January 12, 2012 5:45 AM
More than a third of households affected by the deadly 2010 Haiti earthquake and over half of those living in the camps have not recovered basic household assets nearly two years after the disaster, according to an analysis by Tulane University researchers.
Using funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Tulane Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy (DRLA) and the State University of Haiti spent 15 months assessing the humanitarian response on the resilience of the Haitian people, post-disaster.
“Despite more than $4 billion in much-needed relief and recovery aid, those living in directly affected areas, especially in camps, are engaging in damaging and unsustainable coping strategies such as reducing food intake. Many who were not part of Haiti’s chronically poor before the earthquake are now at risk of becoming so,” said Ky Luu, executive director of the DRLA.
The study found:
• Following the earthquake, 48 percent of households in affected areas lost basic household assets, and among those in camps this level was at 75 percent. Even 18 months after the earthquake, 36 percent of households in the directly affected area still have not recovered to their pre-earthquake level, with the number among camp households even worse at 54 percent.
• Aid has helped those affected survive, but it is perceived by many camp residents as being insufficient, at times unfairly distributed and not having prioritized sustainable solutions to allow them to rebuild and improve their lives.
• Camp residents have a significantly worse psychological and well-being status than any other group in the country.
Researchers gathered data for the evaluation through workshops with Haitian stakeholders, camp focus groups, interviews with community informants and, in collaboration with the National Coordination for Food Security, a national survey of more than 3,500 households. The full report will be released online at the end of January.
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