Our program in Haiti

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Haiti: Four years after the earthquake

Four years after the earthquake of January 12th, 2010, Development and Peace remains involved with its partners in strengthening the capacity of disaster victims facing multiple challenges. The reconstruction program, launched in November 2010, is not limited to the reconstruction of houses and infrastructure, but also includes reconstruction of the social fabric of communities and involves the participation of Haitians in the "refounding" of their homeland.

2010-2013: Three years of involvement with the most vulnerable people in the city and in the countryside

During the first three years of its reconstruction program in Haiti, Development and Peace contributed to the food security of 20,000 families in rural regions, including some 4,000 families forced to relocate due to the earthquake. Key activities included the development of river basins, improved land use, reforestation, increased agricultural production, and job creation. In addition, the organization has provided nearly 400 families, considered among the most vulnerable, with para-seismic and para-cyclonic houses. Funding was also provided for rebuilding schools for children and housing for rural families who lost everything they had. To carry out its reconstruction program, Development and Peace set up a local office, based in Port-au-Prince and tasked with supporting partners on the ground in the implementation of the program. Team members provide partners with hands-on support at the administrative level in terms of monitoring planned activities, and contribute greatly to the strengthening of their capacities.

2014: A year of continuity and consolidation

Development and Peace has chosen as its current mission to consolidate the gains made so far, by relying on the strengths of its local partners.

To learn more about the projects supported through this program, please read our report.

Our program

Development and Peace launched an emergency appeal immediately after the earthquake and has received $20 million in donations from Canadians to provide emergency assistance and develop a community-based reconstruction program in Haiti.

In the immediate aftermath of the quake, Development and Peace sent two of its emergency relief program officers to help with logistical support in setting up and distributing emergency aid. It teamed with partners in the Caritas network, including Caritas Haiti and Catholic Relief Services, who had the capacity to provide significant aid to those affected by the earthquake. Within six months, the Caritas network had reached 2.3 million people, whether through the distribution of food, water and shelter, the provision of medical aid or counselling services for people to cope with this traumatic event.

The Caritas emergency response included some of the following actions:

  • Food aid to 1.5 million people;
  • Healthcare programs, including mobile health clinics and vaccinations, to 400,000 people;
  • Emergency shelter or temporary homes to 160,000 people;
  • Cash-for-work programs for 40,000 people; and
  • Clean water, latrines, wash stations and hygiene kits to 280,000 people.

Efforts are now concentrated on the reconstruction phase of our program, which has a four year horizon.
The projects in this phase seek to reach vulnerable communities in areas directly affected by the earthquake, displaced persons outside the directly affected areas, as well as host communities and families. Among this population, Development and Peace seeks to meet the needs of the most vulnerable, particularly families headed by women, in both urban and rural areas.

To achieve this goal, Development and Peace has prioritized three strategic areas for its program:

  • Food sovereignty and security
  • Reconstruction (housing and community infrastructures)
  • Human Rights

It has also set aside funds to cope with future emergencies, such as outbreaks of disease or hurricanes, and to help local organizations develop disaster reduction strategies.

Here are some of the projects that have been completed or are currently in progress:

  • Construction of an elementary school for girls in Port-au-Prince, which was completed in September 2011;
  • The construction of a shelter for abused women in Jacmel;
  • Renovations to an agricultural training centre;
  • The construction of training workshops for orphaned children;
  • Distribution of information and medication to prevent cholera;
  • Community radio programming to raise awareness on disaster prevention, security and human rights;
  • Establishment of five tree nurseries;
  • The construction of 448 permanent houses in a community at the epicenter of the quake; and
  • Distribution of seeds and livestock to female farmers.

Development and Peace has opened a small office in Port-au-Prince to facilitate the implementation of its program.

The situation

On January 12th, 2010, a powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the island nation of Haiti. The weak infrastructure of the country, which is ranked as the poorest in the Americas, could not sustain the impact of the quake and much of the capital, Port-au-Prince, as well as surrounding areas such as Jacmel and Carrefour, fell into rubble.  

According to the Government of Haiti, 222,570 people died, over 300,000 were injured and some 2.3 million people were displaced. Furthermore, the collapse of 70,000 buildings generated 10 million cubic metres of debris.

In the immediate aftermath, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported that 1.5 million people were living in 122 registered camps and in hundreds of spontaneous settlement sites in and around the affected areas. Close to 700,000 also migrated out of the affected areas and to live with host families.

Most schools, hospitals and other government buildings were either destroyed or damaged, incapacitating the country’s ability to respond.

Two years later, UN-OCHA is reporting that almost one million people have moved from camps to homes, 50 per cent of debris have now been removed, many schools and hospitals have been rebuilt, and more children are being educated today than before the earthquake.

