Haiti has 12 million inhabitants, 9 million of whom live below the poverty line.
Since the summer of 2018, Haitians have been demonstrating against the high cost of living and the Petrocaribe scandal. This regional energy agreement with Venezuela had as a counterpart a fund of 1.5 billion euros intended for development projects, but this has been largely siphoned-off by the political class and Haitian businessmen. The official currency, the gourde, recently lost 60% of its value against the dollar. This is another disaster for a population that mainly depends on imported food products. GDP per capita, which was only $868 in 2018, will plummet further. Compared to other countries we work in, the GDP was $381 in Malawi, $1,700 in Bangladesh … and $41,631 in France.
A large-scale social movement has been going on since 1998, demanding fundamental changes, but with little success.
The living conditions of Haitians, already precarious, continue to deteriorate. And insecurity has exploded with armed gangs on the streets or setting up roadblocks.
SUPPORT FROM PARTENAIRES
In 2019, we helped the village Fond des Blancs, in the south-west of the country, by co-financing the purchase of a second-hand 4×4 truck for a small NGO that runs a vital shuttle service to the capital Port-au-Prince, in increasingly difficult conditions.
In 2021, our endowment fund, PARTENAIRES SOLIDAIRES, financed a fish farming pond to raise tilapias with €10,000. These fish are very rich in protein, their cost price is low and their breeding does not require any particular knowledge.
Part of the catch will be consumed locally and the remainder will be sold. The income will help to repair and maintain local infrastructure. If it is successful, a second basin could be built.
About 60,000 people will benefit from this small project, which will start under the supervision of a fish farming specialist we met during our mission in 2018.
On August 14, 2021, a magnitude 7.2 earthquake hit the southwest of the country causing extensive damage to many houses as well as landslips that polluted the water supply.
Immediately Ferel used the truck that we had purchased in 2019 to ferry water, food and medicine in this devastated area.
PARTENAIRES has contributed 7 750 euros to rebuild seven homes for families who were most affected by the earthquake. Our local partner prefers to build robust cabins, on the land where the families used to live, rather than building makeshift shelters or large tent camps, as these tend to become permanent and turn into slums.
When conditions permit, PARTENAIRES will also finance a new well for one of the villages.