CEPR - Center for Economic and Policy Research

Multimedia

En Español

Em Português

Other Languages

Home Publications Blogs Haiti: Relief and Reconstruction Watch Hurricane Roulette

Hurricane Roulette

Print
Wednesday, 08 September 2010 16:25
Haiti may have dodged a bullet as tropical storm Gaston – which meteorologists had feared might hit Haiti – dissipated late last week. But the scare was a reminder of just vulnerable hundreds of thousands of displaced Haitians, who lack adequate shelter, are.

Aljazeera English reported from Haiti on the country’s lack of hurricane-preparedness. Beginning its report with IDPs’ “bat teneb” protest of forced evictions, neglect, and unfulfilled promises on Friday, Aljazeera’s Sebastian Walker describes some of the challenges that Haiti – a country that is severely hit by hurricanes nearly every year – faces in the wake of January’s earthquake. If a hurricane were to bear down on Haiti, “…the sheer numbers of those still living under tarpaulin means an organized evacuation is almost impossible,” he explains, before visiting a hurricane shelter that can house 400 people - at an IDP camp that is home to 40,000.

“We’re not going anywhere, because we have nowhere else to go,” Oreste Saint-Philippe, an IDP camp resident explains. “We’ll just have to stay here, and see what happens.”

“This whole thing is just a charade. We’ve never received any real help,” another camp resident, Viergela Laguerre, says. “Instead of information what we really need is houses.”

Walker goes to Nigel Fisher, “second in command” of the UN Mission in Haiti, for an explanation of why people still lack adequate shelter eight months after the earthquake. Fisher claims that the UN “just didn’t have all the resources we needed for all the tasks at hand.”

Fisher is correct in that the international community has fallen far short of its aid pledges, as we recently noted. More difficult to understand than the UN's failings perhaps is why large NGO’s, which have received tens of millions of dollars in private donations, and sometimes tens of millions more in U.S. taxpayer money through USAID, have failed to deliver more viable shelter.

Going back to the bat teneb, Walker concludes: “…it’s not hard to understand the frustration at what nearly eight months of a multi-billion dollar relief has achieved.”

Tags: aid distribution | ngos | shelter | tarps | UN | usaid

 

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

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

1380

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