|Update from Haiti - 6 Month Report|
Six months ago, life in Haiti was dramatically altered. Since that day, AVSI’s staff has been standing hand-in-hand with the children and women of Port-au-Prince, attending to basic needs while also helping them to resume their individual journeys of school, life and work.
AVSI’s staff of 130 is driven by the desire to share the life of the Haitian people and the particularly dramatic needs being faced today. AVSI’s projects reflect an opportunity and a tool for AVSI to communicate a reason to not lose hope.
We highlight here the major improvements and expansion in sectors which are critical for sustainable reconstruction and a transition toward decent and normal living conditions.
For a text-only version of the report, keep reading below.
For a full report with maps and pictures, click here.
For AVSI's on-line Photo Gallery, go to Flickr.
In the neighborhoods of Cité Soleil (Place Fierté, Bas Fontain, Parc Bobi/Tapis Vert, Warf Jeremie) and Martissant, the two areas where AVSI was already at work before the earthquake, AVSI is reaching 30,000 people with integrated interventions focused on basic life-saving and recovery activities.
Building from the initial school under a tent started in early February, today 3,000 children attending school regularly in:
v 6 multi-class tents
v 1 school in a semi-permanent structure
v 3 preexisting schools which have been rehabilitated
In addition, 9 more schools are currently under renovation, following the authorization by the Ministry of Education.
Child development, care and protection
In dedicated and protected spaces in the displacement areas, AVSI has initiated child development and protection activities in cooperation with UNICEF. Children are also accompanied; every orphan who arrives at AVSI’s doors is assigned to an adult social worker to foster a relationship of trust and ensure consistent care. Early childhood and youth care and development through recreational and after school activities (from 18 months to 18 years)
v Individual case management for the most vulnerable orphans, children with disabilities, and those experiencing psycho-social trauma
v Special care for adolescent girls
v Family tracing and reintegration for unaccompanied youth
v Mothers of infants up to 6 months receive special assistance and “comfort” tools
Health and Nutrition
Since two volunteer doctors (a pediatrician and a surgeon) arrived immediately after the catastrophe, 10 medical doctors, one obstetrician and one nurse have rotated through the temporary health centers to ensure both immediate care as well training and support to the local medical staff. Now a team of 23 nurses and 5 nutritionists is at work in 3 health care centers and 7 pre and post-natal and nutrition clinics; a mobile team reaches out to the people unable to arrive at the centers.
v 628 children with acute malnutrition have been identified and are being treated
v Supplementary food rations have been procured in cooperation with the World Food Program and UNICEF and have been distributed to 21,264 people (15,700 children, 3,700 pregnant mothers and 1,885, breast feeding mothers).Up to now more than 1 million pounds of enriched flour, vegetable oil and sugar have been distributed on a weekly basis. 36,432 rations of breast-milk substitutes have been distributed.
v Particular attention is being paid to the needs of expecting mothers and those with small infants, through the 7 pre and post-natal and nutrition clinics which monitor health and nutrition indicators and ensure vaccinations of infants.
Water supply and livelihoods
AVSI is ensuring that provision of water remains steady through 3 holding containers, “bladders”, of 2,000 gallons each in addition to 10 water tanks of drinking water which is provided through a purification system with capacity of 50,000 gallons per month. Lamp stands have been placed to illuminate critical points in the settlements for safety and comfort.
In June, AVSI carried out a second general survey following the first survey conducted in February which identified priority health and nutrition needs. The second survey took place in the assigned camps in Cité Soleil to identify the place of origin of the settlers, and to identify those with chronic illnesses or disability and their working skills. This data, together with outcomes of the infrastructure assessments carried out by other agencies, provides input for the formulation of an intervention plan aimed at income generating activities and building renovation. Within this perspective, AVSI already has some glimpse of the transition away from a life of subsistence and uncertainty.
A significant number of people have relocated in this city and the surrounding areas in the South Department of Haiti after being displaced from their homes in the capital. In Les Cayes, AVSI has reached 14,640 with food distribution. AVSI will continue and expand its pre-existing programs to support both the local population and the newly displaced.
v Infrastructural interventions in drinkable water supply and irrigation to improve income generating potential
v Foster production and productivity of rice and other crops at the family level
v Support household animal husbandry
v Educational, nutritional and social interventions
More Information on AVSI's Relief Effort in Haiti, click here.