HEKS/EPER is making a difference in the «Agricultural production and market systems» in Haiti
Haiti is one of the world's poorest countries. About three quarters of the population live below the poverty line and cannot meet their basic needs. The root causes of the country's precarious situation are political instability, poor governance and insufficient public investment. Natural disasters repeatedly thwart people's efforts to secure their livelihood. HEKS/EPER helps the population of very remote areas in Grand'Anse developing and showcasing their community initiatives for more resilience, well-being and autonomy.
In 2020 some 500 000 people benefited from a comprehensive Covid-19 programme mounted by HEKS/EPER. In a joint endeavour with citizens, 50 000 hygiene masks were produced and distributed and hygiene materials supplied to 58 health centres, a prison and several homes for the elderly. About 10 500 people were able to access new infrastructure such as roads and streets (84 kilometres altogether) as well as three new school and community centres. Three thousand children received daily school meals from school gardens.
HEKS/EPER is active primarily in rural areas, where prosperity and quality of life for the poorest are closely bound up with properly functioning agriculture. This is often not the case, however, as depleted soil, poor transport routes or lacking know-how hamper profitable agricultural production. HEKS/EPER helps people engage in profitable and ecological agriculture. This calls for sustainable production techniques and a great diversity of products so as to be able to react to environmental risks and market changes. In order that produce can be marketed successfully, HEKS/EPER enhances smallholders' knowledge of the market and militates for market systems in which smallholders are able to survive. In so doing HEKS/EPER mediates between producing, processing and subcontracting enterprises.
Promoting local development
HEKS/EPER supports rural community initiatives in Grand'Anse to promote rural development, improved income, food security, access to services and community governance.