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Haiti - Social : They want to leave the camps but... they have nowhere to go
Luca Dall'Oglio, IOM Chief of Mission in Haiti, explains, "The intention survey debunks the notion that people are living in the camps out of choice. The survey indicates that it is extreme poverty, worsened by the earthquake which has kept hundreds of thousands of Haitians homeless for so long."
According to IOM data, despite a sharp decrease in the camp population from some 1.5 million last year, over 600,000 Haitians still live in approximately 1,000 displacement camps scattered mostly around the capital, Port-au-Prince.
The Intentions Survey found that 94 per cent of people living in camps would leave if they had alternative accommodation. Most of those surveyed said if they had to depart immediately, they would not have the means to pay rent or the resources to repair or replace their damaged or destroyed homes.
By cons, if the individuals surveyed had to leave the sites today, few believe they have an alternative accommodation. In case of departure of the accommodation sites, 53% (8053 IDP) of respondents said that did not know where to relocate, 14% (2172 IDP) said that they would consider returning to their home green/yellow, 8% will go to a resettlement camp and 7% (1065 IDP) in their home even if it is unsafe (red).
Despite the desire shown by a large majority of IDPs (94%) to leave the accommodation sites as quickly as possible, more than half said they had no alternatives, while others would be content to settle in an unsafe home (7%), rent a house (7%) or living on the street (2%).
Closing these camps is a top priority for the Government of Haiti and the United Nations, international and local humanitarian organizations are supporting the presidency to find urgently needed durable solutions. The Interim Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti (ICRH) is currently reviewing President Michel Martelly's plan to assist families living in six camps to return to 16 neighbourhoods in Port-Au-Prince.
To leave the camps, an overwhelming majority said that they need financial aid if they are to rent accommodation, or repair or rebuild their damaged houses.
Asked where they would wish to go, 17 per cent said they wished to return to their original homes, 12 per cent said they wanted to leave Port-au-Prince and go back to the countryside. Some 11 per cent said they needed more information to decide, 10 per cent said they wanted to go to a planned site, while 9 per cent were prepared to return to their own home, even if it was not repaired. Finally, 19 per cent said they had no place to go.