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Haiti

On 12th January 2010, an earthquake devastated Haiti, causing more than 230,000 people to lose their lives and injuring a further 300,000. Handicap International immediately deployed unprecedented resources to assist the population. Over five years later, the organisation continues its work to support the people of Haiti.

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On 12th January 2010, an earthquake devastated Haiti, causing more than 230,000 people to lose their lives and injuring a further 300,000. Handicap International immediately deployed unprecedented resources to assist the population. Over five years later, the organisation continues its work to support the people of Haiti.
On 12th January 2010, an earthquake devastated Haiti, causing more than 230,000 people to lose their lives and injuring a further 300,000. Handicap International immediately deployed unprecedented resources to assist the population. Over five years later, the organisation continues its work to support the people of Haiti.

Our actions

After the violent earthquake, which hit the country in January 2010, Handicap International, alongside another organisation, was mandated by the United Nations and the World Health Organisation to coordinate all activities to  provide injured people with rehabilitation and orthopaedic fitting, as well as support for people with disabilities in Haiti. This emergency response made a considerable impact: 90,000 people received care, 1,400 benefited from orthopaedic fitting, 5,600 mobility aids were distributed, 4,500 rehabilitation sessions held, and 25,000 people received psychological support. Handicap International is now implementing new projects to ensure that its work continues to support Haitians in the long term. In this way, it is contributing to the country’s recovery and development.

In order to address the lack of local rehabilitation expertise (before the earthquake there were only 13 qualified physiotherapists working in the country), Handicap International is working to promote rehabilitation professions in Haiti. In August 2015, 72 student rehabilitation technicians, who had begun their training with Handicap International (the first training of its kind to be made available in Haiti), graduated. They are now capable of designing prostheses and assisting a physiotherapist. The organisation has also completed the training of other rehabilitation technicians who had never undertaken any formal training. Furthermore, the organisation is promoting access to quality rehabilitation services and providing support (mainly organisational and technical) to health structures.

Handicap International has implemented projects aimed at improving the preparation and protection of vulnerable people, particularly people with disabilities, when natural disasters occur. The organisation is raising awareness and training stakeholders - the authorities, civil security, and project partners – to ensure they take the most vulnerable into account in their interventions.  

Handicap International is also running an economic inclusion project for more than 200 people with disabilities in Port-au-Prince, so that they are able to earn a living for themselves and their families. As part of this project, the organisation helps people with disabilities to draw up personalised economic plans. The teams also raise awareness among inhabitants and stakeholders regarding economic inclusion and people with disabilities’ potential in terms of undertaking professional work.

Child protection is another field in which Handicap International is active. It supports the Institute of Social Wellbeing to help improve the conditions for children taken into care after being abandoned in hospitals. The organisation is also supporting the creation of a set of standards covering the placement of children in foster families and children's homes, and the mechanisms for identifying vulnerable and abandoned children.

Lastly, in order to improve road safety in Haiti, Handicap International is raising people's awareness of road safety and improving access to shared transport for people with disabilities.

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Background

Haiti is regularly affected by natural disasters. In this context of widespread poverty, the conditions for people with disabilities are alarming.

Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world, is subject to chronic political instability. Needs vary widely according to the different areas of the country and the different populations concerned. In the capital, Port-au-Prince, there are huge needs arising from the socio-economic situation: unemployment, which is particularly high among the young, the rising cost of essential foodstuffs, insecurity, and the lack of access to water, education and health care. In rural areas, there is a general lack of services (schools and health centres), and the populations are very vulnerable to natural disasters (cyclones, floods and drought).  In this context of widespread poverty, the conditions for people with disabilities are even more alarming and their most basic needs, for food, housing, health care, access to orthopaedic fitting, and safety, are simply not met.

Key figures Haiti - Handicap International
Key figures Haiti - Handicap International
WHERE your support HELPS

Partners

  • Risk and disaster management

    • Civil Protection Department
    • International humanitarian organisations which are active in the field of risk and disaster management
    • Civil society organisations which are active in the field of risk and disaster management
    • Office of the Secretary of State for the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (BSEIPH)

    Accessibility and transport

    • BSEIPH (Office of the Secretary of State for the Inclusion of People with Disabilities)
    • Ministry of Economic and Financial Affairs
    • Delmas Town Hall
    • Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Communication (MTPTC)
    • Traffic department
    • Public transport drivers’ union (APCH)
    • Inter-ministerial committee for land management and planning (CIAT)
    • Organisation for People with Disabilities on the Move (ASHAMO)
    • Haitian organisation for the blind (SHAA)

    Rehabilitation

    • Public institutions (MSPP)
    • ​Local rehabilitation facilities
    • Healing Hands for Haiti (HHHH)
    • Nos Petits Frères et Soeurs (NPFS)
    • 6 departmental hospitals
    • Special Education Centre
    • AFYA
    • Hôpital Espoir
    • Mc Gill University (Canada)
    • Hôpitaux Universitaire de Genève
    • OFATMA

    Child protection

    • Uramel, Institute of Social Welfare and Research (IBESR)
    • Office of the Secretary of State for the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
    • International rescue Committee (IRC)
    • 2 hospitals

    Economic inclusion

    • Sant Kore Lavi
    • BSEIPH (Office of the Secretary of State for the Inclusion of People with Disabilities
    • Three economic development operators: occupational training centre, microfinance institute, shopping centre

    Community resettlement

    • Resettlement operators
    • BSEIPH (Office of the Secretary of State for the Inclusion of People with Disabilities)
    • Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs)
    • Specialised services

    Road safety

    • Delmas Town Hall
    • Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Communication (MTPTC)
    • Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP)