Are We There Yet?

  • Posted on: 13 January 2012
  • By: Bryan Schaaf
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Two years after the earthquake, I find myself asking are we there yet?  We knew recovery would be difficult.  The earthquake was one of the worst natural disasters the western hemisphere has ever experienced and arguably the worst urban disaster ever.  Haiti’s institutions were/are weak.  For decades, NGOs have been providing the services that a strong, capable, and accountable government should.  One indication of recovery is the extent to which Haiti’s half million internally displaced persons (IDPs) are able to access new homes and livelihoods.

 

Haiti received millions upon millions of dollars after the earthquake – or to be more accurate, the NGOs and international organizations that either were or became active in Haiti received millions upon millions of dollars.  These funds went for water, sanitation, tents, food, and other basic needs.  However, transition can only begin when Haiti’s government is able to shoulder some of the burden that the NGOs have been carrying.  Without plans, what are we working torward?  Money can support but cannot buy the solutions.  Policies on eminent domain, land tenure, and decentralization are needed to get the country back on the path to development.  As far as IDPs go, forced evictions are not uncommon as private landowners want their properties back.  The Haitian government should be doing more to help the displaced - not so much providing charity as opportunities to work and become self-reliant.

There has been some progress.  Rubble has been cleared.  Infrastructure is being developed.  Investors remain interested. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) ended 2011 with the Investment Forum in held in Port au Prince in collaboration with the Haitian government and Clinton Foundation. The forum attracted more than 1,000 business people who came together to consider investment in Haiti.  It has been confirmed that a Korean apparel manufacture Sae-A plan on investing $78 million to build an industrial park in the northern region of Haiti, employing 200,000 local Haitians.  The Spanish government announced they will help Haiti improve water utilities in Port au Prince had have identified foreign experts to assist.  The French Development Agency (AFD), the Columbian Coffee Grower Federation and Nestlé have plans to improve Haiti’s production of coffee.  An hour outside of Port au Prince, Partners in Health is building what will be Haiti’s largest and best public hospital.  Yet at the same time, National Palace, a symbol of sovereignty, still stands with no work having been done to restore it, or at a minimum, to remove what is left of it.  At least the Neg Maron still stands.

A government must set priorities, make hard decisions, and see them through.  One pressing but very challenging issues concerns how to rehabilitate the environment in a low resource country where the vast majority of people cook with wood based charcoals.  Haiti’s Prime Minister Garry Conille intends to increase governmental leadership on the environment.  Only 1.5% of Haiti’s vegetation is currently in existence and  the target is to increase reforestation by 3.5% within the next five years though the Green Border Project.  It includes watershed management, reforestation, renewable energy and irrigation in the South East and North East regions of Haiti.

For Haitians and Friends of Haiti, the fact is that the pace of recovery can’t be fast enough.  We all hoped for more over the past two years.  But change has been slow.  We still need international assistance and will for years to come.  More than this though, we need the strong, transparent and effective government that the Haitian people deserve.  We also need the government and civil society to fight for human rights – not for some – but for all.  We need more solidarity and less charity.  More capacity building and less hand outs. Haitians know what they want if you ask them – yet one can't help but have the impression that there are organizations that would prefer to speak for Haitians than have a dialogue with them.  I cannot wait for the day that when I see images of Haiti that will showcase what is right and beautiful about the country – not just the suffering - images that show Haitians as active and engaged, not helpless individuals whose sole purpose in life is to be saved by foreigners – be they aid workers or missionaries.  I want to see school children going on to become the leaders that Haiti needs.   We can't import leadership.  Still, I have nothing but hope which has been passed down from my grandparents, to my father and mother, and down through me.  No, we are not there yet –but one day we will be.

Jasmine

"Piti, piti waszo fe nich li"

Little by little a bird makes its nest

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Haitian President Michell Martelly announced on Wednesday on the TeleSur television network that he is assessing the possibility of his country joining the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA) as a full member, instead of being an observer. TeleSur special correspondent in Port-au-Prince, Madelein Garcia, also reported that, when asked if this decision would affect Haiti’s relations with the United States, Martelly assured that it is not an ideological matter but about the reconstruction of his country, the Cubadebate Web site reported. “They’re fraternal peoples and we’re going to work with them,” stated the Haitian leader. Martelly’s statements were made in an exclusive interview with TeleSur after a press conference, in which the head of state announced that, thanks to the help of Canada, it will be possible to relocate 20,000 families living in improvised camps since the 2010 earthquake.

In the Port-au-Prince suburb of Petionville, some 2,500 people subsist in a crowded public park near open ditches flowing with human waste, a grim scene frozen in time two years after Haiti's earthquake disaster. Valerie Loiseau, 28, recalled the fateful day -- January 12, 2010 -- when she lost everything and her life changed forever. "I got here at 6:00 pm, a few moments after the earthquake, with my children, my daughter, a few months old, in my arms, and nothing else." Two years after the 7.0-magnitude quake visited near-biblical destruction on Haiti, killing between 200,000 and 300,000 people, she is still in the camp with her daughter Kelida, now three, playing at her feet. Older children, half-clothed and barefoot, chase a worn football across a filthy clearing, past puddles of putrid waste water.
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Some 15 percent of Haiti's entire population of almost 10 million were either killed or displaced by the quake. Almost 520,000 survivors still live under tarpaulin in 800 camps dotted around the crowded Caribbean capital. Shocked in the immediate aftermath of one of the deadliest disasters of modern times, the international community promised billions of dollars of aid money to "build back better." Decentralization -- away from the slum-infested, sprawling capital of three million -- was the buzzword in a plan to be implemented under the watchful eye of former US president Bill Clinton. This grandiose vision now appears to have been a pipe-dream. Less than half the $4.59 billion pledged had been received and disbursed when the UN last published its figures in September, and the coffers of the aid agencies that run Haiti like a de facto NGO state are also drying up.
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More than 50 percent of the quake rubble has now been cleared, but little has been erected in its place and the pace of reconstruction is still painfully slow. Most of the tens of thousands of people who fled Port-au-Prince after the quake have since returned to the overcrowded capital, desperate for work and food in a country still lacking another effective pole to attract labor. Michel Martelly, a former carnival entertainer and pop singer, was sworn in as the new president in May, riding a populist wave and promising to bring the change that the country so badly needs. But faced with a parliament dominated by his political opponents, it took him five months to even get a prime minister appointed. Martelly has recently tried to nurture smaller, community-based projects such as a flagship housing program -- 6/16 -- aimed at taking residents out of six camps and relocating them to 16 neighborhoods. Alongside it, he has created the Carmen project, whereby approved home-owners receive funds to repair their houses under the supervision of certified engineers. Josef Leitmann, program manager of the World Bank-run Haiti Reconstruction Fund, sees glimmers of progress at last.
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"You have a vision of where the government wants to go, and that's just critical," he told AFP. "Second you've got leadership to take that vision and communicate it to people and inspire people and third you have political will to implement the vision." The problems facing Haiti are vast, if not insurmountable, in the short term. Hundreds of thousands who lost homes in the quake are still in a legal quagmire as there was no paperwork to prove their small holdings. A cholera epidemic, blamed on UN peacekeepers from Nepal, shows no sign of abating. A year ago, 3,400 people had died and some 171,300 been infected. By the start of 2012, some 7,000 had died, and over 520,000 been infected. "What we are looking at in Haiti today is not just recovery from the earthquake. It's not just dealing with a cholera epidemic," Nigel Fisher, the UN's chief humanitarian officer in Haiti, told AFP. "Those came on top of a country which was structurally broken." Experts say the key to Haiti's long-term sustainability lies in rebuilding its agricultural sector. But the one-time exporter now has to import rice for 80 percent of its population and soil fertility is so poor that most crops can no longer be supported. The World Bank in December approved $50 million for new agricultural projects, investing in key Haitian products such as mangoes, coffee and cocoa that are garnering increased overseas attention. Loiseau, like most of the quake refugees, needs a miracle. "My hope is God, not the leaders of this country," she told AFP, staring at the passing cars with traumatized indifference.

http://uknow.uky.edu/content/nunn-center-helps-preserve-stories-haiti-ea...
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Two years after Haiti was rocked by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake near Port au Prince, a New York University
(NYU) graduate student and staff at the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History are teaming up to capture, save and share the stories of survivors of the terrible event and its aftermath. The Haiti Memory Project is the brainchild of Claire Antone Payton, a doctoral candidate in theDepartment of History and Institute of French Studies at NYU, where she focuses on Haitian history. Beginning in 2011, Payton partnered with UK's Nunn Center, under the direction ofDoug Boyd, to house, preserve, digitize and make available to the public this important historical collection of more than 100 stories of earthquake survivors. Through firsthand accounts, the Haiti Memory Project explores life in the Caribbean country before and after the earthquake. The project's interviews offer Haitians the opportunity to tell their own story of what has happened to their homeland. While almost all of the interviews reference the earthquake, many of the accounts focus on life after the event, including life in refugee camps. Interviews range from 30 minutes to approximately two hours and reflect such topics as politics, culture, medicine, religion and attitudes toward foreigners. Payton collected the interviews between June and December 2010.
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Boyd and Payton intend for the oral history project to be accessible to researchers around the world via the Internet, as well as provide Haitians access to this pivotal moment in their history "This project grew out of my sense that the forces that had largely excluded Haitian voices from the archives in the past are still at play even today," Payton says. "In the wake of an event as significant as the earthquake, I wanted to make sure the voices and perspectives of ordinary Haitian men and women weren't lost to future scholars the way they have been in the past." Jeremy Popkin, the T. Marshall Hahn Jr. Professor of History at UK Department of History and a Haiti scholar, agrees this oral history collection is a vital historic resource to not only Haiti, but researchers worldwide. "The Haiti Memory Project is a unique archive that captures the experiences of survivors of the Haitian earthquake in their own language," Popkin says. "It will be an invaluable resource for understanding the worst disaster in Haitian history, and for comprehending how human beings react to catastrophe."
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To make global access possible, Payton partnered with Boyd and the Nunn Center at UK Libraries to professionally archive and preserve these powerful oral history interviews. She became aware of the Nunn Center's groundbreaking work in preservation and digitization while participating in a talk on Haiti at UK in April 2011 organized by Popkin. "I am very fortunate that during a visit to UK, Professor Jeremy Popkin took me over in Doug Boyd's office for what was supposed to be a quick chat about oral history," Payton says. "It did not take long for Doug and I to recognize that my project in Haiti and his work with OHMS, the Oral History Metadata Synchronizer, could greatly complement one another. I donated the interviews to UK not only because of the potential for transcription and translation, but also because the Nunn Center for Oral History is a well respected institution that can guarantee that the interviews will reach a wide audience, both today and in future generations." A sample of the Haiti Memory Project interviews, primarily collected in Haitian Creole by Payton, are already available online to the public. In the future, the Nunn Center hopes to transcribe and translate all the Haiti Memory Project interviews in both French and English and host the entire oral history collection online through their OHMS system, which will make the online audio collection keyword searchable for users.
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Boyd is dedicated to making online access to the Haiti Memory Project a reality through the university's recent OHMS research. "I was incredibly moved when Claire came to campus to speak about her oral history work on the Haiti Memory Project," says the oral historian. "I was working on the Nunn Center's OHMS system, which connects text in transcripts to correlating moments in the audio or video, and I realized that OHMS could take the relationship between the textual, audio and video components of oral history to the next level by introducing a multi-lingual component to the same technology. If these interviews are transcribed and translated, I feel that accessible, searchable and translated oral history can transform the way the rest of the world and history understands this event and create a model that others can follow. I am also honored that we can apply the highest digital preservation standards to these interviews and ensure that they will be accessible to future generations. To listen to a sample of the interviews collected through the Haiti Memory Project, visit:http://haitimemoryproject.org/?page_id=7.
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Private support will be critical to continue the work preserving and making public interviews from the Haiti Memory Project, as well as funding future interviews documenting Haiti's recovery. Individuals wishing to help support this project should contact Greg Casey, UK Libraries development officer, at 859-257-0500 ext. 2051 or by email togreg.casey@uky.edu.
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The UK Libraries' Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History is internationally recognized for its outstanding collection of nearly 8,000 oral history interviews. The number of interviews available online continues to grow, providing greater access to the collection. Topics are wide-ranging from Appalachia, politics, veterans' stories, as well as documenting important Kentucky industries such as the horse, coal and bourbon industries. The Nunn Center is also home to a second collection related to Haiti titled "Haitians in Lexington." To learn more about the Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History, visit the center online at www.nunncenter.org orwww.uky.edu/libraries/nunncenter.

By Teresa Smith
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With half a million Haitians still living in tent camps in and around Port-au-Prince, and cholera epidemics continuing to threaten the country, aid organizations released a report today saying they believe they're nearing a turning point in reconstruction efforts. But, amid the calls for more help some critics say that Canada should probe more deeply to find out exactly where aid money has gone before committing new funds. The ongoing aid effort has included thousands of nongovernmental organizations from around the world - leading observers to call Haiti "the republic of NGOs." In that climate, it has been difficult to track where exactly the money is being used, said Roger Annis of the Canada Haiti Action Network. "It's really hard to quantify what's happening in Haiti because there's an absence of real, concrete facts and statistics - if you want to find out, you have to go there and see for yourself," said Annis, who was part of a three-person delegation that travelled to Haiti's earthquake zone in June 2011. "The overarching story is that everything is going at a snail's pace," he said. In the immediate aftermath of the quake, Prime Minister Stephen Harper promised to support Haiti as it rebuilt, both with emergency funds and long-term aid. To date, Canada has spent $232 million on Canadian International Development Agency-approved projects such as health services (including cholera vaccinations), clean water projects, government institutions, police training, and infrastructure aid.
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In a status report released today, UNICEF representative Françoise Gruloos-Ackermans writes: "There is evidence of little victories everywhere, but serious gaps and inadequacies in Haiti's basic governance structures remain." That could be because only half of the $4.5 billion that world leaders promised to donate to the disaster-stricken nation in 2010 and 2011, has actually been disbursed, according to the United Nations office of the Special Envoy to Haiti, which tracks pledges and donations from each country. For its part, the special envoy website shows Canada has disbursed 90 per cent of the funds pledged since the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake. But questions linger about whether the influx of aid dollars have been spent effectively, as the country continues to struggle to provide its citizens with the basic necessities for life. In a 17-page report submitted to Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird in September 2011, Annis and his colleagues wrote about the persistent housing and shelter crisis, with more than half a million people still living in displaced-persons camps in and around Port-au-Prince with delays stemming from a disorganized national housing office. The delegation visited six displaced-persons camps, the largest of which had 50,000 residents. "Toilets have been constructed in large numbers, but facilities for washing are limited. Food and water provision is inadequate. Violence within the camp, especially sexual violence against women, is a very serious problem. Security provision is entirely inadequate," said the report. "There are more and more people who are questioning how aid and charity gets used to reinforce the structures of dominance and underdevelopment that cause the problem in the first place," he said. "That's what I think we're seeing today in post-earthquake Haiti." In an email dated Jan. 5, 2012, Baird replied to the delegation. "There have been some encouraging developments since you visited Haiti," wrote Baird. He listed some of Canada's contributions to the aid effort, including the provision of emergency food aid to 4.3 million Haitians; water and sanitation services to 1.3 million Haitians; emergency and temporary housing to 370,000 households, and a supply of trained medical professionals for 330,000 women during childbirth.
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Baird wrote to Annis that the government was "pleased" that the rule of law features among newly elected Haitian President Michel Martelly's mandate, and that "democratic governance and the rule of law in Haiti are essential for sustainable development and security to take hold." During his campaign early last year, right-leaning Martelly also promised significant agricultural investment, lodging for citizens still living in tent camps and free education for all children in a country where 80 per cent pay for schooling and only one in four makes it past Grade 6. Annis agrees that a strong national government, focused on social development, agriculture and public education, is essential for Haiti's long-term success, but he says Martelly's government is already facing allegations of corruption. Further, after being sworn in, in May 2011, it took nearly six months before he confirmed his prime minister and cabinet in October. There are two ways of explaining the continuing housing crisis in Haiti, said Annis: "One is to say that the problem is so large and so complicated that we're doing the best we can." "The other way" - and the one Annis would argue - "is that it's a failure of the international aid effort, and a failure of the Martelly government (that the large countries of the world have been propping up and supporting) to act decisively on the issue."

Center for Global Development
By Vijaya Ramachandran and Julie Walz.
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Two years ago, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti, plunging an already poor and unstable country into complete and utter chaos. In the days and weeks that followed, international responses and donations were overwhelming. Yet almost all of the assistance provided to Haiti has bypassed its government, leaving it even less capable than before. Humanitarian agencies, NGOs, private contractors, and other non-state service providers have received 99 percent of relief aid—less than 1 percent of aid in the immediate aftermath of the quake went to public institutions or to the government. And only 23 percent of the longer-term recovery funding was channeled through the Haitian government. Figure 1 shows the breakdown of relief aid from all donors to Haiti, by recipient.
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Haiti is often called the “Republic of NGOs.” Because of the limited capacity of the Haitian government and weak national institutions, NGOs have risen to play a very prominent role, one equivalent to a quasi-privatization of the state. One study found that even before the January 2010 earthquake, NGOs provided 70 percent of healthcare, and private schools (mostly NGO-run) accounted for 85 percent of national education. Charities and NGOs have become the main thoroughfare for foreign assistance as a result of the immense volatility in Haitian politics and U.S. reluctance to give aid directly to the Haitian government. NGOs are seen as more stable and can be held more accountable to international donors than the government. International nonprofit organizations also bring much-needed expertise and a stable stream of funding to the country.
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Yet this situation is a Catch-22. The dominance of international NGOs has created a parallel state more powerful than the government itself. NGOs in Haiti have built an alternative infrastructure for the provision of social services, creating little incentive for the government to build its capacity to deliver services. A “brain drain” from the public sector to the private, nonprofit sector is also observable, pulling talent away from government offices and resulting in the Haitian concept of the “klas ONG” (NGO class). Even quantifying the number of NGOs operating in Haiti is a hurdle: the number is estimated to be anywhere from 343 to 20,000. In a forthcoming paper, we discuss some of the options for improving the relationship between NGOs and the Government of Haiti, with a view to building public institutions and government capacity. We recommend that NGOs working in Haiti be asked to sign the equivalent of the Paris Declaration for aid donors—one that would require registration, coordination, and cooperation with the government. Mary Kay Gugerty, an expert on voluntary regulation and accountability programs in the NGO community, presents three solutions that African countries have used to manage NGOs. These may be relevant to Haiti:
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National guilds that set national mandatory membership requirements for NGO registration. An NGO code of conduct might also be developed on the basis of aspirational goals rather than strict guidelines. Penalties can vary from a fine to a suspension or de-listing for organization found to be in violation of the code.
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NGO-led clubs with high standards for membership, similar to certification or accreditation. Membership acts as a signal of quality, often providing member organizations access to donor funding or other services. The code itself may be a mix of cardinal values and specific practices such as providing annual reports or audited financial statements.
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Industry codes, which are the most common form of voluntary self-regulation. Similar to guild requirements, these standards usually reflect broad values and goals that are set at an industry level, typically through an industry association or other third party. Although they would apply to all NGOs, monitoring and enforcement may be weak.
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A system for registration of NGOs would be a good start, especially as the government still has limited capacity. Eventually, the government might be able to monitor NGO activities and ensure coordination. The most comprehensive directory of NGO registration so far, with almost 1,000 organizations profiled, is headed by the Office of the UN Special Envoy for Haiti. Its template can be used to make registration a national requirement. The Office of the UN Special Envoy might also facilitate the creation of a more in-depth accreditation and evaluation process, along the model of an NGO-led club.
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Meanwhile, the government (and the international donor community, which is committed at least on paper to supporting the government) should focus on core functions, in particular “core governance”: security, civil service, core infrastructure, legal and regulatory reforms, and public financial management and corruption. These are areas where NGOs cannot provide services but are vital for any sustained recovery. This focus would ensure that the state does not remain completely dependent on charities. NGOs, meanwhile, could continue to provide valuable services, especially in the social sector.
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Haiti’s challenges are enormous and there are no easy answers. However, a two-pronged strategy—registration and monitoring of NGOs and a governmental and donor focus on “core governance”—may be a good start.

1/12/2012
By Marjorie Valbrun
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No one doubted that the violent earthquake that laid waste to Haiti's weary capital city in January 2010 would drastically change the country. In the minute it took to topple buildings, crush limbs and steal nearly 250,000 lives, the Haitian landscape was forever altered.
After two years of frustratingly slow reconstruction of their earthquake-battered country, Haitians and Haitian-Americans contend they’ve been shunted aside as American firms soak up most of the work and money dedicated for the nation’s rebuilding effort. Audits and analysis over the last two years — two by the inspector general of the U.S. Agency for International Development — found problems that have hampered reconstruction and has officials falling short of promises to fairly distribute relief contracts among Haitian Americans and locals on the island. According to government figures, 1,537 contracts had been awarded for a total of $204,604,670, as of last fall. Only 23 of the contracts went to Haitian companies, totaling $4,841,426. The U.S. government has committed over $3.1 billion to Haiti, according to figures released last month by the Office of the Haiti Special Coordinator at the U.S. State Department. That includes $1.8 billion for long-term reconstruction over the next five years.
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Congress also appropriated $1.14 billion in supplemental funds in July 2010 for Haiti reconstruction, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. Most of the funds were provided to the State Department and USAID, which also fund non-governmental organizations (NGOs.) The departments are managing about $412 million earmarked for Haitian infrastructure projects. Critics say more could be done to make sure a share of the contracting goes to Haitian-owned companies. Instead the money is going to firms familiar to U.S. officials in Washington, D.C., said Bob Remy, a pharmaceutical and medical equipment consultant and president of the Greater Washington Haitian Relief Committee. “The beltway is known for its lobbying power, especially for companies winning contracts to work in disaster-prone areas,” Remy said. “Whenever there are disasters the same companies line up. For them where there is pain there is gain.” After reviewing the Federal Procurement Data System, the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Economic and Policy Research said in September 2011 that 2.4 percent of U.S. government contracts went to Haitian firms, while 35.5 percent were awarded to “beltway contractors” located in Washington, Maryland and Virginia. US officials had insisted they would ensure that contractors hire a good share of Haitians. But according to an inspector general’s audit of USAID spending, dated September 2010, the two largest U.S. contractors for a cash-for-work project in Haiti were hiring just 8,000 Haitians a day, not the 25,000 required by the contract.
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“This cash-for-work program was a total joke,” Remy said. “They gave the Haitians buckets and brooms to remove rubble. The reconstruction funding is supposed to clean up the capital and at the same time create jobs.” Reconstruction has been slowed by delays, according to a report issued last November by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. The USAID and State Department “have obligated and expended a small amount of funds for infrastructure construction activities,” the GAO report stated. Of the $412 million allocated for infrastructure, only $3.1 million had been spent by September of 2011. The report said that after the quake, agencies had difficulty staffing the Haiti mission, planning and starting construction projects and awarding contracts. Reconstructing Haiti is a complicated proposition; the capital city, Port-au-Prince, had a terribly weak infrastructure before the quake. Afterward, major companies and NGOs with extensive experience with natural disasters were needed; firms with technical capabilities, strategic know-how, heavy equipment, and already vetted by the USAID. Those firms were by and large located stateside. USAID officials said the agency had no choice but to initially rely on American companies for relief efforts given the extensive earthquake damage and the crippling of many Haitian companies. “The nature of the emergency in Haiti necessitated speed, so USAID engaged many of its traditional partners to ensure a swift, effective response,” an agency spokesperson said in a written response to questions about contracting in Haiti. “The majority of USAID funds for Haiti over the past two years have gone to respond quickly to emergencies and humanitarian crises, including the earthquake, cholera response, supporting stable elections, and the mitigation of effects from the hurricane season.” Now, post-earthquake relief work is in the development phase, which is already leading to new deals with 500 Haitian organizations and companies, the spokesperson added. “USAID is actively engaging the Government of Haiti and the Haitian people, and coordinating with other donors to work directly with local actors and nascent organizations.” The State Department is also reaching out to Haitian-Americans who want to do business in Haiti. It hosted a conference in September, 2011 for those interested in “working with the U.S. government in Haiti” and getting government contracts through USAID. “It became obvious that there was a need among the Haitian Diaspora community who wanted to help rebuild their country,” said Preeti Shah of the Office of the Haiti Special Coordinator, created in 2010 to oversee U.S. engagement with Haiti and implementation of a reconstruction strategy in partnership with the Haitian government.
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Albert Cady, a Washington, D.C. patent attorney attended State Department and USAID outreach events and workshops and found them helpful. He is a member of the Haitian Development Advisory Group, an ad-hoc organization of Washington area Haitian-Americans that meet monthly to brainstorm how to help Haiti. While Cady said he understands the frustration among Haitians, and believes they are being unfairly shut out in some cases, Haitian firms and NGOs are hurt by a lack experience. Many can’t afford consultants to craft strong proposals, he said. It's not just Haitian companies largely left out of the reconstruction, “It’s individuals as well,” said Monique Manigat, a Haitian-American who recently moved back to Haiti. “Organizations have positions where they only hire foreigners and they pay them these huge amounts of money and they are here living the big life, using money that is supposed to go toward helping the country,” she said. Manigat said the brain-drain that for years has robbed Haiti of talented citizens must be reversed. "Haiti has lost a lot of good people with great education and great skills and we need to bring them back. "We should be here rebuilding our country with our skills," Manigat said. Manigat’s father, Leslie Manigat, was president of Haiti for five months in 1988 before being overthrown in a military coup. Her stepmother, Mirlande Manigat, ran for president in Haiti's 2011 elections.
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Haitian’s sense of exclusion from the rebuilding of their own country extended to the influential Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, which had been set up “to ensure that the planning and implementation of the recovery efforts are Haitian-led” and that Haitian officials, donors, and NGOs get a fair shot at funding. The commission continues to be a source of friction between Haitian and international members, even as the Haitian Parliament considers letting the body's charter sunset. In December 2010, nine of the commission’s 14 Haitian voting members — there are 14, non-Haitian voting members — wrote to the body’s co-chairs, former U.S. President Bill Clinton — now the U.N. Special Envoy to Haiti — and Jean Max Bellerive, then the prime minister of Haiti. They complained of feeling “completely disconnected from the activities of the IHRC.” “We risk ending up with a variety of ill-assorted projects, some of which are certainly interesting and useful taken individually, but which collectively can neither meet the urgency nor lay the foundation for the rehabilitation of Haiti, and even less its development" the letter said. The IHRC acknowledged it initially experienced “growing pains” and didn’t communicate well with its Haitian members, but said things improved after the staff “made a concerted effort to reach out to Haitian Board members more regularly and engage them.” Jocelyn McCalla, former senior advisor to Leslie Voltaire, Haiti’s former special envoy to the U.N., said he had hoped the IHRC would ensure inclusion for Haitians but “It devolved into heavy-handedness by the Americans. “The entire decision-making process is opaque and it’s really people brought in by Clinton … basically making all the decisions. The Americans are essentially saying that Haitians are not ready to run their own country.”

