Strengthen cooperation in the fight against child domestic work

A presentation session at the meeting at UNICEF’s local

The main partners involved in the fight against child domestic work, redoubled efforts, alongside the Haitian government, to reduce the incidence of this phenomenon on children for their full development. To make the fight more effective, many initiatives are being taken, including the project to combat child domestic labor. The Joint Steering Committee for this project is part of these coordination mechanisms. Canadian Cooperation and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MAST) co-chair this structure, whose members come from international organizations such as UNICEF, the International Labor Organization (ILO), IOM and government agencies.

Port-au-Prince, March 29, 2018 – The members of the Joint Steering Committee met in the conference room of UNICEF to take stock of the progress of the project ” Fight against child domestic work in Haiti ”, discuss challenges and next steps in the implementation of the project.

Stéphanie Auguste, Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, emphasized the importance the Haitian Government attaches to the fight against child labor in view of its dramatic consequences. “The disastrous consequences of the worst forms of child labor are well established. They have irreversible effects on their health, education, and psycho-emotional development that are their most basic rights, “she said.

Later, the Minister stressed the need to develop synergistic actions against child domestic work “We must therefore without delay clear the ways and means to undertake actions that must be historic and do not wait,” she added. She also praised the cooperation in this area between the Haitian government, Canada, and the United Nations, particularly UNICEF.

Successful cooperation

Minister Stéphanie Auguste in a presentation, UNICEF Representative on the Right and Canada’s Head of Cooperation on the Left

Carlos Rojas-Arbulu, Head of Cooperation at the Canadian Embassy, addressed the efforts of the Haitian government, which has ratified several international conventions on human rights, including the Convention on the Rights of the Child. He also thanked UNICEF and its partners for their efforts to achieve progress in the implementation of the project against child domestic labor, through the results presented in the first annual report.

Finally, he encouraged UNICEF and partners to strengthen the gender equality strategy and coordination mechanism by welcoming the leadership of the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor.

Mr. Marc Vincent, UNICEF Representative in Haiti, recalled “the continued commitment of the Government of Haiti to the promotion and protection of the rights of the child”, emphasizing the leadership of the MAST in the sector.

He further recalled some important results since the beginning of the implementation of the project in April 2017 among which: the triggering of the dynamics to support the revision of the Labor Code and the way towards the adoption of the other legal texts such as the Child Protection Code and the list of hazardous work; the identification and care of 336 child domestic workers, 60% of whom are girls; identifying and supporting 2,357 families at risk of family separation to prevent child labor; identifying and supporting 1,215 children at risk or victims of violence, including GBV, 765 of whom are currently in school.

Figures that challenge

This project is taking place in three departments, including the South, Grand’Anse and the West, following the study on placement and child domestic work carried out in 2014. Per this study conducted by the Haitian Government with the UNICEF support and 28 national and international NGOs, the following situation was revealed:

  • 25% of Haitian children aged 5 to 17 live apart from their biological parents;
  • More than 400,000 children, of which 52% of girls are involved in domestic work;
  • 207,000 children aged 5 to 14 are in unacceptable forms of domestic work;
  • About 60% of children in unacceptable working conditions are girls who are mainly employed in urban areas;
  • High socio-economic precariousness of households explains this practice in most cases.

The joint steering committee reminds us of the need to reinforce synergies between actors to provide a multisectoral response to the problem of insecurity that leads to the exploitation of children through the worst forms of work. The Minister insists for:

  • a great mobilization of the actors at the level of the other Ministries and NGOs concerned in all the stages of the project.
  • The development of advocacy action in parliament for the adoption of ILO Convention 189 on Domestic Workers and the Child Protection Code Act, and the revision of the Labor Code;
  • The establishment of a Child Protection Cluster that will bring together the actors at the strategic level regarding child protection.

With such a commitment to the summit and such a mobilization of development actors, hope is allowed when reducing exposure to domestic work for girls and boys in Haiti.

Editorial of Marc Vincent, UNICEF Haiti Representative

Young children, waiting outside, during an inauguration of a school

The 2017 is about to come to an end, it has been a year rich in intervention for UNICEF Haiti. We have supported the actions of the Government of Haiti and reinforcing its capacities in the areas that have been linked to survival and development of the children. Our actions are guided by our mandate which is the wellbeing of all the children.

