UNDP: Haiti rebuilds
Two years after the devastating earthquake of 12 January 2010, Haiti continues to draw on its resources to recover. The challenge ahead is enormous after the heavy losses suffered following the earthquake that left more than 200,000 dead, 1.5 million displaced and 300,000 buildings damaged or completely destroyed. The year 2010 was also marked by the cholera epidemic ongoing to this day—and Hurricane Thomas whose torrential rains and winds swept across several regions of the country. The international humanitarian response has been unprecedented and many initiatives have emerged to assist the Haitians in dealing with these devastating events.
2011 has meanwhile not only been characterized by political and administrative transition but also by the transition from the humanitarian to the recovery phase. The major challenge for the stakeholders involved in the reconstruction in Haiti has been to introduce a long term focus to their programmes and to move from humanitarian aid to sustainable development. However, the reality in Haiti still demands the complementarity of humanitarian intervention in parallel with that of development stakeholders. The political transition to a new government has been diffi cult and accompanied by many uncertainties.
In this context, UNDP has almost doubled the extent of its cooperation with the Haitian Government and has intensifi ed its eff orts in debris management and in reconstruction initiatives, whilst creating thousands of jobs. Core development activities such as governance and environmental protection programmes which had been suspended in order to respond to the emergency after the earthquake, have been reactivated and several critical projects have emerged. New initiatives have been launched such as support for the fi ght against AIDS and tuberculosis, the Seismic Risk Reduction programme in the three northern departments and support for institutional strengthening with the Prime Minister’s Office and the Presidency.
UNDP’s mission is to support and build capacities for the government, the private sector and those of the communities to better prepare the country’s future. In fact, 30% of the budget is implemented directly by the central government entities and 40% implemented by local organizations.
The recovery phase will take many years but many results have already been observed on the ground over the past 12 months: 50% of the debris removed, more than 300,000 jobs created and 2,000 meters of gabion walls erected.
These results have been the fruit of partnerships with key stakeholders from the central and local government, the United Nations, international and local NGOs, the local private sector but especially with the Haitian people. One of UNDP’s priorities included bringing all these stakeholders together to begin the reconstruction process and move forward towards sustainable development. The communities have played a crucial role in reconstruction eff orts and UNDP continues to prioritise a participatory approach in its planning to allow Haitians to take control of their country and choose their own future.