NPR
By Larisa Epatko
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http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/01/haiti-tent-camp.html
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The door to Billy Forge's home displays a Biblical verse from Isaiah 22:22: "I will place on his shoulder the key to the house of David; what he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open." "I am a Christian," he smiles and shrugs. Forge, 31, speaks easily in English. He taught himself the language by reading the Bible in Creole and in English, he says. Forge also built what is now his home by himself. It's a cardboard and plywood structure, covered in tarps, with just enough room for a sleeping mat, a row of neatly hung clothes and a small stereo in the corner. He is one of about 500,000 Haitians still living in tent cities; another million displaced in the quake have found better housing. His neighborhood is the Champs de Mars tent camp located across the street from the presidential palace -- still in its pitched forward, earthquake-damaged state. Forge said in the beginning, a lot of aid agencies were providing food and water but have since scaled back their donations. Those nongovernmental organizations now focus their efforts -- in coordination with the Haitian government -- on moving Haiti's tent camp residents to more permanent housing as apartments are becoming renovated and access to necessary resources, such as water, are coming online.
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Two years after the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake struck Haiti, an estimated 500,000 people are still living in about 800 camp sites in earthquake-affected areas of Haiti, according to the International Organization for Migration. (Read IOM's report from July on relocation efforts.) The Haitian government and aid groups, including the IOM, provide a $500 voucher -- an average of a year's worth of rent -- to camp dwellers who can find an apartment deemed safe by the government that's accessible to water, said Melissa Vaval, project assistant for IOM. They then have three days to move to their new home and destroy their old tent. Once everything is squared away, the new home renters are given the full voucher, which prevents people from taking the money and simply moving into another camp, she said. One-by-one the tent camps are closing and the sites reverting back to their former uses. Once recently closed tent camp at St. Pierre Park in Petion-Ville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince, had a Christmas fair and no traces of the tent camp remained. "You have people playing football, you have people riding bikes," said Vaval standing in the park. "So it really became what it used to be." It's difficult to gauge how long it will take to relocate the remaining tent camp residents, said Leonard Doyle, IOM spokesman in Haiti. "Champs de Mars will take up to six months alone." The pace of moving people out of the camps has slowed as the cases become more difficult -- they either have no relatives to live with or homes that can be repaired. But with more funds and donors, the tempo could increase again, Doyle added. Back at Champs de Mars, Forge says he's looking forward to getting his $500 voucher to move out of the camp. "We're just waiting" to start a normal life again, he said.

The Miami Herald
By Bernice Robertson
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After surviving the worst earthquake to ever hit the Western Hemisphere, many Haitians saw 2011 as a year of hope and recovery. Nonetheless, early expectations of improvements in the democracy-challenged and poverty-stricken country gave way to winner-take-all politics and institutional deficiencies. When President Michel Martelly took office in May, following a fraught election that spanned the entire year of Haiti’s post-earthquake cleanup, Haitians rightly celebrated the turning of a proverbial new leaf. Martelly’s inauguration marked the first time that a Haitian president had handed power to an elected candidate from the opposition, and Martelly’s promises of fast economic growth and security sector reform resonated with the widespread need for physical and financial security. As Haitians mark the two-year anniversary of the earthquake, many are looking for good news on reconstruction, jobs, housing, education and security. Martelly’s message — that Haitians must eventually wrest control of reconstruction and development from international donors and agencies — is drawing support from abroad. And his economic plan hinges on foreign investment, rather than aid, as a sustainable stimulus to the Haitian economy.
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Yet 2011 was also a year of uncertainty and frustration, as Haitians grappled with defunct institutions and an anemic pace of political progress. Government all but ground to a halt during a five-month impasse in the appointment of a new prime minister. Parliament only confirmed Martelly’s third candidate, physician Garry Conille, in October. Martelly did succeed in nominating a chief justice to the Supreme Court, a post empty since 2004, but hostilities between his administration and legislators have stalled the appointment and installation of the Superior Judiciary Council (CSPJ) to oversee much-needed improvements to the justice system, and allow the judiciary its role in the checks and balances of Haitian democratic power. If Haiti’s leaders continue to spread the spoils of power among close collaborators, 2012 will bring more troubles. Fraught co-habitation between local, municipal, and central institutions, as well as Martelly’s perceived heavy-handedness with his opponents, will inevitably thwart the state-building process. Although Martelly’s social policies have merit, viable reconstruction will be impossible without changes to his political playbook.
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Martelly has the opportunity to promote himself as a national, democratic leader and build confidence with lawmakers to make that happen. Early agreement on priority issues, such as Haiti’s national budget and the constitutional amendments voted in May, would signal that Martelly’s coalition is prepared to govern with Haitians’ interests in mind, ensuring more successful long-term reconstruction. Openly discussing the national budget will add transparency, better define priorities and ensure adequate funding. The fate of the Interim Haiti Reconstruction (Recovery) Commission, the IHRC also needs resolution. Creating a new entity now would only further delay progress. The government should pursue parliamentary approval for renewing the IHRC, proposed by Martelly, and boost Haitian participation by naming its key ministers representatives of the executive. This would make government part of the blueprint, and the eventual evolution to a fully Haitian management structure. In the coming weeks, there should be transparent debate around holding overdue local and municipal elections, as well as partial senate elections due in May, to check undemocratic tendencies and avoid further institutional instability. A credible electoral council (CEP) should oversee the process. The success of these elections does not depend on whether the council is permanent or provisional, but rather on the political process necessary to form a widely accepted CEP, capable of organizing a fair process for credible elections. The short route, however, to a permanent council, is now through the constitutional amendments approved by parliament in May, but whose publication has been blocked by administrative blunders. But the executive and the legislature must first agree on removing these impediments for the new law to be published and applied. Appointing the CSPJ is also necessary for the judiciary to play an independent role in nominating the permanent electoral body. President Martelly must make good on his commitment and the parliament must support him for the pending judicial appointments to become reality. Only effective democracy at all levels of government can foster the lasting reconstruction and security that Haitians deserve. 2012 will be a decisive year: Jobs, health, education, housing and security hang in the balance as President Martelly fights to overcome winner-take-all politics.
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Bernice Robertson is the International Crisis Group’s senior analyst in Haiti

