orphans and vulnerable children in haiti

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					        El Toro High School
        Model United Nations
        Together We Aspire, Together We Achieve
Committee: UNICEF
Topic: Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Haiti
Email Position Paper to: ethsmununicef@gmail.com

                                               Topic Synopsis

Background:
Vulnerable children and orphans have become a particularly prominent issue in the developing
nation of Haiti since the recent earthquake in January 2010, which left about 200,000 people
dead1. Many children have lost their families and homes and have suffered disruptions in access
to food, education, and health care. These children are particularly vulnerable to exploitation and
malnutrition. Approximately 50,000 Haitian orphans were living in orphanages before the
earthquake, and even more were living on the streets; according to UNICEF, after the disaster an
additional 330,000 children lost a parent2. As aid workers flooded into the country, many
volunteers did their best to assist the children but the overwhelming number of them and the
desperate, chaotic situation, left many children vulnerable and on their own. Since the
earthquake, the issue has improved, as the nation works to rebuild itself. Aid from volunteer
groups, developed nations, UNICEF, NGOs, and other organizations have helped to improve the
situation for the orphans and vulnerable children in Haiti. The disaster sparked an outpouring of
support from the international community, and among those who came to help, many Christian
groups have been a part of assisting the vulnerable youth. Currently the nation is in the process
of rebuilding, although there are still an unknown number of children living on the streets,
vulnerable, and some orphaned. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere,
rebuilding from such a disaster is not an easy task for such a nation, there are little funds and
resources available for the Haitian children who need help. Orphanages are overwhelmed with
children since the disaster, so many orphaned children are being taken in by extended families,
friends and neighbors. Many groups are attempting to support these families as they care for the
orphans, to ensure that they are not abandoned. Rescuers are working to protect Haiti’s
vulnerable children from gender-based violence, child-trafficking, and poor psychosocial health.
These children are now more vulnerable than ever, as they try to start their lives again. Haitian
children who are now orphaned or live in an unstable, impoverished home are most affected. Of
those children, females are particularly vulnerable. The other nation that is probably most
affected by the plight of these Haitian children is the Dominican Republic, because of its close
proximity. This issue has affected the international community by sparking their compassion, as
fund and relief groups have flooded into the nation. Many feel that it is the world’s moral
obligation to help these children. These children will be the future of Haiti, they will be the ones
in charge of international politics and dealings. If Haiti is going to become self sufficient and
prosperous, these children will be the ones to make that happen. Their future impact on their
nation, is also their future impact on the rest of the international community.
Past UN Action:

1
  "Haiti Orphan and Vulnerable Child Program." World Orphans. World Orphans, 2011. Web. 04 Dec. 2011.
<http://www.worldorphans.org/haiti.php>.
2
  "USAID - Frequently Asked Questions: Haiti's Orphans and Vulnerable Children." U.S. Agency for International
Development. U.S. Agency for International Development, 18 Feb. 2010. Web. 04 Dec. 2011.
<http://www.usaid.gov/helphaiti/opcfaq.html>.

                                    El Toro High School Model United Nations 2012
        El Toro High School
        Model United Nations
         Together We Aspire, Together We Achieve
The main UN organization that has been involved in protecting and aiding the children of Haiti,
is UNICEF. Initial action taken by the UN organization UNICEF, to help the orphaned and
vulnerable children, was to make every effort to reunite children with their families. The
organization also established safe spaces for separated children and provided food and supplies
for orphanages near the hard-hit capital, Port-au-Prince. UNICEF did its best to address both the
physical and psycho-social health of children in the earthquake. The UN took action as quickly
as possible, knowing that time was of the essence, as these children faced risks of malnutrition,
disease, trafficking, sexual exploitation, and emotional trauma. UNICEF has helped to provide
food and resources to the overflowing orphanages and offer protection to vulnerable children
outside. The organization has also focused major efforts on reuniting children with their families
after the disaster or finding friends or foster families for the children who need them.3 Many
Christian NGOs have taken a part in providing aid for Haiti and their children, such as Faith to
Action Initiative and National Orphan Task Force (NOTF). Haiti also received an overwhelming
amount of aid from other nations, including many volunteers from the United States. The USAID
and Department of Defense have spent, up to date, about $538,000,000 in emergency
humanitarian assistance to help the nation after the disaster. The United Nations has also
addressed the grave situation in Haiti at conferences and other meetings. It has sent aid, through
UNICEF, to the Haitian people. In 2004, the UN Launched the United Nations Stabilization
Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) by Security Council resolution 15424. After the 2010 earthquake,
the Security Council, by resolution 1908 of 19 January 2010, authorized the Secretary-General’s
recommendation to increase the overall forces of MINUSTAH to aid the immediate recovery and
stability efforts in Haiti. MINUSTAH is still working today to improve conditions in Haiti.
Questions to Consider:
How has the 2010 Haiti Earthquake affected Haitian children?
How did your nation respond to the disaster?
What is the situation of children in your nation? How has your nation responded accordingly?
What else can the international community do to help the orphans and vulnerable children in
Haiti now, after the quake?
What are the current conditions like for orphans and vulnerable children in Haiti?
References:
http://www.usaid.gov/helphaiti/opcfaq.html
http://www.worldorphans.org/haiti.php
http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/haiti_52524.html




3
  "UNICEF - At a Glance: Haiti - UNICEF Concerned for the Safety of Haiti’s Most Vulnerable Children."
UNICEF - UNICEF Home. United Nations, 20 Jan. 2010. Web. 04 Dec. 2011.
<http://www.unicef.org/infobycountry/haiti_52524.html>.
4
  "United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH)." Welcome to the United Nations: It's Your World.
United Nations. Web. 04 Dec. 2011. <http://www.un.org/en/peacekeeping/missions/minustah/>.

                                    El Toro High School Model United Nations 2012

				
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