Building “Qatar City” in Haiti

Above: Haiti (CJ Photo)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Haiti will soon be home to “Qatar City.”

The multifaceted project is the product of an agreement signed this week by the US Agency for International Development and the government of Qatar.

The agreement between USAID and the Qatar Haiti Fund will include the construction of permanent housing, a vocational school and a commercial area, according to USAID.

Qatar will provide $5 million to build 148 houses, the school and commercial area, while USAID will contribute $4 million for site operation and construction management services.

“The partnership agreement with USAID is a testimony to the commitment of the State of Qatar through the Qatar Haiti Fund to helping the Haitian people recover after the devastating earthquake of January 12, 2010,” said Mohamed Bin Abdulla Al-Rumaihi, Qatari Ambassador to the United States and chairman for the Qatar Haiti Fund.”This agreement will allow us to work together to build ‘Qatar City,’ which will feature permanent housing for quake-affected Haitians, a vocational school and a commercial area, to generate a sustainable micro-economy for the victims of the earthquake.”

The project is being built on 5.55 hectares of land owned by the government of Haiti in the area of Cabaret, 14 miles from Port-au-Prince.

“The US government has made a long-term commitment to help Haiti recover and rebuild, and we are pleased to collaborate with the State of Qatar and the Government of Haiti to develop this new community,” said USAID Administrator Rajiv Shah. “Our partnership agreement will provide sustainable housing to hundreds of Haitians. This partnership is a critical step forward in the U.S. Government’s post-earthquake reconstruction and recovery effort.”

Each housing unit will have 35 square metres of living space across two rooms, built to hurricane and earthquake resistance standards. USAID said beneficiaries of the housing would be selected through a process set up by Haiti’s government and donor and NGO communities.

In 2010, Qatar pledged $20 million toward Haiti’s reconstruction efforts; the Qatar Haiti Fund manages that pledge.