Tuesday, February 2, 2010

UN Cash for work program

Cash for Work Programme providing jobs to thousands of people affected by the earthquake
Contact in PaP: Adam Rogers, UNDP Spokesperson in Haiti (adam.rogers@undp.org). 
> Tel (3) 782 7894 (Haiti)  ;-  +41 79 849 06 79 (Switzerland)
Port-Au-Prince: 27 January 2010 – As part of the early recovery effort, the UN Development Programme in Haiti is scaling up an initiative to hire as many people as possible and to put them to work clearing rubble, cleaning streets and improving small-scale infrastructure.  The programme, which is coordinated by UNDP in the context of its Emergency Relief and Recovery Framework, is providing needed employment and income that can be used to sustain livelihoods in the short term, while preparing for recovery in the long term.

The Cash for Work project is being built on existing partnerships with local authorities and institutions, which have a key role in reconstruction. These include the National Department of Clean Water (DINEPA)[1], the Department of Civil Protection (DPC)[2], mayors, neighbourhood committees, international and national NGOs,and others.
Kim Bolduc, United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator and Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General, said the Cash for Work project is a good example of a very basic but extremely important initiative that is bringing immediate relief to thousands of people. “There are a million Haitians on the streets who lost their homes,” she said.  “We need to start programmes like that that immediately meet their most critical needs while involving them in the process of reconstruction,” she said.

UNDP Country Director Eric Overvest said that aside from providing an income, the initiative provides an important service by clearing the debris and rubble from the roads, “thereby opening up entire neighbourhoods that were blocked off to public transportation and access to emergency vehicles like ambulances and the police.”

During the first phase, Overvest said  the emphasis is on clearing the rubble from the roads, and on removing the waste that is piling up on the streets, which poses a health risk to the population.  “The workers are also cleaning and restoring public markets, tented settlements and communal washing areas so that the local economy can once again start to function as efficiently as possible.,” added Overvest.

Haiti Cash for Work Quick Facts
·         The CFW programme is providing employment for the affected population. Priority is given to women headed households, those with destroyed housing, and those with deceased family members. ·         The objective is to put at least 100,000 people to work as quickly as possible, with plans in place to scale it up to 220,000 as conditions allow.
·         Expansion at first is constrained by the need to coordinate with local authorities and ensure the systems are in place for payments and for the transparent and accountable management of the finances.  Another obstacle is obtaining the boots, gloves, shovels, pickaxes and trucks needed to remove the waste.
·         The remuneration is based on the minimum wage standard of 150 Gourdes a day for six hours work (minimum wage in Haiti is 200 gourdes for 8 hours work).  ·         UNDP is in consultation with the World Food Programme to also provide food rations to the workers.  ·         Workers are hired for 2 weeks, in order to get as many affected people employed. They are paid on a weekly basis.
·         The CFW programme is being coordinate closely with neighbourhood committees, DPC and municipalities, so that the programme is for Haitians and according to the needs and priorities of Haitians, with ownership of the national institutions.
Results so far
·         The programme started on 20 January, 8 days after the earthquake, and employed 385 people to remove debris from the streets in Carrefour Feuilles, one of the heavily affected poor neighbourhoods of Port au Prince. ·         On 23 January, the project was extended to the neighbourhood of Martissant. Both Martissant and Carrefour Feuilles are part of the municipality of Port au Prince. ·         On 25 January, the programme started in the Carrefour municipality hiring an additional 2000 people. ·         UNDP employs people in two shifts: morning and afternoon (in order to make optimal use of the limited lorries/equipment). UNDP is in touch with INGOs, some big national NGOs and the National Direction for Water and Sanitation to prepare cash for work activities in other neighbourhoods.
Current Worker Tally as of 26 January

Neighborhood/municipality Number of workers Carrefour Feuilles 1,500 Martissant 2,000 Leogane 1,000 Grand Goave 1,000 Gressier 1,000 Bel Air 2,000 Carrefour 2,000 Total 11,500
The neighbourhoods of Delmas, Grand Goave and Belair are scheduled to start within the next day or two.

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