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Haiti - Reconstruction : The postal services are improving
11/07/2011 11:04:06

Haiti - Reconstruction : The postal services are improving
One year on from a new mail sorting centre opening in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince, the Post is showing signs of recovery. Some 87 employees work in the capital's main postal centre, which processes all incoming and outgoing mail. The facility, a 600-square meter tent-like structure, was built with the help of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and its member countries. "We are very happy to have this centre, which helps us provide services to the population. Little by little we are organizing ourselves," says the Post's director general, Edvard Despeignes. "We receive more mail than is sent out. Monthly, we are seeing a 4-per cent increase in volumes."

Dedicated employees continue to face tremendous challenges to keep the mail moving, but their working conditions are beginning to improve. Earlier this year, they finally received salaries thanks to a government loan. The Post had not been able to pay some staff for more than six months. Others working in the provinces were owed more than a year's salary... "The loan enabled us to pay arrears and pension contributions, so employees about to retire will be able to claim their pensions," explains Despeignes. "This has served to motivate employees."

The centre will also soon be equipped with air conditioning units to reduce the Caribbean capital's stifling heat for employees as they work. The Postal Union of the Americas, Spain and Portugal is financing this project.

Meanwhile, the UPU has been working with Haiti Post on several other projects financed by resources from the Quality of Service Fund (QSF) and member-country donations. South Korea's donation of USD$100,000 from its QSF reserves financed the purchase of two mail vans in 2010. Haiti is also using its own QSF credits to buy other equipment, such as computers, franking machines and stationery. The UPU works closely with the United Nations Development Programme in Haiti on the procurement of all equipment and vehicles.

Loretta Charlemagne, the UPU's regional project coordinator for the Caribbean, will travel to Port-au-Prince on July 11 for a one-week mission. She will follow up on projects undertaken, visit the mail processing centre and hold discussions with UNDP officials to identify additional means that could be used to develop the national postal network. She will also help develop a new QSF project, to be financed using a USD$51,000 contribution by Iran and Rwanda.

Haiti Post employs close to 500 employees.

See also :
http://www.haitilibre.com/article-517-haiti-service-public-ouverture-de-la-nouvelle-poste-centrale.html (in french)

S/ HaitiLibre

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