OFDA and PADF Launch Disaster Risk Reduction Project in Haiti

Port-au-Prince, Haiti — With funding from the USAID Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), PADF and partners launched a three-year program to help Haiti's urban residents become more resilient to disasters.

Called, UPGRADE (Urban Planning to Generate Resilience against Disaster Events), the project will focus on informal, densely-populated, impoverished urban areas in Ouanaminthe (Northeast) and Port-au-Prince (West). These neighborhoods have limited access to basic health, water and sanitation services. Many dwellings are made from substandard materials unable to withstand severe weather and seismic events. When disaster does strike, the lack of adequate roads, pedestrian pathways and community infrastructure inhibits evacuation and the delivery of humanitarian aid.

Working with the Centre d'Etude et de Coopération Internationale (CECI), PADF will use existing urban development plans and hazard risk analyses to:

  • Ensure urban residents have safe acccess to shelter in times of emergency
  • Improve health conditions and reduce the spread of disease associated with substandard living conditions
  • Increase awareness in risk management policy and practice
  • Reduce the risk of natural disasters

Haiti is ranked as one the most vulnerable countries to tropical storms in the Caribbean, with more than 95 percent of the population living at risk.