Handicap International (HI) issued a press release on the second anniversary of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that devastated Haiti, stating that HI is going to continue working in the country beyond the emergency phase to support Haiti as it moves into the reconstruction and development phase.
“The Haitian people are just beginning to turn the page after the 2010 earthquake, but there is still a huge amount of work left to do,” said Benoît Aurenche, HI Haiti project manager. “The emergency humanitarian response was essential. Today, it is vital that the focus shifts to development actions. The Haitian people are extremely concerned about what is going to happen now,” Aurenche added.
In 2012, HI said it plans to finalize its emergency actions, implement rapid-response mechanisms to reduce the impact of future natural disasters, advocate for persons with disabilities by ensuring that buildings are accessible, and implementing income-generating activities for the most vulnerable, including people with disabilities. In addition, the services that are currently provided at the orthopedic fitting center, opened by HI to help earthquake victims, are being transferred to local organizations. To do so, HI is training its Haitian staff to ensure the sustainability of its rehabilitation and orthopedic fitting services, as well as developing national-level rehabilitation training.