Counterpunch
By BILL QUIGLEY and AMBER RAMANAUSKAS
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Haiti, a close neighbor of the US with over nine million people, was devastated by earthquake on January 12, 2010. Hundreds of thousands were killed and many more wounded. The UN estimated international donors gave Haiti over $1.6 billion in relief aid since the earthquake (about $155 per Haitian) and over $2 billion in recovery aid (about $173 per Haitian) over the last two years. Yet Haiti looks like the earthquake happened two months ago, not two years. Over half a million people remain homeless in hundreds of informal camps, most of the tons of debris from destroyed buildings still lays where it fell, and cholera, a preventable disease, was introduced into the country and is now an epidemic killing thousands and sickening hundreds of thousands more. It turns out that almost none of the money that the general public thought was going to Haiti actually went directly to Haiti. The international community chose to bypass the Haitian people, Haitian non-governmental organizations and the government of Haiti. Funds were instead diverted to other governments, international NGOs, and private companies. Despite this near total lack of control of the money by Haitians, if history is an indication, it is quite likely that the failures will ultimately be blamed on the Haitians themselves in a “blame the victim” reaction. Haitians ask the same question as many around the world “Where did the money go?”
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Here are seven places where the earthquake money did and did not go.
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One. The largest single recipient of US earthquake money was the US government. The same holds true for donations by other countries. Right after the earthquake, the US allocated $379 million in aid and sent in 5000 troops. The Associated Press discovered that of the $379 million in initial US money promised for Haiti, most was not really money going directly, or in some cases even indirectly, to Haiti. They documented in January 2010 that thirty three cents of each of these US dollars for Haiti was actually given directly back to the US to reimburse ourselves for sending in our military. Forty two cents of each dollar went to private and public non-governmental organizations like Save the Children, the UN World Food Program and the Pan American Health Organization. Hardly any went directly to Haitians or their government. The overall $1.6 billion allocated for relief by the US was spent much the same way according to an August 2010 report by the US Congressional Research Office: $655 million was reimbursed to the Department of Defense; $220 million to Department of Health and Human Services to provide grants to individual US states to cover services for Haitian evacuees; $350 million to USAID disaster assistance; $150 million to the US Department of Agriculture for emergency food assistance; $15 million to the Department of Homeland Security for immigration fees, and so on.
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International assistance followed the same pattern. The UN Special Envoy for Haiti reported that of the $2.4 billion in humanitarian funding, 34 percent was provided back to the donor’s own civil and military entities for disaster response, 28 percent was given to UN agencies and non-governmental agencies (NGOs) for specific UN projects, 26 percent was given to private contractors and other NGOs, 6 percent was provided as in-kind services to recipients, 5 percent to the international and national Red Cross societies, 1 percent was provided to the government of Haiti, four tenths of one percent of the funds went to Haitian NGOs.
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Two. Only 1 percent of the money went to the Haitian government. Less than a penny of each dollar of US aid went to the government of Haiti, according to the Associated Press. The same is true with other international donors. The Haitian government was completely bypassed in the relief effort by the US and the international community.
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Three. Extremely little went to Haitian companies or Haitian non-governmental organizations. The Center for Economic and Policy Research, the absolute best source for accurate information on this issue, analyzed all the 1490 contracts awarded by the US government after the January 2010 earthquake until April 2011 and found only 23 contracts went to Haitian companies. Overall the US had awarded $194 million to contractors, $4.8 million to the 23 Haitian companies, about 2.5 percent of the total. On the other hand, contractors from the Washington DC area received $76 million or 39.4 percent of the total. As noted above, the UN documented that only four tenths of one percent of international aid went to Haitian NGOs. In fact Haitians had a hard time even getting into international aid meetings. Refugees International reported that locals were having a hard time even getting access to the international aid operational meetings inside the UN compound. “Haitian groups are either unaware of the meetings, do not have proper photo-ID passes for entry, or do not have the staff capacity to spend long hours at the compound.” Others reported that most of these international aid coordination meetings were not even being translated into Creole, the language of the majority of the people of Haiti!
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Four. A large percentage of the money went to international aid agencies, and big well connected non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The American Red Cross received over $486 million in donations for Haiti. It says two-thirds of the money has been contracted to relief and recovery efforts, though specific details are difficult to come by. The CEO of American Red Cross has a salary of over $500,000 per year. Look at the $8.6 million joint contract between the US Agency for International Development (USAID) with the private company CHF for debris removal in Port au Prince. CHF is politically well-connected international development company with annual budget of over $200 million whose CEO was paid $451,813 in 2009. CHF’s connection to Republicans and Democrats is illustrated by its board secretary, Lauri Fitz-Pegado, a partner with the Livingston Group LLC. The Livingston Group is headed by the former Republican Speaker-designate for the 106th Congress, Bob Livingston, doing lobbying and government relations. Ms. Fitz-Pegado, who apparently works the other side of the aisle, was appointed by President Clinton to serve in the Department of Commerce and served as a member of the foreign policy expert advisor team on the Obama for President Campaign. CHF “works in Haiti out of two spacious mansions in Port au Prince and maintains a fleet of brand new vehicles” according to Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone, in an excellent article by Janet Reitman, reported on another earthquake contract, a $1.5 million contract to the NY based consulting firm Dalberg Global Development Advisors. The article found Dalberg’s team “had never lived overseas, didn’t have any disaster experience or background in urban planning… never carried out any program activities on the ground…” and only one of them spoke French. USAID reviewed their work and found that “it became clear that these people may not have even gotten out of their SUVs.”
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Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton announced a fundraising venture for Haiti on January 16, 2010. As of October 2011, the fund had received $54 million in donations. It has partnered with several Haitian and international organizations. Though most of its work appears to be admirable, it has donated $2 million to the construction of a Haitian $29 million for-profit luxury hotel. “The NGOs still have something to respond to about their accountability, because there is a lot of cash out there,” according to Nigel Fisher, the UN’s chief humanitarian officer in Haiti. “What about the $1.5 to $2 billion that the Red Cross and NGOs got from ordinary people, and matched by governments? What’s happened to that? And that’s where it’s very difficult to trace those funds.”
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Five. Some money went to for profit companies whose business is disasters. Less than a month after the quake hit, the US Ambassador Kenneth Merten sent a cable titled “THE GOLD RUSH IS ON” as part of his situation report to Washington. In this February 1, 2010 document, made public by The Nation, Haiti Liberte and Wikileaks, Ambassador Merten reported the President of Haiti met with former General Wesley Clark for a sales presentation for a Miami-based company that builds foam core houses. Capitalizing on the disaster, Lewis Lucke, a high ranking USAID relief coordinator, met twice in his USAID capacity with the Haitian Prime Minister immediately after the quake. He then quit the agency and was hired for $30,000 a month by a Florida corporation Ashbritt (known already for its big no bid Katrina grants) and a prosperous Haitian partner to lobby for disaster contracts. Locke said “it became clear to us that if it was handled correctly the earthquake represented as much an opportunity as it did a calamity…” Ashbritt and its Haitian partner were soon granted a $10 million no bid contract. Lucke said he was instrumental in securing another $10 million contract from the World Bank and another smaller one from CHF International before their relationship ended.
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Six. A fair amount of the pledged money has never been actually put up. The international community decided it was not going to allow the Haiti government to direct the relief and recovery funds and insisted that two institutions be set up to approve plans and spending for the reconstruction funds going to Haiti. The first was the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC) and the second is the Haiti Reconstruction Fund (HRF). In March 2010, UN countries pledged $5.3 billion over two years and a total of $9.9 billion over three years in a conference March 2010. The money was to be deposited with the World Bank and distributed by the IHRC. The IHRC was co-chaired by Bill Clinton and the Haitian Prime Minister. By July 2010, Bill Clinton reported only 10 percent of the pledges had been given to the IHRC.
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Seven. A lot of the money which was put up has not yet been spent. Nearly two years after the quake, less than 1 percent of the $412 million in US funds specifically allocated for infrastructure reconstruction activities in Haiti had been spent by USAID and the US State Department and only 12 percent has even been obligated according to a November 2011 report by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO). The performance of the two international commissions, the IHRC and the HRF has also been poor. The Miami Herald noted that as of July 2011, the $3.2 billion in projects approved by the IHRC only five had been completed for a total of $84 million. The Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC), which was severely criticized by Haitians and others from its beginning, has been effectively suspended since its mandate ended at the end of October 2011. The Haiti Reconstruction Fund was set up to work in tandem with the IHRC, so while its partner is suspended, it is not clear how it can move forward.
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What to do: The effort so far has not been based a respectful partnership between Haitians and the international community. The actions of the donor countries and the NGOs and international agencies have not been transparent so that Haitians or others can track the money and see how it has been spent. Without transparency and a respectful partnership the Haitian people cannot hold anyone accountable for what has happened in their country. That has to change. The UN Special Envoy to Haiti suggests the generous instincts of people around the world must be channeled by international actors and institutions in a way that assists in the creation of a “robust public sector and a healthy private sector.” Instead of giving the money to intermediaries, funds should be directed as much as possible to Haitian public and private institutions. A “Haiti First” policy could strengthen public systems, promote accountability, and create jobs and build skills among the Haitian people. Respect, transparency and accountability are the building blocks for human rights. Haitians deserve to know where the money has gone, what the plans are for the money still left, and to be partners in the decision-making for what is to come. After all, these are the people who will be solving the problems when the post-earthquake relief money is gone.
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Bill Quigley teaches at Loyola University New Orleans, is the Associate Legal Director at the Center for Constitutional Rights and volunteers with the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion, forthcoming from AK Press. Bill can be reached at quigley77@gmail.com.
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Amber Ramanauskas is a lawyer and human rights researcher. A more detailed version of this article with full sources is available. Amber can be reached at gintarerama@gmail.com.

