Norwegian Church Aid in Haiti
- Presence established: 1987 (Also provided support in 1971, 1976, 1980-1981)
- Funds used in 2015: 16.9 million NOK
Norwegian Church Aid contributes to the right to peace and security and the right to water and health in Haiti. In 2012, to strengthen our operational efforts in water, sanitation and hygiene, we established a field office in the city of Leogane.
Our programme in Haiti focuses on water, sanitation, and hygiene, as well as climate resilience, economic empowerment and emergency response.
Some of the most vulnerable communities in Haiti do not have access to even the minimum quantity of water needed to live. The access to improved sanitation facilities is even more concerning, with as few as 17% with access. Just 1% of human waste is actually treated or safely disposed of. Since 2010 more than 9000 persons have died of Cholera.
Our WASH programme in Haiti consists of three main intervention areas:
The Green Schools programme started in 2011 and with support of both international donors and committed Norwegian high schools, it has been a success in demonstrating a model for sustainable sanitation management through biodigesters, school gardens and kitchens. During 2011-2015 2,700 children in 11 schools in Haiti received access to improved sanitations services.
NCA also works in communities, on water, sanitation and hygiene. Community participation is a prerequisite for any project done by NCA, to ensure the sustainability of interventions. NCA has a MOU with the governmental directorate for water and sanitation, to ensure coordination and adherence to the country’s priorities. The programmes typically start with a selection of sites, joint with local water officials. At this point, while preparing the technical projects, dialogue and awareness raising in communities already start to ensure that interventions are appropriate and that the communities have strong ownership of the works.
After the works have finished, NCA ensures follow-up of the works for a minimum of 12 months, to build the technical capacity of the communities and schools on maintenance and management of the systems.
Haiti is a striking example of how the combination of physical exposure and socioeconomic conditions lead to extreme climate change vulnerability. The country is already prone to a wide array of environmental stressors, including flooding, droughts, hurricanes, earthquakes, and landslides.
Norwegian Church Aid's climate resilience programme focuses on disaster risk reduction in vulnerable zones, combined with livelihood activities to improve economic resilience. We raise and reinforce the awareness of central and local authorities of their responsibility to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change and with local communities on improving physical infrastructure and land use.
In dialogue with our partners, Norwegian Church Aid decided to work on economic empowerment as to address poverty, as one of the root causes of conflict discovered in the 2013 conflict analysis. NCA and partners work on poverty primarily through the following:
The agricultural sector is the main source of income in rural areas, and occupies more than 60% of the workforce. Therefore, in the rural context, the focus is mostly on improving the sale of agricultural products. In urban contexts such as Martissant and Cité Soleil, the focus is also on vocational training. Our programme supports people to run their own businesses sustainably, and increasing market access for their products. We encourage the producers to add value to their products, to increase their income.
Norwegian Church Aid also implements a binational programme, between Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
While NCA has supported Dominican partners since the 1980, our current work in the Dominican Republic is dominated by a binational perspective. In the current strategic period, the focus is on issues related to migration and human rights for migrants and their descendants. The programme is managed from the Haiti office, and parts of the binational programme enters both programme portfolios.
On the Haitian side of the border, the binational programme is particularly concerned with assisting those who have either returned voluntarily or been deported from the Dominican Republic. While some have roots in Haiti, many have never lived in the country and have no family to go to, or identity papers to participate in society. Women are particularly vulnerable in these situations. Our partner GARR supports vulnerable populations in the border communities through advocacy, legal support, counselling and investigation of origins. They also work with the border communities on economic empowerment, through merchants’ organizations, to create sustainable livelihoods.
See the Dominican programme for more information.
In Haiti we focus on creating an enabling environment for long-term management and mitigation. NCA has a joint Emergency Preparedness and Response Plan with our ACT sister agencies, which is updated yearly. Through our WASH programme, we also foster links at the national level with the authorities responsible for emergency preparedness and response, to ensure alignment of emergency preparedness strategies as well as to build local capacity.
Norwegian Church Aid believes it is only the people and the communities themselves that can bring about lasting change. We implement our programmes together with local partner organisations and in close contact and coordination with the local government.