Posts Tagged ‘Haiti’

2016 Mayors Challenge Entries in Latin America and the Caribbean Reveal a Focus on Addressing Social Inclusion, Sustainability, and Economic Growth – with a Strong Emphasis on Engaging Citizens in These Efforts

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290 Cities Submit Ideas to Solve Pressing Urban Challenges; with 5 Cities from Haiti Participation

Selection Process Now Underway to Determine the 20 Finalists who will go on to compete for $9 Million USD in Innovation Funds

NEW YORK, May 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Bloomberg Philanthropies today announced that 290 cities across Latin America and the Caribbean have submitted ideas to solve major challenges and improve city life for the 2016 Mayors Challenge. The ideas offer insight into the needs of communities and priorities of local leaders in the region.

Seven in ten ideas aim to address a social or economic challenge, while the remaining 30% focus on improving government effectiveness and efficiency.

  • 71% of cities generated ideas to address major social or economic challenges such as:
    • Social inclusion for vulnerable populations (23%)
    • Sustainability (20%)
    • Economic growth (13%)
    • Education (9%)
    • Public health (8%)
  • 29% of city ideas focus on improving the overall effectiveness and efficiency of government

The 290 Mayors Challenge applicants represent over 172 million citizens in 19 countries across the region. Participating cities span the entire region with 71% from South America, 20% from Mexico and 9% from Central America and the Caribbean.  Seventeen capital cities in the region submitted ideas to the competition – from Santiago to Brasilia to Mexico City to Kingston. With applications from 80 Brazilian cities and 59 Mexican cities, Brazil and Mexico had the largest number of cities that submitted applications.

5 cities from Haiti submitted applications and are now competing for $9 million dollars in innovation funds: Cap-Haïtien; Jean Rabel; Jérémie; Les Cayes; and Petite Rivière de l’Artibonite.

Applicants for the 2016 Mayors Challenge proposed innovative solutions to address a wide range of urban challenges. A series of themes emerged in the ideas, including:

  • Leveraging technology and citizen engagement to improve government performance
  • An emphasis on public education initiatives, citizen participation and digital solutions to prepare for and address natural disasters
  • An interest in entrepreneurship and digital learning to improve education
  • Promoting the inclusion of new or vulnerable populations through job creation, better use of public spaces and technology
  • Improving public health through wide-ranging citizen engagement strategies

“Cities in Latin America and the Caribbean are some of the most innovative in the world, and they are proving it with their entries in our latest Mayors Challenge. The hundreds of proposals present exciting new ways to tackle problems across the region, and they have the potential to have a big impact on the lives of millions of people.” said Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg Philanthropies and three-term Mayor of New York City.

Additionally, a survey taken of participating cities showed significant city hall interest in innovation, but a lack of resources needed to experiment.

  • More than half of participating cities report regularly borrowing ideas from cities in the region or even from around the globe when faced with a tough problem.
  • Three out of 5 cities said they usually or always crowdsource ideas from citizens when they are faced with a tough problem.
  • Just 1 out of 5 participating cities report usually having access to public or private funding to test new ideas.

“This is a region of the world with a rich history of public sector innovation. The ideas coming from the Mayors Challenge build on that legacy. We see a stronger focus in this year’s ideas on citizen engagement, which is both a trend in governments worldwide as well as an area in which Latin American cities have been clear leaders,” said James Anderson, the head of Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Government Innovation program.

The current applicants emerged from more than 900 Latin American and Caribbean cities who were invited by the Mayors Challenge in January 2016 to compete. Cities had until April 15, 2016 to generate and submit their innovative ideas to improve city government and city life. Modeled on successful competitions in the United States and Europe, the 2016 Mayors Challenge will award $5 million USD grand prize and four $1 million awards to four other cities that generate the most powerful and transferable ideas.

To learn more about the Mayors Challenge, visit www.mayorschallenge.bloomberg.org and @BloombergCities on Twitter and Instagram. Bloomberg Philanthropies has proudly partnered with the Centre for Public Impact (CPI) to implement this year’s challenge, provide related supports to city participants, and oversee coordination with other program partners. CPI is a not-for-profit, funded by The Boston Consulting Group, and dedicated to improving the positive impact of governments.

About Bloomberg Philanthropies

Bloomberg Philanthropies works in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. In 2015, Bloomberg Philanthropies distributed over half a billion dollars.  For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

Media Contact
Bloomberg Philanthropies, Rebecca Carriero, (212) 205-0182, rebeccac@bloomberg.org

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Haiti will host the 12th edition of CARIFESTA, the Caribbean Festival of Arts, August 21 – 30, 2015

caricom

carifesta

CaribPR Wire, PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Weds. Aug. 12,2015: CARIFESTA, which is the largest cultural and artistic event in the Caribbean, has fused all forms of expression of Latin America and the Caribbean since 1972.

As a result, it has become a major multicultural and international event that increasingly attracts countries from other continents.

The Caribbean is a meeting place for people around the world, a witness of the crossroad of nations, of different migrations by will or force, of life invented a thousand times, shaped through the fusion of different cultures.

CARIFESTA celebrates diversity and similarity; talent and brotherhood. It gives artists the opportunity to discuss, share experiences, learn from one another and share their knowledge and traditions.

All men and women are alike in their beauty. Armed with this strong belief, Haiti opens its doors to welcome the Caribbean and the world from August 21st to August 30th, 2015.

CARIFESTA XII activities will be held in five (5) cities across the island: Port-au-Prince, Jacmel, Cap-Haitian, Gonaives, and Cayes.

All disciplines will be featured: dance, cuisine, fashion, cinema, visual arts, literature, music, theater, arts and crafts.

CARICOM

CARICOM (Caribbean Community) – the 14 member countries, including Haiti – has taken all the necessary steps to ensure that this 12th edition in Haiti continues to fulfill the legacy of CARIFESTA being a Great Cultural and Artistic event since 1972.

Accommodation

Haiti is able to accommodate its many guests at the 12th edition of CARIFESTA from August 21 to August 30, 2015.

Agreements have been made with the hotels for special packages and attractive rates for CARIFESTA season.

Impacts

Government funding has been allocated to make this great international event possible in Haiti. The event will also be supported by private sector sponsors.

CARIFESTA in Haiti is an incredible opportunity for our artists and creators.

CARIFESTA will have a positive impact on various sectors of national life.

We can rely on CARIFESTA to enhance our image, especially in the Caribbean.

The Grand Market

The Great Market is a giant space for exhibitions from a variety of artistic categories as well as a center of activities for the youth, which will take place in Champs de Mars for 10 days throughout the event will be among the flagship activities of CARIFESTA’s.

Our roots, our culture, our common future!

www.carifesta.net socialmedia

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TOURISTS TO VISIT CULTURAL CENTER OF HAITI DURING JACMEL GETAWAY IN MAY 2015 WITH MY HAITI TRAVELS

My Haiti Travels_logo
jacmel

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY – April 15, 2015 – My Haiti Travels, a New York-based boutique concierge firm that produces high-quality travel experiences, announced its second annual “Jacmel Getaway” cultural adventure to Haiti scheduled on Thursday, May 21 to Monday, May 25, 2015. The all-inclusive tour package will explore art, film and a taste of Caribbean life on an enchanting journey to the cultural center of Haiti.

Scheduled during the Memorial Day weekend holiday in the United States, the “Jacmel Getaway” explores the vibrant town of Jacmel with a complete vacation package comprising a full schedule of activities targeting couples, singles and art lovers. The all-inclusive five-day and four-night itinerary features private ground transportation including round-trip airport transfers and travel to Jacmel, art and film expeditions, live Haitian cultural performances, dining at top restaurants, private entertainment and souvenir shopping at local Haitian artisan shops. Hotel accommodations represent modern to vintage settings including the newly renovated Kinam Hotel in Petion-Ville and Jacmel’s idyllic Hotel Florita that was built in the 19th century. Located in the Southeastern part of Haiti, Jacmel is renowned for its carnival, film festival, talented artisans, colonial architecture and serene waterfalls.

“We’re thrilled to continue growing our portfolio of unforgettable travel experiences with the second edition of the Jacmel Getaway,” said Dina Simon, founder and managing director, My Haiti Travels. “We have planned another magical tour that is designed to explore the cultural center of Haiti and support our mission of allowing tourists to see Haiti through our eyes.”

The My Haiti Travels agency was founded by Haitian-born Dina Simon shortly following the devastating earthquake of January 2010 to support the resurgence of tourism and investment in Haiti, and to promote the patronage of local businesses, hotel/resort establishments and restaurants. My Haiti Travels staff continues to build relationships and work diligently with local professionals and experts across Haiti’s hospitality and tourism sector to provide safe, meaningful and fun experiences.