1/12/2012
Christian Science Monitor
By Giordano Cossu
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For nearly two years, some 2,000 families lived crammed together in a makeshift camp called Maïs Gaté on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince. Set up spontaneously in the wake of Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, it was an unforgiving stretch of land, barren, rendering the insides of tents unbearable through much of the year. Now, only burned logs, some toothbrushes, and broken toys bear testament to two years of uncertainty and desperation for thousands of displaced Haitians. On Jan. 12, the two-year anniversary of the earthquake, almost everyone had gone: Residents moved out in December as part of a resettlement program called 16/6, which aims ultimately to relocate displaced people living in six refugee camps back to their 16 original neighborhoods. The plan, announced in July by President Michel Martelly, offers cash to families to rent a home while the 16 badly damaged boroughs of the city where they were living are refurbished. It is run through four United Nations agencies in partnership with the national government, as well as local city councils. Four camps have been cleared and the remaining two are set to be emptied soon.
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To some observers, that is testament to the benefits of a plan that lets the homeless move into proper shelter. But others say it is not a sustainable solution, as refurbishing of houses has barely started and rebuilding may not start for months. Amid a painfully slow reconstruction process hampered by politics and the chaotic flow of donor funds, the government-appointed director of the program, Clément Belizaire, is optimistic about the program’s impact. “It is the model we plan to extend to other camps,” he says enthusiastically. But concerns remain. First, 16/6 only targets a fraction of people still displaced in Haiti: 30,000 are targeted, out of the 515,000 living in more than 700 camps. Second, its funding is shaky: with costs estimated at $78 million, only $30 million is currently secured by the Haiti Reconstruction Fund because of bureaucratic snags. This financial uncertainty is further amplified by the fact that the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, the body established to coordinate relief efforts and the allocation of resources, ended its 18-month mandate last October and a new mandate has not been extended, amid split opinions about its actual accomplishments. And many worry that the philosophical underpinnings of the plan – including getting residents back to their places of origin – is only a goal on paper, as Haitians are likely to scatter to wherever they can find an affordable place, most likely in a poorer area.
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What saved Haitians, even in the worst camp conditions, was the community spirit whereby everybody helped his neighbor,” says Nicole Phillips, staff attorney at the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti, whose lawyers monitor the respect of human rights and the accountability of international actors in Haiti. “When you break up these communities and their ties, surviving becomes more difficult.”
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Humanitarian groups partnering in the project consider it a step in the right direction. “Giving cash to people to move, when integrated within a reconstruction and recovery plan, can be a very effective method,” says Emmett Fitzgerald, program manager for 16/6 for the International Office on Migration. But extending the plan is possible only if rebuilding proceeds at the same pace, as there would never be enough housing for the entire population living in camps. Residents of camps also support it. In a shady corner of the Maïs Gaté camp, a young man named Jackie, a young father of three, eagerly takes down his family tent at the end of December. “I can’t wait to leave the camp. It took me a long time to find a house,” he says, not interrupting his work. He will pay the equivalent of $500 for a year’s rent, a sum the program underwrote. The money is given to residents only when they find a house, to prevent people from taking the money and living under tarps elsewhere. Those who negotiate a lower rent can keep the difference. The Red Cross is responsible for the relocation of people at Maïs Gaté. “This program allows a follow-up: Those who are relocated will later receive an additional $500 to start an activity, and some professional training,” says Jean-Baptiste Pericles, communication officer of the Haitian Red Cross. “Clearly, this is better than using violence to force evictions. But many points are still unanswered,” says Ms. Phillips. “This cash-giving model is not sustainable for the poor. What will happen in a year from now? Thousands of people who left the camps today will be homeless again. And they won’t be allowed to return to camps.” And not everyone has been able to move. Almost alone, Claircil Luxarmor stands amid the litter of destroyed tents at the Maïs Gaté camp, holding her baby. She lost her husband in the earthquake. The “K059” painted on her shelter indicates that she can benefit from the relocation program if she finds a new place. “We have not been able to find another place. I cannot work nor look for a house as I need to take care of my children,” she says. “We feel condemned to stay here.”

The Telegraph
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Haitians gathered in makeshift churches and even a United Nations supply base on Thursday to mark the second anniversary of the devastating 2010 earthquake, holding ceremonies that mixed remembrance with hope for a new beginning. The disaster killed 316,000 people and displaced 1.5 million in this impoverished country of 10 million people. More than 500,000 are still in temporary settlement camps as Haiti struggles with a reconstruction effort that has been thwarted by a messy election, political paralysis and absence of aid co-ordination. "We need to keep telling future generations about this so that we can help the country build better," said Eddy Jean-Baptiste, 46, on his way to a church in the mountains that surround Port-au-Prince. For its part, officials in President Michel Martelly's government emphasised the need for education by inaugurating a new university in the north and announcing plans to rebuild a college specialising in science.
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"It's a day when we remember and then we make the decision to move on, which is very, very Haitian," Prime Minster Gary Conille told The Associated Press. "We bury the dead and go back to work immediately." Services on the national holiday ranged from roadside affairs to a government-organised observance near a mass grave north of the capital led by Martelly and attended by Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier. Duvalier, the former despot who made a surprise return to Haiti nearly a year ago, was flanked by his longtime partner, Veronique Roy, and former President Prosper Avril.
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Churchgoers in Port-au-Prince donned dark suits and white dresses and, with Bibles in hand, walked to religious services throughout the capital of 3 million. In the hillside city of Petionville, the congregation filled up a church and spilt onto the street as they sang hymns that asked God for security and courage. Fabien Jean-Baptiste recalled when the terrible events of Jan 12, 2010. She said she had just stepped out of her home to run errands at a market when the earth heaved at 4:53pm. Her six children had stayed home, and she thought fearfully that there was no way they could have survived and she assumed they were dead. They weren't. "I said, 'God is in the sky, thank you,'" Ms Jean-Baptiste, 35, said between her morning prayers on the cracked sidewalk outside the church. The street vendor lost two siblings to the quake, but took solace that her children survived. "God gave me the grace. I'm here," Ms Jean-Baptiste said. "I still have my children." Haiti's government, Western embassies and foreign charity groups were targeted by criticism as a mobile wake drew several dozen protesters and wound through downtown Port-au-Prince, one of the hardest-hit areas in the quake.
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Carrying signs that called the government "imported," the demonstrators focused on the need to house the 500,000 people still without homes. "We're asking for the state to give us good homes because we really don't have any," Fritznel Joasil, 36, said. Former US President Bill Clinton and Haitian Prime Minister Garry Conille announced that the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund was donating $2 million in hopes others would match that for an effort to rebuild the University of Haiti's Faculty of Sciences. "To build a modern economy, Haiti needs more engineers, architects, chemists, experts in information technology," Mr Clinton said. "This faculty will help to provide the means for you to build your own future." In northern Haiti, Martelly inaugurated a $30 million university built by the neighbouring Dominican Republic. With 72 classrooms, the university will educate 10,000 students and hire hundreds of teachers, technicians, administrative and maintenance employees. It's expected to open in September. President Martelly said he hopes the university will lure hundreds of Haitian professionals from overseas to come back and lend their expertise. On the northern end of Port-au-Prince, the United Nations held a service to remember its 102 employees, from senior officials to drivers, who died in the quake. It was the biggest loss of life for the UN in a single disaster. "Today we are here not to simply to remember those who were lost and the tragedy but to renew our commitment to Haiti's future because we owe that to them," Mr Clinton, the UN special envoy to Haiti, said from a lectern. "There are genuine reasons for hope." The ceremony, which showed a video of images of those who died, was followed by a wake outside in which Haitian families and others placed dozens of white roses on an iron memorial. It was designed to represent the pages of paper that floated to the ground in the seconds after the quake. It bore the first names of the UN workers who died. "It's always there – the memory of that day – I try to put it aside," said Michel Martin, an analyst with UN police who lost two close colleagues. "I managed to put it away in a drawer. But today, I opened it, and everything came back."

