Press Releases   |    In the News   |    Op-Eds   |    Transcripts   |    Multimedia

Press Releases

IOM: Fewer Haitians Leaving Displacement Camps Than Before

Port-au-Prince, 23 June 2011 - The departure of Haitians from displacement camps has slowed down considerably, according to IOM\'s latest Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM).

The number of people living in the displacement camps caused by the January 2010 earthquake dropped by only 46,000 during April and May 2011 from an overall figure of 680,000 to 634,000. This decline of 7 per cent represents one of the slowest rates of decrease since internally displaced people (IDPs) began leaving camps in large numbers last September.

The latest DTM figures show that while the majority of IDP sites – 70 per cent – hold less than 100 families, an overwhelming number of IDPs live in only 70 large settlements with over 500 families. More than 40 per cent of the entire displaced population in Haiti now resides in 25 "tent cities".

During the reporting period covered in the DTM, on average about one IDP camp has closed down per day. This has brought down the number of displacement sites in Haiti to 1001. While this is a decrease from the July 2010 peak of 1555 camps, the reduced pace of closure indicates that IDPs are facing ever greater difficulty in finding housing solutions.

Simultaneously, pressure on IDPs to leave the camps has grown inexorably. The onset of the hurricane season, frequent inundations posing increased danger for camp dwellers and a reduced presence of NGOs resulting in a continuing reduction of services within camps, has increased the health risks among a population exposed to contaminated water.

Rising instances of evictions cases are also adding to the insecurity of the IDPs. Many camp closures can be attributed to evictions with another 187 camps, or 18.6 per cent of the total number, under threat of eviction, according to statistics from the Camp Coordination, Camp Management (CCCM) cluster which IOM leads.

"The best way to rapidly reduce Haiti's homeless population is to focus on durable solutions" said Luca Dall'Oglio, IOM Haiti Chief of Mission. "This is where the focus of the humanitarian effort urgently needs to be. We are working to provide housing solutions to displaced persons in small camps, yet these initiatives must be scaled up. The broader return, relocation and reconstruction needs also have to be addressed in a more comprehensive and inclusive fashion. The time for doing that is now."

It the meantime, the report recommends increasing water and sanitation services and health surveillance in camps. It notes that increased awareness raising activities on ways to reduce health risks from contaminated water are also needed.

Please find the full DTM report and the latest eviction and cholera situation on our website

For more information contact: Leonard Doyle,
[email protected] Tel + 509 3702 5066