Since its inaugural group trip in 2013, My Haiti Travels has hosted over 120 travelers through its annual “Jacmel Getaway” and “Impact Week” tours, as well as other custom expeditions. Ranging in age from teenagers to baby boomers, the diverse groups represent a multicultural mix of tourists seeking to explore Haiti’s dynamic Taino, African, Latin and French ancestry.

Media partners of the 2015 “Jacmel Getaway” include Haiti Cultural Exchange; L’Union Suite; and Miss Jetsetter. To register and for more information on the “Jacmel Getaway,” and to take advantage of discounted early-bird registration rates, please contact My Haiti Travels at info@myhaititravels.com or visit www.MyHaitiTravels.com

###

About My Haiti Travels

My Haiti Travels (MHT) is a New York-based boutique concierge firm that produces high-quality travel experiences with a social impact.  Each January My Haiti Travels offers the IMPACT WEEK HAITI tour (www.ImpactWeekHaiti.com) providing the perfect blend of civic and social interaction during Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend.  Each May My Haiti Travels offers the JACMEL GETAWAY tour (www.JacmelGetaway.com) which includes exclusive art and film expeditions during Memorial Day weekend holiday.  My Haiti Travels also promotes a positive image of Haiti through its “See Haiti Through Our Eyes” campaign and publishes an e-newsletter that features guest blogs, compelling video clips and travel stories.  Follow My Haiti Travels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and YouTube.


Media Contact

Daphne Leroy

DML Media Group, LLC

pr@DMLmediagroup.com

646-389-1365

Click Here for More Information »

InterCaribbean Airways new Services in Haiti, Jamaica and Dominican Republic

With new flights offer non-stop Port au Prince to Kingston and Santo Domingo Flights

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands, Dec. 11, 2014 /PRNewswire/ – interCaribbean Airways is pleased to announce the commencement of new non-stop services to and from Kingston, Jamaica and Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic to Port au Prince, Haiti .

interCaribbean Airways begins scheduled services on December 13th 2014, between Kingston Normal Manley International Airport and Port au Prince, Haiti, and also Port au Prince to Santo Domingo International Airport.  With high hopes for this service, the business and leisure traveler will be able to enjoy this new service in just an hour of travel time.

In concert with the mission of the Ministry of Tourism, and Minister Stephanie Villedrouin to increase flights and build Haiti as a leisure destination, these new services will extend the travel options for the visitors to neighboring islands as an easy means to travel to Haiti and extend their vacation stays.


ARR
FLIGHT No. FROM  TO   FREQUENCY

DEP

PLS
Wed Sun
01:25 PM
JY 217                                          02:35 PM

           PAP

PAP
SDQ
Thu Sat
11:25 AM
JY 623                                          01:20 PM

PAP*
KIN
Wed (*via PLS)
01:25 PM
JY 217/250                                      04:50 PM

KIN
03:20 PM
JY 624     PAP        Fri Sat                   04:40 PM

KIN
Sun (*via PLS)
01:25 PM
JY 217/250 PAP*                                 04:50 PM

Seats are on sale, and bookable immediately at interCaribbean.com or calling our call centers and visiting our airport locations.  Customers may also visit their preferred travel agency.

Said Trevor Sadler CEO of interCaribbean Airways, we are pleased to offer these new routes to give the more choices and more connectivity across the Caribbean and support Haiti as it grows its appeal to the vacation visitor, while facilitating new business opportunities.  We look forward to increasing the frequency and number of destinations we serve in the new year.

About InterCaribbean Airways

interCaribbean Airways is based in the Turks & Caicos Islands, operating for the last 23 years to connect you and the Caribbean.  Services are via EMB 120 and BE99 aircraft connecting the Turks & Caicos to the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Puerto Rico.  International services also connect Jamaica to the Dominican Republic and Haiti, and the Dominican Republic to Puerto Rico.  Domestic flights are operated in The Turks & Caicos Islands and Jamaica. With new services planned to the Eastern Caribbean we look forward to connecting more of the Caribbean.

CONTACT: Media Relations: media@intercaribbean.com

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TOURISTS SET TO EMBARK ON 2015 IMPACT WEEK TRIP TO HAITI WITH EXCLUSIVE TRAVEL DEALS BY MY HAITI TRAVELS

My Haiti Travels_logo

ImpactWeek_logo final

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. October 29, 2014: My Haiti Travels, a New York-based boutique concierge firm that produces high-quality travel experiences for leisure and business purposes, has announced its third annual “Impact Week” signature expedition to Haiti. The all-inclusive tour package provides the perfect blend of civic and social interaction during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend of January 15-19, 2015.  As a new feature, travelers will have the opportunity to extend their “Impact Week” experience with two add-on package deals that explore the historic city of Cap-Haitien and the International Jazz Festival of Port-au-Prince.
The “Impact Week” tour offers a unique journey through cultural landmarks and vibrant destinations. With a fresh itinerary for the third edition, “Impact Week” travelers will immerse themselves in an action-packed voyage led by professional guides that includes dining at top restaurants, evening entertainment, artistic attractions, epic excursions and more. Guests will also enjoy deluxe hotel and beach resort stays at two sought-after properties that are new to the “Impact Week” itinerary – the elegant Royal Oasis located in the heart of Petion-Ville, a prestigious suburb of the nation’s capital Port-au-Prince, and the scenic Club Indigo Beach (formerly Haiti’s Club Med) on the Arcadins Coast, a popular Caribbean beach destination.
For the first time, travelers will be able to extend their “Impact Week” stay in Haiti with the debut of two add-on tour package deals offered by My Haiti Travels. The first option is presented with partnering tour operator Belle Vue Tours and provides discovery of Cap-Haitien, Haiti’s second largest city located in the north. This package includes a tour of the iconic mountaintop Citadelle, the largest fortress in the Americas and one of the most historic Caribbean wonders of the world. The second add-on tour package features the eighth edition of the International Jazz Festival of Port-au-Prince, a not-to-be-missed cultural and touristic event featuring renowned foreign artists. Both tours are scheduled on January 19-22, 2015.
The My Haiti Travels agency was founded by Haitian-born Dina Simon shortly following the devastating earthquake of January 2010 to support the resurgence of tourism and investment in Haiti, and to promote the patronage of local businesses, hotel/resort establishments and restaurants. My Haiti Travels staff continues to build relationships and work diligently with local professionals and experts across Haiti’s hospitality and tourism sector to provide safe, meaningful and fun experiences.
“Seeing Haiti through our eyes is a cultural movement with a social impact,” said Dina Simon, founder and managing director, My Haiti Travels.  ”By listening to our repeat customers who asked to see more of Haiti, we have an even more robust Impact Week tour planned for 2015. My Haiti Travels will continue to explore new and exciting destinations with quality in service and treasured moments.”
To commemorate the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday celebrated in the U.S., “Impact Week” will feature Project Day for the third consecutive year to provide volunteer services to students of PRODEV’s (Progress and Development through the Youth of Haiti) Ecole Nouvelle Zoranje in the Village de La Renaissance.  Established in 1995 to empower the youth of Haiti through education, PRODEV is a Haitian-led non-profit, non-political foundation officially recognized by the government of Haiti.
Since its inaugural group trip in 2013, My Haiti Travels has hosted over 100 travelers through its “Impact Week” tour, “Jacmel Getaway” voyage and other custom expeditions. Ranging in age from teenagers to baby boomers, the diverse groups represent a multicultural mix of tourists seeking to explore Haiti’s dynamic Taino, African, Latin and French ancestry.
For more information on the 2015 “Impact Week,” to register and take advantage of discounted early-bird registration rates, please contact My Haiti Travels at info@myhaititravels.com or visit www.ImpactWeekHaiti.com
###
About My Haiti Travels
My Haiti Travels (MHT) is a New York-based boutique concierge firm that coordinates and produces high-quality travel experiences with a social impact for groups seeking to explore Haiti for leisure and business purposes.  Each January My Haiti Travels presents the IMPACT WEEK tour (www.ImpactWeekHaiti.com) during the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend.  The JACMEL GETAWAY vacation package (www.JacmelGetaway.com) is presented by My Haiti Travels during the Memorial Day Weekend holiday.  My Haiti Travels also promotes a positive image of Haiti through its “See Haiti Through Our Eyes” campaign and publishes a newsletter that features guest blogs, compelling video clips and travel stories.  Follow My Haiti Travels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and YouTube.
Media Contact
Daphne Leroy
DML Media Group, LLC
pr@DMLmediagroup.com
646-389-1365
www.DMLmediagroup.com

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Weds. October 29, 2014: My Haiti Travels, a New York-based boutique concierge firm that produces high-quality travel experiences for leisure and business purposes, has announced its third annual “Impact Week” signature expedition to Haiti. The all-inclusive tour package provides the perfect blend of civic and social interaction during the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend of January 15-19, 2015.  As a new feature, travelers will have the opportunity to extend their “Impact Week” experience with two add-on package deals that explore the historic city of Cap-Haitien and the International Jazz Festival of Port-au-Prince.

