UNDP Associate Administrator Grynspan Visits Haiti to Monitor Progress

18 Mar 2010


Associate Administrator Grynspan talking to
cash-for-work project managers in Port-Au-Prince

Port-Au-Prince -- As Rebeca Grynspan, Associate Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), walked through the narrow streets of the municipality of Delmas, she remarked that much progress had been achieved by the men and women engaged in the cash-for-work programme since the devastating earthquake of 12 January.

“Although so much more is needed,” Grynspan said, “it is encouraging to see the streets open to traffic, canals being cleaned, and shops open for business ―and all of it done by the men and women of Delmas working to rebuild their city one step at a time.”

The programme, coordinated by UNDP as part of its Emergency Relief and Recovery Framework, is working through local municipal authorities to put thousands of Haitians to work, paying them 180 gourdes a day, or roughly US$4.5 at current rates of exchange, for six hour’s labour. The work includes removing building rubble from the streets, removing waste and clearing drainage canals in preparation for the rains.  To manage the programme, UNDP works through municipal authorities and with nine non-governmental organizations.

Grynspan also reviewed the other areas of support to the Government of Haiti, including restoring its capacity to deliver justice and security services.  When the Palais de Justice in Port-au-Prince collapsed on 12 January, much more than a landmark building was destroyed.  Lost with it were the archives and legal documents related to millions of Haitians, leaving them without proof of property, inheritance and business licenses.  To address this challenge, UNDP has partnered with a wide range of development partners to provide temporary work facilities, office equipment and technical support.

“Problems with land and properties titles and adoption processes will increase with the loss of documentation, human and material resources to deal with those matters,” said UNDP Country Director Eric Overvest. “A new generation of judges and justice auxiliaries will receive training to meet demand. Also, measures have been taken to address the needs of displaced and homeless Haitians, who need protection against possible risk of raising violence, especially against women and children.”

High resolution photos available at http://www.flickr.com/photos/unitednationsdevelopmentprogramme.