Jérémie, Haiti, February 9, 2022 —
Six months following the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that rocked Haiti on August 14, 2021, CARE and its partners announce today that they have reached 10,000 people directly and 94,000 people overall with life-saving shelter, food, water, protection, and health services, despite the earthquake compounding the pre-existing confluence of hunger, COVID-19, and security challenges.
“Amid unprecedented challenges, communities in Haiti have demonstrated astounding resilience as they work to tackle the pressing humanitarian needs, including those caused by the August 14th earthquake,” said Scott LeFevre, CARE Haiti Country Director. “Much more remains to be done to ensure that all Haitians can meet their basic needs. CARE began our life-saving response work within 20 minutes of the earthquake six months ago. We asked women and men, boys and girls directly about their situation and needs. Today, six months later, our response is providing for these needs.”
As part of CARE’s response, CARE partners with local NGO Initiative Citoyenne pour les Droits de l’Homme (ICDH) throughout the Grand’Anse Department in the earthquake response to help abandoned or orphaned children enter a foster or children’s home. “The situation is very precarious,” said Steves Michel Petit-Homme, ICDH program manager, “and the August 14th earthquake only made things worse.” The project reached children in child-friendly spaces, where they can play, dance, and be creative, along with community members to raise awareness about children’s protection needs and gender-based violence. “CARE and ICDH have a good partnership,” Petit-Homme continued. “It is a partnership that is fruitful and will yield good results; it must continue.”
The earthquake made the pre-existing crises more acute. “The earthquake’s effects were not limited to lives lost and damaged and destroyed homes, schools, and clinics,” said Scheila Armand, CARE Haiti Nutrition and Community Health Specialist. “The bridge that connects Jérémie both with the department’s smaller towns and the rest of the country suffered severe damage that remains six months later. Beyond transporting shelter and hygiene supplies, CARE helped transport vaccines and distribution teams over the bridge into vehicles on the other side to vaccinate people in rural areas. CARE also conducted vaccination awareness campaigns before they arrived in rural communities.”
Before the earthquake, CARE had long worked with Alexis Fleurette, a farmer, and her community in Chardonnette, one such rural village on the other side of the earthquake-damaged bridge. The fears of COVID-19 had suspended many activities, including their livelihood-generating farm work. Six months after the earthquake, Fleurette says, “I want to give a big thank you to CARE. Personally, I got vaccinated because of the vaccination awareness campaign.”
Going forward, the needs are immense. CARE and partners plan to distribute cash to benefit more than 25,000 pregnant women, women with young children, and other vulnerable people in the coming months. CARE will also rehabilitate at least six water systems with local government and community partners throughout the region. In addition, in an expanded partnership with local NGO Initiative pour le Développement des Jeunes (IDEJEN), CARE plans to create safe spaces for 1,500 women and girls.
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Senior Press Officer