The “Impact Week” tour offers a unique journey through cultural landmarks and vibrant destinations. With a fresh itinerary for the third edition, “Impact Week” travelers will immerse themselves in an action-packed voyage led by professional guides that includes dining at top restaurants, evening entertainment, artistic attractions, epic excursions and more. Guests will also enjoy deluxe hotel and beach resort stays at two sought-after properties that are new to the “Impact Week” itinerary – the elegant Royal Oasis located in the heart of Petion-Ville, a prestigious suburb of the nation’s capital Port-au-Prince, and the scenic Club Indigo Beach (formerly Haiti’s Club Med) on the Arcadins Coast, a popular Caribbean beach destination.

For the first time, travelers will be able to extend their “Impact Week” stay in Haiti with the debut of two add-on tour package deals offered by My Haiti Travels. The first option is presented with partnering tour operator Belle Vue Tours and provides discovery of Cap-Haitien, Haiti’s second largest city located in the north. This package includes a tour of the iconic mountaintop Citadelle, the largest fortress in the Americas and one of the most historic Caribbean wonders of the world. The second add-on tour package features the eighth edition of the International Jazz Festival of Port-au-Prince, a not-to-be-missed cultural and touristic event featuring renowned foreign artists. Both tours are scheduled on January 19-22, 2015.

The My Haiti Travels agency was founded by Haitian-born Dina Simon shortly following the devastating earthquake of January 2010 to support the resurgence of tourism and investment in Haiti, and to promote the patronage of local businesses, hotel/resort establishments and restaurants. My Haiti Travels staff continues to build relationships and work diligently with local professionals and experts across Haiti’s hospitality and tourism sector to provide safe, meaningful and fun experiences.

“Seeing Haiti through our eyes is a cultural movement with a social impact,” said Dina Simon, founder and managing director, My Haiti Travels.  ”By listening to our repeat customers who asked to see more of Haiti, we have an even more robust Impact Week tour planned for 2015.  My Haiti Travels will continue to explore new and exciting destinations with quality in service and treasured moments.”

To commemorate the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday celebrated in the U.S., “Impact Week” will feature Project Day for the third consecutive year to provide volunteer services to students of PRODEV’s (Progress and Development through the Youth of Haiti) Ecole Nouvelle Zoranje in the Village de La Renaissance.  Established in 1995 to empower the youth of Haiti through education, PRODEV is a Haitian-led non-profit, non-political foundation officially recognized by the government of Haiti.

Since its inaugural group trip in 2013, My Haiti Travels has hosted over 100 travelers through its “Impact Week” tour, “Jacmel Getaway” voyage and other custom expeditions. Ranging in age from teenagers to baby boomers, the diverse groups represent a multicultural mix of tourists seeking to explore Haiti’s dynamic Taino, African, Latin and French ancestry.

For more information on the 2015 “Impact Week,” to register and take advantage of discounted early-bird registration rates, please contact My Haiti Travels at info@myhaititravels.com or visit www.ImpactWeekHaiti.com.

###

About My Haiti Travels

My Haiti Travels (MHT) is a New York-based boutique concierge firm that coordinates and produces high-quality travel experiences with a social impact for groups seeking to explore Haiti for leisure and business purposes.  Each January My Haiti Travels presents the IMPACT WEEK tour (www.ImpactWeekHaiti.com) during the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend.  The JACMEL GETAWAY vacation package (www.JacmelGetaway.com) is presented by My Haiti Travels during the Memorial Day Weekend holiday.  My Haiti Travels also promotes a positive image of Haiti through its “See Haiti Through Our Eyes” campaign and publishes a newsletter that features guest blogs, compelling video clips and travel stories.  Follow My Haiti Travels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and YouTube.

Media Contact

Daphne Leroy

DML Media Group, LLC

pr@DMLmediagroup.com

646-389-1365

www.DMLmediagroup.com

Click Here for More Information »

My Haiti Travels Concludes Successful “Impact Week” Voyage And Unveils New “Jacmel Getaway” Vacation Package Scheduled In May 2014

myhaiti

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Impact Week Haiti 2014 tour in Port-au-Prince, presented My Haiti Travels

Impact Week Haiti 2014 tour in Port-au-Prince, presented My Haiti Travels

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. February 27, 2014: My Haiti Travels, a New York-based boutique concierge firm that produces high-quality travel experiences with a social impact for groups seeking to explore Haiti for leisure and business purposes, successfully presented its second annual “Impact Week” signature expedition to Port-au-Prince, Haiti in January.  My Haiti Travels also announced the introduction of its new “Jacmel Getaway” to be held on Thursday, May 22 to Monday, May 26, 2014. An unforgettable travel experience that will explore art, film and a taste of Caribbean life, the “Jacmel Getaway” will take tourists on an enchanting journey into the cultural center of Haiti.

Building upon its inaugural “Impact Week” voyage, My Haiti Travels doubled the number of 2014 participants to 30 U.S.-based travelers.  Ranging in age from teenagers to baby boomers, the diverse group represented a multicultural mix of tourists of Haitian, African-American, Latino and European descent.  Once again, My Haiti Travels staff worked diligently with local professionals across Haiti’s hospitality and tourism sector to provide a safe, meaningful and fun experience.  Travelers are invited to save the date for the next “Impact Week” Haiti tour that is scheduled on January 15-19, 2015.

The 2014 “Impact Week” trip exposed tourists to a variety of cultural landmarks and excursions, including touring the Haitian National Museum, mountain hiking to Kay Piat followed by swimming in a natural spring and a souvenir market outing.  Entertainment and leisure activities consisted of live music, fine dining and a private rum tasting.  Guests also enjoyed deluxe hotel stays at the BW Premier Petion-Ville and Wahoo Bay Beach Club & Resort on the Arcadins Coast, a popular Caribbean beach destination.

To commemorate the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday in the U.S., “Impact Week” featured a Project Day for the second consecutive year to provide volunteer services to students of PRODEV’s (Progress and Development through the Youth of Haiti) Ecole Nouvelle Zoranje in the Village de La Renaissance.  Established in 1995 to empower the youth of Haiti through education, PRODEV is a Haitian-led non-profit, non-political foundation officially recognized by the government of Haiti.

A new “Jacmel Getaway” vacation package, scheduled during the Memorial Day Weekend holiday in the U.S., will expand upon My Haiti Travels’ current offerings in the island nation’s capital of Port-au-Prince to the vibrant town of Jacmel.  Located in the Southeastern part of Haiti, Jacmel is renowned for its carnival, film festival, talented artisans, colonial architecture and serene waterfalls.

“Haiti’s tourism industry has tremendous potential, and we are very pleased with the growth of our signature Impact Week voyage as well as our new Jacmel Getaway vacation package in May of this year,” said Dina Simon, founder and managing director, My Haiti Travels.  “Our Jacmel Getaway promises to be an unforgettable travel experience for all couples, singles and art lovers seeking a little taste of Caribbean life in the cultural center of Haiti.”

The 2014 “Jacmel Getaway” is a complete vacation package comprising a full schedule of activities.  The all-inclusive five-day and four-night itinerary features premium hotel accommodations, private ground transportation including round-trip airport transfers and travel to Jacmel, art and film expeditions, live Haitian cultural performances, private chef and dining at top restaurants, a masquerade party and souvenir shopping at local Haitian artisan shops.

The My Haiti Travels agency was founded by Dina Simon shortly following the devastating earthquake of January 2010 to support the resurgence of tourism and investment in Haiti, and to promote the patronage of local businesses, hotel and resort establishments and restaurants.  With a vision to showcase “Haiti Through Our Eyes,” My Haiti Travels delivers a mix of civic and social activities that capture Haiti’s rich culture, which is rooted in Taino, European and African heritage.  Haiti is the first independent sovereign nation in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the first black republic in the world when it declared independence from France during the Haitian Revolution on January 1, 1804.

2014 media partners of “Impact Week” included Bel Ti Fi, Crème Magazine, Haitian All-Starz, The Haitian Times, HaitiXChange, Kiskeácity, Lumiere Magazine, Manman Pemba, Radio Soleil and The Stewardship Report.