Associated Press
By TRENTON DANIEL
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The billions of dollars in aid that flowed into Haiti after its shattering earthquake were meant to build a new nation with thriving farms, apparel factories, modern hospitals and paved roads in the countryside. Ambitious plans call for $500 million to build 50 new grade schools, $200 million to give Port-au-Prince its first wastewater treatment plant, and $224 million to create an industrial park for 65,000 garment industry workers – all aimed at laying the groundwork for a new Haiti. But as the hemisphere’s poorest country marks the second anniversary of the earthquake that killed some 300,000 people, only about half of the $4.6 billion in promised aid has been spent. Half a million people are still living in crowded camps. And only four of the 10 largest projects funded by international donors have broken ground. The optimistic rallying cry promoted shortly after the earthquake, to “build back better,” has turned out to be much harder to achieve than anyone imagined. Reconstruction efforts have been stymied by the same problems that impoverished Haiti in the first place: chronic political instability, a lack of a robust central government, and a tattered infrastructure in a nation where, even before the earthquake, half the children did not attend school and more than half the population was unemployed.
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Former U.S. President Bill Clinton, the U. N. Special Envoy to Haiti, said in an interview Wednesday that the reality of Haiti and its complicated history made the hoped-for reconstruction difficult. “We had massive, massive problems in Haiti before the earthquake,” Clinton told The Associated Press. “A lot of this stuff we’re not trying to rebuild -we’re actually trying to do it right for the first time.” Haitian President Michel Martelly also acknowledged that achievements have fallen far short of expectations, describing progress so far as “definitely, not enough,” in an interview with the BBC. “But lately, since I have been in power, I will say that we have shown strong signals that things are changing and moving in Haiti,” said the president, who took office in May and whose squabbles with parliament have contributed to the delays. The previous administration of President Rene Preval was crippled by the collapse of government buildings and showed little leadership in the aftermath. The election that brought Martelly to power was marred with irregularities and riots that paralyzed the capital. It took the politically inexperienced Martelly six months to install a prime minister because rival lawmakers rejected his initial two picks. Against that backdrop were the high expectations fostered by international partners, including Clinton, who promised that Haiti would not come back as the same beleaguered nation. Instead, education, health, energy, agriculture sectors and infrastructure all would be overhauled, like starting a country from scratch.
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The administration of Martelly, a former musician, abounds with ambition. His prime minister, Garry Conille, told Parliament Monday that the government wants to enroll another 1 million children in school this year, plant trees to stop decades of deforestation and improve health care. Conille calls 2012 “a year of construction.” But the efforts to create a new country so far have been met with frustration. Lawmakers have grumbled that they witness little happening. Camp dwellers have demonstrated against the lack of housing and the evictions that have pushed them elsewhere. Others are exasperated over news of billions of dollars in aid that yields few visible results — large or small. Nicolas Pierre, a 55-year-old farmer in the foggy mountains above Port-au-Prince, is still waiting for the president to make good on his promise of free transport for school children. “Martelly hasn’t sent the free buses here,” said Pierre. “We have to carry the children in the mud.” The 10 biggest internationally funded projects approved by the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, or IHRC, are ambitious and complicated. They involve multiple partners, require bids for contracts and address a range of needs from job creation and health to energy, sanitation and education. It will take years for them to reach completion. “Reconstruction is not the same thing as humanitarian work; humanitarian work has to be done quickly,” said Diego Osorio, of the Haiti Reconstruction Fund, which helped finance IHRC-approved projects. “Reconstruction projects require planning, and there are not going to be visible accomplishments on a day-to-day basis.”
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Yet even the planning has suffered. The recovery commission co-chaired by Clinton was set up to assure foreign donors that their money wouldn’t go wasted. The panel helped coordinate multi-million projects in a relatively transparent fashion and avoid duplication. But in October the commission’s 18-month mandate ended, halting work on future projects, because opposition lawmakers took no action on a request by Martelly to renew the mandate for another 12 months. So far, the biggest completed project is a $30 million state-of-the-art university in northern Haiti built by the Dominicans. On Thursday, the day of the quake anniversary, Martelly and President Leonel Fernandez of the neighboring Dominican Republic are scheduled to inaugurate the campus, complete with 72 classrooms, science and computer labs and a library for as many as 10,000 students.
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Another project under way is the United States’ most ambitious. Budgeted at $224 million, the Caracol industrial park is taking shape as bulldozers clear a field for an industrial park run by South Korean garment manufacturer Sae-A Trading Co. Ltd. The project is expected to bring 65,000 jobs to a remote area outside Haiti’s second largest city, Cap-Haitien, with the first batch of T-shirts scheduled for production by September. But the majority of the projects have been delayed by an array of problems ranging from an inability to secure funding to land disputes. Seeking $79.6 million, a national food program sought to provide a hot meal to 2.2 million students in 6,000 schools in Port-au-Prince and the countryside. In the end, the meals only reached half that number because only $44 million was raised, said Myrta Kaulard, Haiti director of the World Food Program and one of the architects of the proposal. “Why did the (Haiti Reconstruction Fund) not contribute to the program? I cannot really tell you,” said Kaulard, WFP’s Haiti director since 2008. “Perhaps there were other priorities.” Clinton thought the program significant enough last year to tour the dusty grounds of a school that had received the meals. But even with his star power, the endorsement did little to bring donors to cough up money. Another major holdup has been the dilemma of land ownership. The country’s land registry is in disarray, and title disputes are sometimes settled with guns or bribes. Plans to build a $200 million wastewater treatment plant north of Port-au-Prince nearly collapsed last year when a powerful businessman claimed he owned a parcel of land on which the Spanish government and Inter-American Development Bank were building. The dispute was solved only after eight senior diplomats and heads of development groups appealed to then-Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive. The plant is scheduled to open in 2015.
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Clinton said that though the going is slow, reconstruction is now gaining momentum. “I think that there’s a real chance that in five years they’ll be far better off than they were before the earthquake,” he said. Carpenter Kesnel Joselus hopes that’s true. On a mountainside above Port-au-Prince, the $500-million school project is coming to life. Joselus is laying the foundation for a 14-classroom school that will spare children a two-hour hike and allow their parents to harvest crops instead. “If there are more educated children here,” Joselus said, “the community will be able to make progress.”
(Associated Press writer Evens Sanon contributed reporting.)