It is the principle of equity that guides us to allow the most vulnerable children and families and those living in the most remote places to benefit from a life-saving humanitarian intervention. UNICEF has been on all fronts this year 2017.

Among other actions:

-The certification of foster families is part of one of the alternatives to placement of children in institutions. We also proceeded to the Certification of ” Schools Friend of Hygiene” with partners. Children will be able to evolve in a healthier environment.

– UNICEF has also contributed to strengthening the health system by providing technical support to the MSPP and developing community health systems by training community health workers and strengthening the network of health workers. These agents will help save lives.

– From January to September, more than 32,000 children aged 6 to 24 months and 22,000 pregnant and lactating women received several micronutrients to improve their diet and fight iron deficiency anemia.

In addition, we continued with our interventions in the departments affected by Matthew:

  • UNICEF enabled access to safe water to more than 640,000 people since the passage of Hurricane Matthew.
  • 120 schools damaged by Hurricane Matthew have been rehabilitated, which facilitated the return to class for over 30,000 students. More than 10,000 items of school furniture were provided in 139 schools, and 27,000 children received psychosocial support.
  • In 2017, a total of 10,628 children under five with severe acute malnutrition and 7,381 children with moderate acute malnutrition were treated. More than 32,000 children 6-24 months of age, and 22,725 pregnant and lactating women received micronutrients.

Due to climate change, cyclones are becoming more and more devastating. Strengthening awareness of risk and disaster management is a priority. We held consultations with young people in the South and Grand’Anse, the two departments most affected by Hurricane Matthew. Awareness also goes through our youth and adolescents.

2017 is leaving and 2018 is already knocking on the door. There will be new challenges, because the important thing is to capitalize on the good results recorded but also to correct those who deserve to be. Nevertheless, the goals will remain the same, creating an environment that allows Haitian children to develop their full potential.

We must strengthen the fight against cholera, victory is at hand, we can eliminate cholera.

I send a special greeting to all the children of Haiti, to our partners, and I wish you all a happy holiday.

 

Marc Vincent

Representative

Training Workshop on Education and Eradication of Child Labor

 

The participants at the training

“Education 2030 and the eradication of child labor”. This was the theme of the workshop organized at the International Training Center of the International Labor Organization (ILO) in Turin (Italy) from 06 to 10 November 2017.

The workshop brought together representatives from Burkina Faso, Comoros, Lebanon, Mali, Mauritania, Switzerland and Haiti, including the Director General of the Ministry of Education. One of the objectives was to enable participants to: develop a better understanding of the links between the achievement of the 2030 Education Goal and the elimination of child labor; identify different strategies to combat vulnerability to child labor and exclusion of children from education; reflect on the roles that stakeholders can play in achieving education by 2030 and eliminating child labor by 2025.

Per ILO estimates, about 218 019 000 children are working around the world; 151,622,000 of these children are between the ages of 6 and 14, and 75,525,000 children are performing hazardous work for their health, physical, social or mental development. Dangerous work refers to activities that jeopardize the education of children, activities that affect them in any schooling.

This workshop also allowed participants to review key international frameworks related to education and the issue of child labor. Special attention was paid to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the various ILO Conventions on the minimum age for employment, and the worst forms of child labor, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) specifically Goal 4, which promotes equitable and quality inclusive education.

The eradication of child labor; an obligation

a training session

The participants in this workshop concluded that education and the eradication of child labor cannot be the exclusive business of the Ministries of Education of the countries.

The Director General of the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training (MENFP), Dr. Meniol Jeune, expressed his appreciation of the participatory approach used by the facilitators and the quality of the exchanges between the participants. It intends to work to sensitize the educational actors on this theme and to promote the eradication of child labor.

Representatives of the Institute of Social Welfare and Research (IBESR) at this training, Peterson Cadet and Marckens Saint-Louis, propose to work on the definition of a training plan for the “protection peers” through sessions of restitution of the fundamental axes of the process of eradication of child labor.

Geslet Bordes, Child Protection Officer at UNICEF Haiti, expressed its satisfaction for the main tools already available on this theme. The knowledge gained during this workshop will be used to operationalize the action plan that will be prepared with the effective participation of MENFP and IBESR.

For quality, inclusive education in Haiti by 2030, let’s all say: “No to child labor, and yes to children in classrooms!”

