FIDA/pcH is advancing the following four point strategy for an efficient and sustainable response:
The delivery of relief and support to a people who have experienced (and are continuing to experience) trauma must be undertaken within a long-term view. HOW we treat people at their point of need will determine their level of trust and participation in the recovery and reconstruction phases. FIDA/pcH is experienced in effectively responding to disaster and is responding to the needs of affected families in the areas of Cabaret and Arcahaie, where we have established relationships and trust. The relief is in the form of delivering basic physical and social services, including potable water, food, a hygiene kit and psycho-social support to approximately 10,000 families.
We have thirty trained and trusted local personnel, who have the expertise and knowledge of the communities, to carry out this humanitarian assistance in a peaceful and participatory manner. We work with local leaders and leaders of the co-operatives to assess the needs of their community and undertake a system of delivery that is respectful and documented, to ensure fairness and transparency. We are also positioned to deliver similar services in the communities within the capital of Port-au-Prince.
What is equally critical is assisting the people as they relocate from the city en masse, in search of safety and food. The number of people requiring support in rural areas has increased dramatically and we must support the strain on the already fragile infrastructure. Many family homes are doubling and tripling the average family unit of 8-10 members.
2. Relocation and reconstruction of FIDA/pcH physical operations
The fall of Port-au-Prince and the destruction of our office in the city presents an opportunity for a more appropriate location. We currently partner with 15 cooperatives representing 3200 members. The demand for resources to increase agricultural production is increasing exponentially. With a mandate to be a leader in the productive agricultural cooperative model, it is both prudent and strategic for FIDA/pcH to relocate to where it can more efficiently manage its operations and support emerging communities toward sustainability.
Our vision is to establish a central base with land that will be able to accommodate experimental agricultural initiatives. We will require simple structures to serve as office, accommodation for visiting consultants and technicians, and a laboratory. A field-based office will also serve as a gateway of learning for those around the world who desire to understand the rural Haitian and how to undertake sustainable agricultural development with a participatory approach.
3. Revitalization of intensive agricultural production structures
The stress on current agricultural production is great. The immediate revitalizing and intensifying of food production is critical in order to mitigate the food shortage and the increasing prices of agricultural products. With planting season fast approaching, the country will be at risk for conflict and famine if seeds, agricultural tools and credit for the present planters are not available. FIDA/pcH, with its established history and experience in agricultural production has the technical expertise but requires the means to provide support to the current planters and the influx of people who have fled from the devastated city.
4. Rebuilding of market economy communities
Heads of States and large NGO’s are meeting to discuss the reconstruction of Haiti. We know this is a necessary action and that there is much good intent for listening to the people of Haiti and to truly be responsive to their needs. However, we believe that there must be a new mentality applied to the emerging Haiti. Lessons from the past must be learned. We will grievously err if we focus on reconstruction of buildings or creating an infrastructure that does not consider the Haitian view of the world. What must be first considered is the building of confidence and self-esteem, an appreciation for the many layered and complex social obstacles that lie within the Haitian psyche. This is now compounded by the great loss that Haitians are feeling about their country and their fear that their future will be designed by the international community or by politicians that do not serve their interest. The people will require a discerning leadership capable of facilitating open dialogue, which can guide them to conceive and cultivate a real development plan for the area.
FIDA/pcH has the expertise to assist in this regard, to intensify local production and to work together with the population to nurture emerging, self-governing, market economy communities. We cannot do this alone. We will need long-term commitments, both in terms of funding and partnerships. A new Haiti will rise from the rubble. It is our mission to ensure that it is truly the vision of the people of Haiti.
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