World Vision first began working in Haiti in 1959 through the sponsorship of 27 children at the Ebenezer Orphanage in Port-au-Prince. Thereafter, the organization founded a national office in Haiti in 1978. Since establishing a presence in Haiti, World Vision has supported long-term development programs focused on child well-being and community development. The faith-based non-governmental organization has also provided relief supplies and assisted with recovery from major natural disasters that have ravaged the country, including numerous hurricanes, flash floods, and the devastating January, 12, 2010 earthquake.
In response to the earthquake, World Vision has reached and assisted thousands of vulnerable families during the past six years. As a child-focused organization, World Vision prioritized child well-being from the very start of the quake response, with children at the center of all plans.
In the initial phase of the emergency response, World Vision strived to help affected families meet immediate needs by providing emergency food assistance to more than 2.5 million parents and children, emergency shelter for more than 200,000 homeless, and life-saving medical supplies to 412,500 ill and injured individuals. Additionally, the organization provided vital personal items and critical services such as water and sanitation, child protection, and education.
As World Vision shifted its response efforts towards sustainable rebuilding, it moved over 25,500 people out of tents and into safer, sturdier accommodations, constructed 20 schools—including a 15-classroom school in the transitional community of Corail, benefiting 1,200 students—and helped 15,000 people improve their food security while rebuilding communities through cash-for-work and food-for-work programs.
To respond to other crises that impacted earthquake survivors, World Vision assisted over 15,500 cholera patients, reached more than 300,000 individuals with proactive cholera prevention activities, and provided emergency relief items to a total of 100,000 people who were impacted by Tropical Storm Isaac and Hurricane Sandy.
Although World Vision’s disaster response has drawn to a close, the organization’s commitment to the people of Haiti remains as strong as ever. World Vision has worked alongside impoverished communities in Haiti for more than 35 years; this work will continue until Haiti’s children and families are able to flourish on their own.
While World Vision development efforts in Haiti have historically focused on rural communities, Haiti’s recovery requires an ongoing commitment to its urban population as well. So, World Vision will leverage what it has learned through urban disaster relief efforts to support long-term development initiatives in and around Port-au-Prince as well as in rural areas where World Vision is working with communities and local organizations to bring about long lasting change.
World Vision currently serves approximately three hundred thousand Haitians in urban and rural communities through 30 projects and programs. This work includes 19 Area Programs targeting 80 communities which support more than 56,000 sponsored children and impact a total of 112,000 children. With continued support, the organization aims to help the families build a stronger, more resilient Haiti.
There is still much to be accomplished; and, over the next three years, World Vision will continue to work in 4 core regions of Haiti: Central Plateau, the metropolitan of Port-Au-Prince & Fond Parisien Border, La Gonâve, and the North. While the organization has and will continue to work in locations beyond these regions, they represent the priorities for long-term investment in integrated programming spanning multiple projects.
As World Vision’s transitions from emergency relief to long-term development, the organization aspires to build back stronger and more resilient by prioritizing child well-being with a focus on sustainable livelihoods for families, education, health, and child protection and participation. World Vision is committed to all of these vital efforts, even as it narrows its response work to focus on activities with the greatest potential to improve child well-being for the long term.