Posts Tagged ‘Minister of the Interior’

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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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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Decentralization Gains Traction as Key Driver of Sustainable Development in Haiti

Haiti’s Minister of the Interior seeks to direct more investments, projects and jobs to the heartland

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Dec. 15, 2011 /PRNewswire/ – Haiti continues to send clear messages that the country is open—wide open—for business.  Speaking at the Clinton Global Initiative – Haitian Action Network Forum (GCI/HAN), Haiti’s Minister of the Interior, Thierry Mayard-Paul, pointed to the abundant investment opportunities throughout Haiti and reiterated the aggressive, positive steps the Haitian Government is taking to make Haiti a “great place to do business” and a favorable place to invest. 

“President Martelly, his administration and I are fully committed to ensuring that companies and organizations can experience success in Haiti,” said Mayard-Paul.  “We want to create an environment where Haitian entrepreneurs can establish new businesses quickly and efficiently and an environment where international companies feel confident that their investments will be profitable and secure.”

Noting that the government of Haiti has already begun to make important adjustments to the nation’s legal framework, the Minister listed democratic governance, rule of law, tax incentives, land reform as key measures designed to help investors realize the most positive results for themselves as well as for the Haitian people.

International fashion-designer, Donna Karan, a participant in the Haiti Action Network forum, openly expressed her enthusiasm about what is happening in Haiti today, “every person in Haiti is full of creativity, so you can have an immediate business.” She also praised the Martelly administration for taking the right path towards a stronger Haiti and commented that sustainable development and job creation is “the only way to do it” and that the best investment in Haiti is in its people. “The opportunities in Haiti are endless,” she concluded.

Within this more positive investment environment, Mayard-Paul encouraged Haitian investors, NGOs and entrepreneurs attending the Haiti Action Network Forum to support  priority projects such as building and modernizing Haiti’s infrastructure and energy grid—and challenged them to shift their focus beyond the capital city to Haiti’s rich interior.

“President Martelly’s new vision of Haiti is to build a socially just, economically free, and politically independent nation; one which doesn’t end with reconstruction but rather, begins with renovation,” said Mayard-Paul as he again called for more social initiatives beyond the gates of the capital of Port-au-Prince.  ”The key to driving sustainable development in Haiti is to map it throughout our entire nation and then drive it through local initiatives and decentralized cooperation.”

Dufirston Neree of the Inter-American Development Bank agrees that the Martelly administration is taking the right approach, “The government of Haiti should continue to do what it is doing to support decentralization and sustainable development. If the government continues on this path, things will improve.”

Several social initiatives are already underway as examples of programs that advance President Martelly’s vision for a decentralized Haiti, including an innovative and cost-effective approach to reduce extreme poverty and improve health outcomes in Central Haiti, which has been implemented by Fonkoze, in partnership with BRAC and Partners in Health. The program has reduced mortality from malnutrition, and increased access to high-quality training and educational opportunities for rural youth.
Another example is the recent partnership by Nestle and the Colombian National Coffee Federation to transfer agricultural, reforestation and cooperative organization best practices to Haitian coffee growers. 

According to Mayard-Paul, “There has never been a better time to get involved in our many territories.  There are co-ops and businesses that are ready to scale up their work, and become players in the global economy. The current Haitian government is committed to facilitating investment, and we have a population that is ready to work hard. Today, the people of Haiti are not looking for a hand-out, we want investments and jobs to restore our dignity and rebuild our nation.”

Haiti has taken aggressive steps to promote private sector investment and social infrastructure programs in order to drive job creation.  A recent investment forum in Haiti, sponsored by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Clinton Foundation, attracted a stellar response from the international investors, with more than 1,000 business-minded attendees, including many corporate CEOs, turning out to learn more about how and where to take advantage of Haiti’s myriad investment and development opportunities.  During that conference, several concrete commitments were announced including a joint venture between Digicel Group and Marriott Hotels worth $45 million to open a 168-room hotel in Turgeau.  Minister Mayard-Paul thanked Denis O’Brien, Chairman of Digicel Group, for his continued commitment and support in Haiti that has brought invaluable opportunities to this nation.

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