Haiti: United Nations Says Tent Camp Population Down to 172,000


Above: a tent camp in Haiti in 2011 (UN Photo/Logan Abassi)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

The number of Haitians living in tent camps as a result of the 2010 earthquake has fallen to 172,000, according to the United Nations’ International Organization for Migration.

That number stood at around 1.5 million in the aftermath of the quake, representing an 87 percent decrease in the number of people and an 80 percent reduction in the number of camps, according to Gregoire Goodstein, IOM Chief of Mission in Haiti.

The period from July to September was the highest decrease in the “internally displaced” population since January 2011, according to the IOM.

The UN said that return programmes offering rental subsidies led to the closure of 42 camp sites, along with the relocation of about 14,460 households.

Since June 2011, 273 camp sites have closed in Haiti, but the UN cautioned that even outside of the camps, challenges remained for the former residents.

“Despite good progress, there are still many families living in undignified and life-threatening conditions, with the ever-present risk of eviction by landowners,” Goodstein said. “It is important that the international community step up and close this displacement chapter, a realistic goal which could be attained in the next two years.”
And of 306 tent camp sites that are still open, only two have camp management support from the international community; more than 50 percent have toilets, but only 26 have water provided on premises. Just 11 have a waste management system.

About 75 percent of the existing sites are located on private property.

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