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Haiti: ICRC activities between January and March 2006

31-03-2006 Operational Update

Round-up of ICRC field activities, including visits to people deprived of their freedom, health care, water and habitat, promotion of international humanitarian law and support for the Haitian National Red Cross Society.

 

Protecting people deprived of their freedom 
 

As part of its activities to assist people deprived of their freedom in connection with armed violence and political tension, the ICRC visits permanent and temporary places of detention in Haiti (civilian prisons and police stations).   The aim of these visits is to promote respect for life and human dignity and to improve conditions of detention whenever necessary.

    

 Between January and March 2006, the ICRC:  

  • carried out 23 visits to 15 places of detention,

  • monitored the individual cases of 33 people,

  • began visits to prisons in the Grand Nord in order to assess sanitary facilities and medical care for detainees,

  • distributed brooms, disinfectant, soap, other hygiene items and recreational material in several civilian prisons.

 Projects in Cité Soleil  

   
  ©ICRC/W Saugeron    
 
  Port-au-Prince, Cité Soleil.    
     

In Cité Soleil, a large working-class neighbourhood in Port-au-Prince, the ICRC is providing support for a Haitian Red Cross first-aid post in charge of evacuating injured people to hospitals.

The ICRC is also working hand in hand with the city water board (CAMEP) to rehabilitate the water-supply system – a project that aims to increase by 60 per cent the quantity of water available to the population – and to conduct sanitation work in partnership with the local refuse-collection service (SMCRS).

 Between January and March 2006:  

    

  • Out of a total of 53 water-distribution points, 23 were rehabilitated in c ooperation with the CAMEP and the local water-supply management committee (COGESEP-SOL) in Cité Soleil.

  • The ICRC and the CAMEP continued to deliver fuel for the operation of the D2 pumping station.

  • In order to boost Cité Soleil’s water supply, the ICRC funded and provided equipment (pumps, valves and a generator) for the CAMEP with a view to reactivating the D1/D3 pumping station in Duvivier. Installation of the equipment was undertaken by private companies. The station should be operational by April 2006.

 
Cooperation with the Haitian Red Cross 
   
  ©ICRC/W Saugeron    
 
  Port-au-Prince, a local branch of the Haitian Red Cross supported by the ICRC  
     
  • The ICRC and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are working together to build up the operational capacities of the Haitian Red Cross. Support is being provided to train first-aid workers in dealing with emergency situations, restoring family links and disseminating humanitarian principles.

  • The ICRC helped the National Society set priorities for 2006, especially in preparation for the upcoming hurricane season.

  • Two days of in-house training were organized for new National Society managers on the following topics: basic knowledge of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, international humanitarian law and the programmes of other National Societies working in Haiti.

  • The ICRC lent financial support to the Haitian Red Cross for the preparation and convening of four general assemblies at the local level in central Bas Plateau, Lascahobas, Boucan Carré, Saut d'Eau and Savanette.

  • A new facility for the Haitian Red Cross branch in Cité Soleil was set up in the Drouillard neighbourhood. This should enable National Society volunteers to strengthen and diversify their activities on behalf of the local community.

 
Promoting humanitarian principles 
 
  • The ICRC seeks to prevent – or at the very least to limit – the excesses of armed violence by spreading knowledge of international humanitarian law and humanitarian principles. It is especially important that the red cross and red crescent emblems, personnel of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and medical activities be respected at all times. The ICRC maintains an ongoing dialogue with all concerned, in particular bearers of weapons, with a view to gaining access to the victims of armed violence.

  • Contacts were maintained with the country’s authorities, the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), the Haitian national police, the various armed groups and political parties.

  • Seven information sessions were organized for MINUSTAH; these were attended by officers of the Jordanian, Brazilian, Moroccan, Uruguayan, Chilean, Nepalese and Pakistani forces.

  • An information session was held for the Carrefour prison staff.

  • Two information sessions were held for the Nord Department Police Force in Cap-Haïtien.