Out of Debris and Despair, Progress in Port-au-Prince

The future site in Orangers where the first phase of 100 homes will be built.

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Aug. 19, 2011) — Rubble that has lined vacant sections of Port-au-Prince since the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake is finally being cleared to make way for much needed housing in the Caribbean nation’s capital and most populous city.  Food For The Poor is about to start a major housing development project on the outskirts of the city with the Inter-American Development Bank.

“I am thrilled because the construction projects we’ve been able to accomplish in other parts of Haiti can now begin closer to Port-au-Prince,” said Angel Aloma, Executive Director of Food For The Poor. “Thanks to our donors, we have built more than 2,200 homes in Haiti since the earthquake. People desperate for shelter will now have a chance to move from the tents into sound houses.”

Late last week, Food For The Poor, the Inter-American Development Bank, and Fonds d' Assistance Économique et Social made the commitment to construct the first phase of 100 houses.  The homes will be built on land donated by the Haitian government in Orangers, which is located just north of Port-au-Prince.  The Inter-American Development Bank will fund the site development and half of the cost of every home, while the other half will be matched by Food For The Poor’s donors.

How the homes in Orangers will look. This red house, in Pierre Payen, Haiti, was built 6 months after the 2010 earthquake.

“The organization has received the allocated funds toward this housing project, which also will create much needed jobs in the region,” said Alvaro Pereira, Executive Vice President of Food For The Poor. “Construction should start next week.”

While 1.3 million people were initially left homeless by the earthquake, about 600,000 are still without shelter, according to the United Nations’ shelter committee.  Getting the people out of the makeshift tents pitched in the city’s parks, plazas and public places is a real challenge because most have no place to go.

Leaders have said the way for meaningful change in Haiti is to help implement self-sustaining programs, which will eventually allow Haitians to take the reins of their own reconstruction and future by providing jobs that will help support its people and its local economy.  The home building project helps meet those goals.

There are other signs of progress in Port-au-Prince. Food For The Poor is close to completing the Jean-Marie Gilloux School, which should be ready to welcome students on the first day of school. 
The two-level building is near the ruins of the famed Notre Dame d’Haiti Cathedral. Three more schools are also being constructed, and each school is being built with earthquake resistant materials. More than 3,400 students will benefit from the construction of the four new schools.

Islande and her children moved into their new FFP home in Leogane, Haiti, this spring.

Food For The Poor, the third-largest international relief and development organization in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry poor in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian agency provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicines, educational materials, homes, support for orphans and the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance, with more than 96 percent of all donations going directly to programs that help the poor.

For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.

Wanda Wright
Food For The Poor
Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6079