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 


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."
 
As Heavy Rains Fall, Aid Groups Warn of Coming Catastrophe Print
Friday, 19 March 2010 12:13
Heavy rains hell in Port-au-Prince today, the AP reports. The rains, some of the heaviest yet, damaged shelters and sent fear throughout the camps. Although no deaths were reported, the AP reports:
Aid workers said people were swept screaming into eddies of water and flows ripped down tents an Israeli aid group is using to teach school.

"They were crying. There was just fear down there. It was chaos," said Jim Wilson of the aid group Praecipio, who came running from his own shelter up the hill when he heard the screams.
Read more...

 

 
Amnesty: "The Daily Struggle in Haiti’s Camps" Print
Friday, 19 March 2010 09:28
On March 15, Amnesty International described the "daily struggle in Haiti's camps":
Two months after the earthquake, thousands in Port-au-Prince and elsewhere still await a first glimpse of humanitarian aid. In the four makeshift camps we visited during our first days in Haiti, life is a daily struggle and conditions are dire to say the least.

People are without water, food, sanitation or shelter. Resilience and solidarity with each other are the only things these camp-dwellers can rely on.
Amnesty notes that there have been numerous reports of rape and sexual abuse in the camps since the quake:
The day we visited the police station, a male officer on duty at the table unwillingly counted for us the number of cases registered in the log book: 52 cases of physical and sexual violence since the earthquake.

He said that many victims were minors, aged between 11 and 16, and that most of the assaults took place at night.

Although he knew where to refer victims for medical attention after a sexual assault, he was unable to explain why, on the previous night, a mother seeking police assistance in the attempted rape of her 17-year-old daughter by four young men, was told that the police could not do anything and that the security in the camps was the responsibility of the President of the Republic. Quite a blow for the population’s confidence in the police…
Amnesty, which has sent a mission to Haiti, ends their update with the most pressing issue:
The rainy season looms and all the people we talked to fear the worst. Shelter is what they need and what they ask for. That is their priority.
 
Coverage of Elections Overlooks Serious Flaws in Postponed Election Print
Thursday, 18 March 2010 13:43
TIME reports today on the difficulties of holding elections in Haiti after the earthquake. The article notes many of the logistical problems such as voting rolls and voter ID cards, as well as the importance for the legitimacy of the government. TIME, however, fails to note that there were serious problems with the planned legislative elections. Previous articles on elections have also failed to address these problems.

15 political parties were excluded from participating in the planned February election. The Provisional Electoral Council’s arbitrary exclusions included Fanmi Lavalas, the overwhelmingly largest and the most popular party in Haiti. Furthermore, the are constitutional issues with regards to the Provisional Electoral Council’s legitimacy. The Haitian Constitution calls for a Permanent Electoral Council, however the current Provisional council’s members were appointed by Preval during his term in office. This is especially troubling since opponents of Preval’s INITE coalition were being excluded from the electoral process while INITE was not. Before the earthquake there had already been widespread anger with the decision.
Read more...

 

 
UN "Behind Schedule" In Shelter, New Campaign Begins Print
Wednesday, 17 March 2010 16:33
The Washington Post reports today on the UN and Haitian Government beginning a campaign to shelter those in need before the rainy season begins:
In the coming weeks, the United Nations, in conjunction with the government and other relief organizations, will begin a communication effort to reach the displaced population, including radio, text messages, television news and even a television soap opera to drive home the point that masses of people must be relocated.
Read more...

 

 
<< 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.

1435

accountability agriculture aid distribution aristide 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