While we are working around the clock to provide assistance and help mitigate risks to children and families, we still have much to do before better days and a better future are ensured for Haiti’s children.
Port au Prince, Haiti (Vocus) April 9, 2010
Three months after a 7-magnitude earthquake caused massive destruction in Haiti's capital and surrounding areas, children are receiving much-needed aid.
However, they still face a host of threats to their well-being, according to a new report by Save the Children called "Helping Haiti's Children."
The January 12 earthquake, which affected more than 3 million people and left more than one-third of them homeless, has exacted a heavy toll on Haiti's children. Those who escaped death themselves have lost family members, friends, belongings and familiar surroundings.
In the midst of debris and displacement, they are more vulnerable to disease, injury, abuse and exploitation. Meanwhile, their future opportunities are in jeopardy, as Haiti’s education system lies in ruins.
"One cannot exaggerate the scale of this disaster and its aftermath. Children are still living in crowded camps and rubble-filled cities -- and few of their families can provide them with the basics without assistance. They remain highly vulnerable," said Charles MacCormack, Save the Children's president and CEO.
He added, "While we are working around the clock to provide assistance and help mitigate risks to children and families, we still have much to do before better days and a better future are ensured for Haiti’s children."
Over the last three months and in coordination with Haitian authorities, the international community, local and international organizations and communities, Save the Children has reached an estimated 553,000 people -- at least 240,000 of them children -- with lifesaving and life-sustaining assistance.
Working in Port-au-Prince, Léogâne, Jacmel, Petit Goâve and surrounding environs, the organization is focusing on providing food, shelter, health, child protection, clean water, sanitation, education and livelihoods programs for affected families.
According to the report, Save the Children in the last three months has:
- Distributed food to more than 250,000 people and intends to continue targeted food distributions to vulnerable families
- Delivered transitional shelter materials to 7,500 households and is continuing to provide essential materials, shelter kits or cash grants
- Provided access to clean water and sanitation facilities to more than 221,000 people and is continuing those programs as it also works to improve drainage as the rainy season begins
- Cared for more than 23,000 children and adults through clinics and health teams and provided women's facilities staffed by doctors and midwives to offer reproductive and maternal health services. Save the Children is enrolling thousands of mothers with infants into programs that provide specialized support on how to nourish and care for their babies in very difficult times and making sure that those who have special nutritional needs (i.e., malnourished children or orphaned children) are carefully followed and given therapeutic foods.
- Worked with the Ministry of Education to identify temporary learning spaces and provided classroom tents and supplies so that 41 schools could reopen. The agency will focus on providing 160,000 children with access to schooling, training teachers, launching early childhood development programs and bringing education to out-of-school children.
- Established 35 Child Friendly Spaces in Port-au-Prince and Jacmel, each providing structured activities for about 100 children per day and is continuing family tracing and reunification activities, as well as supporting the Haitian government to address institutional care, child labor and trafficking.
For additional information, view the full report.
Save the Children is the leading, independent organization that creates lasting change for children in need in the United States and around the world. Save the Children USA is a member of the International Save the Children Alliance, a global network of 29 independent Save the Children organizations working to ensure the well-being and protection of children in more than 120 countries. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
In Haiti: Kate Conradt: 202-294-9700 (U.S. cell); 509-3761-3859 (Haiti cell)
Tanya Weinberg: 202-640-6647; 202-247-6610 (cell)