A discounted early-bird registration rate for the “Jacmel Getaway” vacation package is now available through March 22, 2014.  For more information regarding the upcoming “Jacmel Getaway” scheduled on May 22–26, 2014, please contact My Haiti Travels at info@myhaititravels.com or visit www.JacmelGetaway.com

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About My Haiti Travels

My Haiti Travels (MHT) is a New York-based boutique concierge firm that coordinates and produces high-quality travel experiences with a social impact for groups seeking to explore Haiti for leisure and business purposes.  Each January My Haiti Travels presents the IMPACT WEEK tour (www.ImpactWeekHaiti.com), a five-day and four-night all-inclusive voyage filled with leisure activities, volunteerism, networking and touristic exploration of Port-au-Prince, Haiti during the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday.  The inaugural JACMEL GETAWAY vacation package (www.JacmelGetaway.com) will be presented by My Haiti Travels on May 22–26, 2014 during the Memorial Day Weekend holiday.  To educate people about Haiti and its rich culture, My Haiti Travels also publishes the “Haiti Through Our Eyes” newsletter that features guest blogs and travel stories.  Follow My Haiti Travels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and YouTube.

Click Here for More Information »

InterCaribbean Airways increases flights to Cap Haitien from Providenciales

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks & Caicos Islands, Dec. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – interCaribbean Airways (interCaribbean) formerly Air Turks & Caicos, announces the addition of new afternoon flights from Providenciales (PLS)  to Cap Haitien (CAP) on a Monday and Saturday with effect from January 20th 2014.

interCaribbean Airways attended the Airline Routes Conference in Las Vegas in October this year, where the ideas were discussed at meetings with the Ministry of Tourism representatives.  interCaribbean held a follow up meeting with  the Ministry of Tourism Delegation to Providenciales, together with the Consul for Commercial and Cultural Affairs from the Consulat d’Haiti in Providenciales in November where the Ministry indicated a willingness to support additional flights.

InterCaribbean Airways will offer with this new service, for visitors, citizens and residents of The Turks & Caicos Islands the chance to be able to take a day trip, with a morning flight departure and an afternoon return flight.  The new flights will afford the opportunity to visit the Citadel, take in cultural aspects of the Cap Haitien Area in Northern Haiti, and also enjoy the Creole Cuisine for Lunch, said Trevor Sadler, CEO of interCaribbean Airways.

About interCaribbean Airways

interCaribbean Airways (formerly Air Turks & Caicos) is the national carrier of the Turks & Caicos Islands and operate a fleet of Embraer 120 and Beech 99 aircraft operating flights domestically to Grand Turk and South Caicos, and International flights to Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata, Santiago in the Dominican Republic, to Cap Haitien  and Port Au Prince in Haiti, to Kingston, Jamaica and Nassau, Bahamas.  Flights may be booked online at flyairtc.com, visiting the company Call Centers, Airport locations, or preferred Travel Agent.   (our new website is under development at interCaribbean.com)

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TOURISTS RETURN TO HAITI FOR SECOND ANNUAL “IMPACT WEEK” VOYAGE SCHEDULED FOR JANUARY 16 – 20, 2014

impactweek

CaribPR Wire, NEW YORK, NY — October 7, 2013:  My Haiti Travels, a U.S.-based boutique concierge firm that coordinates high-quality travel services to Haiti for leisure and business travelers, announced its second annual “Impact Week” signature international expedition to Haiti.  Scheduled for January 16-20, 2014, the all-inclusive five-day and four-night travel package will feature cultural activities, premium hotel and beach resort stays, volunteerism and touristic exploration of Haiti’s capital of Port-au-Prince and the Arcadins Coast, a popular Caribbean beach destination.  The inaugural “Impact Week 2013” trip was hailed by travelers as a fun, rewarding and safe experience.  With a mission to expose a positive image of Haiti and help stimulate the local economy, “Impact Week 2014” will showcase Haiti’s authentic beauty and history through the eyes of the My Haiti Travels agency.

Founded by Dina Simon shortly following the devastating earthquake of January 2010 to support the resurgence of tourism and investment in Haiti, My Haiti Travels representatives liaise with hotel and resort establishments, restaurants and professional tour guides to provide unique experiences tailored to each client’s specific needs, lifestyle and budget.  Led by a bi-lingual staff and local professionals across Haiti’s hospitality and tourism sector, “Impact Week 2014” offers an exclusive itinerary of live music and entertainment, beach resort activities and fine dining in the trendy Pétion-Ville neighborhood of top restaurants and premier social hot spots.

Travelers will also enjoy notable museum exhibitions, mountain hiking, artisan market visits and city tours of Haiti that capture its long and renowned history as the first independent sovereign nation in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the first black republic in the world when it declared independence from France during the Haitian Revolution on January 1, 1804.  The robust tour schedule also allows quality time for individual exploration of Haiti’s dynamic Taino, African, Latin and French ancestry.

“The vision for Impact Week is to make Haiti the ultimate multicultural experience for travelers, and to offer the perfect mix of civic and social interaction,” said Dina Simon, founder and managing director, My Haiti Travels. “We are excited to invite travelers to join us in January to experience Haiti through our eyes.”

For the second consecutive year, “Impact Week” is scheduled during the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day holiday in the United States, and will include a Project Day to provide volunteer services to elementary students of PRODEV (Progress and Development through the Youth of Haiti). Established in 1995 to empower the youth of Haiti through education, PRODEV is a Haitian-led non-profit, non-political foundation officially recognized by the government of Haiti.

A discounted early-bird registration rate is now available through November 2, 2013.  For more information and to register for “Impact Week 2014,” visit www.ImpactWeekHaiti.com.

Media partners of “Impact Week 2014” include Bel Ti Fi, Haitian All-Starz, The Haitian Times, Kiskeácity, Radio Soleil and The Stewardship Report.  For sponsorship inquiries, media partnership opportunities and more information regarding “Impact Week Haiti 2014,” please contact My Haiti Travels at info@myhaititravels.com.

About My Haiti Travels

My Haiti Travels (MHT) is a U.S.-based boutique concierge firm that coordinates high-quality travel services to Haiti for leisure and business travelers.  My Haiti Travels will host U.S. multicultural professionals during its second annual IMPACT WEEK HAITI trip, a five-day and four-night all-inclusive French-Caribbean voyage filled with leisure activities, volunteerism, networking and touristic exploration of Port-au-Prince, Haiti during the Martin Luther King, Jr. (MLK) holiday weekend on January 16 – 20, 2014.  To educate people about Haiti and its rich culture, My Haiti Travels also publishes the “Haiti Through Our Eyes” newsletter that features guest blogs and travel stories.  For more information, please visit www.ImpactWeekHaiti.com and follow My Haiti Travels on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, Instagram and YouTube.

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USAID Office of Inspector General and La Fondation Heritage pour Haiti Launch Anti-Corruption Hotline

WASHINGTON, Jan. 25, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The U.S. Agency for International Development, Office of Inspector General (USAID OIG) and La Fondation Heritage pour Haiti (LFHH), the Haitian chapter of Transparency International (TI), have begun operating an anti-corruption hotline in Haiti.

The hotline will help fight corruption and promote accountability in aid programs in Haiti and
is widely advertised on radio, television, and vehicles used by USAID’s implementing partners.  The
24-hour hotline accepts allegations in English, French, and Creole and has been receiving complaints since it launched in December 2012.

Developed as part of USAID OIG’s ongoing partnership with LFHH, the hotline models the approach of the Pakistan Anti-Fraud Hotline run by Transparency International-Pakistan and the OIG.  Both hotlines cover not only USAID projects and implementers, but also receive complaints across the spectrum of international and local assistance programs in their respective countries.

USAID Deputy Inspector General, Michael G. Carroll, said, “This new hotline gives the Haitian people a way to help fight corruption in the programs and services meant to benefit them.  OIG remains firmly committed to rooting out fraud and corruption in assistance programs across the country, and to help improve donor assistance in Haiti.”

The anti-corruption hotline in Haiti is funded by USAID in coordination with USAID OIG through a three-year, $168,000 cooperative agreement with and LFHH.

Complaints can be made to the hotline by:

La Fondation Heritage pour Haiti
Section Haitienne de Transparency International (TI)
Boite postale 16136
Bureau Postal de Petion-Ville
Petion-Ville, Haiti NT 6140

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Walden University Awards Scholarships to Five Haitian Students

Full-tuition certificate program opportunities reflect university’s mission of positive social change

MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — After the 2010 earthquake devastated Haiti, Walden University made a commitment to put its mission of social change into action by providing educational opportunities to Haitians who could then use their knowledge to help others and make an impact in their communities. To achieve this goal, Walden partnered with the Organization of American States (OAS) to identify Haitians residing on the island who would be eligible to receive five full-tuition scholarships for certificate programs in the School of Public Policy and Administration. 

(Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110920/MM71012-b)

"Helping students and graduates lead positive social change has been a part of our university’s mission for more than 40 years. These five remarkable Haitians are committed to improving the future of their country, and we are proud to play a role in helping them achieve their goals," said Dr. Cynthia G. Baum, president of Walden University.

