Target: Haitian Government, donors and non-governmental groups
Goal: To Provide more security, facilities and better health care for struggling women and children in Haiti.
More than a year and a half after Haiti’s January 2, 2010 earthquake, the country faces an epidemic of sexual violence and preventable deaths of women and children.
The devastating earthquake in Haiti has led to an utter lack of available healthcare services for women and children. Although donors pledged $5.3 billion to recovery aid after the earthquake, with $258 million of it dedicated to healthcare, maternal and infant deaths remain in excess due to lack of reproductive care. More than 300,000 women and girls live in internally displaced persons camps (IDP), and it is not uncommon for women to give birth to their infants on the filthy floors of these tents. Before the quake, Haiti had the highest maternal mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere and it is only rising.
Sexual violence and rape is running rampant in Haiti. The collapse of social infrastructures, decrease in sense of community safety and lack of law and order have put women and girls at an intense risk of rape and sexual abuse. Women are being forced into trading sex for food, shelter, and ultimately for survival. Contraceptives are a rarity, especially in IDPs. This greatly adds to the problems of unwanted pregnancy and the spreading of STDs. Furthering this vicious cycle, post-rape care is nearly nonexistent.
Women and children in Haiti have already endured one devastating catastrophe. Of all people, they should not be ones to bear the hardship of another source of overwhelming grief.
Dear Ministry of Social Affairs of the Haitian Government,
Upon the devastation of the January 2, 2010 earthquake, the women and children of Haiti have been hit with another catastrophe – an epidemic of sexual violence and preventable deaths.
Prior to the earthquake Haiti had the highest maternal mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere, and current living conditions have caused these numbers to jump at an alarming rate. Inadequate health care has forced women to give birth in less than sanitary conditions and without proper prenatal and reproductive care.
In addition to health woes, sexual abuse is a rising problem in internally displaced persons camps. This is partially due to lack of basic necessities, so women are forced to trade sex for food and shelter. The sexual corruption is leading to more unwanted pregnancies and STDs.
The women and children of Haiti deserve to be treated with decency rather than victimization. I am asking the government of Haiti to step in to aid this suffering population – to expand health care and ensure safety with the enforcement of laws of humanity.
[Your Name Goes Here]