WASHINGTON -- As Haiti marks the one-year anniversary of the devastating earthquake, the Pan American Development Foundation is placing emphasis on moving Haitians out of displacement camps and generating sustainable jobs.
"Our plan of action is based on the three 'Rs', which are rebuilding neighborhoods, returning people to safe homes and restoring livelihoods," says John Sanbrailo, PADF's Executive Director. "We've had 30 years of successful programs in Haiti that incorporate all stakeholders in sustainable initiatives."
The cornerstone of PADF's efforts to return people to safe homes is a massive assessment program in which more than 389,000 buildings in Port-au-Prince were inspected to determine their safety. Nearly 90 percent are homes.
During the past eight months, 270 specially trained structural engineers evaluated and then "tagged" buildings using a color-coded system: Green is safe; yellow indicates they can be used after repairs; and red means unsafe. More than half the homes are green and 26 percent are yellow.
"These assessments will shape the future of Port-au-Prince's rebuilding efforts," says Kit Miyamoto, President of Miyamoto International and PADF's private sector partner. "We now know with certainty the condition of homes, where they are and what repairs are needed."
The program is funded by USAID's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) and implemented by PADF in collaboration with the Haitian government, Miyamoto International and non-governmental partners.
The partners are in the process of repairing 2,000 households in the neighborhoods of Delmas 32, Simmonds-Pele, Carrefour-Feuilles and Bel-Air.
PADF's Sanbrailo says resources should be directed to repairing the more than 90,000 yellow-tagged homes. It costs $1,000 to $1,500 to repair a building which houses two to three families.
"This is the fastest and most cost-effective method to move people out of the displacement camps," says Sanbrailo. "If we repaired all these homes, it would positively affect more than 630,000 people."
PADF and its partners have trained masons and contractors on safer, seismic-resistant repair techniques. They are using new repair manual - which illustrates and promotes the use of these new methods and standards - that was approved by Haiti's Ministry of Public Works (MTPTC). Once repairs are completed, they are inspected by MTPTC structural engineers and included in a database.
From Jan. 13 to Sept. 30, PADF received and spent $2.2 million in private sector and individual donations for Haiti, which benefited more than 1.7 million people. PADF and its network of partners provided food, water, clothing, tents, tarps and temporary employment.
Some of the employment programs included rubble removal, cleaning drainage canals and rebuilding schools.
"Haitians want to work and this gave them the opportunity to provide for their families, clean up their neighborhoods and support their country," says Jimmy Jean-Louis, the actor and President of Hollywood Unites for Haiti
In addition to short-term employment, PADF and its partners are continuing their efforts to create sustainable employment and small enterprises in both urban and rural areas.
Its innovative development program - which organizes communities to prioritize their economic needs, evaluate proposals from their residents and implement selected projects - has benefited approximately 150,000 people during the past year.
Working in collaboration with Haiti's Bureau for Monetization and with funding from the World Bank, the PADF-administered program is supporting more than 1,000 economic development and training projects.
PADF is a non-profit organization established in 1962 to promote, facilitate, and implement social and economic development in Latin America and the Caribbean. In the past year, it had more than 10 million beneficiaries in 22 countries.
PADF is one of the largest non-governmental organizations in Haiti. With nearly three decades of work on the ground, PADF now manages a large portfolio of activities ranging from community-driven development to protecting human rights.
PADF is based in Washington, D.C., and has field offices in Haiti, Colombia and elsewhere. For more information, visit www.ImUnitedforHaiti.org or www.padf.org