IOM Non Food Item Distribution Team Assists Displaced Families

Date Publish: 
Haiti / America

Six months after Haiti was devastated by the earthquake, an
estimated 1.5 million people are living in shelters, some of them
in well organized camps, others in impromptu settlements.

The IOM Non-Food Item (NFI) team helps these communities by
distributing essential items such as tarps, blankets, hygiene,
kitchen and medical kits. The NFI team is often the first to
respond to the needs of the displaced and frequently serves as a
triage unit which refers individuals and communities to other
departments and agencies for further assistance. 

"Many people know IOM because of our distribution among "hidden
pockets" of the population. This programme serves as an entry point
to the humanitarian system for these communities”, says
Stéphane Trocher, NFI distribution programme manager.
“Our teams were among the first on the ground immediately
following the January 12 quake, distributing items to affected
communities both in displaced camps and in neighbourhoods."

Since January 14, close to 2 million non food items have been
distributed to nearly 300,000 families in cooperation with 178 NGO
partners, in order to reach the broadest range possible amongst the
disaster affected population.

IOM and partner aid organizations are trying to react as
quickly  as possible to  requests from neighbourhood
communities, small associations and agencies in the city as well as
outside Port-au-Prince, in areas devastated by the quake, says
Trocher, but gaps still remain.

Support for the programme comes from diverse sources including,
the US Agency for International Development, the UK Department for
International Development, the Government of Japan, and the Spanish
Agency for International Development Cooperation and for
Humanitarian Assistance.

© IOM 2010 (Photo: Juliana Quintero)