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What Haiti needs now - safety, schooling and jobs, says Plan

Source: Plan UK - Thu, 6 Jan 2011 16:18 GMT
Author: Plan International
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THE young people of Haiti need protection, education and job opportunities if the earthquake-ravaged country is to properly recover, says children’s organisation, Plan International.   One year after the disaster, the nation finds itself at a crossroads– but only strong and swift decisions by the government will take it down the road to a fair and sustainable future says Plan.   Based on priorities identified by children and youths in Plan and UNICEF in nationwide consultations, the government is now being called upon to:   Adopt a national building code and approved designs for permanent, safe and disability-friendly schools Creating an effective birth registration system (including free registration for all people who lost birth certificates in the earthquake) – to ensure better access to education, social and health services; clarify  land ownership & prevent child trafficking & other child rights abuses Create formal mechanisms for children and youth to fully engage with the Government & the Interim Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti (CIRH) in the rebuilding process.   CEO of Plan International, Nigel Chapman said: “In the face of the almost overwhelming need and hardship in Haiti, progress is being made. But it is complex, demanding and at times, frustrating. What is needed right now is decisive and committed leadership to get things moving.   “Lack of land and the absence of an approved building code for earthquake and hurricane-proof buildings are seriously hindering efforts. The lack of a proper system to replace or provide people’s legal documents is also proving a major challenge which must be addressed.”   Director of Plan in Haiti, Jim Emerson added: “We believe that children and young people’s voices must be heard in this time for Haiti to truly ‘build back better.’ In our national survey of some 1,000 young people their key desire was clear – education, education, education. Plan’s work has always prioritized learning and we must strengthen this.   “Recovering from major disasters is complex and requires time, patience and significant resources. But equally important is the need for strong governance and good co-ordination to ensure those efforts are effective. We would urge the government, supported by the international community to prioritise these areas.”   Notes: Plan has operated in Haiti for more than 30 years in Haiti in education, health and livelihood projects.   Our emergency response in the last 12 months has to date:   Helped 30,000 children back to school by rebuilding some 50 schools, providing school kits, training teachers & providing equipment. Supported treatment of 27,000 patients in mobile clinics, backed with a $13 million drug donation Vaccinated 31,000 children against diseases Provided 39,000 people with tents and basic non-food supplies in the immediate earthquake aftermath Provided work for 28,000 people through our cash-for-work schemes – clearing 13,000 metres of road, 50,000 of canals and drains, digging latrines, clearing sites for classrooms and planting over 400,000 seedlings on deforested land Reached 100,000 people through our cholera response since October with hygiene kit distributions, prevention campaigns and water & sanitation and health interventions   To read our full 12 month on report, go to: www.plan-international.org

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