CEPR - Center for Economic and Policy Research

Multimedia

En Español

Em Português

Other Languages

Home Publications Blogs Haiti: Relief and Reconstruction Watch

Haiti: Relief and Reconstruction

Questions? E-mail haiti(at)cepr.net.
 facebook_logo Subscribe by E-mail 


Bill Clinton: 40,000 May Die in Rainy Season Print
Friday, 26 March 2010 13:21

The AP reports on a speech Bill Clinton gave to aid organizations working in Haiti. Clinton issued a stark warning; if urgent efforts are not made to relocate those displaced, up to 40,000 may die during the rainy season. Clinton stressed the need for aid organizations to empower the Haitian government, and make efforts to turn Haiti into a self-sufficient nation, echoing statements made by human rights groups to the Inter American Commission earlier in the week. The AP reports that Clinton said:

Every time we spend a dollar in Haiti from now on we have to ask ourselves, 'Does this have a long-term return? Are we helping them become more self-sufficient? ... Are we serious about working ourselves out of a job?
As Haitian officials have consistently said, they face serious budget issues and are unable to pay many workers, as such, Clinton asked organizations "to allocate 10 percent of their spending in Haiti for government salaries and employee training." Clinton also urged organizations in Haiti to "participate in an online registry and make their expenditures transparent."

To read the entire article, click here.
 
Obama Asks for $2.8 Billion for Haiti Print
Thursday, 25 March 2010 10:19

Yesterday, President Obama formally asked congress (PDF) to approve ammendements to the budget in the amount of $2.8 billion. It is important to note that most of this money can be used to reimburse funds that were already spent by the agencies, so the total new assistance will not be the total $2.8 billion. The BBC reports that the Senate is " is said to be close to a bill meeting Mr Obama's request." Following is the breakdown of agencies that would receive funding:

$150 million to the Department of Agriculture (food aid).

$655 million to the Department of Defense.

$220 million to the Department of Health and Human Services.

$60 million to the Department of Homeland Security.

$1,491 million to USAID and the State Department.

$219.8 million to the Department of the Treasury.

$5.2 million to the Broadcasting Board of Governors.

You can read the whole document here, and see the breakdown within agencies.

 
Rights Groups Testify Before Inter-American Commission Print
Wednesday, 24 March 2010 14:19
A number of human rights groups and NGOs testified at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights yesterday. The groups stressed a human rights based approach to foreign assistance and requested the commission to visit Haiti to investigate the human rights situation. Mario Joseph of Bureaux des Avocats Internationaux said:
International aid has been given generously, but distributed poorly, without input from earthquake survivors. As a result, children are going hungry, women are at risk of sexual violence and exploitation, and families are sleeping in the rain, without waterproof shelter.
The groups had previously issued a series of recommendations in advance of the donor conference.

To read the testimonies and other documents that were submitted to the Inter-American commission, click here.

The groups were: Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI), the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) at NYU School of Law, the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH), Partners In Health (PIH),  the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights (RFK Center), and Zanmi Lasante (ZL)
 
Relocation Plans May Have Social Health Implications Print
Wednesday, 24 March 2010 11:37
The Huffington Post has started a Haiti blog, "Rebuilding Haiti: Dispatches From the Relief Effort." The blog will have posts from relief workers, both from the ground and from international support teams. Yesterday, Rowan Moore Gerety of UNICEF, posted about the relocation plans for Port-au-Prince. With the relocation moving extremely slowly, the sudden movement may mean that beyond public health problems, there could be social health problems:
In Haiti, the rainy season is about to begin, necessitating relocation of the score of people displaced by the earthquake and currently living in over crowded camps. There are plans to move roughly 150,000 people currently living in the camps to the center of Port-au-Prince by May, yet only one site with a capacity of under 4,000 people has been secured to date.

When rains drenched the capital on Thursday night, the Golf Club de Pétionville turned to mud. It was a frightening preview of what the rainy season will hold for the 45,000 people who live there if they stay. Tents collapsed. Ditches overflowed with sewage. People and their belongings were swept downhill.
Read more...

 

 
Al Jazeera Video Takes a Look at Garment Factories in Haiti Print
Tuesday, 23 March 2010 16:35
A recent Al Jazeera video report takes a look inside some of Haiti's garment factories. The factories are a central part of reconstruction plans, however Al Jazeera reports:
[M]any Haitians see the expansion of foreign companies as a way to take advantage of the widespread poverty plaguing the country, where the unemployment rate is up to 80 per cent.

The exploitation concerns come as former US presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush prepare to visit the Caribbean nation on Monday to discuss long-term recovery efforts with Haitian officials.

And a part of their plans will be to discuss  the expansion of clothing industries in the country - in which workers earn less than $4 a day - one of the lowest wages in the world.
Read more...

 

 
Two Important Videos Showing Flooding in Camps Print
Monday, 22 March 2010 14:38
The first is from Anderson Cooper of CNN, who interviews Sean Penn in Haiti. Penn describes the scene on the ground after heavy rains fell in Port-au-Prince last week. Penn describes a coming disaster if hundreds of thousands of displaced Haitian are not relocated before the heaviest rains begin in earnest. The video includes footage of the camps, turned to mud, after the rains.

