END OF CAMPS IN JACMEL
(Haiti Libre) -
In an effort to restore the luster to Jacmel, the cultural capital of Haiti, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and Sean Penn, Ambassador-at-Large for Haiti and founder of J/P Haitian Relief Organization (J/P HRO), are working on a project to re-house the last families made homeless in Jacmel by the 2010 earthquake.
The project aims to close the last two of 36 displacement camps, and relocate families still living in them to safe homes. Each family will be provided with a year’s rental allowance and receive additional financial support, which includes transport assistance to help move their belongings from the camps to their new housing.
The Haitian Government and local authorities in Jacmel anticipate immediate benefits from relocating the residents from camps. "What is happening in Jacmel demonstrates our intention for the whole country. We’re working to help every family, close every camp, and move on [...] by giving our cultural capital a fresh start," said Harry Adam, Executive Director of Haiti’s Government Housing Unit (UCLBP).
"J/P HRO has collaborated with IOM since January 2010," said J/P HRO founder and CEO Sean Penn. "When the Senators and Deputies of Jacmel said closing the last remaining camps was a priority need for their community and asked J/P HRO’s assistance, we turned to IOM to help these families leave the mud floors and leaky tarps of the camps and find secure housing quickly and effectively [...]"
The relocation process began with IOM staff informing the camp residents about the project. Heads of households were provided with special ID cards (Last Mile Mobile Solutions - LMMS) developed by World Vision International, and all beneficiaries’ information and relocation intentions were registered through J/P HRO’s high-tech iPod based system, designed to streamline future relocation projects and reduce operating costs.
The relocation process is scheduled to continue through July, with monitoring visits to follow in August and September, after which all remaining families will have been re-housed and camps in Jacmel will then close.
The government of Haiti is investing USD $40 million to make the city more accessible and to improve its infrastructure in order to turn Jacmel into one of the pre-eminent tourist destinations in the country.