1 Oct: Haitians march to say 'Don't leave us out of country's rebuild'


Hundreds of older Haitians will take to the streets on Friday - the UN International Day of Older People - to ensure they are not excluded from the plans to rebuild Haiti.

Around 700 older people will march to the ICRC (Interim Commission for the Reconstruction of Haiti) in the capital Port-au-Prince to ask that their needs are included in the reconstruction.

Older Haitians march in Port-au-Prince Older Haitians want access to jobs and funding so they can care for orphaned grandchildren HelpAge International 2010

They are demanding improved access to housing, food aid and inclusion in cash-for-work activities being run by international agencies, so they can fund the costs of their grandchildren returning to school.

Many of them say they are now looking after their grandchildren orphaned by the earthquake, but have insufficient means to support them.

The march is part of HelpAge International's annual Age Demands Action campaign.

As part of this year's campaign we conducted a new Insights on Ageing survey the first global survey on perceptions of ageing.

It found:

  • Around 60% of people think older people are currently valued by society.
  • Over 90% expect to be valued in their own old age.
  • Around 85% would like to see their governments do something to make living in old age better.

However in Haiti, only 39% of those interviewed thought older people were valued, and 96% thought their government should be doing more to support older people.

Roger Markowski, Country Director of HelpAge International in Haiti says: "It's clear form the ageing Survey that older people in Haiti feel undervalued, and left out of the debate on reconstruction and rehabilitation.

"We're using this international day to draw attention to these issues. We're calling on the ICRC to put older Haitians higher up the priority list. Older people aren't just going to sit back and wait. They want action."

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