The Walden OAS Haiti Scholarship program is administered in part through the Organization of American States Department of Human Development, Education and Culture (OAS-DHDEC), which has worked tirelessly since the earthquake to provide Haitians with opportunities to redevelop and enhance the nation through its people. OAS also is providing a dedicated space at the Port-au-Prince Education Center with computers and Internet service for the scholarship winners to study and pursue their online programs.

"I believe this opportunity will strengthen my professional development as well as help me better understand leadership management. It will also provide me with the knowledge and skills to become a change agent in my community and build a nonprofit organization with a mission to help the most vulnerable," said Patricia Dufane, a project manager for Catholic Relief Services-Haiti from Port-au-Prince and recipient of a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management scholarship.

In addition to Dufane, four students were awarded Graduate Certificate in Public Management and Leadership scholarships:
• Jeannot Chataigne, tour and visit administrator for Compassion International in Haiti from Port-au-Prince
• Charles Myrlande Gaspard, agronomist and part-time radio operator for UNOPS from Les Cayes
• Marie Laura Jean, finance assistant for the World Food Programme from Les Cayes
• Raphney Rendel, logistic officer for ActionAid Haiti from Port-au-Prince
"It is a great privilege for me to receive this scholarship. I plan to share my skills with the people in my community in order to improve their way of thinking and act as agents of social change," said Jean.

Since its founding in 1970, Walden has attracted a community of lifelong learners who share a common desire to make a difference. Walden students, alumni and faculty and staff members bring Walden’s mission to life through research, conferences and service projects focused on effecting positive social change. To learn more about Walden’s ongoing commitment to social change, including the recent release of the Social Change Impact Report, visit www.WaldenU.edu/socialchange.   

About Walden University
For more than 40 years, Walden University has supported working professionals in achieving their academic goals and making a greater impact in their professions and their communities. Today, more than 48,500 students from all 50 states and more than 140 countries are pursuing their bachelor’s, master’s or doctoral degrees online at Walden. The university provides students with an engaging educational experience that connects them with expert faculty and peers around the world. Walden is the flagship online university in the Laureate International Universities network—a global network of more than 60 campus-based and online universities in 29 countries.

Walden offers more than 65 degree programs with more than 330 specializations and concentrations. Areas of study include health sciences, counseling, human services, management, psychology, education, public health, nursing, public administration and information technology. For more information, visit www.WaldenU.edu. Walden University is accredited by The Higher Learning Commission and a member of the North Central Association, www.ncahlc.org.

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Haiti Is First Nation to Become Member of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) Consultative Group (CG) for a Second Term

History-making move gives Haiti more direct access to GFDRR and the World Bank, which are critical partners in the development of a comprehensive Disaster Risk Management Agenda

WASHINGTON, April 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR) Consultative Group (CG) has invited Haiti to become a Developing Country member delegate of this prestigious organization, making Haiti the first nation in the history of GFDRR to be invited into membership for a second term.

Thierry Mayard-Paul, Haiti’s Chief of Staff and Minister of the Interior, Territorial Collectivities and National Defense, who led the Haitian delegation and served as its chief representative at this year’s GFDRR meeting, said, “this honor underscores the importance of the Martelly administration’s work in Disaster Reduction and Recovery Management (DRRM) throughout the country, in partnership with international organizations like the World Bank, the UNDP, USAID, SOUTHCOM and others.”

Mayard-Paul presented his government’s approach to Disaster Risk Management and shared Haiti’s proprietary, community development decentralization initiative, Katye Pam Poze (KPP), to a cadre of top-level experts from 38 nations.

Disaster risk reduction and management are intrinsically “embedded” within KPP, the cornerstone program for the Haitian government’s National Decentralization Agenda.  In this way, capacity is built at the community level across the country, under an innovative “bottom up” or grassroots approach, but in complete alignment with the national strategy.

Haiti’s innovative approach to community-based decentralization, as well as its commitment to institute Disaster Risk  and Recovery Management across all government entities, was well-received by GFDRR members and meeting participants.  Zoubida Allaoua, GFDRR’s Chair and the World Bank’s Director of Finance, Economics & Urban Department, encouraged the development of innovative initiatives such as Haiti’s KPP, stating, “We should not use yesterday’s solutions to confront today’s problems.  The GFDRR will work in partnership with the government of Haiti in its Disaster Risk Management efforts, so that they become a showcase project for other nations.”

As incoming GFDRR member, Haiti will have more direct access to the GFDRR and the World Bank, key partners in the development of a comprehensive DRRM program for Haiti.  Recently, the World Bank committed US$ 60 million to fund a four-year Reconstruction and Disaster & Risk Management Program that will support decision-making and capacity building, the construction of an emergency telecommunications system, as well as road infrastructure and safety.

The minister stressed that the Government of Haiti seeks to make risk reduction an essential part of its reconstruction and recovery efforts, while developing strategies and a policy framework for long term disaster risk reduction and management into the new national development plan.

Other counties welcomed as new GFDRR members during the spring sessions were Solomon Islands and Togo. Each country will occupy a chair for two years.  The three current developing country members, with one year remaining to serve, are Malawi, Bangladesh and Yemen.

“The GFDRR meetings were extremely helpful as they allowed us the opportunity to share –and learn– from other countries’ experience in this crucial area of disaster and risk reduction and management,” added Mayard-Paul.  “With our designation as Developing Country members, we are looking forward to even greater exposure to best practices, as well as opportunities for support and collaboration from the GFDRR’s membership.”

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Haiti’s Disaster Risk Management and Recovery Experience Showcased at Prestigious Global Meeting in Washington, D.C.

Haiti’s Cornerstone Decentralization Program, Katye Pam Poze, gains wide reception as innovative “bottom-up” approach to disaster reduction & management based on community integration and sustainable development.

WASHINGTON, April 17, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Thierry Mayard-Paul, Haiti’s Chief of Staff and Minister of the Interior, Territorial Collectivities and National Defense, led the Haitian delegation that shared Haiti’s disaster risk management and recovery experience with a cadre of top-level experts from approximately 38 nations, at the highly-regarded Consultative Group meeting of the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR). Haiti was the only Western Hemispheric country invited to attend the event as a Developing Country, for the period 2012- 2013.

Mayard-Paul described the Martelly Administration’s vision for emergency preparedness and response, stating: “the 2010 earthquake demonstrated that development will never be successful if we don’t build risk reduction at our core. That is why the Martelly administration is committed to making disaster risk reduction and management, a critical priority across the government.”

Coming into Office, President Martelly’s new Government boosted preparedness and response capacity by strengthening the Civil Protection Directorate, as well as sub-national efforts. This work continues and will remain important as Haiti heads into the hurricane season. The Haitian delegation provided specific examples, for instance, of how the government has integrated risk reduction as a centerpiece of its recovery efforts within the 16/6 project. This is a US$78-million project seeking to rehabilitate 16 neighborhoods to relocate residents of six large camps in the metropolitan area, impacting 30,000 people.

Mayard-Paul gave many examples of fruitful collaborative efforts between donors, NGOs, and federal and local governments. “However, they are independent programs that are not fully integrated under one single, comprehensive Disaster Risk Reduction & Management strategy.” As a result, the government –through the Ministry of the Interior– is developing a policy framework for longer term disaster risk reduction and management that will be integrated into the new national development plan.

“Development progress and risk reduction will only be successful if they are tied to local development,” added Mayard-Paul. “That is why we recently launched Katye Pam Poze, the cornerstone program for the government’s National Decentralization Agenda.” Disaster risk reduction and management are intrinsically embedded within KPP. This way, capacity is built at the community level across the country, under an innovative “bottom up” or grassroots approach, but in complete alignment with the national strategy.

Mayard-Paul encouraged potential partners present at the meeting to help Haiti make a significant impact in disaster risk reduction and management. “We know we can’t do this alone. We need long-term development partners to support the government’s identified priorities,” said Mayard-Paul. “That’s why organizations like GFDRR and the World Bank (WB) are critical, and why this meeting is so important to Haiti.”

The Minister cited eight key areas of potential support from international partners:

  • Building institutional capacity at all levels– for example, supporting Katye Pam Poze’s emergency risk reduction and response modules.
  • Contributing to build infrastructure and processes — from basic physical work space to the creation of a single national emergency warning system.
  • Supporting knowledge and innovation – by financing university research to identify new ways to tackle risk whilst channeling efforts of the young.
  • Funding research and assessments –information gathering and sharing is one of Haiti’s major challenges.
  • IT/online infrastructure, software and training so that databases and critical information can be shared.
  • Helping build comprehensive disaster risk reduction programs in priority cities and departments since reducing risk across the whole country at the same speed is impossible.
  • Build national capacity to assess, monitor and reduce risks. In particular, build on the progress made on seismic risk reduction while also strengthening cyclone/hydro capacity.
  • Supporting communications and public awareness campaigns.

