With 80% of its population living in poverty, Haiti is one of the most economically challenged countries in the world. The devastating earthquake that hit Haiti on January 12, 2010, greatly worsened the development challenges in the country. Much of the country’s infrastructure was destroyed, trade was disrupted and prices rose dramatically, making it even more difficult for Haitians to support themselves and their families. Together with our partners in Haiti, we provided emergency relief in the aftermath of the quake and we continue to implement long-term development strategies to sustain Haiti’s recovery long into the future.
Episcopal Relief & Development worked with the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti’s development arm, CEDDISEC (Centre Diocésain de Developpement Intégré et de Secours), to support and strengthen its work both prior to earthquake and in the years after. In 2014, Episcopal Relief & Development partnered with IMA World Health to seek new partnerships with established NGOs in order to empower Episcopal congregations as actors of development in their communities.
After the 2010 earthquake, Episcopal Relief & Development initiated micro-credit programs to alleviate poverty, improve livelihoods and recover lost business and capital. In 2013, the Program of Credit and Savings of the Episcopal Church of Haiti (PROCREEH) was created as part of a new initiative to reinforce the autonomy of Haitian communities as leaders of their own socioeconomic development.
Episcopal Relief & Development is also working with its partners to increase access to quality education and invest in a better future for Haiti. To improve economic opportunities for young people in areas that were affected by the earthquake, we have partnered with a Haitian NGO called Haitian Youth Livelihood Initiative-IDEJEN to train young people in construction and hospitality. Together with IDEJEN, we will repair existing schools, provide the support needed to make classroom improvements, and create school committees comprised of parents, teachers and community leaders to oversee the management of school facilities in the future.
We also support the Bishop Tharp Business and Technology Institute (BTI), a two-year school in Les Cayes operating under the auspices of the Church. BTI is strengthening communities and supporting economic development through offering high-quality instruction that prepares young people to better compete in the global market.
In addition, we are partnering with IMA World Health to implement a project to improve students’ health and education by undertaking water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) projects in the South, Southeast and Grand Anse departments of Haiti. Episcopal Relief & Development is also partnering with the Episcopal University of Haiti to address food security in Léogâne, which was at the epicenter of the 2010 earthquake.
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