Haiti: Number of People Living in Tent Camps Down 79 Percent Since 2010

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Above: tent housing in Port-au-Prince (CJ Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The number of people still living in tent camps in Haiti as a result of the 2010 earthquake has fallen 79 percent since a 2010 high of 1.5 million, according to the International Organization for Migration.

The IOM’s Haiti’s Displacement Tracking Matrix found a total of 320,050 individuals still living in camps, a number that fell by 27,230 people in the first three months of the year.

The largest decrease was reported in Delmas, followed by Port-au-Prince and Petion-Ville. Those drops accounted for 94 percent of the reduction in “internally displaced households.” Delmas is the operation centre of Sean Penn’s J/P HRO charity.

The United Nations agency said that approximately 60 percent of the reduction in displaced households could be “directly linked” to rental subsidy programme’s planned by Haiti’s government and organized by partners like the IOM.

The IOM said 17.7 percent of those still living in camps, or about 14,430 families, are on track to join the subsidy programme.

Another 67,000 households have “no prospect” of movign out of their tent camp sites, however, with another 21,600 at risk of eviction.

The IOM said that evictions represented 6 percent of the total decrease in internally displaced households.

Of 385 extant sites, most consist of “precarious, makeshift structures that leave residents extremely vulnerable, particularly during the hurricane season,” the agency said.

Adding to what the IOM called “dreadful living conditions,” only 22 of the 385 sites have dedicated camp management support.

George Goodstein, IOM Chief of Mission in Haiti, said that the IOM had received a “generous contribution” of $1.2 million Canadian dollars to help continue providing camp management, but that another $900,000 USD was needed to continue the tracking matrix until next year.