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Haiti: prison kitchen renovated to provide better nutrition for inmates

06-06-2012 News Release 12/113

Port-au-Prince (ICRC) – The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), working together with Haiti's prison administration, has just completed renovation work on the kitchen of the civilian prison in Port-au-Prince, the largest place of confinement in the country. The prison kitchen facilities had been seriously damaged in the 2010 earthquake.

"After the earthquake, the kitchen facilities were not only inadequate to meet the needs of the approximately 2,600 prison inmates, but they were also in a state of disrepair that was potentially dangerous for the safety and health of kitchen personnel and inmates alike," said Javier Cordoba, an ICRC water and sanitation specialist working in Haiti.

"In a prison of this size, where malnutrition poses a major risk to inmate health, a well-equipped kitchen is necessary to produce enough food of sufficient quality to prevent nutritional deficiencies," said François Jacot, who is in charge of the ICRC's detainee-health activities in the country. As a result of the renovation work, it will be possible to install 15 new stoves in addition to the 21 existing ones. Thanks to upgraded floors and countertops, meal preparation will benefit from stricter hygiene. In addition, the gas supply system, which had fallen into disrepair, has been rebuilt and the ventilation system improved.

The ICRC regularly visits inmates in the civilian prison of Port-au-Prince to assess the conditions in which they are being held and the treatment they receive. The renovation of the kitchen is part of the ICRC's continuing support for the efforts of the prison administration to improve conditions for inmates. Over the past 12 months, the ICRC has repaired and refurbished the biggest wing in the prison, the sanitary facilities in three other wings and the water supply throughout the prison.

The ICRC has been working since 1994 in Haiti, where its efforts have been of particular help to detainees. In support of the prison administration, it makes available its expertise in the areas of water, hygiene, sanitation, health and legal safeguards.

For further information, please contact:
Jean Jacob Charles, ICRC Port-au-Prince, tel: +509 34 15 98 17


Civilian prison, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The new ventilation system in the kitchen. 

Civilian prison, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The new ventilation system in the kitchen.
© ICRC / G. McKenzy / v-p-ht-e-00678

Civilian prison, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The kitchen following renovation. 

Civilian prison, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The kitchen following renovation.
© ICRC / G. McKenzy / v-p-ht-e-00679