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Haiti: OPODNE Leaders Begin Conversation With USAID To Address Plight Of Farmers In The Northeast

Haiti: OPODNE leaders begin conversation with USAID to address plight of farmers in the Northeast

“I absolutely commit to work with you and your organization in an ongoing basis to hear what your members are saying.” – James Woolley, USAID Senior Agronomist in Haiti

OPODNE communities have convened hundreds of people over the past month in municipalities across the Northeast as part of their listening campaign to understand the needs farmers. In a research meeting, the entire USAID field team shared information about previous programs and efforts to work more closely with community partners. OPODNE leaders reported that farmers said they were unaware of USAID programs and not consulted about their needs, primary of which are drought, lack of quality tools, seeds, animal care and expert advice. USAID committed to meet and work with OPODNE in the future.

Leaders will continue their listening campaign to engage 4000 farmers over the next two months, analyze their findings, develop a set of policy changes, and present them at a department wide assembly to investors and government officials on August.

In the past USAID has allocated more than 90% of their funding through large contracts with organizations based in the United States and their connections to local organizations have been weak. OPODNE will push to make USAID more available, transparent and accountable to the local communities they are supposed to serve. Please join us for our Way Forward in Haiti call on April 21 to press the Biden Administration to change course and invest in Haitian led democracy and development.

On another note, Mons. Launay Saturne, Bishop of Cap Hatien and head of the Catholic Episcopal Conference in Haiti, welcomed our Haiti Director, Francois Pierre Louis, to begin an exploratory process with clergy in rural areas of the North Department.

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