Reposted from Haiti Libre
In less than 3 months, the project of the Center of Support to the Strengthening of Damaged Houses (CARMEN) of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has allowed to a dozen small and medium enterprises (SMEs), in construction materials, to achieve sales amounting to around 12 million gourdes or close to 300 000 USD.
Convinced that the sale of construction materials is a key area of recovery in the Western Department, UNDP initiated in March 2012 http://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-5152-haiti-technology-subsidies-transfer-via-mobile-phone.html of money transfers by phone for the acquisition of materials through a partnership with Digicel Group.
The process begins with a field survey carried out by community mobilizers that identify damaged homes designated by the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Communications (MTPTC) in the intervention areas of the CARMEN project. Subsequently, the project deploys engineers on the ground in order to assess the extent of repair of houses identified. Once evaluated, the owners or tenants of houses selected receive a telephone message that informs them that a account was established for them and they have 500 U.S. dollars for the acquisition of materials in one of the hardware stores of network of suppliers of the project. Thus, without major obstacles and with a simple message, the recipient acquires the necessary materials to repair his house.
Based in difficult neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince (Carrefour Feuilles, Fort National, Canapé Vert, and Delmas 75) and in Léogâne, these SMEs have seen their sales increase at an unprecedented rate, while they showed great reluctance at the launch of the project, the owners of these SMEs are satisfied with the impact after 3 months “Since the launch of the project transactions CARMEN, sales have increased significantly. The electronic transfer of money was found during this experience a safe way of doing business. We got to understand that new technologies offer tremendous opportunities and we are ready to continue the experiment,” says Mr. Devil, the primary seller of “Bebette Matériaux” a hardware store located on the road of Nazon for 25 years.
Through this project, UNDP actively supports the development of investment and of enterprise. Amine Mouaffak, the responsibility of monitoring and evaluation of the project found in the CARMEN project a real lever of the economic recovery in areas covered by the project : “Strengthening the SME sector in the neighborhoods where CARMEN intervenes, is directly enhance economic activity within communities most in need and help revitalize the basic economy in neighborhoods that are often forgotten. We thus allows these SMEs to grow by providing them a sustainable support both in terms of technology and in terms of effective integration in their neighborhoods.”
In the next four months, the project plans to reach 40 million gourdes of transactions, through the technology of money transfer by phone. “SMEs have believed in our innovative approach and at the cutting edge of the technology. We showed that it was possible and now, several projects implemented in Haiti are inspired by our experience to contribute to improve the lives of the population in difficult neighborhoods. One of our greatest satisfactions is to have strengthened the SMEs in our areas of intervention. They now hold all the tools to continue to create value added in the future,” declared Darlens Hyppolite, Director of the project.
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