San Diego, CA, USA (PRWEB) December 30, 2013
On October 9th, 2013, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs convened to discuss the effectiveness of U.S. aid in Haiti following the devastating earthquake in 2010. KATYE, a collaborative neighborhood reconstruction project in Ravine Pintade by PCI, Global Communities (GC), and the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA) of USAID, was highlighted as a successful use of federal aid. The hearing was held to discuss the results of a highly critical report produced by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) that evaluated the impact of USAID-funded interventions in Haiti post-earthquake and the challenge of implementing sustainable solutions.
The neighborhood of Ravine Pintade was decimated by the massive earthquake that struck Haiti in January of 2010. Reduced to rubble, the damaged infrastructure left thousands of people – there and in the broader city of Port-au-Prince – homeless, severed from important social and family networks, without services for water and sanitation, without sources of income, and often in camps that were unsafe – particularly for women and girls.
The reconstruction program was appropriately named KATYE – a word which means “neighborhood” in Creole; it was the neighborhood approach that made the most significant impact on the successful reconstruction of this devastated community.
In collaboration with OFDA shelter and settlements and OFDA regional Latin America staff, PCI began development of the “neighborhood approach” in the days following the earthquake. The strategy was designed to return affected households to their neighborhoods as fast as possible—limiting the use of camps for displaced people—and engage local communities in an effort to rebuild their neighborhoods to be more safe and secure, more healthy, more productive, and more nurturing for children and youth. This strategy was used and refined in Ravine Pintade.
Implemented as a partnership between GC and PCI with technical inputs and funding from OFDA, KATYE sought to not only provide basic needs in the areas of shelter, water and sanitation, protection, and health, but also to lay the foundation for a community that would be safer in future disasters and from crime more generally. The project also helped to provide better access to water and sanitation; control of rainwater runoff and flooding; improved access for children, the elderly, and people with disabilities; and a more nurturing environment for children and youth.
KATYE’s accomplishments have been credited to this collaborative, community-led approach and were touted by Elizabeth Hogan, Acting Assistant Administrator for the Latin American and Caribbean Bureau, in her presentation to the committee. Hogan stated that KATYE led to the rehabilitation of 620 homes; improved drainage and sanitation; and the creation of footbridges, street lighting and rainwater harvest systems.
“True to the concept of neighborhood – KATYE – it was the combined efforts of a number of key partners that made this project such a success: OFDA, GC, PCI, and local community members,” said PCI’s Jim DiFrancesca. PCI is now implementing the neighborhood approach in several new initiatives, both before and after disasters, to help communities prevent and rebuild from disasters.
For more information about PCI’s efforts to save lives and livelihoods, please contact Bonnie Maratea at (858) 279-9690 or bmaratea(at)pciglobal(dot)org.
PCI (Project Concern International) is an international health, development and humanitarian assistance organization, operating in 16 countries worldwide. PCI is dedicated to saving lives and building healthy communities around the globe, benefitting over 6.3 million people annually in Asia, Africa and the Americas. Funded by federal grants and private support, PCI celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2011. PCI’s headquarters are located in San Diego, CA and the organization also has an office in Washington, DC and a Seattle, WA representative. PCI’s current annual budget is nearly $45 million and the organization has over 600 employees worldwide.