Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Anticipating the Future: PDNA Report launched in New York today

The children's voices in the PDNA project is launching its report, Anticipating the Future, today at the Haiti Donors conference Child-Focus side event in New York -- ahead of the Official High Level Donors Meeting being held on March 31st.

The report's findings reveal that what Haitian young people wanted the most right now is to get back to school and to advance their education. Also high on their list were better housing, health, water and transport. They expressed a desire for better services in the provinces and less focus on the already crowded and over-stretched capital of Port-au-Prince. And among their concerns were security and worries that they are not prepared for future disasters.

I sincerely hope to go back to school because I think one is nothing in life without knowledge. Before January 12, I received no training, no information on natural disasters. So I think that we have to better prepare for potential earthquakes, avoiding uncontrolled construction,” said one 16-year-old boy.

Another girl said: “I wish this were the moment of change in Haiti. We must create jobs for young people… because they are the future of this country.”

For a copy of the report click here

See the recording of the side event here:
Watch live streaming video from voiceproject at livestream.com

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Plan shares Children's Voices on PDNA at Miami Conference on Haiti

Plan Haiti's Child Rights adviser shares key messages from the Children's Voices in the PDNA project at the Sustainable Haiti Conference - held in Miami on March 17-19th.
For more information see: http://www.haiticonference.com/agenda

Findings from Government's PDNA Official Report Launched

The Official report of the PDNA committee was launched in Santo Domingo on March 17th by President Rene Preval and set the price for Haiti's reconstruction and long term development at US$11.5billion. This amount is to be spent as: 59% for the social sectors, 17% for infrastructure, including housing, and 15% for the environment and risk and disaster management.

The total value of damage and losses caused by the January 12 earthquake is estimated at US $7,863 million , which is the equivalent of about more than 120% of the 2009 gross domestic product (GDP).
Most damage and losses have been experienced by the private sector ($5,491 million or 70%), while the public sector part is $2,374 million (or 30% of the total).

Among the many priorities, the PDNA report calls for investment in young people by ensuring the reopening of schools for children and by allowing young adults to take part in the reconstruction of the country.

A high level UN meeting to take place in New York on March 31st will be calling on donor countries to pledge their financial support to meet the funding required.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Preliminary Findings from FGDs

54 FGDs with over 1000 children and youth in the 9 departments have been completed. We are now collating all the data and analysing the children's key messages. Below are some of the messages we have heard and will be sharing with the PDNA decision makers:

"At the time of the earthquake, I thought the earth was caving in, that it was the end of the world. I saw people with broken legs and arms not having anywhere to find medical help. I thought that there were so many victims because we were not prepared to face these types of disasters. I think it is important to give support to the children and youth who have been one month living in a different place and are still afraid. Also, the Haitian government must guarantee the rights of all citizens, especially children, taking care of street children, and stop the prostitution of minors."
Martine (FGD in Ouest, female group- 11-17yrs)

"This focus group is a great activity, we got the participation and attention of all the participants. Each had the opportunity to express freely their ideas and opinions. Regarding the earthquake on January 12th, I think that each in their own lives understood and explained the disaster and what it meant for us. But there are still problems and fear in our lives. Many are traumatized and desperate. Right now, there is a need to reconsider, and include the rights and the needs of those affected, listen to them, they have positive ideas for the reconstruction of the country."
Nathalie , (FGD in Ouest, female group- 18-24 yrs)

"At the time of the earthquake, I thought that it was the end of the world. I lost an uncle who died in the ruins. I wish now that this moment – it will be the moment of change for Haiti. We need to create jobs for the youth, to rebuild all our schools. I wish to live in a better Haiti where the government takes responsibility for children and youth, because they are the future of the country. I wish that schools will start again where there will be good education, where children learn in safety and can study without fear."
Yvenie Pierre (FGD in Ouest, female group- 11-17 yrs)

"The discussion was a great initiative, it helped us express our feelings about the impact of the earthquake on our lives. I was washing clothes at the time of the earthquake, I lost an uncle who died in Petit-Goave. For the new Haiti, I call on all Haitians to take part, this is our chance to participate positively in the reconstruction of the country. I hope the government will take on its responsibilities. The children must also be integrated, because they have a lot of potential, they have an important part in the process. I suggest the Haitian government take all the necessary steps so that the population is better prepared for natural disasters. "
Sentia (FGD in Ouest, female group- 11-17 yrs)

"My home was damaged, we are afraid of staying inside and right now me and my family are here [in this temporary shelter in Parc Rony Collin]. Here life is not as bad as in other camps, they have been giving us aid. But we need water, clothes, shoes. At the time of the earthquake, I was at my home, I felt the earth vibrate without knowing it was an earthquake. Since then we have not been able to go to school, but we have taken part in some training in the camps. I am in the 7th grade AF, and I really hope to return to school because we are nothing in life without having education. Before the January 12th earthquake I never got any training or information on disasters in school nowhere. For this reason I think that to better prepare against disasters, we have to avoid building poor buildings, we have to use materials and building norms that will make use safe. "
Emmanuel 16 ans (Site Parc Rony Collin, Bon repos)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Facilitators Training in Cap Haitien

17 facilitators and young journalists were trained today at Cap Haitien to undertake focus group discussions in six locations in the North region of the country. Cap Haitien is Haiti's second largest city located along the Atlantic Coast. The area, although not directly affected by the January 12th earthquake, has been playing a key role in the earthquake's response. With the port facilities in Port-au-Prince destroyed by the earthquake, Cap-Haïtien's container port was being used to deliver relief supplies. In addition it is estimated that over 500,000 earthquake displaced people are being hosted in the area by relatives.

Past and Present risks
The area hosts the UNESCO Heritage monuments the Citadelle Laferrière, a massive stone fortress, and the ruins of the Sans-Souci Palace, which was wrecked by the 1842 earthquake. The historical landmark serves as a reminder to all of the region's vulnerability to earthquakes. In addition, in February this year, a school partially collapsed in Cap-Haitien due to a mudslide following four days of heavy rain. Four children were killed. The focus group discussions aim to gather children’s views on how to make their communities more resilient to the disaster risks they face.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Flooding in Cayes

Focus Group Discussions set to take place in Les Cayes ( Haiti's third most populous city) on Saturday, February 27th, were cancelled due to the heavy flash floods that struck the area.

Two hours of heavy rains washed more than 1.5 meters (60 inches) of water flooding the city's hospital and prison, and leading to the death of 11 people. Several homes collapsed, roads were blocked by the water and people fled for safer areas.

The coastal city of Les Cayes, 160 kilometers west of Port-au-Prince, has a population of 70,000. It has been hosting survivors of the January 12 earthquake.
Yesterday's floods reminded us of the need to address the country's multi-hazard vulnerability within the PDNA.

Haitian Children - the country's present and future

With half of Haiti’s population below the age of 18, the development of Haiti will not be possible without a positive transformation in the lives and future of Haiti’s children. A central indicator of successful progress in the Haitian political, economic and social fabric must be measured against the well-being and prospects of Haitian children – in particular those most vulnerable (including girls, children with special needs, orphans, HIV positive, among others).
Even before the earthquake, 76% of the Haitian population lived in poverty, and 56% in extreme poverty. Child mortality rates are intolerably high; children who survive are afflicted by high rates of malnutrition. The great majority of children and their families have no access to clean water; half of Haitian families have no access to healthcare and almost half of children do not attend school.
The massive January 12 earthquake shattered families, killed approximately 230,000 people and has displaced over one million people. Among those affected children are one of the most vulnerable groups – with their survival, protection and development increasingly at risk one month following the earthquake.