“The Government of Haiti is charting a new course on disaster reduction and management, one based on resilience, best practices and community integration ensuring sustainable development,” concluded Mayard-Paul.

The Haitian delegation also included Elizabeth Landers, Adjunct Chief of Staff, Ministry of the Interior; Jean-Elie Germain, Project Manager for disaster risk reduction, OXFAM GB Haiti; Yolene Surena, Coordinator, IDA Project “Disaster Risk Management and Reconstruction”; and the staff members of the GFDRR: Gaetano Vivo, Disaster Risk Management Focal Point for Haiti and Jean-Baptiste Migraine, Disaster Risk Management Specialist at the World Bank.

GFDRR, (www.gfdrr.org/gfdrr/12CG) is Co-Chaired by the World Bank and the Government of the Netherlands. The CG meeting serves as a focal point for the United Nations’ international efforts to mitigate and minimize disasters such as the January 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti.

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Haiti’s Novel Decentralization Program Gives a Voice to the Heartland: Hundreds Gather at Community Cafes to Help Shape Their Future

President Martelly drives KPP community-based decentralization through innovative asset-based participatory approach

PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, April 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Hundreds of citizens in the Haitian cities of Jacmel, Leogane and Port de Paix have now participated in the Ministry of the Interior’s innovative Community Cafes, the first phase of a comprehensive community decentralization program called Katye Pam Poze (KPP).  

In addressing the enthusiastic gathering of more than 100 people at Leogane, President Martelly spoke about Haiti’s KPP as the cornerstone of his administration’s National Decentralization Agenda. “Since the beginning, I have held a vision for a decentralized Haiti, and now we have a program under way to turn that vision into reality, with citizens participating in decision-making that affects their communities. My government and I are fully committed to making our communities safer and more prosperous, one neighborhood at a time,” said the President.

“I am extremely pleased with the turn-out, people’s openness and willingness to make a difference in their communities and to personally commit to making it happen,” said Haiti’s Minister of the Interior, Thierry Mayard-Paul, who leads and organizes the community cafes in his role as chief implementer of President Martelly’s community-based decentralization program. “This is exactly the purpose of Katye Pam Poze, to bring decision-making closer to the people while promoting good governance, boosting economic development and job creation, and delivering public services as efficiently as possible.” 

Katye Pam Poze was launched mid March 2012 in Jacmel and followed by Leogane and Port de Paix. Seven additional Cafes are slated to take place in order to cover all ten of the country’s departments.  The community Cafes are a key component of KPP’s participatory approach.  They consist of a dialogue session between central and local government entities, and citizens, designed to identify the most pressing local needs, and work together to find solutions.

Once local needs are assessed through KPP cafés, as well as extensive asset-based community development research on-the-ground, a detailed blueprint will be developed for each of the ten pilot communities, laying out priority subprograms that will guarantee access to basic social services and citizen safety.

President Martelly stressed that the goal of his administration is to enable safe and prosperous communities throughout Haiti, and called on all citizens to participate.   ”The implementation of Katye Pam Poze marks a turning point for our communities and our nation, with my administration inviting local authorities and local citizens to work hand-in-hand with us to push economic and social development at the local level.  As citizens, you now have a voice and are part of an historic event–the beginning of a new day for Haiti.”

The KPP Cafes so far have identified similar general challenges, including: safety and security, education, health services and the environment.

Mayard-Paul highlighted that the range of actions within KPP includes strengthening municipalities; natural disaster mitigation efforts; improving the delivery of health, housing and education services; recovering public spaces, developing local citizen initiatives and creating job opportunities in tandem with the private sector. “In the end, our goal is to improve the quality of life of the Haitian people by enabling safe and prosperous communities, right where they live,” he said. “Building the capacity of citizens to manage and maintain KPP programs and infrastructure at the local level is very important to our administration, as is developing culture and sports programs. This is an ambitious decentralization program.”

The Minister also pointed out that while Katye Pam Poze is modeled on successful experiences in other parts of the world, including Asia, the Americas, Africa, Europe and the United States, it introduces a new and innovative approach to community-based decentralization, created by Haitians for Haitians.

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French Ministry to Bring Haitian Delegates to France

Learning and sharing with French counterparts the goal of Haitian visits, planned to begin in April

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, March 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Following a series of meetings between Haiti’s Minister of the Interior, Thierry Mayard-Paul and Jean Dussourd, Prefet Referent on Haiti to the French Ministry of the Interior, Mr. Dussourd will be organizing visits to France by Haitian delegations as a way to increase collaboration and information exchange.

“The proposal to bring Haitian delegates to France for learning and best practice sharing accelerates our strategic goals for evaluating what is working in other countries,” said Minister Mayard-Paul. “In this way, we can develop Haitian-branded programs based on the lessons from our counterparts as we work towards decentralization and job creation.”

Decentralization, a top priority for the Martelly administration, recently received a substantial boost based on customizing program models from other developing regions, including Latin America, Asia, Africa and Europe.  “We developed a proprietary Haitian model for community-based decentralization, Katye Pam Poze, after evaluating successful experiences in numerous countries where development has proven elusive,” said the minister.

Katye Pam Poze, which launched this month in the city of Jacmel, forms the cornerstone of President Martelly’s National Decentralization Agenda.  The program received enthusiastic support from all stakeholders, including local and central governments. 

According to Minister Mayard-Paul who developed the program and is responsible for its implementation throughout Haiti, the Martelly administration is totally committed to the program and to decentralization as an accelerator for sustainable development and job generation.  He adds that Katye Pam Poze has as its basis, the orderly transfer of government services and responsibilities to the local level and the promotion of strong community involvement. 

“Decentralization is one of the most promising ways to improve the delivery of government services and to foster development and job creation at the local level,” said Mr. Mayard-Paul. “It is also one of the most effective ways to insure that local governments as well as central government are held accountable to the citizens of Haiti.  Ultimately, our administration seeks to bring decision-making closer to Haitian citizens.”

Citing the five principles of decentralization, Mr. Mayard-Paul said he will work directly with community-based organizations, and that local elected authorities and the leadership of community-based organizations will be responsible for designing and planning the subprojects in an open and participatory manner.  “The transfer of resources to the community for the implementation of subprojects is an imperative,” he said. “Our expectation is that the community will be directly involved –and personally committed– in the implementation of each subproject, and they must also become involved in the monitoring and the periodic evaluation of subprojects.”

Both Minister Mayard-Paul and Prefet Dussourd are working to strengthen collaborative ties between Haiti and France through continued missions.  As expressed by Mr. Mayard-Paul and Mr. Dussourd, both countries can learn from each other.  “This is an opportunity to further strengthen municipalities,” said Mr. Dussourd. “Working together, we can glean valuable insights from shared, participatory experiences, delegate to delegate, that will benefit the Haitian people and communities throughout the country.”

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Haiti’s Minister of Interior and UNDP Sr. Program Director Confer on Disaster Planning

Unveiling of Katye Pam Poze, Haiti’s proprietary, community-based decentralization initiative and civil preparedness programs discussed

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, March 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ –  Focusing on Haiti’s natural disaster planning and creation of strong community-based civil defense programs, Haiti’s Minister of the Interior, Thierry Mayard-Paul, accompanying President Michel Martelly, met with United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Senior Director, Jessica Faieta to discuss progress and next steps.  The meeting, which took place March 21 in Port-au-Prince, comes within the framework of strengthening the existing, long-term partnership between the UNPD and the Government of Haiti.

Recognizing the role played by the UNDP within Haiti, including fortifying the Department of Civil Protection (DPC), Minister Mayard-Paul underscored the importance of ongoing dialogue to demonstrate that both the Haitian government and the UNDP are committed to completing what we begin.

“The UNDP has been instrumental in strengthening the DPC’s institutional capacity, improving infrastructure and access to equipment that will help Haiti reduce risks and be better prepared to manage and respond to emergency situations,” said Mr. Mayard-Paul.  He added that the UNDP and Haiti have been committed partners, saying “We will demonstrate how working together we accomplish remarkable things,” referring to the validation ceremony for Haiti’s precedent-setting “Seismic Risk Reduction Plan.”

The Minister and Ms. Faieta also discussed the unveiling of Haiti’s new community-based decentralization program, Katye Pam Poze, which took place the previous week in a meeting between Mr. Mayard-Paul and Margareta Wahlstrom,  the UN’s Assistant Secretary General for Disaster and Risk Reduction.  Katye Pam Poze (KPP) forms the cornerstone for President Martelly’s National Agenda for Decentralization.

