2011 was a year of transitions in Haiti-UNDP

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A street market stretches to Port-au-Prince's waterfront, creating vibrant commercial activity two years after the tragic earthquake in Haiti, Jan 4, 2012 (Stuart Ramson/Insider Images for UN Foundation)

NARRATOR: 2011 was a year of several transitions in Haiti – a political transition; and a year of transition from humanitarian to recovery and reconstruction phases, according to UNDP Associate Administrator Rebecca Grynspan.

She told a teleconference just days before the 2nd anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti that it’s been a major challenge since Haiti needs a combination of humanitarian and development support.

TAPE: This has been a major challenge since that we know Haiti still needs a combination of humanitarian and development support and the UN just launched a humanitarian appeal precisely for the humanitarian needs still on the ground. But slowly, the emphasis on allocation of resources is shifting towards recovery and reconstruction and I want to talk about that and UNDP's contribution in four areas: First, the area of job creation. Temporary job creation has been very important. We have created 300,000 temporary jobs since the earthquake. Activities such debris removal, garbage collection, disaster risk reduction and 40 per cent of these jobs have gone to women. That has been a major effort and achievement in this programme. (5.08)

NARRATOR: Ms. Grynspan says this programme has given some 60,000 Haitian families the opportunity to rebuild their lives. She points out UNDP has created 300,000 temporary jobs for debris removal and garbage collection, adding that this is the largest job creation programme UNDP has in the world.

And she explains that efforts are now shifting to the creation of more sustainable jobs.

TAPE: And we are moving now from cash-for work scheme to cash for production scheme where payment for work is based o results. We are supporting more and more small businesses, community-based organizations, self-employment and much more training of the labour force for them to be able to have access to the job market. Let's remember that one of the main challenges that we face I the long-term in Haiti is the high rate of unemployment. That has been a deep and long-standing crisis in the Haitian job market. So unemployment is 60% of the labour force in Haiti. We have had very good news lately. With the new investment, more than 20,000 jobs have been created but still, there's a lot to be done.

NARRATOR: Ms. Grynspan says efforts are being made to help the government and Haitians to become self-reliant but more needs to be done. The United Nations has been in Haiti since Day 1 after the devastating earthquake of 2010 and continues to address the needs of the people helping them to rebuild.

This is Donn Bobb reporting.

Duration: 2’52″

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