A Cambridge UK business is playing a key role in a massive humanitarian programme that continues in earthquake-devastated Haiti.Two-and-a-half years after the 7.0 quake and aftershocks up to 5.9 ripped the heart out of whole communities, overseas disability charity CBM (UK) Ltdand its partners are still working flat out to provide relief to survivors.
The Haitian government estimates that 200,000 people died as a result of the earthquake while two million were left homeless and three million in need of emergency aid.
A study conducted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine shows that CBM and their partners are continuing to play a crucial role in developing the capacity of the rehabilitation sector in Haiti, after the January 2010 disaster.
CBM, with 30 years of experience in the country, was involved in the initial emergency phase and has continued to support partners since.
The company said that where the general population lacked access to basic services and people lived in poor conditions, a disaster like this particularly impacted people with disabilities.
A social network analysis within the study reveals that CBM constitutes a pivotal link between various stakeholders in the field of rehabilitation to improve co-ordination, share expertise and use synergy.
But the report acknowledges that there are still changes needed in the co-ordination of measures and stakeholders and in achieving sustainability according to the needs and potentials in the post-earthquake situation in Haiti.
The Haitian Government estimates that the number of people with disabilities in Haiti following the disaster is 1.1 million – one in seven of the population.
As part of its humanitarian work in Haiti, CBM supported an evaluation of the post-emergency rehabilitation response in order to assess what had been achieved, learn from good and not-so-good practice, and promote the development of an effective rehabilitation sector in the future.
This evaluation provides evidence about what must be done in a post-disaster situation so that people with disabilities have access to relief and protection on an equal basis with others, and what is required in the long-term to develop a good rehabilitation service.
Professor Allen Foster, President of CBM said: “CBM wishes to thank the research team at the International Centre for Evidence in Disability at LSHTM, for carrying out the study and providing the report and recommendations. We also thank the CBM team in Haiti for making the study possible and to all the participants who shared their knowledge and experience.”
CBM is working in over 80 of the poorest countries of the world, reaching more than 36 million people each year. It supports healthcare for people with disabilities, and prevention of conditions which can lead to disability.
It is an official partner of the World Health Organisation in a number of fields including prevention of blindness, hearing impairment and mental health.
• PHOTOGRAPH: Haiti - the reality of life for local children. Pics must carry: Image copyright CBM.