“Katye Pam Poze is a program developed by Haitians for Haitians that seeks to bring decision-making closer to the people,” said Mr. Mayard-Paul. “Our goal is to promote good governance, boost economic development and achieve our goals for job creation.  We also aim to ensure the efficient delivery of public services and safety for our citizens.”

At the core of Katye Pam Poze is a plan to mobilize local governments for disaster risk prevention and emergency response which is a top priority for the Martelly administration.  Both Katye Pam Poze and the new risk reduction initiative are aligned with the UNDP view that in a national emergency, the immediate priority is to ensure people receive help as quickly as possible, ideally within the first few hours.  “This can only be accomplished through community-based programs where everyone knows their roles,” said the Minister.  To this end, the Minister of the Interior has several initiatives underway, including a widespread national first aid training program. “Our comprehensive disaster preparedness strategy includes building a network of emergency operations centers, warehouses, disaster and fire stations throughout Haiti in order to help make all parts of the country safer,” said Mr. Mayard-Paul. “Complementing and bolstering the efforts of the Haitian Red Cross, first aid training will be provided to schoolchildren, workers, professionals, representatives of the informal sector, and the population-at large.”

In January 2012, Haiti’s Civil Protection network received a generous gift of SUVs, trucks, boats, canoes, 11,000 solar radios, tents and other disaster-response equipment from the U.S. Department of Defense further bolstering Haiti’s institutional capacity with modern emergency equipment.

“Civil Protection is a top priority for my department,” said the Minister. “As a next phase we will be creating a commission to define the five most critical concerns for civil protection and with the collaboration of everyone at the local and central government level we will implement our new initiative.  We will keep you informed about the outcome of this commission, and we hope that UNDP will continue to be our partner as it has proven to be throughout all these years.”

Also present at the meeting were Nigel Fisher, Humanitarian and Resident Coordinator of UN System, UNDP Resident Representative; UNDP Administrator, Helen Clark and Haiti’s Minister of Planning Herve Day.

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In Historic First for Developing Countries, Haiti Launches “Seismic Risk Reduction” Plan

Aligned with national decentralization agenda, President Martelly’s administration is proactively building capacity of municipalities and departments to better prepare communities for emergency response

 CAP HAITIEN, Haiti, March 23, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Haiti’s Minister of the Interior, Thierry Mayard-Paul and United Nation’s Development Program (UNDP) administrator, Helen Clark hosted a landmark validation ceremony in Cap-Haitien today, putting into action a precedent-setting “Seismic Risk Reduction Plan for Northern Haiti.”

The plan, a flagship project for UNDP and its national partners, is a joint venture between UNDP and Haiti’s National System for Disaster Risk Reduction, under the Ministry of the Interior.  According to the UNDP’s Clark, this is one of the first times that a developing country has taken advance measures to reduce the vulnerability of its people and economy to future earthquakes. “This project is a historical landmark and this is to the credit of the Haitian government, which decided to engage a proactive strategy of risk reduction in order to avoid a similar tragedy to that which struck Port-au-Prince and its region on January 12th, 2010,” she said.

In response, Minister Mayard-Paul remarked, “That the Haitian Government chose to take action, rather than wait for the next earthquake, storm or hurricane, as part of our national strategy for decentralization.  We are putting in place a very pro-active strategy for risk reduction to protect our people and our economy as a way of strengthening our communities throughout Haiti, in full alignment with our decentralization strategy.”

Because of its geographical location, Haiti is exposed to floods, hurricanes, tsunamis, landslides and earthquakes, with particular vulnerability in the northern regions, which sit atop two tectonic plates.  Although scientists have no way of telling when the next earthquake will hit, they agree that the level of threat in Northern Haiti is high. At the same time, Northern Haiti is poised to play a key role in the decentralization that is part of the post-January 12th, 2010 regional and economic rebuilding for the country. In particular, tourism represents a strategic development opportunity thanks to the amazing coastline and landscape, as well as to the rich cultural heritage found in this part of the country. Additionally, recent international investments in the Caracol-Fort Liberte economic development area enhance the region’s future as a manufacturing center poised to attract factories and tens of thousands new inhabitants.

Ms. Clark emphasized that in order to invest the hundreds of millions of dollars necessary to develop Northern Haiti into an attractive pole for economic activity; Haiti must first ensure the safety of that investment in the face of natural hazards. “The ‘Seismic Risk Reduction plan for Northern Haiti’ will help local and national authorities face this challenge,” she said.

Minister Mayard-Paul concurred saying, “Our country and our people are vulnerable. We will be looking to the seismic risk reduction program here in the north in order to learn lessons we can integrate into wider programs for the Government of Haiti and our partner organizations.  We are hoping that this program will become a model for reducing seismic risk in other parts of the country.”

Disaster and Risk Reduction, and building strong civil preparedness programs, are at the very heart of Haiti’s new community-based decentralization program, Katye Pam Poze, the cornerstone initiative of President Martelly’s National Agenda for Decentralization. Launched by Minister Mayard-Paul one week ago in Jacmel, Katye Pam Poze seeks to bring decision-making closer to the Haitian people. At the same time, it seeks to promote good governance; boost economic development and job creation, ensure the efficient delivery of public services and promote citizen safety.  Defined by Minister Mayard-Paul as a plan created “by Haitians, for Haitians”, Katye Pam Poze mobilizes local governments for disaster risk prevention and emergency response; a top priority for the Martelly administration.

“Civil Protection, which will oversee Natural Disaster prevention and mitigation, is within the scope of programs encompassed by Katye Pam Poze,” explained the Minister. “As our administration works towards decentralization, our efforts to empower and support local government and local development, must take into account efforts to reduce and manage disaster risk.”

Stressing that the Martelly administration plans to complement earthquake risk reduction with similar programs to mitigate risks related to cyclones and flooding, the Minister said, “We are proactively building capacity of our municipalities and departments for seismic-risk management so all Haiti can be better prepared to manage and respond to emergency situations. Programs such as this are close to my heart, as they involve the safety, welfare and lives of our People.”

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Haitian Decentralization Plan, Katye Pam Poze, Launched in Jacmel with First Cafe Community Dialogue

Cross-sector participation shows strong support as new community-based decentralization program kicks off

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, March 19, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Haiti’s recently-launched community-based decentralization program, Katye Pam Poze (KPP), kicked off its community cafe series in Jacmel with nearly 100 local residents sharing their views on what their neighborhoods need most.

According to Minister of the Interior Thierry Mayard-Paul, who is spearheading and coordinating President Michel Martelly’s new program, “every community’s needs are different, so we will be visiting all ten pilot cities throughout Haiti learning their specific requirements through our cafe dialogues,” he said. “That way, we can ensure that we address the needs of each community, under an integral and manageable framework.”

The cafe dialogues are a key aspect of KPP’s participatory approach, which seeks to bring decision-making closer to the citizen level. Once local needs are assessed through cafes, as well as extensive asset-based community development research on-the-ground, a detailed blueprint will be developed for each of the ten pilot communities, laying out priority subprograms that will guarantee access to basic social services and citizen safety.

President Martelly’s Delegate, Pierre Michel Lafontant, stated during his opening remarks that President Martelly has committed the full support of his administration to KPP as a cornerstone of the Haitian government’s National Decentralization Agenda.  ”Katye Pam Poze will build a safer and more prosperous Haiti, one community at a time, while moving towards the consolidation of democratic governance,” said the delegate.  “It has been the President’s goal from the beginning of his decision to run for president, that Haitian citizens be more directly involved in planning, implementing, and managing programs and initiatives that impact their communities.   With the launch of Katye Pam Poze, Haitians now have a voice—and a responsibility—-within and alongside the central government.”

The inaugural cafe was attended by nearly 100 people representing Jacmel’s diverse resident base, including the mayor, Andris Ronald, whose enthusiastic participation showed full support for the program. Initiating the research models that will inform local Katye Pam Poze pilots, participants in Friday’s kick-off cafe in Jacmel were asked to identify the most pressing issues confronting their community.  Security was the overarching concern, followed by other issues ranging from water sanitation to education.  Almost everyone agreed that the Sud-Est department, within which Jacmel is located, requires a comprehensive healthcare facility.

“The enthusiastic participation of everyone here today fully validates our approach to community-based decentralization through the Katye Pam Poze program and the accompanying cafes,” said Mayard-Paul. “There was a lot of energy and expectation centered on having a voice in the decision-making table, and participants took their roles very seriously in working together to determine Jacmel’s priority needs.”

Citizen participation is critical for the success of KPP, and Minister Mayard-Paul instructed participants that within the context of decentralization, Haiti’s communities are owned by the citizens. “These are your communities,” he said. “And I applaud you for stepping up to be part of the change, in partnership with the government.”