Needs remain high, however, particularly for the poor and vulnerable, who risk being under-represented in the reconstruction process.

Development and Peace is contributing to meeting the needs of Haitians with a five-year program, which is focused on reconstruction and recovery.  You can read more about the program in the Program tab at the top of this page.

Latest News
February 7, 2014

More than four years after the violent earthquake that struck Haiti and left an indelible mark on the collective memory of all Haitians, Development and Peace hosted an event in Haiti today to celebrate the completion of its housing reconstruction project in Ti-Boucan (Gressier).

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February 5, 2013

Three years after the earthquake that devastated Haiti, Development and Peace is today inaugurating the first 50 houses of its 400-house construction project in Ti-Boucan (in the municipality of Gressier) in the presence of Haitian and Canadian officials, religious authorities and the media. At this time, 50 families will receive the keys and legal titles to their new houses. The project uses innovative technology and is based on the full participation of the local population.

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January 11, 2013

Haiti is commemorating the third anniversary of the devastating earthquake that wreaked havoc on the island on January 12, 2010. Already present...

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January 24, 2012

A Development and Peace project will soon result in new permanent houses for 450 to 475 earthquake-affected families in Haiti...

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January 12, 2012

It has been two years since Haiti was struck by a devastating earthquake that sent this already impoverished nation into a state of emergency ...

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January 12, 2012

In December 2011, a joint CCCB-Development and Peace delegation travelled to Haiti to visit some of the reconstruction projects supported by Development and Peace. They met with...

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December 7, 2011

The President and Vice-President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) will be in Haiti from December 14th to the 21st, 2011 ...

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November 14, 2011

When I visited the Mère Delia Institute in Haiti last year, this all-girls’ school run by the Sisters of Immaculate Conception didn’t actually exist. The school had collapsed during the 2010 earthquake ...

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January 12, 2011

One year after the earthquake in Haiti, progress has been slow. However, Development and Peace and its local partners are finding hope in the many steps forward that have been achieved in helping the ...

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January 6, 2011

Watch a video of the story of peasant women in Haiti

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January 6, 2011

Development and Peace is supporting a housing reconstruction project in Haiti. The project is community-driven and will result in permanent houses for 1400 people. Watch the video.

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January 6, 2011

Watch a slideshow of life in post-earthquake Haiti

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January 6, 2011

When the earthquake of January 12th struck in Haiti, it spared no one from its destructive power. Many partner organizations of Development and Peace lost friends and family members, their homes, and even the offices out of which they pursue their work.

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January 6, 2011

JACHA, a youth organization in Jacmel, has long been working to improve the future of Haiti by looking after two of the country's best resources: its youth and the environment.

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January 6, 2011

It is just a few days before Hurricane Tomas could potentially storm through Haiti and further threaten the lives of Haitians, and radio host Francy Innocent is putting together radio messages explaining to people how best to prepare for this oncoming storm.

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January 6, 2011

When Port-au-Prince was struck by a massive earthquake a year go, images of crumbled buildings filled television screens and newspapers. At the same time, however, hidden away in the mountains of Haiti an untold story was unfolding.

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January 6, 2011

Fritz Ner-Sérénien remembers how he almost saw his wife and daughter die on that fateful day in January when the earthquake struck.

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January 6, 2011

In the aftermath of the January 12th 2011 earthquake, even as religious communities faced their own losses and difficulties, they were immediately ready to get back to work to help those in need and Development and Peace wanted to stand in solidarity with them in their efforts.

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January 6, 2011

The Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, a religious order that was founded in Montreal by Délia Tétrault in 1902, has been striving to provide education to Haitian communities since the congregation arrived in the country in 1943.

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November 8, 2010

Development and Peace has just announced its support for a cholera-prevention campaign in Haiti. The organization is sending $123,000 to Caritas ...

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July 14, 2010

When a massive earthquake struck Port-au-Prince and its surrounding areas on January 12th, Development and Peace immediately launched ...

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July 2, 2010

Development and Peace has collected close to $20 million from Canadian donors to go towards ...

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June 13, 2010

The Mouvement paysan Papaye (MPP), an association of small-scale farmers in Haiti that is supported by Development and Peace, organized ...

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Blog
Still 200,000 people without a real home
January 10, 2014

On the eve of the fourth anniversary of the earthquake that struck Haiti, there are neither particular preparations nor special expectations in the streets of Port-au-Prince. There are no plans on the part of civil society, and there are only rumours that the government will organize something to commemorate this sad event. But three days before the fateful moment, we still do not know what the nature or scope of this “thing” will be. Nobody has the heart for it anyway.


