Immediately following the earthquake, Relief International (RI) entered Haiti to provide rapid humanitarian response, which evolved into a basic primary health and water, sanitation and hygiene program. RI also responds to the needs of displaced families by providing transitional shelter, rubble removal and training in disaster risk reduction. RI Haiti is beginning implementation of a child protection program, which will establish 16 child friendly spaces in multiple communities and major IDP camps. RI is also establishing women’s centers to provide protection and empowerment programs for earthquake-affected women and girls. Since its initial humanitarian response, RI’s goals are shifting to respond to longer-term needs of Haitians in the areas of livelihoods, education, child protection, and women’s empowerment. Our current programs include:
EMERGENCY AND TRANSITIONAL SHELTER - RI is providing displaced families with a shelter package to help them begin rebuilding their homes.
CHILD PROTECTION- RI is providing four major IDP camps and 12 communities with permanent child friendly spaces. Further, RI will establish and train Community Child Protection Committees in all communities to organize educational and recreational activities for boys and girls who have experienced psychosocial distress and/or who have been unable to return to school. A health component will be integrated into the child friendly spaces ,
WOMEN’S CENTERS - RI is establishing a women’s center in the Croix des Bouquets commune. This center will provide a safe and accessible place for women and girls.
MULTI-SECTORAL ASSISTANCE TO EARTHQUAKE AFFECTED POPULATION - RI's mobile clinics and medical staff have established 3 public health facilities. In addition, RI made water and sanitation improvements to 3 public health clinics and built 500 improved emergency latrines in 58 IDP camps, employing cash for work laborers.
RI has seen great steps be made in the journey to recovery for Haiti over the last six months. So far, RI’s health program has treated 12,724 patients from the beginning of operations in January to the end of March. To support these efforts, RI has hired Haitian medical teams and built their capacity through formal training, coaching, and ongoing clinical supervision, focusing on communicable and non-communicable diseases, health education, behavior change, reproductive health and pharmaceuticals.
The Haitian medical teams have also become the primary medical providers, with volunteer doctors and nurses serving in a capacity building role. Because RI has trained and is now deploying Haitian health professionals to
multiple sites every day, as well as continuing the development of community contacts, there has been considerable growth in the number of patients seen per month.
RI has also initiated an emergency sanitation program addressing some of the most critical sanitation needs in the earthquake-affected areas. To date, RI has built 24 high-quality emergency latrines using a modified design to accommodate the shallow water table in urban Port-au-Prince. RI expects to achieve its target of 500 emergency latrines well ahead of the end of this grant period.
To continue building sanitation capacity, RI has been working with RI’s Community Outreach Officers to canvas the community identifying sites where health, shelter and water and sanitation interventions are needed. In this way, the COOs serve as a bridge between RI program staff and the community. In addition to partnering with beneficiaries and community leaders, RI is reaching out to government leaders to ensure that they understand our interventions. RI has begun developing relationships with community and government stakeholders that it seeks to build into long-term, participatory partnerships.
In the next quarter, RI will continue successful health interventions such as the mobile clinics and support to fixed clinics, while expanding the number we work with. Health education and hygiene promotion activities will be initiated, with a focus on using clinical data to develop relevant health education messages that are targeted for the communities that we serve. RI will significantly accelerate water and sanitation activities and latrine construction will be increased. We look forward to the success of RI’s initiatives in the coming months!
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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