Kimberly A. Cullen and Louise C. Ivers

Health and Human Rights 12/2

Published December 2010

Abstract

Months after a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit Port-au-Prince, Haiti, over one million remain homeless and living in spontaneous internally displaced person (IDP) camps. Billions of dollars from aid organizations and government agencies have been pledged toward the relief effort, yet many basic human needs, including food, shelter, and sanitation, continue to be unmet. The Sphere Project, “Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response,” identifies the minimum standards to be attained in disaster response. From a human rights perspective and utilizing key indicators from the Sphere Project as benchmarks, this article reports on an assessment of the living conditions approximately 12 weeks after the earthquake in Parc Jean Marie Vincent, a spontaneous IDP camp in Port-au-Prince. A stratified random sample of households in the camp, proportionate to the number of families living in each sector, was selected. Interview questions were designed to serve as “key indicators” for the Sphere Project minimum standards. A total of 486 interviews were completed, representing approximately 5% of households in each of the five sectors of the camp. Our assessment identified the relative achievements and shortcomings in the provision of relief services in Parc Jean Marie Vincent. At the time of this survey, the Sphere Project minimum standards for access to health care and quantity of water per person per day were being met. Food, shelter, sanitation, and security were below minimum accepted standard and of major concern. The formal assessment reported here was completed by September 2010, and is necessarily limited to conditions in Haiti before the cholera outbreak in October.

 
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