The Minister highlighted that the range of actions within KPP includes strengthening natural disaster mitigation efforts; improving the delivery of health, housing and education services; recovering public spaces; developing local citizen initiatives and creating job opportunities in tandem with the private sector.  “In the end, our goal is to improve the quality of life of the Haitian people by enabling safe and prosperous communities, right where they live,” he said.  “Building the capacity of citizens to manage and maintain KPP programs and infrastructure at the local level is very important to our administration, as is developing culture and sports programs.  This is an ambitious decentralization program.”

Broadly defined, decentralization is the process by which power and other resources are transferred from the central government to lower governmental levels, such as regions, departments, municipalities, and communal sections.  This enables local entities to provide services to their communities and conduct local government tasks.  According to Mayard-Paul, advocates believe that decentralization is one of the most effective ways to ensure that local governments are held accountable to the citizens they represent. 

Mayard-Paul pointed out that while Katye Pam Poze is modeled on successful experiences in other parts of the world, including Asia, the Americas, Africa, Europe and the United States, it is Haitian-specific. “Katye Pam Poze introduces a new and innovative Haitian approach to community-based decentralization that addresses our conditions and reality in order to drive sustainable development and job creation at the local level,” concluded Mayard-Paul.

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Martelly Administration Launches Community-based Decentralization Program

Katye Pam Pose brings decision-making, basic services and accountability closer to the people

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, March 13, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – The government of President Michel Martelly, working through the Ministry of Interior and local communities, today launched Katye Pam Pose (KPP), an innovative, community-based decentralization program.   Katye Pam Pose (KPP), which is the cornerstone of the Haitian government’s National Decentralization Agenda, is focused on improving delivery of government services, as well as fostering development and job creation by promoting strong community involvement. 

The overarching objectives of Katye Pam Pose are to bring decision-making closer to the citizen level; promote good governance; boost economic development and job creation; ensure the efficient delivery of public services; promote citizen safety, and accommodate the interests of diverse local interest groups.

According to Haiti’s Minister of the Interior, Thierry Mayard-Paul, who will spearhead and coordinate the program nationwide, “Working community by community, Katye Pam Pose will guarantee access to basic social services and citizen safety to our people, which will lead to job creation and development.”

Mayard-Paul explained that the launch of Katye Pam Pose will include a pilot program in 10 communities, representing all 10 departments.  “That way, we can ensure that we address the specific needs of each community, under an integral and manageable framework, allowing us to make adjustments to enhance the program as it progresses,”  he said.

The range of actions within KPP include strengthening natural disaster mitigation efforts; improving the delivery of health, housing and education services; recover public spaces, develop local citizen initiatives and creating job opportunities in tandem with the private sector.  “In the end, our goal is to improve the quality of life of the Haitian people by enabling safe and prosperous communities, right where they live,” he said.  “Building the capacity of citizens to manage and maintain KPP programs and infrastructure at the local level is very important to our administration, as is developing culture and sports programs.  This is an ambitious decentralization program.”

Broadly defined, decentralization is the process by which power and other resources are transferred from the central government to lower governmental levels, such as regions, departments, municipalities, and communal sections.  This enables local entities to provide services to their communities and conduct local government tasks.  According to Mayard-Paul, advocates believe that decentralization is one of the most effective ways to ensure that local governments are held accountable to the citizens they represent. 

Mayard-Paul pointed out that Katye Pam Pose is a community-based program for decentralization modeled on successful experiences in other parts of the world, including Asia, the Americas, Africa, Europe and the United States.  “However, it’s a community-based model, a new and innovative Haitian approach to decentralization,” he added.

“KPP pilot program in each of the 10 selected communities will be based on an in-depth participatory needs assessment diagnosis to ensure program implementation is prioritized by community need,” said Mr. Mayard-Paul. “Assessments will determine the level of impact, the feasibility of implementing each initiative and will make it possible for us to tailor pilot programs to each specific community based on the priorities identified.”

The Ministry of the Interior is also identifying and exploring national and international partnerships, that could accelerate deployment of KPP.

“The government of Haiti is committed to the success of Katye Pam Pose,” said Minister Mayard-Paul. “In implementing the program, I am committed to carrying out the vision of President Martelly and his administration, driving sustainable development and job creation at the local level.” 

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Ground-Breaking for New Disaster Relief and Emergency Operation Center Boosts Haiti’s Civil Protection Network in the Nord-Est Region

Initiative is part of the Ministry of the Interior’s community-based decentralization strategy, which seeks to build a safety, infrastructure and institutional capacity network across Haiti.

FORT-LIBERTE, Haiti, March 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Haiti’s comprehensive disaster preparedness strategy advanced significantly with today’s groundbreaking ceremony for a new emergency operations center, disaster relief warehouse, and fire station in Fort-Liberte.  As the first of 10 such emergency operations centers and disaster relief warehouses, eight community clusters and 14 fire stations to be constructed throughout Haiti, the Fort-Liberte facility marks the beginning of the next phase of construction under the auspices of the U.S. Southern Command’s Humanitarian Assistance Program in partnership with the Government of Haiti.

Presiding over the ground-breaking, Haiti’s Minister of the Interior, Thierry Mayard-Paul remarked that functional emergency operations centers and disaster relief warehouses “are not only critical in saving lives and minimizing damage during disasters; they also enhance institutional capacity throughout Haiti so we can increase safety in all parts of the country.”

Daniel Foote, Deputy Chief of Mission, U.S. Embassy, representing the U.S. Southern Command, noted that Haiti’s civil preparedness projects have entered construction phase and are one step closer to helping the Government of Haiti provide vital services to communities in the Nord-Est Department. “This Emergency Operations Center will allow local emergency response personnel to collect and analyze reported information, make decisions, and manage Haiti’s collective response to emergencies or natural disasters.”

He added that by providing additional fire-fighting and emergency service capabilities to the Fort Liberte area, the fire station facility will play a significant role in the event of a larger-scale emergency within Haiti.

Minister Mayard-Paul concluded “The new facilities will also enable us, through the Civil Protection Agency (DCP), to improve the quality of life of our communities, providing vital safety services.  We could not do this without the unwavering support of our friends in the United States who, through Southern Command, the embassy and USAID, along with the United Nations Development Program, World Food and others in the international community, help us turn necessities into plans, and plans into reality.”

The new facilities are expected to be used as soon as available, with plans to hold community first aid trainings as part of the DPC’s recently-launched annual campaign, “Civil Protection is Everyone’s Responsibility,” already under way.

“At the Ministry of  the Interior, we are following through on our commitment to identify the most pressing needs of the Haitian people, and turn those needs into plans that materialize into actual infrastructure, tools and programs that will benefit  communities across the country,” said Mayard-Paul. “That is the essence of our community-based decentralization program.”

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MOI Accelerates Implementation of Siesmic Risk Plan in Northern Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, March 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Minister of the Interior, Thierry Mayard-Paul said Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program, will accelerate the implementation of the Seismic Risk Plan (SRP) in Northern Haiti, which seeks to improve the way that this region prepares for and reduces risks of earthquakes.  Haiti’s northeastern region is one the country’s key economic areas, in terms of manufacturing, tourism and agribusiness. 

“We are committed to reducing vulnerability to natural disasters across the country and this program can be a pilot for the rest of the regions,” said Mayard-Paul. “We are grateful to the UNDP for its enduring commitment to our Civil Protection Agency (DPC) and to technology and knowledge-transfer, which will strengthen our own institutional capacity for the long term.”

“The Northern Seismic Reduction Plan focuses on reducing vulnerability to earthquake risk in the three Departments. Disaster preparedness efforts are an important part of this work and our objectives include helping the Departments and their populations to be better able to respond when the next earthquake hits,” explains Fenella Frost, head of UNDP’s Disaster Risk Reduction Unit. “We have set up a strong program team, based in the three departmental capitals of the North in close partnership with local government. Working with international expert groups, including the French Bureau of Mines and Geology, will also ensure that the ‘Grand Nord’ benefits and learns from the highest level technical expertise possible.”

The program, which is funded by the Haiti Reconstruction Fund, will be implemented hand-in-hand with regional delegates. This initiative encompasses four distinct phases:  evaluating the region’s natural risks, putting a work plan together to reduce these risks, building institutional capacity through training, as well as establishing applicable public policies.

Mayard-Paul made the announcement during the commemoration of international World Day of Civil Protection, where he also launched the DPC’s annual program “Civil protection is everyone’s responsibility.” This initiative will conduct a widespread national first aid training program, complementing and bolstering the commendable efforts of the Haitian Red Cross, “which has been doing this for decades,” added Mayard-Paul.

First aid training will be provided to schoolchildren, workers, professionals, representatives of the informal sector, and the population-at large. 

At the event, Mayard-Paul encouraged “all those involved in civil protection to incorporate this emergency response first-aid training, into their ongoing curricula, and the general population to take advantage of it.”

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