Haiti: Propose economic stimulus programmes to boost return to autonomy.

from Première Urgence
Published on 08 Oct 2010 View Original
Première Urgence is implementing several humanitarian aid programmes in Port-au-Prince, one of which manages camps for displaced persons, following the earthquake on 12th January 2010 in the Fontamarra-Martissant area.

The International Migrations Organisation (IMO) and the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) asked Première Urgence to take charge of the management of the 43 camps regrouping 65,692 people in this area: census of the population, identification of their needs, information feed-back to the IMO and OCHA.

Our teams must also deal with the frustrations of the populations. The inhabitants of these camps would like to get back to a "normal" life and find a source of revenue as quickly as possible.

In August 2010, Première Urgence led an evaluation with a view to the launch of an economical stimulus project (professional kits) in the 43 sites of the group. On this occasion, many potential beneficiaries have been met. Here are some of their testimonies:

Garline Char is 31 years old. Married with three children, today her family lives in a shelter made of corrugated iron and tarpaulin. Her house was completely destroyed during the earthquake. Before January 12th, Garline was a door to door seller. She sold mainly food (biscuits, sweets) and small toys for children. Since the catastrophe, Garline and her family have found refuge on the Cité Cabirt site. She highlights the difficulty of living there with her children in very bad sanitary conditions; no water access, no latrines. The owner of the site refuses, according to her, the implantation of infrastructures that would maintain the presence of displaced persons on her land.

Garline knows Laurore, the Première Urgence site manager, well. He is on site every day, but for Garline, the aid is insufficient and too slow. She received mattresses, basins and anti-mosquito curtains from Première Urgence. But all that is not enough, she would like to see sanitary infrastructures to no longer have the impression of "feeling dirty and ugly".

Her husband gets small jobs in town as a porter. She would like to restart her selling activities once again, but she doesn't have enough capital for that. If Première Urgence rolls out a Professional Kit programme, she would like to be a beneficiary to be able to start work again.

Boss Onel is 32 years old. He is married with one child and his wife is pregnant with a second child. He lives alone in a shelter made of tarpaulins. His family is in the country following the complete destruction of their house. Before 12th January, Boss Onel had his own barber shop. Since the disaster, he has been living in a makeshift shelter on the La Boulangerie camp site. Nevertheless, he has proudly put up a sign selling his services. He still has his spinning barber's chair, he has bought two combs and cuts his client's hair with a razor blade.

His hairdressing activities are the only source of revenue for his family, he manages to earn 150 Haitian dollars per week (the equivalent of 14.5 Euros) and works mostly at weekends. He hopes to progressively find his old clients and to buy the tools to earn a better living. He would be an ideal candidate for the economic stimulus programme.

As a result of this evaluation, Première Urgence would like to rapidly set up an economic and farming stimulus programme which should help 750 people in the Fontamarra and Martissant districts in Port-au-Prince, as well as in the Carrefour municipality. This type of "professional kit " or "farming kit" programme provides the identified people with their working tools but also trains and supports them in the good management of their small business. In that way, they can get back to work, generate revenue and get their independence back again.