What is done in Haiti
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What is Done in Haiti – Humanitarian Highlight

Haiti’s privileged location in the Caribbean Sea should make it heaven on earth. However, a long history of political turmoil compounded by repeated natural disasters has driven the country into a prolonged humanitarian crisis instead.

The Current Situation in Haiti

The most recent wave of protests broke out in Haiti in 2018. People took to the streets to fight against severe levels of corruption, perpetual inflation, and ravaging poverty. But this is not the first time Haiti has faced political turmoil.

Haiti was the first country in the Caribbean to gain independence. But the colonial powers were not ready to let it go. So, through a series of power plays and coups, Haiti continued changing hands until 1990. That year, the country celebrated its first democratic elections.

Despite this, the government continued to change, with several military coups and various protests. On top of this, the island saw tropical storms, earthquakes, hurricanes, and flooding, all rising in severity with climate change.

In 2010, Haiti braced itself for one of the deadliest earthquakes in history. Just months later, cholera outbreaks claimed thousands of lives. In 2016, Hurricane Matthew nearly destroyed most of the Southern coast of Haiti, causing billions of dollars in damage.

The combination of political and natural disasters have had a devastating impact on Haiti’s population. This has lead to a humanitarian crisis. The population is facing food insecurity, lack of access to healthcare, and high-risk of exposure to disasters.

Violence, human rights violations, health epidemics, poor housing, exclusion, corruption, and insecurity also persist.

Humanitarian Response in Haiti

Hundreds of organizations are doing incredible work in Haiti. Due to the complex nature of the political system in the country, interventions have had mixed success. However, women and men on the ground are working as hard as they can to bring protection and justice to the people of Haiti.

Organizations address all aspects of humanitarian and development needs in the country. Some of the main areas include healthcare, shelter, WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene), education, and protection.

Despite the efforts, the Haitian humanitarian crisis requires a lot more funding. Since it has been going on for so long, many have largely forgotten about the issues. Besides, some of the challenges in implementation have resulted in reduced interest to invest in Haiti. Further, the overall status of the Americas region as a low to the middle-income region has dampened donor funding.

NGOs that Work in Haiti

Many organizations are working in Haiti, helping those most in need. Here are some examples of the work that NGOs are doing on the ground.

Fonkoze

Fonkoze creates economic empowerment in Haiti. As one of the largest microfinancing institutions in the country, the organization provides small loans to entrepreneurs in Haiti. They complement these with educational, training, and health programs for business owners and communities.

CARE Haiti

The organization has been working in Haiti for over 50 years. CARE tackles issues such as child poverty and youth empowerment. They also work with entrepreneurs, providing microfinance and market access. When disaster strikes, CARE provides disaster response.

Doctors Without Borders (MSF in French)

MSF has been working in Haiti since 1991. The country’s healthcare system is fragile, so MSF provides emergency health services when possible. They are also raising awareness on issues around sexual and gender-based violence.

Pan American Development Foundation (PADF)

PADF partners with the Haitian government and community-based organizations to deliver hundreds of projects. Their areas of focus include agriculture and rural development, employment generation, human rights abuse prevention, and water rehabilitation, among others.

Open Society Foundations (FOKAL)

Part of the Open Society Foundations, FOKAL promotes sustainable democratic societies. They do so by fostering critical thinking, creativity, and culture. Their programs in Haiti include heritage conservation, arts and culture for youth, civic education, and more.

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