Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Remembering Haiti

On January 12, 2010, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake devastated the country of Haiti.

Today, the second anniversary of the earthquake, is a good reminder to remember the girls and women who have been affected.

Currently, there are about 800 camps and half a million people still displaced, many of them girls and women.

Haiti is one of the most unsafe places to be a girl or woman, especially for those who live in camps and are vulnerable to violence, so supporting girls and women in Haiti should be a focus of the international community in the effort to rebuild.

While Girl Up does not raise money for programs in Haiti, we are proud to be part of the UN Foundation which supports the work of UN agencies and partners in Haiti to help ensure girls and women remain a priority.

On this anniversary of the earthquake, we encourage Girl Up supporters to learn more about what the UN Foundation and our UN partners are doing to help the Haitian people.

In order for Haiti to get back on its feet, people need to move from tent cities to permanent homes, girls should have the chance to go to school and women should be given opportunities to work.

An estimated 43 percent of households are headed by women, so women are vital to the effort to rebuild communities.

By backing the work of the United Nations, UN Foundation supporters are making sure girls and women stay safe and healthy. The Foundation has raised close to $4 million to help the UN help Haiti.

These funds have supported several important projects, including 125 solar-powered street lights that will keep girls and women who live in the camps safe at night.

Much like the lights that Girl Up has helped provide to keep refugee girls in Ethiopia safe, this lighting is preventing violence in the Haitian camps. The money has also helped UNFPA rebuild ten clinics that provide healthcare to more than 230,000 women in Haiti.

One of Girl Up’s UN agency partners — UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund — is taking a lead role in getting Haitian kids back in school.

UNICEF already distributed school supplies to 750,000 children and 15,000 teachers. This assistance is giving girls the opportunity to go to school, which also gives them the chance to live a healthier life and have a better future.

From the beginning, the UN has been working to help Haiti stabilize and rebuild after the earthquake by providing 1.5 million people with shelter, clean water, and access to latrines, and has supported the removal of more than 50 percent of rubble, another key to rebuilding the country.

The generosity of the thousands of people who have joined the UN Foundation is helping Haitians, including the thousands of girls and women, rebuild.

There are still many challenges and your continued support is needed.

Visit to learn more, donate, and view new photos and video highlighting the UN’s progress.

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