Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Lambi Fund Update: A Path to Recovery in Haiti

The days following the earthquake were a busy and stressful time for Lambi Fund. Contacting staff and partner organizations proved to be a difficult task given the lack of phone service, power, internet and destruction of major roads to rural communities.
On January 16, 2010 staff in the US finally heard from Lambi Fund’s country director in Haiti. While staff in Haiti have been struggling to survive in a city that has been demolished, we here overjoyed to hear that all Lambi Fund staff members were alive and suffered relatively minor injuries.

January 18, 2010: Lambi Fund Country Director Josette Perard finally made it through the debris and checkpoints to our office space located in downtown Port-au-Prince. It sustained damages but is still standing! Important documents and equipment were salvaged for the time being as it lacked electricity needed for the office to be functional.
January 19-24, 2010: Staff have been working out of our Field Coordinator’s house; one of the few houses still standing that has electricity. Lambi Fund’s office building is being used as shelter for those that have been displaced.

Several Lambi Fund led regional meetings have convened in rural communities outside, under trees throughout Haiti. These communities are currently experiencing tremendous rates of outmigration that are severely stressing already limited resources. The 1,000’s of refugees streaming into these villages daily desperately need immediate relief. As such our local partner organizations and Lambi Fund have begun distributing major essentials like food, water and medical supplies to displaced persons. Shelters are in the process of being built as well.
January 25, 2010: Staff finally managed to purchase gas for Lambi Fund’s generator. The office has electricity, is up and running and is fully operational! Continued discussions with grassroots organizations in rural communities have led to the development of a four-phase recovery plan that will be critical in Haiti’s long-term recovery:

1. Distribute food and emergency essentials to those migrating from Port-au-Prince to rural areas.
  1. Repair damage in rural communities
  2. Expand sustainable agriculture programs to meet the increased demand for food in rural areas
  3. Increase opportunities for sustainable income for those displaced by the earthquake so that the influx of people migrating to countryside can start earning sustainable livelihoods

Play a major role in expanding resources, rebuilding, and providing refugees with the means for economic livelihoods in rural communities by supporting this important long-term recovery program in Haiti today.