Next wave of Haiti reconstruction projects approved

18 Aug 2010

UN seeks US$220 million to fund approved initiatives

Port-au-Prince, Haiti — The Interim Haitian Recovery Commission (IHRC) today approved US$220 million worth of United Nations post-earthquake recovery projects in health, education, food security, job creation, rubble removal and reproductive health. The approval certifies that the projects are aligned with the Haitian Government’s national reconstruction plan and should therefore receive priority for funding.

“The meeting was remarkably successful,” said UN Under-Secretary General and United Nation’s Development Programme (UNDP) Associate Administrator Rebeca Grynspan, who represented the UN at the Commission’s meeting this week. “More than 20 relevant projects supported by the Government of Haiti have been approved, among them five for the UN.”

The Commission approved more than US$80 million worth of UNDP projects, paving the way for the organization to step up the long-term recovery process, including its successful cash-for-work initiatives that inject cash into the devastated local economy, provide manpower for both short- and long-term reconstruction and rehabilitation efforts and give Haitians the means to provide food, shelter and education for their families.

“With this approval, the Commission opens the door for UNDP to make an appeal to the donor community to continue supporting our interventions in Haiti,” said Jessica Faieta, UNDP Senior Country Director in Haiti.

UNDP —in partnership with the World Food Programme (WFP), the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and the International Organization for Migration— received approval for a $65 million programme to rehabilitate infrastructure across the country. The programme will build on previous UNDP cash-for-work projects that have employed over 120,000 people since the 12 January earthquake.  Once funding is confirmed, this initiative plans to create 300,000 temporary jobs over 12 months.

The newly-approved programme will focus on training people and giving them work in soil conservation and stabilization efforts; the construction of village roads, paths, trials and bridges; agricultural production; public infrastructure maintenance; the rehabilitation or construction of small shops and community centres; and the cleaning and recycling of materials generated by the collapse and demolition of buildings in areas that were severely damaged by the earthquake.

The Commission also approved a $17 million UNDP community-based debris management project that it will implement in six of the capital’s earthquake-affected neighbourhood in partnership with the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT) and the International Labour Organization. Since the necessary funds have already been secured through the Haiti Reconstruction Fund, UNDP and its partners can begin immediately to support the return of displaced people and contribute to the rehabilitation of urban areas in Port-au-Prince destroyed by the earthquake. The debris removal programme aims to do this through the creation of thousands of jobs in the recycling, removal and processing of debris. UNDP is currently implementing a similar project in the city of Léogâne with financial support from the Government of Canada.

Other UN initiatives approved by the Commission include a World Health Organization project on access to health service; a joint WFP, UNICEF and World Bank school-feeding programme; an FAO food security project; and a multi-agency programme on strengthening reproductive health services for women and girls affected by the earthquake.

The Interim Haitian Recovery Commission was created by Haitian Presidential decree on 21 April 2010 to coordinate and oversee recovery and reconstruction efforts. The Commission provides high-level coordination, direction and prioritization, bringing together the work of key ministries. It is co-chaired by Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive and former United States President Bill Clinton. The UN takes part in the Commission as a full voting member.

Contact Information

In New York: Mariana Gonzalez, Tel: +1 212 906 5317, mariana.gonzalez@undp.org
In Panama: Pablo Basz, Tel: + (507) 305-4864, pablo.basz@undp.org

For more information about UNDP in Latin America and the Caribbean: http://www.undp.org/latinamerica/