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On the evening of the fifth anniversary of the devastating earthquake that killed an estimated 217,000 persons, International Organization for Migration (IOM) has released its latest Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM), which confirms that although 94 per cent of the internally displaced have left camps and other temporary sites, almost 80,000 Haitians remain displaced.

IOM’s latest DTM reports that an estimated 21,218 households or 79,397 individuals still reside in 105 sites.

“Although we are happy to report on the fifth anniversary of the earthquake that IOM has registered a 94 per cent decrease in the number of Haitians displaced, and a 93 per cent decrease in the number of sites still housing displaced populations, the international community must not forget the almost 80,000 persons that continue to wait for their chance to rebuild their lives with a proper roof over their heads,” said Gregoire Goodstein, IOM Chief of Mission in Haiti.

During the DTM’s latest reporting period (October to December 2014), return programmes offering rental subsidies were responsible for the closure of 18 sites and the relocation of 900 households. No camps were closed due to evictions or by spontaneous returns this period.

Led by the Government of Haiti, and in collaboration with IOM and other partners, return programmes since 2010 resulted in the closure of a total of 475 sites, and helped relocate approximately 75,500 displaced households (259,200 individuals).

“The Government of Haiti, many humanitarian agencies and generous donors have worked very hard over the past five years to help Haitians recover their lives. And if we measure our success in numbers we can say that a lot has been done; as at the peak of displacement 1.5 million Haitians were homeless.  But we cannot rest on these laurels, we must see to it that each and every displaced Haitian has a home in 2015,” stressed Goodstein.

The IOM mission in Haiti estimates that if stability in the country is maintained, the hurricane season is not disruptive and if financial resources are made available, it is possible to rehouse the remaining persons living in tents.

Most of the current sites are located within the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area with the majority being in the communes of Port-au-Prince, Delmas, and Leogane (considered the earthquake’s epicentre).

Of the 105 sites that remain open at the end of the reporting period, 73 are tent sites (70 per cent of open sites); 10 sites have mixed shelters: tents, makeshifts and Transitional Shelters (9 per cent); the remaining 22 sites (21 per cent) have a majority of Transitional Shelters.

Although rental subsidies are the main tool to support rehousing, more durable solutions are being tested under the leadership of the Unité de Construction de Logements et de Bâtiments Publics (UCLBP), a government institution which leads the implementation of the National Housing policy. Such durable solutions include social housing but also the “sites and services” approach whereby basic community infrastructure and access to utilities could be provided to a number of T-shelter camps which have been determined to be on public land and where there are possibilities for such sites to be integrated within the surrounding communities. IOM hopes to undertake such pilots in the coming months.

Since July 2010, IOM’s DTM has been applied as a monitoring tool to track the displaced population; The IOM Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) is available at: www.iomhaitidataportal.info.

Source: International Organization for Migration