The J/P Haitian Relief Organization is a registered non-profit charitable foundation established to help the people of Haiti recover from the devastating January 12, 2010 earthquake. In April 2010, J/P HRO was appointed camp manager of the Pétionville IDP camp by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). In December 2010 J/P HRO added Cite Maxo, a smaller IDP camp near Pétionville, to the camp management roster-raising the number of IDP’s under J/P HRO camp management to around 55,000. As of September 2011, because of our relocation program of camp residents, the population of the camp has shrunk to approx. 23,000.
For hundreds of thousands of Haitians whose homes were pulverized in the Jan. 12 earthquake, the next three months may well shape the success—or failure—of long-term recovery.
Spring in Haiti will see the onset of the rainy season, the waning of interest by donors and the gradual departure of U.S. troops. Of these three inevitabilities, the last is most worrisome.
Within days of the devastating January 12, 2010 Haiti earthquake, Diana flew to Port-au-Prince with critical supplies and medical personnel, recognizing the immediacy of the humanitarian need and the rebuilding challenges the country faced. She established the Jenkins/Penn Haitian Relief Organization, (J/P HRO), to provide relief for thousands of Haitians at the Pétionville Camp, one ...
In less than a week on the ground here, volunteer medical teams from the Jenkins-Penn Haitian Relief Organization have treated more than 4,000 patients and distributed more than 20,000 pounds of desperately needed supplies—from antibiotics and wound care kits to 4,000 water filters. Another 270 palettes of supplies are scheduled to arrive tomorrow.
Today alone our teams fanned out across refugee camps in and around the capital. One team of 11 established a makeshift clinic and saw 240 patients—including a woman whose foot was saved from amputation because we were able to arrange transport to a hospital. Others went from tent to tent, treating wounds and seeking out critical patients in need of more intensive care.
The chaotic streets of Haiti feel eerily familiar to me, even though this is my first trip to Port-au-Prince. The crumbled buildings, the crying children and the general sense of despair reminded me almost immediately upon landing here this week of my homeland in Bosnia. The depredations visited upon Bosnia were entirely man-made, but the natural destruction in Haiti also has the very real potential to devolve into a long-term—and man-made—crisis.
That is, unless the international assistance that has poured into Haiti over the past two weeks continues long after television crews fly home and the heart-rending images they broadcast fade from the world’s screens. I know, because I saw it happen in Bosnia.