Following two demonstrations on 25 April and 30 May 2012 before its premises in Petion-ville by a group of people from the camp Corail, the international organization Oxfam announced that it stops momentarily its water and sanitation operations in this IDP camp pending clarification of the situation. The organization regrets that the demonstrators had proffered unfounded charges against the organisation despite the transparency that has always marked its relations with the general population and in particular with the beneficiaries of its various projects in the camp.
Oxfam operates in Corail since April 2010 in the activities of water and sanitation as well as in economic empowerment of the beneficiaries. The Water and Sanitation component is still ongoing and reaches 10,000 people. However the program to support small businesses ended in December 2011. All of these activities was conducted in collaboration with the population in a transparent and participatory manner.
The support program for small businesses that ended in December 2011, targeted a small number of beneficiaries who had already had business before the earthquake to help them relaunch their economic activities. The selection process of these beneficiaries was done in collaboration with the City of Croix-des-Bouquets, committees and camp residents. Oxfam began by explaining to residents of Corail that the objective and the resources allocated to this program did not aim the entire population, but rather small entrepreneurs obeying to clear criteria and previously established by Oxfam and its partners. Oxfam has in no way pledged money to each family head.
Oxfam is committed to listen to the claims and grievances of the people in each meeting held until now and take seriously their discontent. Oxfam is committed to review the implementation of the program and verify each of the grievances and claims of the group. “Oxfam has held meetings with the Mayor and heads of committees to explain in full transparency the programs and methodologies used and continues to collaborate in mutual respect with all stakeholders” indicated Mr. Damien Berrendorf, the Associate Director of Oxfam.
Oxfam has undertaken to assess the design and implementation of the program to support small business and agrees to share the findings with all interested parties.
Oxfam is therefore obliged to temporarily suspend its activities related to water and sanitation because of the security situation which has deteriorated in recent weeks. Oxfam continues to work with local authorities in the resolution of conflict in order to recreate an atmosphere of trust and security to resume the activities to Corail.