The day of the child celebrated with great fanfare in Haiti

UNICEF Representative giving a certificate to a parent

Port-au-Prince, November 21, 2017 – The highest authorities in the country were present  to celebrate the Children’s Day, the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, in Haiti. UNICEF, the Haitian government and local and international organizations have renewed the promise of creating a protective environment for the well-being of Haiti’s children.

The First lady holding a child

For this November 20th, the national theme is “YON FANMI POU CHAK TIMOUN” (A family for every child). The main activity of the day was the presentation of the certificate of accreditation for 76 host families. (49 will be newly accredited, and 27 will be renewed).

Among the personalities present, the First Lady of the Republic, Mrs. Martine Moïse; the Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, Mrs. Stéphanie Auguste; the Minister of Youth and Sports, Mrs. Régine Lamur; the Director of the Institute of Social Welfare and Research (IBESR), Mrs. Arielle Jeanty Villedrouin; UNICEF Representative in Haiti, Mr. Marc Vincent and Terre des Hommes representative / Lausanne, Mrs. Iceland Georges Cadet. We must also talk about the presence of children and key players in child protection in Haiti.

The anniversary of the CRC

“At UNICEF, this November 20th is also the most important day for the entire organization. For it celebrates the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child. We hope that this day will not only be a celebration, but that it will touch hearts and consciences with the goal of changing the situation of vulnerable children across the country, “said Mr. Marc Vincent, UNICEF Representative in Haiti.

He further congratulated the families participating in this program. “Today, UNICEF and its partners are committed to following up on these new accredited families, defending the process of ‘’de-institutionalization’’, and hope that more children in institutions, or children who are victims of other vulnerabilities are placed in a warm home, “he continued.

A young IBESR ambassador, Habrana Brizard, insisted on respecting all children’s rights without exception. “I’m not too young to learn that the challenges are big. However, I learned that life is a struggle, so fighting for what is good is an obligation, “she told the audience.

Identification of children, a crucial step

In her speech, Mrs. Martine Moïse, said that the accreditation of these host families is part of a significant advance. She took the opportunity to congratulate these families “who have agreed to give their time, their comforting presence, their love to participate validly in the integral and harmonious evolution of the children who need it”.

The First Lady thus recalled the importance of identifying children at birth, particularly through the ” konte m, mwen konte ” initiative in hospitals. “It decreases the risk of being trafficked and other forms of exploitation. Pyès ti moun pa dwe pitimi san gado (no child should be raised alone), “she said, pointing out that the President of the Republic, his Excellency, Mr. Jovenel Moïse, has the ambition that all children have a number and that they will be raised in a family as this will make family safety and child protection programs more effective.

Celebration of the Convention on the Rights of the Child: Put the respect of children’s rights as a priority

 

The main partners in child Protection were present

Port-au-Prince, November 20, 2017- On the anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, celebrated this Monday around the world, UNICEF reiterates its wish to see every child in a family. Thus, UNICEF supports the Institute of Social Welfare and Research (IBESR) for the realization of the week of childhood. The national theme is “YON FANMI POU CHAK TIMOUN” (A family for every child).

As is the case each year, UNICEF’s goal this week is to focus on the right of every child to physical, mental and emotional well-being. The organization calls for putting the respect of children’s rights at the center of public attention.

With a focus on the vital role families play in child development, UNICEF has been working together with IBESR and the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MAST) on Monday, 20 November, as well as others. partners, to certify 76 host families. The first Lady, Mrs. Martine Moïse, attended the ceremony.

“UNICEF supports all efforts to reduce the number of children placed in institutions. The place of a child is in the family, biological or host. This allows the kid to develop his full potential. “Says Marc Vincent, UNICEF Representative in Haiti. “UNICEF supports the Haitian government for the well-being of all children in Haiti.”

In the same vein, on 21 November, was held the certification ceremony of ‘Friendly Schools of Hygiene’ in partnership with the Ministry of National Education and Vocational Training, the Ministry of Public Health and Population as well as other partners. Good hygiene conditions within the school are an important contribution to children’s learning. Of the 17 schools certified in the departments of the Center and Artibonite, 13 are supported by UNICEF.

