Cash transfers help families hard hit by the August 2021 earthquake – Haiti


Thousands of households lost all their belongings in last year’s earthquake. They benefited from the money transfer to cope.

Ndiaga Seck

When the earthquake hit last year, Jacquelin Favot literally lost control. He spent long nights out with his mother, wife and five children.

“My house collapsed during the earthquake. We lived on the street, under a tree. There was nowhere to go. Our house was no longer habitable,” he said.

Favot lives in Fonds d’Icaque, a peaceful little hamlet nestled in the heights of Grande Anse. The man is sitting under a large tree in the middle of his concession, a few pineapples he has just cut in his field in his hand.

She loves school

Dolcat, his daughter, goes to school a few kilometers away, taking a winding path like a shortcut that only the inhabitants of the village know. The 14-year-old reads a story from an old, but very well maintained book. She repeated aloud the song from the story that seemed to really please her:

“The little orange tree is growing, growing, growing, little orange tree.
No mother-in-law can replace a mother.
The little orange tree grows, grows.

In fact, Dolcat loves school. She finds her well-being there. She continues to read in her book:

“It’s the story of a little girl who lost her mother at birth, I must tell you that this child had neither brother nor sister. Despite her young age, she had to do all the household chores in the house. She saw an orange tree and at the same time she started to sing.

She hums the story song again. It may remind her of her own story, when she stood there helpless in the face of the extent of the damage caused by the earthquake.

“The little orange tree is growing, growing, growing, little orange tree.
No mother-in-law can replace a mother.
The little orange tree grows, grows.

Although the earthquake struck while Haitian children were on school vacation, Dolcat nearly lost her education as she was among the hardest hit. “After the earthquake, we had to face many difficulties. We had to spend the night in the open air and our parents couldn’t afford to help us,” she says with a heavy heart.

Vulnerable households further impoverished by the earthquake

The earthquake that disrupted the life of the Favot family is of magnitude 7.2 and hit the southwestern region of Haiti on August 14, 2021, leaving thousands of people in need of food, water , sanitation, hygiene and shelter. According to official data, the earthquake affected 800,000 people, including 340,000 children, killed more than 2,200 and injured 12,700. It also damaged or destroyed 115,000 homes, 97 health facilities and 1,250 schools in the departments of the South, Nippes and Grand’Anse.

Many vulnerable families have become even more impoverished, and some of them have been targeted by a cash transfer program implemented by UNICEF and its partner, the NGO Care International. In his memories, Favot still hears his phone ringing that the transfer has arrived.

“I received the notification while I was working in my garden. When I heard the phone ring “bling!” I checked my account balance, I had just received money on my phone! I was so happy! “, he says.

With funding from the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) and the United Nations Multi-Partner Trust Fund (MPTF) for the fight against COVID-19, UNICEF has provided additional income to 1,000 hard-hit vulnerable families. affected by the earthquake. land in southwestern Haiti, through multipurpose cash transfers, to help them access basic services.

As soon as he received the money, Favot rushed to pay his children’s school and medical expenses. “I owed money for my children’s school fees. I was able to pay part of it so that they could continue to go to school. But they were also affected by typhoid fever and malaria. So, I used what was left to take them to the clinic”.

Favot is a responsible father who knew how to use the financial assistance he received wisely, by favoring access to the rights of his children, while working to restore family well-being. He has even bigger ambitions to form a cooperative with his neighboring farmers and produce more, to earn more. As for Dolcat, she cherishes the dream of exercising at least three jobs after her studies.

“I would like to become an agronomist, then study to become a nurse. I would also like to be a teacher,” she says.


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