Our work in Haiti

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Our work in Haiti

Concern Worldwide has worked in Haiti since 1994. We respond to emergencies as they arise and run long-term programmes in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), education and livelihoods. 

Poverty and disaster

Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere and is prone to natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, flooding and droughts. Political instability and gang violence are prevalent. Chronic lack of food, inadequate access to education and safe water and gender based violence are major issues for many Haitians. 

Emergency response

In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew made landfall in Haiti. Our team responded in the immediate aftermath providing emergency supplies – including blankets, jerry cans, aquatabs and kitchen sets, and we are now working with communities on the Haitian island of La Gonâve to rebuild homes, repair critical community infrastructure and re-establish their livelihood options.

Non food items being unloaded at Grand Vide for a joint distribution between Concern and World Vision. Photo: Peter Doyle/Concern Worldwide.

We also responded to the massive earthquake in 2010 which killed over 300,000 people and left 1.5 million people homeless. Our team provided emergency supplies including shelter and nutritional provisions, support to re-establish livelihood and access to educational support.

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Rehousing families

Over the last few years we’ve been applying an innovative “rental subsidy, cash grant” approach to rehousing people displaced by the earthquake. So far, Concern has helped to rehouse over 8,938 families.

Water and hygiene

Concern drills boreholes, rehabilitates wells and rainwater-harvesting cisterns and helps communities set up committees to manage their water. We also train people on good hygiene to prevent diseases like cholera and diarrhea.

Livelihoods and resilience

We are working with urban and rural communities to improve livelihoods and income generating activities. On La Gonâve off the west coast of Haiti, for example, we are supporting small scale farmers to increase their productivity through education and improved production and processing techniques.

Sisal farmer tending to his crop on La Gonâve island. Photo: Concern Worldwide.

Promoting literacy

Concern’s education programme focusses on improving literacy in primary schools through instruction in the Haitian mother-tongue, Créole. We provide intensive support and training to teachers in 24 schools. We also work with parents and communities to encourage and monitor children’s learning.

Rebuilding

A twenty-year urban regeneration project has been developed with the community in Grand Ravine, Port-au-Prince, which will benefit 20,000 people. We are working with partners, including Catholic Relief Service (CRS), to redevelop the area through the provision of housing, repairing the ravine main road, the installation of street lighting and other facilities. We are also providing livelihood training to young people to improve their prospects of employment.

Christela Louis and her young children outside their home in Grand Ravine, one of Haiti’s most notorious slums. Photo: Abbie Trayler-Smith/Panos Pictures for Concern Worldwide.

With support from Irish Aid, we will be implementing a new urban programme in Cite Soleil, one of the most disadvantaged slums in Port au Prince. The project will focus on improving the livelihoods of 2,000 households through an urban graduation programme. It will also focus on supporting community structures in peace and conflict resolution and promoting improved waste management initiatives in the slum. This will assist in building the community resilience to disasters such as flooding.

In depth

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