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Tackling inequality and vulnerability in Haiti

January 2015

Our work in Haiti aims to tackle two main issues: inequality and vulnerability. 

We're changing people's lives by increasing their resilience to future disasters but also helping them to adapt to climate change.

Children drinking milk at a school in Haiti

We are investing in the dairy and meat sectors, providing equipment and technical expertise so dairies and meat farmers are able to produce and process good quality milk, yoghurt and meat products.

We continue to work on issues such as migration, human rights and tax/budget monitoring.

Dominican Republic

We work not just in Haiti but also in neighbouring Dominican Republic (DR).

In the DR, a recent law was passed that could jeopardise the right of Dominicans of Haitian descent to a nationality.

It's estimated that over 100,000 people in the DR may not be able to obtain the necessary documentation, which means they will become stateless in their own country.

The law has created tensions and is currently affecting relations between the two countries, particularly between people living along the border. 

We are among a small number of INGOs that work on both sides of the island, which enables us to develop solutions to problems affecting both countries.

We're working with local civil society organisations to denounce injustices in Haiti and in the DR, and fighting for the rights of Dominicans of Haitian descent who face discrimination in the DR.

Highlights of our partners’ work 

• KORAL supports organisations that have created 29 small businesses, some of which trade in agricultural products and poultry.

• Veterimed supports a successful network of dairies called Lèt Agogo, which has around 250 full-time employees. In the last year, the network sold about 643,000 litres of milk-based products on the local market, including yoghurt, sterilised milk and pasteurised cheese. Turnover amounted to more than $1 million.

• Over 31,000 students in 84 public schools have benefited from a government programme aimed at providing milk to schoolchildren. Some of the milk for this initiative has come from the Lèt Agogo network.

• GARR has helped vulnerable families who previously lived in dilapidated slums to move into quake- and hurricane-proof homes. In the process of building the houses, workers were trained in basic construction and anti-seismic techniques.

• GARR has worked to improve 228 hectares of land by creating biological and mechanical barriers to prevent soil erosion.

Our advocacy work

We continue to influence decision makers in the UK, Haiti, the Dominican Republic and the US to benefit vulnerable communities on the island.

We have regular contact with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office, both in the UK and in Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

Partnering with Church World Service (CWS) on advocacy in US-Haiti-UK: Historically, there has been a great US influence in Haiti. Our work has benefited from US-facing advocacy since the earthquake through our partnership with US sister agency CWS. 

Successes include

• The accountability bill on more transparency for USAID funded programmes in Haiti signed by the US Congress and President Obama, which was supported by CWS and other key actors in Washington during summer 2014.

• Haitian civil society organisations, including our partners GARR and SSID, attended CWS’ first conference on housing in Washington DC in November 2014. The aim was to call for a sustainable plan to address housing in Haiti, targeting the Haitian and US governments.

National influence

Both Christian Aid and CWS work with local partners to help strengthen their capacity on advocacy. For example, we support partners to train community leaders in how to discuss issues such as climate change impact with local and national authorities.

Christian Aid also helped to develop the recently established civil society climate change platform in Haiti. It's hoped this platform could be used to tackle some of the key issues affecting those people most hit by climate change (the most vulnerable and poor) in both Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

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