Read more here
Haiti: the complex world of reconstruction
January 10, 2014

No need to be in Haiti itself to realize that the world of reconstruction of this country is both disparate and complex, and to see the variety of initiatives that have burst on the scene there. In Miami airport, where I wait for my flight to Port-au-Prince, I notice a group of men and women dressed as "volunteers." It says in red and bold characters on their shirts “Volunteer work for Haitian children." In their case, it's clear; they are going to Haiti for the children. I then observe a couple in their fifties with a guitar.


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Peasant struggles honoured by commemorative day
April 18, 2013

April 17th marked International Day of Peasant Struggles. This day was launched in Eldorado dos Carajas, Brazil, in 1996, after the assassination of 19 peasants who were members of Brazil’s Landless Rural Workers' Movement (MST), a Development and Peace partner. Around the world, peasants are struggling daily against deforestation, land grabbing, the polluting of water and soil, but also to improve their living conditions.


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Haiti: When sharing experiences strengthens civil society
April 18, 2013

Since the earthquake of January 12, 2010, Development and Peace has been supporting a number of reconstruction projects put forward by various Haitian civil society partners. So, after more than three years, where are we in this extremely complex process of rebuilding a society that was already socio-economically vulnerable and whose weakness was exacerbated even further as a result of this natural disaster?


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Together for the Good Friday Fast!
March 27, 2013

On the occasion of the Good Friday Fast, a number of people are preparing to raise funds in solidarity with Development and Peace so as to support our partners in Africa, Asia, Latin American and the Middle East. Hundreds of Canadians from all across the nation will be taking part. Fasting represents a symbolic choice in favour of solidarity with the poor, the oppressed, and the hungry, and provides a time-out to concentrate on what really matters.


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Haiti and Integral Human Development
February 12, 2013

The Year of Faith, declared by Pope Benedict is a “summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the world” (Porta fidei 6). Throughout the Year of Faith, Catholics are being urged to study and reflect on the documents of Vatican II and the Catechism of the Catholic Church so that they may deepen their knowledge of the faith.
 


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Haiti: Women at the heart of reconstruction
February 12, 2013
“I’m a mother of three children and I work five days a week. I’ll sometimes come to the construction site on weekends too because, three years after the earthquake, what matters most to me is the reconstruction of my country,” says Ismène Elismar Garçonnet, one of the chief engineers tasked with producing houses in Ti-Boucan.
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Today we’re celebrating in Ti-Boucan!
February 12, 2013

A crowd of nearly 300 people gathered in Ti-Boucan on February 5, 2013 for the inauguration ceremony in honour of our house-construction project.


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Raphaël Sene, Foreman of Door and Window Production Fifty houses built in Ti-Boucan! On the way to our goal!
February 5, 2013

Development and Peace’s housing project in Haiti would not be possible without the residents of Ti-Boucan, the workers and craftsmen in the factory that was set up to create the materials, and the Institut de technologie et d’animation communautaire (ITECA). And after several months of non-stop work, the first houses are springing up from the ground!


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Land titles key to ensuring housing
February 5, 2013

Mr. Franklin Montina is the Justice of the Peace responsible for the commune of Gressier. In the Haitian judicial system, the justice of the peace is responsible for a variety of issues having to do with civil, criminal, commercial and correctional or criminal law. Thus, he receives the deliberations of family councils and accusations of misdemeanours or crimes within his jurisdiction, but he is also responsible for ascertaining that families are actually the owners of the land on which they build their houses.


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Widow to receive keys to her new house
February 4, 2013

Madame Yvonne Delcamize Simon is a 62-year-old widow who has lived her entire life in Ti-Boucan. Her father left his house to her and she lived in it until the earthquake of January 12, 2010.


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"We're finally going to be able to sleep like real babies, even when it rains!"
February 4, 2013

Micheline and her husband Jean-Philippe, AKA Frantzé, are going to live with their 12-year-old daughter and 14-year-old son in their brand new house. They will receive the keys to their new house next Tuesday at the project's official inauguration.


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Haiti : "We can be proud of what has been achieved so far."
January 14, 2013

Interview with Jean-Claude Jean, manager of the Development and Peace office in Haiti. He is responsible for overseeing the reconstruction program and monitoring projects.

Three years after the earthquake, what is the situation in Haiti? Can we consider that the emergency is definitively behind us?

If we look around today, we can see that things have changed in Haiti, especially in Port-au-Prince, even if it is as simple as the absence in the streets of the tons of rubble and debris left behind by the earthquake.


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D&P partner at Forum on Haiti
May 9, 2012

The Association québécoise des organismes de coopération internationale (AQOCI) is hosting a Forum on Haiti on May 9th and 10th to discuss the work of the various organizations from Quebec and Canada that are working on post-earthquake reconstruction and development projects in Haiti. The AQOCI is bringing these actors together to dialogue on lessons learned from the field, and to ensure that Haitians are the ones guiding the process.


