Earthquake anniversary highlights need for basic systems to benefit Haiti’s children

7 January 2011

One year after the devastating 12 January earthquakeshook their fragile lives, more than 1 million people – approximately 380,000 of whom are children – still live in crowded camps. The relief and recovery efforts of Haitians and the international community have been extraordinary. Nonetheless,the recovery process is just beginning, according to the report,Children in Haiti: One Year After - The long road from relief to recovery,issued today in recognition of the anniversary.


In 2010, the people of Haiti faced overwhelming challenges, from the devastating earthquake to a cholera outbreak, to floods and other disasters, claiming thousands of lives and slowing the pace of recovery. “Children in particular suffered and continue to suffer enormously because of successive emergencies experienced in 2010, and they have yet to fully enjoy their right to survival, health, education, and protection,”said Ms. Francoise Gruloos-Ackermans, UNICEF Haiti Representative.

 

However, with the generosity of millions of people all over the world, UNICEF has been able to rescue, help and support many women and children in the last 12 months. Children’s lives have been saved, children have been immunised and reunited with their families, and are attending school for the first time.

In the immediate aftermath of the earthquake, UNICEF, WHO and partners conducted emergency vaccination campaigns immunising 2 million children against preventable diseases such as polio, diphtheria, and measles. A distribution of 360,000 insecticide-treated bednets reached more than 163,000 households in the malaria-endemic southern coastal regions.

UNICEF has also provided more than 11,300 latrines serving over 800,000 people.At the height of the emergency response, UNICEF and partners trucked a daily average of 8.3 million litres of safe water to approximately 680,000 people. With the ongoing cholera outbreak, UNICEF is providing more than 10.9 tons of chlorine and over 45 million water purification tablets to ensure safe water for 3 million people in the capital city and the surrounding towns. 

UNICEF is supporting a network of 72 cholera treatment centres and units, working also in 5,000 schools, 300 child-friendly nutrition centres and more than 700 residential care centres to distribute soaps, water purification tablets and train teachers and children on safe hygiene practices and promote adequate and safe child feeding practices for cholera prevention.




Results have been seen in the past year, but significant gaps remain and much more must be done in collaboration with UN, NGO, private sector, civil society, and government partners. UNICEF will ensure our commitment especially to women and children in resolving the situation of those still displaced by the earthquake and those in remote rural areas who struggle to meet their daily needs.

Haiti’s children have a right to grow up with education, nutrition, clean water, and safe sanitation; they have a right to be free from exploitation and disease – and we believe that with support and commitment, the seeds of recovery and development can be planted and these goals can be achieved.

Click here to watch the Haiti 1 year anniversary thank you video

Click here to read the full report