Yes, to Participation

Beyond the actions dedicated to protection, survival and education, UNICEF will undertake a series of activities during the week of November 20th to promote the voice of children and adolescents. Participation being the fourth pillar of the CRC the goal is to communicate with, for and through children. Children’s voices will be shared through social media, WhatsApp and the UNICEF Blog.

No to violence

Throughout the week of November 20, short opinion videos on everyday violence, “voxpops,” will be shared on WhatsApp and social media as UNICEF works for “One Family Without Violence for Every Child.” In the same logic is planned a workshop on violence and resilience which will be followed by a graduation to the first group of stakeholders trained in emotional intelligence and personal leadership.

A series of musical pieces for children, composed and performed by the renowned Haitian artist Jean-Jean Roosevelt, will be launched online as well as the music video ‘Pou chak timoun’ (For each child). Come follow us live on http://timounyo.com/

CRC an important text for the rights of the child

In 54 articles and two Optional Protocols, the Convention sets out the fundamental rights of all children in the world: the right to survival; the right to develop as far as possible; the right to be protected from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation; and to participate fully in family, cultural and social life.

The four basic principles of the Convention are non-discrimination; the priority given to the best interests of the child; the right to live, to survive and to develop; and respect for the views of the child. All rights recognized in the Convention are inherent in the human dignity and harmonious development of every child. The Convention protects the rights of children by setting standards for health care, education and legal, civil and social services.

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Using ‘’ Facts for life” through popular songs

A choregraphy with ”Facts for life ” themes

On Saturday, October 14th, in the margins of the celebration of the “Global Handwashing Day”, the Gymnasium Vincent (Port-au-Prince) was celebrating an important event for the good of the children: the launch of an album songs inspired by the manual “Facts for life” (“Konesans pou sove lavi”).

Taking into account the playful aspect of singing, its capacity to gather and to raise people’s awareness, beyond differences, this medium has been privileged to convey essential family practices to a large number of people.

Nearly 200 children from the “Orchid” group sang, danced and mimed the key messages contained in the 14 chapters of the document “Konesans pou sove lavi” through the festival called “A la bèl bagay se lasante” (Health is a beautiful thing).

The show was divided into two parts:

-That of singing on the rights of the child has seen nearly fifty children from several schools in the square and who shone one by one the rights of the child by turning in a circle.

– the second part featured a group of children dressed in peasant dress and carrying various provisions on their heads while dancing to the rhythm of the song on nutrition “Three kind of eats”. The room vibrated to the rhythm of the choreography of the tube music from the album “ala bel bagay se lasante” performed by children wearing different style outfits.

However, in the opinion of all, the performances were some more magnificent than the others and the actors outdid themselves to offer a colorful show that raised a collective enthusiasm communicative.

It should be noted that the idea of preparing an album of songs is part of a global strategy to promote essential family practices for the promotion of health and child development. These songs will be used primarily in the health clubs that are an integral part of this strategy and during the realization of various awareness activities.

In general, this album of songs is intended to be an important contribution to the Haitian community in its quest to have healthy Haitian children. It was designed in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Health and Population to ensure that the messages on health and child development it contains are culturally accessible to all segments of the population. Note that the album was produced by the group “Hi” thanks to financial support from UNICEF in the framework of a partnership with the Institute Preventive Health, Environmental, and Community (SPEC).

One year after Hurricane Matthew, Haiti’s children still vulnerable to natural disasters

A devastated locality in Grand’Anse

 

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, 4 October 2017 – One year after Hurricane Matthew, a category 4 hurricane, devastated the Southwest of Haiti, causing loss of life and considerable damage, children and adolescents in the Caribbean country are still incredibly vulnerable to the effects of natural disasters and extreme weather events, UNICEF warned today.

“Hundreds of thousands of children had their lives turned upside down by Hurricane Matthew,” said UNICEF Representative Marc Vincent. “The courage and determination of families to recover and begin to rebuild their lives is admirable and UNICEF is proud to be one of the organizations continuing to support them.”

“After Matthew passed, I thought it would be virtually impossible to continue living. All the trees were uprooted … But people are beginning gradually to recover,” according to Bernard, 14, originally from Roche-à-Bateau, a southern commune badly affected by Matthew.

A water treatment and filtration plant in Grand’Anse, supported by UNICEF

In the immediate aftermath of the storm, UNICEF mobilized its staff on the ground to respond to the most urgent needs, sending emergency aid for affected children and families, including clean water and sanitation.

