ShelterBox has been working closely with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Haiti to assist thousands of families in rebuilding their lives.
Exactly two years have passed since a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the Caribbean island of Haiti causing an estimated 230,000 people to lose their lives and making a further 1.5 million homeless.
Despite the international community’s response to the enormous disaster, over 500,000 people have still been living in overcrowded camps on private land.
ShelterBox has been coordinating a project with IOM to help families to either return to their place of origin, or set up homes in a new location they have identified. Residual stocks of tents and emergency equipment have been distributed to these displaced families to enable them to finally start to rebuild their lives.
'IOM and ShelterBox have been working in partnership in Haiti since February 2010,’ said Luca Dall'Oglio, the IOM Chief of Mission. ‘Initially a Health Team program saw ShelterBox tents utilised to provide patients injured in the earthquake with a safe place to live and recuperate with their families.’
ShelterBox solution only option
In many cases the landowners are using violent methods to evict the families from the camps on their land. These families do not have the time to wait for the transitional shelter or reconstruction programmes, which have been slowed down due to political issues and the cholera outbreak that has killed nearly 7,000 Haitians since it began last October. For these families, the ShelterBox solution is the only option.
‘IOM were able to support delivery logistics and the partnership has continued strongly throughout the emergency response as we work towards interim relocation or returning families to their land,’ added Luca. ‘The durability of the ShelterBox tents and the non-food items that also come in the box have been a key incentive to encourage families to leave overcrowded camps and begin to rebuild their lives.’
Tom Lay, ShelterBox Operations Coordinator, has been in Haiti working with the IOM:
‘Helping families to restart their lives after a disaster is exactly what ShelterBox endeavours to achieve,’ said Tom. ‘The fact that we are still delivering aid two years on from the earthquake just shows what a huge disaster this was.’
‘We hope that this partnership will form a lasting relationship as we tackle the problems faced by families around the world in the aftermath of disasters,' said Luca.
Over 28,000 ShelterBoxes were sent to Haiti, the greatest number that ShelterBox has ever sent out to a single disaster. This was only possible thanks to the tremendous support from ShelterBox supporters throughout the crisis.