UN's Cash-for-work Initiative Targets Haitian Women
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Nearly half of the workforce under the United Nations Development Program's (UNDP) cash-for- work initiative in Haiti are made up of women, a UNDP official said Thursday.
Within a little over 30,000 Haitians already engaged in the workforce, 40 percent are women, Jordan Ryan, director of the crisis prevention department and development program, said here at a press conference at the UN Headquarters in New York.
"Often when they have cash in their pockets, it goes to helping their children and family," Ryan said of the focus on employing women.
By engaging women from the very start, it helps in building strong solidarity among Haitians, he said.
"It gets people feeling that they got a stake in recovery," Ryan said. "We do believe that its one of those types in the early recovery program that can reduce social tension."
Coordinated by the UNDP as part of its Emergency Relief and Recovery Framework, the program is working to put 100,000 workers on the street as fast as possible in small working schemes, such as cleaning up public facilities, helping with repair of infrastructure and supporting efforts in water accessibility.
The workers are paid 180 gourges, which comes out to be around US$4.47 at current rates of exchange for six hours of labor, Ryan said.
Ryan cited that so far, the UNDP's cash-for-work initiative has received about US$10 million cash with an additional US$7 million pledged. He noted that the program is expected to receive funding from such governments as China, Japan, Norway, Spain, among many.
(Xinhua News Agency February 5, 2010)