15 children killed in fire at unlicensed orphanage

Clay Curtis
February 16, 2020

A fire swept through an orphanage killing 13 children including infants in Haiti.

Arielle Jeanty Villedrouin, director of the Institute for Social Welfare, said that, at the time of the fire, about 60 children were living in the unlicensed orphanage, operated by the Pennsylvania-based Church of Bible Understanding.

About half of the kids who died were babies or toddlers and the others were about 10 or 11 years old, workers at the home said.

It identifies the homes as orphanages but it is common in Haiti for impoverished parents to place children in residential care centers.

Four in 5 of the round 30,000 children in Haiti's orphanages have dwelling oldsters, in step with the federal government, with children positioned in care as a result of oldsters really feel they cannot find the money for to seem after them.

The cause of the fire is unclear, but it is believed that candles were used after a generator failed.

Authorities say out of the 754 children's homes in operation throughout the French-speaking country, only 35 are authorised to function.

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It's reported that the home had no authorization to operate. Almost 60% of the population of 11.2 million survives on less than $2.40 a day, according to the World Bank.

Meanwhile conditions at orphanages, which proliferated after the 2010 quake that killed tens of thousands of people, are often below standard.

The Orphanage of the Church of Bible Understanding stands with blackened walls the morning after a fire broke out in Kenscoff, on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Friday, Feb. 14, 2020.

The crew says on its web site it opened its first orphanage in Haiti just about 40 years in the past, with a number one function "to spread the Gospel to any and all who will receive it".

Poverty, disability and a lack of access to basic health, education and social services mean many Haitian parents send the children they feel they can not look after to orphanages or to the homes of wealthier relatives or acquaintances.

At least 15 children died in a fire at an orphanage in Port-au-Prince.

The Church of Bible Understanding lost accreditation for its homes after a series of inspections beginning in November 2012.

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