UNICEF, working with the Haitian Government and partners, has been able to carry out the following actions during the past 12 months:

  • More than 550,000 people have benefited from access to drinking water.
  • 120 schools damaged by the hurricane were rehabilitated, facilitating the return to school for more than 30,000 schoolchildren. 139 schools received more than 10,000 school furniture items and 26,000 children received psychosocial support.
  • More than 28,000 children benefited from psychosocial care, assistance and nutrition, health and hygiene education. More than 24,000 people received information on violence, child abuse and gender-based violence (GBV).
  • More than 160,000 children have been screened for malnutrition in the departments of the South and Grand’Anse in an ongoing screening program. The results show the need for continuing care with7,443 cases of acute malnutrition reported including 2,343 cases of severe acute malnutrition and 5,100 cases of moderate acute malnutrition.

 

In addition, UNICEF had organized a series of consultations with adolescents in Grand’Anse and the South to enable them to express their concerns and ideas about risk and disaster management, with the results shared with local authorities. .

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Notes for editors:

UReport: In order, not only to inform but also to listen to young people, UNICEF Haiti has just integrated the global initiative UReport. The focus will be on child protection in Haiti. To access:  https://ureport.in/

Interactive Map: The experience of staff and communities in affected areas is also visible on an interactive map that gives details of actions and needs on the ground. To access it visit: http://bit.ly/2yNoYbA

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.org.

For photo and video content please visit here.

Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook

For more information, please contact:

Cornelia Walther, Chief of Communication, UNICEF Haiti, cwalther@unicef.org

Joe English, UNICEF New York, +1 917 893 0692 jenglish@unicef.org

 

 

International Conference on Social Protection in Contexts of Fragility and Forced Displacement

Displaced people during hurricane Matthew

 

UNICEF supported the Haitian Government for participation in the International Conference on Social Protection in Contexts of Fragility and Forced Displacement (Brussels, 28-29 September 2017).

UNICEF and the European Commission (ECHO / DEVCO), together with key partners (FAO, WFP, WB, Governments, including DFID, Finland, Germany) are organizing this Conference to guide the prospects for using social protection systems in these contexts.

The Conference will focus on improving the living conditions, livelihoods and social inclusion of affected populations, including children, refugees, internally displaced populations, who are often highly vulnerable and are not benefiting fundamental human rights.

In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew severely worsened the pre-existing humanitarian situation in Haiti, affecting more than 2 million people, with 1.4 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Despite the immediate response, humanitarian needs persist: more than 2.35 million people are facing severe acute food insecurity; 31 camps continue to host 46,691 internally displaced people due to the 2010 earthquake; and 6,941 cases of cholera are identified.

The humanitarian challenges of prolonged fragility due to natural disasters and poverty-related social crises in all its dimensions underscore the need to bridge the gap between humanitarian action and development. This is essential to the realization of the human rights and well-being of all children and families in Haiti.

Towards social protection services

The Government of Haiti continues to make efforts to establish social protection mechanisms. Nevertheless, existing interventions remain fragmented and poorly hedged, and the relevance and feasibility of a coherent and comprehensive social protection system depends strongly on a strong institutional anchor. To this end, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MAST) is currently leading a process for the development of a National Social Protection Policy.

Displaced people

Social protection initiatives aimed at reducing poverty and inequality. They can reduce the risk of social unrest, and consequently ensure greater social peace.

Combining social and economic impacts also contributes to building resilience: building the capacity of poor households to better cope, respond and resist crises.

The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG 1) stipulates that the international community is committed to expanding coverage of social protection measures for all and ensuring substantial coverage of the poor and vulnerable by 2030. This extension should include social protection in contexts of fragility and forced displacement in order to avoid exclusion.

Similarly, development actors recognize the importance of Social Protection at the 2016 World Health Summit (WHS) and commit to “increasing social protection programs and strengthening national and local systems and adaptation in order to enhance resilience in fragile contexts.”

Although the establishment of effective social protection in the context of protracted fragility and displaced populations is more complex, experience suggests that social protection plays an important role both in the humanitarian dimension and in development – particularly in times of critical transition.

