Haiti's displaced from the quake now at 320,050

AP News
Posted: Apr 15, 2013 6:00 PM

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) — The number of people still displaced by Haiti's earthquake more than three years ago is down to 320,050, the International Organization of Migration said Monday.

The estimate marks a 79 percent decrease since the number of people living in tent camps peaked at 1.5 million a few months after the January 2010 disaster.

The camp population has been used as a barometer to measure the success or failure of reconstruction efforts, even though an unknown number of people have left the more visible settlements and now live in similarly dire circumstances on hillsides and near ravines.

The International Organization of Migration's report also gave details on camp departures in the past three months.

It said about 60 percent of the estimated 27,230 Haitians who left in the January-March period were helped by a program of the government and aid groups that provides year-long rent subsidies to camp residents.

Some people who have moved from the tent cities to cinderblock houses and apartments have complained that they don't have enough money to cover next year's rent and will be forced to leave.

The report said 6 percent of the departures this year were the result of evictions. It didn't give a reason for the evictions, but some landlords and city officials have kicked people off public and private property to reclaim the land.

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The group said that about 21,600 households remain at risk of being evicted and 67,000 households more still have no prospect of moving out of the camps.

Most of the 385 tent settlements that still exist consist of precarious, makeshift structures that leave people vulnerable, particularly during the hurricane season, the report said.