Thursday, March 11, 2010
The strain on host families
I've mentioned before that host families have taken in displaced people from PaP and how difficult this is for them. Below is a text from an assessment done by CRS/CARITAS. This was a quick survey but it does give us a clear picture of what is going on and how desperate things are for these people.
Coping StrategiesIn order to cope with the situation, a variety of strategies have been adopted by households. All focus groups spoke of eating less by reducing the number of meals per day. The average number of meals per day post earthquake does not exceed 1.5 in any of the affected communes. Camp Perrin shows the most severe vulnerability in this sense, as families reported consuming only one meal per day. Reducing meals is the most common coping strategy. That is followed by sale of possessions and sale of animals. Many commented on the fact that, as a result, the markets are inundated with livestock for sale. The net effect of the increased supply and the collapse of demand from Port-au-Prince is that livestock prices have plummeted. It is interesting to note that families report selling off possessions before they sell their stock of grain. Many are attempting to gain work as day laborers. Charcoal production is a typical method for meeting emergency cash needs in Haiti, exacerbating the already high level of deforestation. Finally families are modifying their diets, replacing more expensive foods with less expensive ones.