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Home Publications Blogs Haiti: Relief and Reconstruction Watch Haitian PM: Aid Bypassing Government, Better Coordination Needed

Haitian PM: Aid Bypassing Government, Better Coordination Needed

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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.
Although total USAID and Department of Defense aid is over $712 million, it is unclear how much involvement the Haitian Government has had in the distribution of the aid.

The mayor of Cite Soleil, Wilson Louis, made similar statements to an audience at Bates College recently. The Bates Student reports:
Audience members were curious about how to donate effectively.

“Simple. I’m the mayor, I know the problems of my community, know the people who need priority necessity. If you want to give some help, go straight to the municipality” Louis opined. “This is the reason sometimes the contribution doesn’t go straight to the people…you have to contact mayors specifically, because [they] will see the best mission.”

Louis was skeptical of Haiti’s federal supply veins and unilaterally operating non governmental organization, citing their inability deliver aid where it is needed most; he emphasized the importance of aid groups coordinating with local, elected officials. “Despite the fact that outside organizations are helping, they don’t know the real situation going on in the boundaries of Haiti.”
The Prime Minister and Mayor's comments echo a report earlier in the week from Refugees International that recommends closer coordination between the UN, US and local partners.

Tags: aid distribution | coordination | jean-max bellerive | usaid

 

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