UNITED NATIONS, New York - One year after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, calls for increased support for women and young people in the country’s recovery and reconstruction efforts.
“After a disaster of such scale, women and youth need strong support to play a leading role in rebuilding their country,” said UNFPA’s new Executive Director, Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin.
“UNFPA will continue to support the participation of women and young people in Haiti’s reconstruction and the provision of reproductive health services and supplies to ensure safe childbirth and healthy infants,” said Dr. Osotimehin. “Promoting the health, rights and participation of women and young people will speed up the country’s development.”
Immediately after the disaster, UNFPA worked with young volunteers to distribute 'dignity kits' with hygiene supplies to displaced women, in addition to solar flash lights, mattresses and tents to the accommodation sites and communities. It also provided kits that included supplies to prevent cholera to non-governmental organizations, and installed solar lamps near latrines and high-concentration points in 36 accommodation sites. It also provided psychological support to more than 30,000 youths.
Additional assistance that UNFPA will provide in the near future, with the Government and other partners, includes:
• Building 10 centres for family support, including separate spaces for safe socialization among women, that will also provide emergency reproductive health care and family planning services.
• Delivering 100,000 dignity-cholera kits to women and vulnerable groups to prevent cholera and protect women.
• Rebuilding the National School of Midwives and supporting incentives to promote midwifery in Haiti.
• Establishing safe spaces for sports, art and socialization for youth.
• Economically empowering women and youth in vocational training and self-employment.
• Promoting gender-sensitive security and patrols in displaced persons' sites.
• Supporting the Government to prepare for the 2013 census.
“When women have access to the same rights and opportunities as men,” said Dr. Osotimehin, “they are more resilient and better equipped to lead reconstruction and renewal efforts in their societies. They can build back their country even better.”
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