Haitian Singer B.I.C. Leads COVID-19 Public Awareness Campaign

[Port-au-Prince] – In order to disseminate key COVID-19 messages and the importance of hand-washing, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) is partnering with the Pan-American Development Foundation/Organization of American States (PADF/OAS) to produce video and radio messaging featuring popular, socially-committed Haitian songwriter,  B.I.C. The stand-up and dance video ”Lave Men” will appeal for young and old alike.

This video is part of a broader COVID-19 multi-media sensitization campaign produced through an ongoing three-year, US $7.5 million, Community-Driven Development program. The campaign will target 17 municipalities in Haiti to promote COVID-19 awareness, good hygiene and clean water practices and also improve sanitation infrastructure in more than 40 schools.

U.S. Ambassador to Haiti, Michele Sison, said: “We are proud to partner with Haitian songwriter B.I.C. to raise awareness in Haiti about the danger posed by the Coronavirus and are also excited by our private-public partnerships, which create jobs during this difficult time.”  USAID Haiti Mission Director Christopher Cushing noted, “USAID thanks B.I.C. for his critical involvement in this important COVID-19 sensitization campaign, which we hope will capture the attention of the entire country. Washing hands frequently throughout the day is the first step to helping assure public safety in these difficult times.”

Private sector engagement is a key component of this campaign to tackle COVID-19. Working with government service providers and local companies, such as MSC Plus, Valrio Canez, Barbancourt, Comme Il Faut and GDG Beton, has allowed USAID and PADF/OAS to multiply the reach of this program. In addition, USAID is providing sanitation equipment to municipalities and low income neighborhoods with little access to sanitation and water in Haiti.

These partnerships have already provided positive impacts for local communities, including helping 1,500 primary students access upgraded water and sanitation facilities and services at the Ecole Nationale de Tabarre. In addition, a total of 3,350 short term jobs were created through this effort to bolster the economy.

Overall, USAID has announced more than $13 million in assistance to help Haiti respond to the COVID-19 outbreak. This assistance will support risk communication efforts, improved water and sanitation, infection prevention, COVID-19 case management, laboratories, and more. Over the past 20 years, the United States has invested nearly $6.7 billion in assistance, including $1.8 billion in health assistance in Haiti for HIV/AIDS, maternal and child health, and more.

For more information about USAID’s programs, please visit: USAID.gov