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New Grants

Fondasyon Enstitisyon pou Devlopman ak Edikasyon Sivik ki Sòti nan Baz-la (FIDEB), $143,600 for a three-year project to assist more than 50 communities throughout Haiti in implementing an equal number of small-scale development projects with contribu- tions from the local private and public sectors. FIDEB will receive assistance and training for the development of a video, a CD-ROM and other fundraising tools directed at eliciting contributions to its grants fund from the Haitian diaspora. (HA-198)

Haitian Partners for Christian Development (HPCD), $190,700, over five years, to build and equip a business incubator in Port-au-Prince to assist the transition of micro-enterprises into small businesses and create or improve up to 80 jobs. In addition to infrastructure and operational services, HPCD will provide training, assist graduates in setting up their operations and follow up with mentoring and assistance. (HA-199)

Coordination des Groupements et Organisations Communautaires (COGOC), $146,600, over three years, to enable COGOC members to increase their production and sale of jam, juice and wine, benefiting 3,500 small-scale farmers. (HA-200)

Supplemental Grant over $10,000

Fondation La Ruche (FLR), $21,700, over six months, to host a conference on social investment and corporate social responsibility and to support social investment partnerships that will mobilize resources for at least four local development projects involving more than 500 low-income families. (HA-186-A3) 

Building Better Communities with Help from the Diaspora

By Carlo Dade, Foundation Representative for the Dominican Republic and Haiti

Throughout Central America and the Caribbean, the poor are dependent for their survival upon remittances sent home by family members or friends in the United States and Canada. Nowhere is this dependence more extreme than in Haiti. Because of the current political and economic crisis and a concomitant reduction in investment and foreign aid, remittances now constitute the country’s most significant source of income. Usually remittances are spent on basic needs, but in Haiti and elsewhere a small amount is financing community development projects such as health clinics and libraries. Through the Inter-American Foundation’s 2002 grant to the Fondasyon Enstitisyon-yo pou Devlopman ki Sòti nan Baz-la (FIDEB), Haitian diaspora groups and hometown associations in the United States will receive technical assistance and co-financing toward assisting projects they undertake in Haiti.

International donors, the IAF included, have recently become aware of the Latin American and Caribbean diaspora’s potential as a complementary source of development funding. Unlike foreign government agencies and religious organizations seeking to further development, diaspora donors often have strong personal ties to the communities they are working to improve. With grants such as this one to FIDEB, IAF’s historic commitment to beneficiary participation in the development process now involves partnerships with immigrants seeking to help their communities of origin.

FIDEB is an alliance of 15 community groups promoting collaboration among Haitian neighborhood associations, local government officials and businessmen on all phases of development projects throughout Haiti. With an earlier IAF grant, FIDEB worked with Haitian neighborhoods willing to contribute two-thirds of the cost of the projects they proposed. FIDEB assisted these communities with the design, brokered the required support from local government and private sectors, and conducted strategic planning seminars, civic education workshops and technical training sessions to enable these undertakings. It also monitored progress and provided follow-up technical assistance as needed. This new grant will open FIDEB’s process, services and the co-financing of between 45 and 60 new projects to Haiti’s U.S. diaspora whom FIDEB representatives will educate on the opportunity to assist.