Retreat from the challenging environment in Port au Prince is a short-sighted solution that will only exacerbate the problem, with potentially severe consequences for the Haitian people and the region. AVSI is a strategic partner that 1) keeps open humanitarian access to the most hazardous neighborhoods; 2) focuses on place-based strategies with a high degree of community buy-in and support, employing local staff; and 3) brings proven, context-specific strategies that integrate across sectors for holistic care and greater impact. AVSI is ready to work with donor agencies and partners to expand and strengthen this programmatic approach.
An intense week of discussion, meetings with donor agencies, lots of hard questions and even more painful answers culminated in a panel discussion held in the forum of The New York Encounter. At that event, titled “Haiti’s Open Wounds: Is there Hope?“, Fiammetta and journalist Joe Parkin Daniels from The Guardian dove into the questions which have been burning for so many throughout the terribly painful year of 2021, which for Haiti was a living hell.
AVSI-USA received a grant of $160,000 from the Center for Disaster Philanthropy’s (CDP) Haiti Earthquake Recovery Fund to mitigate the harmful effects of the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti on August 14, leaving more than 650,000 people in need of emergency humanitarian assistance. Funds will be used to provide physical and psychosocial protection, promote child development, and reactivate child protection networks. As part of the project, AVSI will render fully functional 8 child-friendly spaces with programming serving at least 800 children and their families living in underserved urban slums in Les Cayes and Torbeck and remote coastal villages, including Roche a Bateau, Coteaux, Port-a-Piment, and Chardonnieres.
Three month after a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit the country, we have distributed plastic sheets to 5,301 people and created 12 child-friendly spaces to help children and adolescents cope with the trauma.
In last year’s Annual Campaign, we invited you to “Expand your Horizons” and to join us as we reached out with hope towards communities fighting to counter the negative impact of the COVID pandemic. Over the difficult year, we have all experienced how much our destinies are tied to each other. The life of someone across the globe can impact mine, just as my life can impact theirs. It’s time to take a leap forward in how we conceive of our self and our responsibility towards one another, especially towards those suffering, on the margins of society and at risk of falling short of their fullest potential.
Human development is something that must concern us all. You are the heart of development. These are times that require bravery. AVSI-USA offers you this chance to say yes to the dramatic needs in our backyard and around the world, by supporting important projects in Mexico, Ecuador, Brazil, Haiti, Lebanon and Los Angeles.
On Saturday, August 14, at 8:30 am (local time), Haiti was hit by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake that crumbled homes and buildings and killed more than 1,000 people. Since Saturday evening, AVSI has been present in the field, assessing the situation and distributing first aid kits and food.
In January, AVSI Foundation, in partnership with the Red Cross and the City of Milan, will distribute 68 tons of food to 12,000 people (4,500 families) who are going through financial hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative is part of the project Building Hope: Emergency support for hospitals and vulnerable families in Italy affected by COVID-19, implemented by AVSI with funds from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).
“With this project, we are bringing to Italy AVSI’s experience working in emergencies around the world,” says Giampaolo Silvestri, Secretary General of AVSI Foundation. “AVSI is accompanying the most vulnerable, those financially and psychologically exhausted by the crisis. In collaboration with the City of Milan and local partners, we have created a network to respond to the most urgent needs while working on restarting the Italian economy after COVID-19.”
Like many other parents around the world, Giovanni Videa, 45 years old, has only one way to describe the routine of juggling work during COVID-19 while taking care of his three children, one with a learning disability and anxiety:
“It was tragic,” says Giovanni, an unarmed security guard who continued working during the pandemic. “Kids wanted to go out, have fun, spend at least five minutes on the playground, but they couldn’t because of the virus. As a result, they would fight all the time. It was a nightmare.”