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The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) reports on Haiti
January 18, 2012

In their mission report, the president and vice president of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) note that, “Development and Peace has earned a reputation in Haiti for its sense of partnership, respect for the capacity of the local community, and insistence on a sustainable, long-term approach to projects.”


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Human Rights
December 20, 2011

"It's not the earthquake that is the root cause of all these damages and all this loss of life. The real cause is rather in our way of living and the way we inhabit this piece of land." That is what the Haitian National Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace said in a recent paper entitled "Should Haiti Be Left to Die?"


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Plants of Self-Esteem
December 19, 2011

On the porch of the Fanm Deside house in Jacmel, Medjine Adonis, whom we met yesterday, was awaiting the return of the members of the delegation from their day of field visits in the countryside. Speaking to the Most Reverend Richard Smith, President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, this woman who has been living in a tent in a camp since January 12, 2010, said: “Your Excellency, pray for us.” And the Archbishop of Edmonton replied, "And you, madam, pray for us!"


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From Montreal to Jacmel
December 18, 2011

"I've been living in tents since January 12, 2010," says Medjine Adonis. "Fortunately, Fanm Deside is there to help us." Services are rudimentary in these makeshift camps. These little canvas houses don't have a door. Consequence: constant insecurity. Theft and rape are commonplace. And there are injured women who have been victims of sexual violence coming to Fanm Deside in Jacmel every day.


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In the Highlands
December 17, 2011

Today we're in Duval, a remote village an hour from the capital. There are 34 houses here that were built with subsidies from Caritas. The house of Marie-Rose Kébreau is sandwiched between two buildings. To the right is what remains of the house she occupied before the 2010 earthquake. On the left is the makeshift temporary house she built out of sheet metal and wood.


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Flower Gardens
December 17, 2011

Up into the mountains today just outside of Port-au-Prince. The goal was to visit some of the projects of the Port-au-Prince bureau of Caritas Haiti which are supported by Development and Peace. We spent hours on steep and unbelievably rough mountain roads, largely washed away by the deluges of the rainy seasons. (Someone remind me NEVER AGAIN to complain about the quality of Edmonton streets!)


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Restavèk
December 16, 2011

The place where Father Miguel Jean Baptiste asks us to meet him doesn't exactly inspire complete confidence. There can be no doubt that this building was heavily damaged during the earthquake of January 12, 2010. From the street, we can see that the roof on the right side has been twisted and that there are stones missing.


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Giving Children a Childhood
December 15, 2011

We returned this morning from Hinch to Port-au-Prince. Words simply cannot describe the squalor in which thousands upon thousands are striving to live in this city. Yet words are even more inadequate in the face of the interior devastation wreaked upon thousands of children who are referred to as the "restavek". This is creole for the French "reste avec" (stay with). It refers to the terrible reality of what amounts to human trafficking. Families in the city "acquire", through intermediaries, children of the country to do domestic work in their homes.


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Houses of Hope
December 15, 2011

"It was no good living on the street with young children," says the young father we meet in the model village initiated by Mouvman Peyizan Papay (Papaye Peasants' Movement), a longstanding partner of Development and Peace.


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Reconstruction art
December 14, 2011

Walgens Pierre Jean and Patrick Lafontant, two young Haitian painters, have good reason to be  proud. Their works, large paintings on the theme of reconstruction, are currently on display at the Musée du Pantheon National Museum in Port-au-Prince.


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Preparation
December 13, 2011

We had the first meeting of the members of this solidarity mission to Haiti in which leaders of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops and Development and Peace will be participating (see December 7 Press Release) in Montreal. Within a few hours, an outline emerges of the reconstruction programs that Development and Peace is supporting in the country.


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Video


A House For Life! Yon Kay Pou Lavi Fleri!

The question of housing continues to be a major challenge in Haiti, particularly after the devastating earthquake that struck the island on January 12th, 2010. Three years after the earthquake, approximately 350,000 people still live in camps, under tents or in makeshift shelters. The issues surrounding the reconstruction of houses remain, more than ever, at the heart of concerns for the most vulnerable communities.

On February 5th, 2013, Development and Peace inaugurated its housing reconstruction project of 400 permanent houses in Ti-Boucan, Gressier. On that day, 58 families received the keys to their new homes and left behind the tents and temporary shelters they were inhabiting to move into houses that are anti-seismic and cyclone resistant. The inauguration also honoured the many months of work done by the hundreds of people involved in the construction of the houses in Ti-Boucan, an area that is mountainous and not easily accessible.