Port-au-Prince, Haiti – Today, the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH) announces that it has successfully met all six objectives outlined in its $1 million agreement with the Haitian government. The overall aim of the relief effort was to improve animal welfare conditions, repair the country’s damaged veterinary capacity and have long-lasting impact for animals and people following the devastating earthquake of 2010. The completion of the objectives marks the end of the coalition’s work in Haiti.
Formed just days after the quake, ARCH was led by the World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) and the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW). The coalition was comprised by more than 20 of the world’s leading animal welfare groups and was the only coalition that set off to provide relief for the animal survivors in Haiti and address the threat of disease spreading from animals to humans.
After running operations seven days a week for the past year, ARCH steps aside as the Haitian government continues addressing animal needs in Haiti through the Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development (MARNDR).
“I believe we’ve established one of the best NGO collaborations with the Haitian government,” said AJ Cady, IFAW Senior Program Advisor. “It has been incredibly positive working with MARNDR and we are confident that the work will be sustainable.”
“The ARCH coalition worked together with us in Haiti as a strategic partner and did not try to impose a preset agenda,” praised Lionel Valbrun, Director General of MARDNR.
“The operation in Haiti is one of the largest, most successful animal disaster relief efforts to date,” added Gerardo Huertas, WSPA Disaster Management Director, the Americas. “Thanks to our supporters, technical capabilities and hard-working team of veterinarians, we met every goal we set for ourselves, and can now – with certainty – transition the operation over to MARNDR.”
Since its inception, ARCH’s Mobile Veterinary Clinic has treated close to 68,000 animals, including dogs, cats, horses, cattle, pigs, goats and sheep. The clinic has serviced the greater metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince as well as other quake-impacted areas like Carrefour and Leogane.
Other objectives met during the past year of operations include:
• Repaired veterinary infrastructure and supplies by helping rebuild the National Veterinary Laboratory, install 12 solar-powered refrigeration units critical for animal vaccination storage, and train veterinarians to deal with disaster situations in the future.
• Promoted pet care and animal welfare education by launching a public awareness campaign about disaster preparedness, and health issues related to livestock and pets, and worked closely with MARNDR to include animal welfare in Haiti’s education curriculum for children ages 8-12.
• Protected the health of humans by vaccinating Haiti’s animal population against diseases like rabies and Newcastle’s disease, and treated animals for parasites thereby preventing the outbreak of diarrhea which would exacerbate the Cholera epidemic.
• Conducted the first animal population and attitudinal survey in Port-au-Prince that provides critical information on animal numbers, health-related data and human-animal interaction.
About ARCH (Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti)
Animal welfare organizations formed the Animal Relief Coalition for Haiti (ARCH) so that we could work together to bring aid to as many animals, and in as short a time, as possible. At present, ARCH partners include: International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW), World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA), American Humane Association, Best Friends Animal Society, Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA), In Defense of Animals, American Veterinary Medical Association, American Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF), Antigua and Barbuda Humane Society, ASPCA, United Animal Nations, Kinship Circle, One Voice, Swiss Animal Protection, Palo Alto Humane Society (PAHS), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), Finnish Federation for Animal Welfare Associations, Animal Medical Care Foundation (AMCF), Petfinder.com Foundation, Mayhew International, and Last Chance for Animals.