The second video comes via the Red Cross, who obtained the video from the Irish Television Channel. The video is taken at night after just twenty minutes of heavy rains in one of the make shift camps that are home to some one million Haitians. The Red Cross explains:
It is the beginning of the rainy season in Haiti. What people had feared since the earthquake is happening. After only 20 minutes of one of the first rains of the season in the camps, the scene quickly transforms into rain soaked mud-bath. Water seeps through everywhere. People are getting wet outside and inside their tents. Tarpaulin sheets have to be cut with knives to prevent them from collapsing under the weight of the rain water. People are panicking and trying to protect themselves. What will it be like for Haiti's people when the real rains come?
 
Bill Clinton Apologizes for Past Rice Policies Print
Monday, 22 March 2010 11:35
Jonathn Katz reports for the AP that Clinton apologized in a statement to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on March 10:
"It may have been good for some of my farmers in Arkansas, but it has not worked. It was a mistake...I had to live everyday with the consequences of the loss of capacity to produce a rice crop in Haiti to feed those people because of what I did; nobody else."
Chief humanitarian coordinator for the UN, John Holmes, echoed this statement, telling the AP:
"A combination of food aid, but also cheap imports have ... resulted in a lack of investment in Haitian farming, and that has to be reversed."
The article notes that while these criticisms have been coming from aid groups for years, "world leaders focused on fixing Haiti are admitting for the first time that loosening trade barriers has only exacerbated hunger in Haiti and elsewhere."

To read the entire article, click here. To see past coverage of this issue and the effects of imported rice on Haiti, see this or this.
 
Miami Herald: "Displaced Haitians Desperately Need Better Shelter" Print
Monday, 22 March 2010 10:11
An editorial in the Miami Herald on Sunday argues that Haiti faces another disaster as the rainy season comes, and that urgent efforts must be taken on the ground. "Despite the best efforts" of the international community, the situation on the ground remains dire:
The devastated capital of Port-au-Prince, where hundreds of camps are located, is ground zero for the crisis of the homeless. Refugees in overcrowded shelters live in conditions of utter squalor, surrounded by piles of trash in mosquito-infested camps where the air is thick with the odor from overflowing latrines, and drainage lines are clogged with sewage.

Security is a problem. So is hygiene.

The flimsy tents and tarps in these camps will be no match for the coming storms, which is why an all-out effort must be made to relocate as many of the displaced as possible, particularly children, before it's too late.

The focus should be on the 29 of 425 sites in and around the capital, with about 200,000 homeless, that U.N. officials say are the most vulnerable to flooding and have been targeted for resettlement. The government's chief advisor on relocation, Gerard-Emile ``Aby'' Brun, says it will take $86 million to build relocation sites and another $40 million to secure rights to the land.

At this stage, money should not be the problem. More than $1 billion in aid has flowed into Haiti, and more is coming.
To read the entire article, click here.
 
"Haitian NGOs Decry Total Exclusion from Donors’ Conferences on Haitian Reconstruction" Print
Friday, 19 March 2010 15:12
47 local and international NGOs and civil society groups held a meeting last week to comment on the upcoming donor conference in New York. Afterwards 26 groups signed a statement that decried the absense of local input in the reconstruction plans that are being put forward. The statement is available online here (in Spanish). The full text of their statement follows:

Haitian NGOs Decry Total Exclusion from Donors’ Conferences on Haitian Reconstruction

March 18, 2010

SANTO DOMINGO .- More than 26 organizations and social movements in Haiti reported that the process established for formulating the “Plan for Reconstruction of Haiti” at the donors' conference that concluded yesterday in Santo Domingo has been characterized by an almost total exclusion of Haitian social actors and civil society, and very limited participation by uncoordinated representatives of the Haitian State.
Read more...

 

 
ECLAC: Extreme Poverty Reaches 71% After Quake Print
Friday, 19 March 2010 14:17
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) issued a draft report, "Sectorial Assessment of Damages, Losses and Requirements." The report notes that extreme poverty has reached levels not seen in a decade when the level was over 70 percent. According to the 2009 UN Human Development Report the proportion living in extreme poverty in Haiti was 54.9 percent.

The ECLAC report also notes that over 222,000 people died, more than 311,000 were injured, and 15% of the population (1.5 million) are now homeless. ECLAC estimates that the total damages are "more than US$ 7.8 billion, equivalent to over 120% of Haiti's GDP in 2009."
 
<< Start < Prev 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 Next > End >>

Page 40 of 49

CEPR.net
Support this blog, donate
Combined Federal Campaign #79613

Days Since Cholera Was Introduced in Haiti Without an Apology From the U.N.

1500

accountability agriculture aid aid distribution chemonics cholera contractors disease elections fanmi lavalas housing human rights idps ijdh minustah ngos rainy season reconstruction red cross relocation sanitation shelter UN usaid wikileaks

+ All tags