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 


The Politics of Aid Print
Wednesday, 10 March 2010 10:12

Jacqueline Charles reports for the The Miami Herald today on the politics of aid in Haiti. Charles notes that despite hundreds of thousands still without shelter, the "behind-the-scenes jockeying" by aid groups, NGOs and governments alike will only increase. Charles writes:

The battle includes aid groups known as nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and U.N. agencies that want to be the chief humanitarian agencies, countries that are lobbying for a seat at the decision table, and leaders from around the world who fly in frequently making promises that have yet to be met.
Read more...

 

 
UNDP Haiti Country Director Previously Retaliated Against Whistleblower Who Exposed Fraud Print
Tuesday, 09 March 2010 16:46
Reuters reports today on the case of Ismail Ahmed, a whistleblower who worked for UNDP Somalia. Mr. Ahmed made protected disclosures of wrongdoing on the part of the UNDP, including "fraudulent payments and bogus contracts." The UN Ethics Committee ruled that he had been retaliated against for his disclosures. The retaliation included being transferred to a different country without proper support, and having damage done to his professional reputation.

The importance for Haiti is that the man Mr. Ahmed identifies as the main author of the retaliation is Eric Overvest, currently the UNDP Country Director in Haiti. The Government Accountability Project (GAP), which works to protect whistleblowers, issued a press release that states:
The move is a cause for concern as the ability of UNDP to monitor the disbursement of aid in Haiti has been severely compromised by the chaotic aftermath of the disaster.
Read more...

 

 
Haiti's Elections Must Be Inclusive and Fair Print
Tuesday, 09 March 2010 15:17
Hillary Clinton, speaking alongside Rene Preval, said that “I assured President Preval that the United States would work with the international community to hold elections as soon as appropriate.” She also commented that Preval had told her elections were vital “to ensure the stability and legitimacy of the Haitian Government.”

The AP reported last week that Edmond Mulet, head of MINUSTAH, also had said that the presidential elections must proceed. Legislative elections that were supposed to happen last month have been postponed.

Missing from these discussions is that there were significant flaws in the planned February election, 15 political parties were excluded from participating. The Provisional Electoral Council’s arbitrary exclusions included Fanmi Lavalas, 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.

Despite these facts, electoral support from the US and UN continued. When elections finally do proceed as scheduled, it is imperative that they are fully inclusive.
 
Preval: Food Aid Risks Damaging Economy Print
Monday, 08 March 2010 16:44
Haitian President Rene Preval arrives in Washington today and is set to meet with President Obama on Wednesday. Reuters reports on one of the key messages that will come from Preval:
Donations of food and water have proved a lifeline for more than 1.2 million people displaced by the quake, but Preval told a news conference on Monday the aid could in the long term hurt the economy of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

"I will tell him (Obama) that this first phase of assistance is finished," said Preval, standing in front of the ruined presidential palace in Port-au-Prince.

"If they continue to send us aid from abroad -- water and food -- it will be in competition with the national Haitian production and Haitian commerce," he said.
Read more...

 

 
Paul Collier: New Approach to NGOs Needed Print
Monday, 08 March 2010 14:50
Paul Collier writes for the Independent about the role of NGOs in Haiti's recovery and the need for a new approach to aid. Collier is a professor at Oxford and the author of "Haiti: From Natural Catastrophe to Economic Security", prepared for the UN Secretary General last year. Echoing both Haitian Prime Minister Jean Max Bellerive, and Haitian President Rene Preval, Collier writes:
As the NGOs further scale-up, the already limited capacity of the state has been decimated. Essential as the NGOs have been, this imbalance threatens to leave the state marginalised in the core task of basic service provision.
Read more...

 

 
WSJ: "Social Structures Form in Haiti's Tent Cities" Print
Monday, 08 March 2010 12:45
The Wall Street Journal reports on the rise of self-governance in the make-shift camps, home to 1.3 million people. Miriam Jordan of the WSJ writes:
Inside the many tent cities now home to hundreds of thousands of people, a rudimentary social order is beginning to emerge as committees agitate to secure food, water and supplies in high demand from international aid organizations.
Read more...

 

 
AP: "Billions For Haiti, A Criticism For Every Dollar" Print
Friday, 05 March 2010 17:46
A series of articles today report on the mounting criticism over the relief efforts, focusing on the issue of shelter.

