Haiti: Earthquakes - Jan 2010
The earthquake that hit Haiti on 12 Jan 2010 affected almost 3.5 million people, including the entire population of 2.8 million people living in the capital, Port-au- Prince. The Government of Haiti estimates that the earthquake killed 222,570 and injured another 300,572 people. Displacement peaked at close to 2.3 million people, including 302,000 children. At least 188,383 houses were badly damaged and 105,000 were destroyed by the earthquake. Sixty per cent of Government and administrative buildings, 80 per cent of schools in Port-au-Prince and 60 per cent of schools in the South and West Departments were destroyed or damaged. Total earthquake-related loss is estimated at $7.8 billion, equivalent to more than 120 per cent of Haiti’s 2009 gross domestic product. (UN General Assembly, 2 Sep 2011)
According to the Humanitarian Action Plan for Haiti 2014 an estimated 172,000 people remained internally displaced in Haiti in 306 camps at the end of 2013, almost four years after the earthquake. Basic services in camps, including WASH and health, had declined faster than the pace of return or relocation of the displaced. 16,377 displaced families living in 52 camps were considered at high risk of forced evictions. Almost 80,000 people lived in 67 camps considered to be at particularly high risk of flooding, with an additional 30 camps at additional environmental risks.
By mid-2014, an estimated 104,000 people remained internally displaced in 172 camps. Almost 70,000 IDPs were not currently targeted by any return or relocation programs. (OCHA, 31 Jul 2014) By Sep, 85,432 people remained internally displaced in 123 camps. (IOM, 8 Oct 2014)
Introduction to the Guide
The report begins with an overview of accountability in the humanitarian system in 2010 written by John Borton, an experienced consultant and researcher. Borton identifies areas of both positive development and continuing need in relation to accountability. Positive developments include an increase in the proportion of evaluations considering accountability to intended beneficiaries and the positive impact of certification systems, such as HAP’s, on organizational performance and accountability towards affected population.
Dr Jamie Munn, HAP International
10 December 2010
The New Emergencies Policy (NEP) established a commitment by HAP member organisations to make a special collective effort to apply the HAP Principles of Accountability at the outset of all new humanitarian emergencies.
Given the magnitude of this emergency, there are many opportunities and challenges to ensuring a high quality and accountable response.
This research, conducted in Haiti, Kenya and Thailand, was commissioned by the Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP), and sought to capture the views of beneficiaries of humanitarian assistance on the effectiveness of measures put in place to prevent sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA) by humanitarian workers. This study is a follow up to similar research, also on behalf of HAP, conducted by Lattu in 20081.
As a result of the 12th January 2010 earthquake 2.3 million people were displaced resulting in over 1300 camps, with 1.6 million residents. The camps vary in terms of size (from a few tents to up to 50,000 people); how they were formed (while some were planned the majority formed spontaneously after the earthquake); and level of support and management from NGOs and agencies.
For the humanitarian response, a focus on, and sufficient level of, accountability is necessary to meet people's needs, and reduces the possibility of errors, abuse and corruption.
Camp committees often play a key role in the management of camps, and in Haiti, frequently act as the primary interface between humanitarian agencies and the wider camp population. Significant decision making power is often allocated to these committees, related, for example, to the type and distribution of aid, selection of beneficiaries, and assistance for more vulnerable groups. However, the roles and responsibilities of the committees and the expected code of conduct are often undefined, and unknown to the wider camp population.
Suite au tremblement de terre du 12 janvier 2010, 2,3 millions de personnes se sont retrouvées déplacées et en conséquence plus de 1300 camps sont apparus comprenant 1,6 millions de résidents1. Les camps varient en taille (de quelques tentes à 50 000 personnes) ; par la manière dont ils ont été créés (même si certains ont été planifiés, les plus nombreux se sont formés spontanément après le tremblement de terre) ; et en fonction du niveau de soutien et de gestion qu'ils reçoivent des ONG et des agences (on estime que 30% de ces camps sont gérés par des agences). La …
In recognition of the key role camp committees are playing in NGO accountability, the HAP team in Haiti developed and tested a new Camp Committee Assessment Tool. The tool is aimed at supporting agencies in their work with camp committees.
Camp committees play a key role in the management of camps. Significant decision-making power is often allocated to these committees, related, for example, to the type and distribution of aid, selection of beneficiaries, and assistance for more vulnerable groups.
In July 2010 three agencies, World Vision, Save the Children and Lutheran World Federation, with the support of HAP, initiated a process of developing a Joint Complaint and Response Mechanism (JCRM) to be piloted in a camp where the three agencies were working. Over the course of two months the agencies worked together to develop key tools, seek input from the camp committee and residents, and reach the point where the JCRM could be rolled out.
Days before the JCRM was to be launched the land owners announced a sudden eviction notice, given residents one month to leave the site.
As a result of two months of working with implementing agencies in Haiti, the HAP team in Haiti, Elie Gasagara and Troels Egeskov Sorensen, has found that the structure and functioning of camp committees are a major accountability challenge for the humanitarian response.
Following the work of an initial Quality and Accountability Support Team, teams of specialists in HAP and Sphere have been deployed to Haiti for 6 months to work with agencies and other initiatives working towards improved accountability of the humanitarian response to the January 12th 2010 Earthquake in Haiti.
On 12 January 2010, an earthquake measuring 7.0 magnitude on the Richter scale struck Haiti,17 Km southwest of Port-au-Prince. Three million people have been affected, of whom the Government estimates 1.9 million have lost their homes.
The emergency phase of humanitarian relief operations will last for many months to come, and challenges to the international humanitarian response remain significant, which include logistics, communication and coordination among the large number of humanitarian organizations (around 1,000) now on the ground.
Following the Haiti earthquake approximately 19 HAP members are undertaking humanitarian operations either directly or through partners. Given the magnitude and context of this emergency there are likely to be many opportunities and challenges to ensuring both quality and accountability (Q&A) as part of the response. Building on efforts already made by DanChurchAid as part of the ACT Alliance in initiating a 3-week capacity building and scoping deployment for a Quality and Accountability Support Team, HAP called a telecon as part of our New Emergencies Policy.