WASHINGTON – The World Bank Board of Directors has approved a $30 million grant to Haiti to help residents of some of the most severely earthquake-affected areas in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area start repairing or rebuilding their homes, return to their communities in safe conditions, and resume economic activities. The program will benefit about 140,000 residents in the capital.
The January 12, 2010, earthquake destroyed an estimated 115,000 houses in and around Port-au-Prince and left some 14,500 others with severe damage and 167,000 with moderate damages forcing some 1.3 million people to seek shelter in temporary camps.
“Moving people out of camps and creating the conditions for their safe return to the original neighborhoods is one of the most pressing needs and is also key for improving their life condition and security situation,” said Ronald Baudin, Haiti’s Minister of Economy and Finance.
The Urban Community Driven Development Project (PRODEPUR) seeks to improve access to basic infrastructure and services, including removal of earthquake debris, repair and reconstruction of houses, and repair and improvement of community infrastructure. The project will work directly with the municipalities of Port-au-Prince (Carrefour-Feuille) and Delmas (Delmas 32).
The World Bank's support for housing reconstruction in Haiti is closely aligned with the Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission's (IHRC) Draft Framework for Neighborhood Reconstruction and Upgrading, currently being reviewed by the Government of Haiti. The Framework aims to facilitate the return of displaced persons to their neighborhoods in order to rebuild their homes, communities and livelihoods.
Specifically, this US$30 million grant will support the following activities:
· Removal of about 60,000 cubic meters of building debris from public spaces and private plots.
· Cash grants for housing repair and reconstruction. This will finance about 5,000 cash grants for owner/resident-driven repair of houses assessed as structurally solid or on-site reconstruction of houses either destroyed or damaged beyond repair.
· Repair and improvement of community service infrastructure, including roads, walkways, drainage ditches and channels, solid waste management, water supply systems, sanitation facilities and related equipments, as well as the creation of community reconstruction centers.
· Advisory services to assist communities and local authorities in managing the debris removal and housing repair and reconstruction process efficiently and in compliance with seismic and other natural hazard safety standards. In addition, this component will help prepare medium- and long-term urban development and housing strategies.
“This project builds on the important concerted efforts being deployed by central and local governments as well as communities in Haiti’s reconstruction,” said Yvonne Tsikata, World Bank Director for the Caribbean. “This grant recognizes their collective efforts and provides additional resources so they can continue restoring basic services and creating economic opportunities for local residents.”
This grant follows-up on the results of the original US$15 million PRODEPUR project, which was approved in June 2008. Since the earthquake, the project has prioritized disaster related needs in targeted communities. These include the removal of debris from public spaces and access roads, as well as cleaning of local drainage ditches, providing temporary jobs to over 5,000 people in the neighborhoods of Cité Soleil, Martissant, Belair, and Delmas 32. Other emergency activities included the repair of neighborhood infrastructure damaged during the earthquake, including community kitchens and a community poultry farm.