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Haiti - Humanitarian : Relocation of returnees from DR is underway...
15/04/2016 12:40:18

Haiti - Humanitarian : Relocation of returnees from DR is underway...
About 374 of the 587 families living in six temporary sites have already received their grant for the relocation. Some 2,300 returnees from the Dominican Republic who lived in precarious conditions in six makeshift camps in Anse-a-Pitres have received assistance for their relocation in areas of their choice. Implemented by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in collaboration with the Delegation of the Southeast Department, OCHA and the whole community, this relocation program aims to close the 6 temporary sites where populations returning from the Dominican Republic have settled since July 2015.

This program is inspired on the relocation program of internally displaced people that the IOM developed following the 2010 earthquake. It is executed in accordance with the Government policy to avoid developing sites and camps on Haitian territory for returnees and deported people, without losing sight of the protection and dignity of those affected by the binational mixed migration crisis.

The relocated families will receive assistance to rent for one year a home fulfilling the minimum standards established by IOM in the return location of their choice. The enrollment process and the search of the houses started a few weeks ago and, as of March 31st, 580 families were enrolled. Thus, as of 1 April 2016, IOM has made the payment of relocation fees to 374 families. The rest of families will receive their grants during the month of April. The criteria for the assignment of funds for the relocation are based on the distance from the final destination, size and vulnerability of the family. The relocation operations officially started on 28 March 2016. The 374 families moved to four cities: Anse-à-Pitres, Belle Anse, Fonds des Nègres and Thiotte. Of the 587 families concerned by the program, about 268 families will remain in the town of Anse-a-Pitres and the surrounding area.

Faced with the phenomenon and the risk of emergence of new tents on the sites (Fond Jeannette, Parc Cado 1 and 2), the authorities will conduct awareness sessions on all sites to discourage the construction of new tents and to facilitate the closure of the sites. The landowners will be involved in the post relocation management process.

For the site of Fond Jeannette, 78 families left the site and there are only 3 families remaining to relocate. Of these 78 families, 66 were relocated in the communal sub-section of Bois d'Ormes. This represents a significant population that departmental and local authorities will have to integrate into the community development plans. The Secretary General (SG) of the Southeast delegation, Mr. Frantz Pierre Louis, on behalf of the delegation, appealed to the international to continue providing all kind of support to integrate the new population. Indeed, despite the support of the humanitarian community, the needs are still many in the basic sectors, particularly health, education, water and sanitation and protection. For some government members, the State should also be committed to improve access to these towns, by improving the roads, and deploying qualified personnel to keep social infrastructure, including police, health center, schools, etc...

Referencing systems will be particularly needed especially in terms of health and protection. Regarding protection, status verification program and registration of stateless persons and / or at risk of statelessness and their families will continue from the first information transmitted by IOM to the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees (UNHCR). Thus, on 21 March 2016 out of 2,141 families referred for status verification by IOM, 463 families verified by UNHCR officials fall under their mandates in the same period.

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