For Immediate Release

Title: 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.