Back to school. Back to normality. Nearly

Fort-Liberté. September 11th – It is Monday. One week after the school year started officially in Haiti, schools are once again making a timid effort to reopen their doors. Everyone is eager to turn the page on Irma, yet reality hasn’t quite caught up yet. Even though 12 out of the 13 shelters were evacuated yesterday to ensure that schools can reopen today, some of them are not ready to host their students.

The student of the Lycée Duty Boukman resume their classes. This school served as a temporary shelter for a short time.

Together with UNICEF colleague Brice, school inspectors and NGO partners, I am part of a joint assessment mission whose purpose is to find out which schools have been flooded or damaged during Irma. The ambition is to focus the limited resources where they are most needed, to make sure that all students can get back to the classroom quickly.

But the challenge goes beyond school infrastructure. “Many of our teachers and the families of our students have seen their homes flooded during Irma. They are not in school because they are busy recuperating what can be saved.” Explains us Maitre Jean Baptiste, the director of Mebane school. Indeed out of the six schools that my team visits three didn’t have students today, and the others had only a small part of their usual effectif.

All the students have yet to resume classes

Access is another issue. Already challenging to reach in the dry season some schools are circled in by mud and small streams as a consequence of heavy rainfall. In the attempt to reach the school of Beudoux, on top of our list because of reported damages, our car gets stuck twice. And only the expertise of Gabrielle our experienced driver saved us from pushing to the shore.

Irma has lifted the fine veil on existing vulnerabilities. “I came to the shelter because the place where I live was flooded. My parents died during the 2010 earthquake, so now I stay with the woman I work for. To make a living I am transporting things from Haiti to the Dominican Republic and back. It’s a while that I haven’t gone to school. It’s too expensive.” Explains Renel, 14 years old. He came to the shelter and once it closed he returned to his life at the margin of society…

The schools, roads, homes that are most affected by Irma are those that were struggling already before. In St Martin, the Storm was strong and crushed solid infrastructure; in Haiti it was soft und weakened further what was fragile before. Mother Nature is giving us another nudge, another lesson on the vital importance of structural investment to unveil Haiti’s sleeping potential. Irma today is not about emergency relief, but about a thorough commitment to local communities. UNICEF is supporting them on their way back, back to school, back to normality, forward to the Future.

 

Stay posted

Haiti – Preparation and lessons learnt made the difference

Fort Liberté, September 10th – 48 hours have passed since Irma’s soft passage. In the words of the departmental head of the Education Ministry in the North East, Irma was a ‘failed hurricane’. And yet, there is still an aftermath. With my colleagues Abner and Brice, who had been stationed in the North from the middle of last week to prepare for Irma, I had the opportunity today to visit shelters in Ouanaminthe and Fort Liberté, the most affected areas.

A school used as temporary shelter.

In total, 13 shelters had been opened in schools, churches and teacher centers, hosting over 5,000 people who had sought refuge at the onset of the hurricane. Some will find their homes flooded when they return home.

“I have eight children and my house is under water. We lost everything so I really hope that the authorities will help us,” said Susanne, 40 years old.

Yet, most were lucky. Predictions of Irma’s destruction were more daunting than her actual touch. Based on the current situation, the schools that had served as shelter will be closed today. Once everyone has left, the classrooms will be cleaned.

To facilitate their return, the families who’d settled in these shelters will receive food and hygiene kits before they are sent home. In the most affected communities, UNICEF and partners have established water bladders to ensure drinking water is accessible despite flooded wells.

The shared objective of Government, civil society and UN partners is to make sure that people can return to their normal lives quickly. To avoid any further delay, schools are supposed to reopen tomorrow, wherever possible.

People in a temporary shelter wait for a distribution.

‘Our benches, chairs and books are under water. Everything is flooded. Reopening the school will take us at least three weeks,” according to Frère René who works with Caritas in Malfety. His school is one of many that were impacted by Irma, and a joint assessment by the government, UNICEF and other education partners is scheduled for tomorrow to ensure assistance is provided where needed.

Despite the weekend, everyone is mobilized, pulling the rope-strings in the same direction. Clearly, lessons have been learned and internalized since Matthew hit Haiti one year ago.

Even though the impact of Hurricane Irma was considered minor, its consequences illustrate once again the prevailing vulnerability of Haiti. Small kicks can make the whole pile collapse.