The AP reports that for the billions of dollars that have been committed to Haiti there are still serious flaws in the relief effort:
A half-million homeless received tarps and tents; far more are still waiting under soggy bed sheets in camps that reek of human waste. More than 4.3 million people got emergency food rations; few will be able to feed themselves anytime soon. Medical aid went to thousands, but long-term care isn't even on the horizon.
The AP reports on Haitian Prime Minister Bellerive's concerns that the relief effort has been bypassing the Haitian Government.  Bellerive told the AP "Too many people are raising money without any controls, and don't explain what they're doing with it."

The AP also notes that while millions have been pledged, much of the money goes to businesses in the donor's home country:
USAID paid at least $160 million of its total Haiti-related expenditures to the Defense Department, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, two local U.S. search and rescue teams and, in at least two instances, itself.

Tens of millions more went to U.S.-based aid groups. While much of that bought food and other necessities for Haitians, it often did so from U.S. companies—including highly subsidized rice growers whose products are undercutting local producers, driving them out of business.

One cent of every dollar has gone to the Haitian government.
Speaking on the same topic, IPS reports on a delegation of human rights experts that are preparing to travel to Haiti. The delegation has laid out a set of guidelines to make sure that donors not make the same mistakes that have plaqued Haiti for years. This includes an active effort to include Haitians in the relief and reconstruction process. Monika Kalra Varma, executive director of the RFK Center told IPS:
"But rhetoric and goodwill go only so far. Forging a real partnership with the Haitian people will require a total change in the culture of delivering aid to Haiti. Yet if that kind of partnership is not achieved, we will have more of the failures we have seen for decades."
The groups are stressing the importance of human rights in the relief effort, as well as transparency:
"Donor states should act with full transparency and accountability, making information about their plans and programmes available to all, and should work with the Haitian government to set up public monitoring and reporting mechanisms."
IPS concludes:
Aid to Haiti has been marked by frequent interruptions, particularly in assistance from the U.S., for political and ideological reasons. Within Haiti, massive and continuing government and private corruption has siphoned off large chunks of funding and misdirected money to people who didn't need help.

Development experts say aid to Haiti has been aid to the light-skinned elites of Haiti.

 
MSF: "Shelter, Hygiene and Basic Living Conditions Are Not Being Met" Print
Friday, 05 March 2010 11:47
A critical look at the situation in Haiti by MSF (Doctors Without Borders) highlights the "broadly insufficient" aid efforts on the ground in Haiti. Colette Gadenne, manager of MSF activities in Haiti and Christopher Stokes, General Director of MSF in Brussels,  both recently returned from Haiti. Stokes, while acknowledging what has been accomplished, says:
But for a large percentage of Haitians, some two months after the earthquake, it must be said that this solidarity has not always been reflected in actual aid on the ground, mainly in terms of shelter and sanitation.
Gadenne adds:
There are around 20 sites, the largest of which have received material assistance – tents, tarpaulins, toilet facilities, water, food, etc. – and basic medical assistance. The assistance given to these sites is incomplete, and there are dozens of other sites which still lack even the most elementary aid. Thousands of Haitians have still not seen any aid.
Read more...

 

 
Haitian PM: Aid Bypassing Government, Better Coordination Needed Print
Thursday, 04 March 2010 13:57
Although the US and UN have stressed the fact that the Government of Haiti is playing an active role in the relief efforts, and numerous experts have stressed the importance of strengthening the Haitian State, Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive's comments indicate the Government's growing frustration over the relief efforts. Reuters reports:
Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive decried a lack of coordination by aid donors with his government but stopped short of saying all bilateral aid should be funneled through the government.

"We don't know who has given money to NGO's (nongovernmental organizations) and how much money have they given. ... At the moment, we can't do any coordination or have any coherent policies for giving to the population," Bellerive told a news conference.
Read more...

 

 
The "Fault Lines" in Haiti's Relief and Reconstruction Print
Wednesday, 03 March 2010 18:15
A thought-provoking piece from anthropologist and filmmaker Mark Schuller on Huffington Post today asks some hard questions of the international community:
As of a month after the earthquake the estimate of aid donated is $600 million for Haiti relief efforts (compare this to the $20 billion in Wall Street bonuses).

And yet, there are still an estimated 600,000 people today who are not covered when the rainy seasons come. According to aid agencies' own estimates, only 35% of the needs for tents and tarps in Port-au-Prince are being met - and this up from 30% a week and a half ago. While the rains haven't come yet, they surely will. I join many others in asking why this is, especially given this outpouring of generosity.
But there is hope for moving beyond some of the obstacles to aid delivery, Schuller writes:
Read more...

 

 
<< Start < Prev 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 Next > End >>

Page 42 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.

1473

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