Haiti Strategy Conference Plans for Long Haul
The Salvation Army’s Major Laurie Robertson reports that recommendations coming out of a Salvation Army international strategy conference held in London confirm that The Salvation Army will be heavily and closely involved in rebuilding Haiti well past the conclusion of the current emergency situation caused by January’s massive earthquake.
The conference was attended by a delegation from The Salvation Army’s Caribbean Territory, representatives from 10 Salvation Army territories involved in the relief and rebuilding process, personnel from The Salvation Army USA National Headquarters, Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO), and The Salvation Army International Headquarters.
The emergency phase for The Salvation Army in Haiti is expected to last for another six to nine months. During this time The Salvation Army will continue to care for 20,000 displaced people who are living in cramped camp conditions on a soccer field in Port-au-Prince. Emergency assistance will also be ongoing for those who were adversely affected in Jacmel and Petit Goave.
One of the urgent challenges for The Salvation Army is the relocation of the 20,000 people from its emergency camp to transitional housing. It is hoped this housing will be constructed before the end of the year.
The Salvation Army in Port-au-Prince provides essential services to one of the poorest areas in Haiti and conference delegates strongly expressed their belief that The Salvation Army’s facilities needed to be rebuilt as quickly as possible. Most of its buildings have been so badly damaged that they will need to be demolished.
During the next few months prioritization of the transitional and long-term projects will take place, applications for further funding will be processed and some projects commenced while emergency relief service continues.