The Inter-American Development Bank’s Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF) has approved a $2.6 million grant for the Latin American NGO Un Techo Para Mi País (UTPMP) for a project that will build temporary housing to some 2.000 families left homeless by the January 12 earthquake.
The youth-led UTPMP specializes in providing shelter and training to poor people. Since its establishment in 1997 in Chile, the NGO has spread to 16 countries in this region and built more than 45,000 houses by enlisting volunteers to work with its beneficiaries.
The MIF-backed project, which will have a total cost of $6.1 million, will focus in areas of southwestern Haiti close to the epicenter of the earthquake. With support from private donors and a Korean fund administered by the IDB, UTPMP has started to build wooden houses near the city of Grand Goave.
UTPMP has also succeeded in mobilizing hundreds of young Haitian volunteers to build new houses with the beneficiary families. After an initial phase centered on putting roofs over people’s heads, the project will work on the “social empowerment” of poor people to improve their income prospects.
To that end, UTPMP will partner with Haitian civil society organizations and government agencies to provide its beneficiaries access to social services and job training opportunities.
This is the second MIF grant for Un Techo Para Mi País (Spanish for A Roof For My Country), which in 2005 obtained $3.5 million to transfer its methodology and experiences to other Latin American countries.
The MIF, an autonomous fund administered by the IDB, is also supporting a project backed by the U.S. NGO Habitat for Humanity International to build housing in the city of Cabaret, north of Port-au-Prince.
- Peter Bate