to permanent housing, Habitat has distributed emergency shelter kits with partner organizations, constructed transitional or upgradeable shelters, conducted house damage assessments and repaired, rehabbed and constructed permanent core houses as part of its permanent housing community in Léogâne.
“Through the commitment of Habitat staff, volunteers and donors, we reached our goal of improving the lives of more than 50,000 families two years prior to our targeted date. However, our work is far from done,” said Jonathan Reckford, CEO of Habitat for Humanity International. “We are focusing our efforts on training, capacity building and community rebuilding to help more Haitian families move into safe, permanent homes.”
In a country with more than 60 percent unemployment, Habitat is helping to build long-term economic growth and sustainability by training and hiring Haitians. Approximately 1,400 job opportunities have been created by Habitat’s recovery program and nearly 80 percent of its full-time central staff is Haitian. In addition, Habitat has trained thousands of individuals in construction techniques, financial literacy, damage assessments, disaster risk reduction and business development.
One area of Habitat’s focus in Haiti is in the densely populated, urban neighborhood of Simon-Pelé in Port-au-Prince where the organization is helping families improve their living conditions and gain access to critical services for their community. To ensure a community-driven approach, local councils consisting of representatives elected by neighborhood committees contribute to the municipal development plan.
Additionally, since land tenure remains the biggest roadblock to reconstruction, Habitat has played a leadership role in creating and sustaining the Haiti Property Law Working Group. Habitat drew on its global advocacy work on land rights and its 27 years of experience in Haiti to bring together a diverse coalition which continues to support and enable Haiti in the recovery effort through the appropriate development of property for job creation, wealth creation, housing and other public purposes.
The earthquake damaged nearly 190,000 houses in Haiti, of which 105,000 were completely destroyed. Of the more than 2 million affected survivors, 300,000 are still displaced, according to the International Organization for Migration.
About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is a global nonprofit Christian housing organization that seeks to put God’s love into action by bringing people together to build homes, communities and hope. Since 1976, Habitat has served more than 600,000 families by welcoming people of all races, religions and nationalities to construct, rehabilitate or preserve homes; by advocating for fair and just housing policies; and by providing training and access to resources to help families improve their shelter conditions. For more information, to donate or to volunteer, please visit www.habitat.org , or follow us at www.facebook.com/habitat  or at www.twitter.com/habitat_org  or join Habitat’s blog community at www.habitat.org/blog .