Copyright 2012 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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By Edwidge Danticat
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An excerpt from Edwidge Danticat's essay in the February 2012 issue
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Anniversaries hurt. They brutalize the body. They pummel the spirit. Especially the anniversary of a catastrophe, where we are remembering the death not just of one or two people, but hundreds of thousands: 300,000 to be precise. Just when we thought our pain had subsided, it emerges again, it expands from a daily ache, which we hoped would one day disappear, to the throbbing agony we experienced at the moment that it seemed the world ended. Two years ago in Haiti, the Earth opened, buildings collapsed, and people died. Armies descended, displaying military might worthy of a war zone. A flock of nongovernmental agencies came, too, growing from an estimated 10,000 to 16,000, making Haiti host to more nongovernmental organizations per capita than almost any other country in the world. Money was pledged by the world’s powers, great and small, $9.9 billion worth of promises, with less than half of that actually delivered. Two years ago, I watched all this unfold from my home in Miami, mostly with an infant in my arms. Three weeks later, when I was finally able to travel to Haiti, my chest nearly exploded in spite of the pumping and bottling one must do when away from a nursing baby. During that first trip, seeing so many people—including friends and family members—sleeping on the streets, in the shadows of shattered houses, cramped next to each other in public places in makeshift tents, I dreaded the first rain. Since then lots and lots of rain has fallen. Even a hurricane has blown through.
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Two years worth of rain and sun has thinned out the tents. Wherever they could, people abandoned the pretense of temporary shelter and converted cloth and tarp to tin and wood, even where the land was not theirs. Some have been forcibly evicted. Gunmen have come in at night—some sent by private landowners, others by the state. You will hear that the number of the displaced has been reduced in half since the earthquake, that it has shrunk from 1.5 million to 600,000, but you will not hear where the displaced have gone. In a devastated city of mostly renters, where unemployment is at nearly 60 percent, the displaced have been accused of purposefully squatting in squalor, living in open spaces where the heat dehydrates babies, and women and girls are raped, supposedly just to catch the attention of nongovernmental organizations. As if they had mansions that they were neglecting, hidden food and water that was going to waste, schools for their children that they were hoping to trade up for a better one, as if they had anything but their dignity left intact.
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Sometimes it can feel as though none of us is doing enough. That feeling, especially among those of us children of Haiti who are living in the diaspora, is the opposite of donor fatigue. It is sometimes hope and sometimes guilt. Hundreds of friends and family members rely on us. We finance homes, clinics, schools, weddings, and funerals, but there is always more to do for, and with, people who are eager to get a foothold themselves and do so proudly every day. On this anniversary, while remembering the dead and celebrating those still living, I also want to recognize more than ever the marginalized members of Haitian society—people like my grandparents and their grandparents, poor, urban and rural, self-reliant and proud men and women who are the backbone of Haiti. Without their full inclusion and participation in the reconstruction of their country, Haiti will never fully succeed.
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Edwidge Danticat is a fiction writer, essayist, and memoirist. In 2011, she edited “Haiti Noir” and “Best American Essays.” This is an excerpt from Edwidge Danticat's essay in the February 2012 issue

U.S. Department of State
By Cheryl Mills
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The power of Haiti's heritage and its people is tremendous. For America, Haiti has held, and continues to hold, a unique and rich role in African-American history. Before and since the earthquake in 2010, Haiti has faced great challenges -- ones they are working to confront and to lead the international community in helping them solve. The United States government (USG) -- and the American people -- has had the privilege of being a steadfast partner in Haiti's efforts. As we approach the second anniversary of the 2010 earthquake, it is important to remember those who lost so much; and, to honor Haitians' unrelenting commitment to realize a more prosperous and stable nation by shining a light on some of the progress toward the great future they seek.
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There is so much work still to be done -- by the Government and people of Haiti, international partners, the private sector, and NGOs. Too often when things begin heading in the right direction, commitments wane and past habits reemerge. We must not let that happen. On the part of the United States, we know in Haiti we have not always measured success by whether the lives of Haitians visibly improved. And, we are continuing to take steps to do better, implementing the principles President Obama set out for effective development in his administration: coordinating with other stakeholders, working closely with the Government of Haiti and following their lead, and holding ourselves accountable through rigorous monitoring of results. We are focused on improving our impact further -- from decreasing the time it takes to contract for critical needs and increasing the number of contracts we award through Haitian entities and local partners, to widening the scope and enhancing the effectiveness of our work to build Haitian capacity, to speeding the time it takes for our investments to get on the ground and have an impact.
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In the coming days there will be stories about Haiti that focus on what still must be done -- like speeding the progress of donors' deployment of assistance, finding homes for the 500,000 people who still live in camps, remaining vigilant to dampen the impact of cholera, and creating more jobs, investment and economic growth. We agree. But we also think it is important to recognize the successes that are too seldom discussed or celebrated -- particularly given how great Haiti's needs were even before the earthquake. And Haiti has made progress. So I wanted to take a moment to share some of those successes.
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10 Things You May Not Know About Haiti Today
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Almost two-thirds of the estimated 1.5 million Haitians living in tent shelters after the January 2010 earthquake have left camps, many returning to houses that have undergone structural improvements or moving into temporary shelters and permanent homes. T
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The USG, through the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, has completed more than 28,500 temporary shelters, housing approximately 143,000 people. The USG has also funded repairs to more than 6,000 "yellow" structures -- those that were deemed structurally safe if repairs are made. Today, more than 40,000 have returned to those homes.
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Over half of the estimated 10 million cubic meters of rubble created by the earthquake has been removed -- almost 50 percent of which was removed through efforts of the USG.
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In 2011, Haitians went to the polls and elected a new President, Michel Martelly, to succeed Rene Preval. This election marked the first democratic transfer of power from one democratically elected government leader to a member of the opposition.
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For the first time in more than 25 years, Haiti is poised to have all three branches -- executive, legislative and judiciary -- of government in place. President Martelly has appointed three members of the Supreme Court, including the Court's president --a position that was vacant for six years and is central to the judiciary's oversight body.
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The Haitian Ministry of Health, supported by the international community including USG through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and USAID, led the international community's response to prevent and treat cholera -- bringing the case mortality rate below the international standard of 1 percent.
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According to the UN Special Envoy for Haiti's website, of the 4.5 billion pledged for Haiti for 2010-2011, approximately 2.4 billion had been spent by December 2011. In October, the legislative mandate for the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC) ended. During its tenure, the Commission approved 89 projects across 8 sectors valued at more than 3 billion dollars. Even in the absence of a legislatively mandated coordination mechanism, the 12 largest donors continue to leverage the relationships built through the IHRC to coordinate among themselves and work with the Government of Haiti through resident representatives.
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The Government of Haiti, with the support of stakeholders, including the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), is providing schooling to 260,000 elementary students for a total of 750,000 elementary students enrolled this school year.
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The Government of Haiti is overhauling its state-owned electricity company, Electricité D'Haiti (EDH), which provides electricity to just 12 percent of the population and requires more than 100 million a year in government subsidy to operate. The Government of Haiti has appointed new Haitian leadership and an internationally respected turnaround management team funded by the U.S. government. In the first three months, the new management has helped the utility company improve its operations, its transparency and its fiscal efficiency, identifying more than 1.6 million in monthly savings. The new management will not only improve and expand services, but also help reduce the substantial government subsidy for EDH's operations, freeing these resources up for other critical needs.
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The USG is doing development differently in Haiti, consistent with the principles of the Presidential Policy Directive on Global Development and its focus on catalyzing economic growth:
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Caracol Industrial Park: In November, President Martelly, President Clinton, and Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Moreno and more than a 1,000 members of the local community took part in an official ceremony laying the Park's foundation, on track for its March opening. The speed and efficiency of implementation rivals the fast-moving construction schedules of industrial projects across the Americas, Europe and Asia. The 250-hectare Caracol Industrial Park in northern Haiti is a 300 million public-private partnership supported by increased U.S. trade preferences under the Haiti Economic Lift Program (HELP) Act and the coordination mechanisms created by the IHRC. The USG helped convene the GOH, the IDB and Korea's largest apparel manufacturer, Sae-A, the Park's anchor tenant. Sae-A has committed to create 20,000 direct jobs and invest 78 million over six years, one of the largest investments in Haiti's modern history. With the arrival of other tenants, the Park has the potential to create 65,000 direct jobs, with additional opportunities expected for vendors, repair shops, farmers and other small businesses. USG investments will provide for electrification, new housing, and port facilities. IDB investments will provide for the construction of the park facilities and roads. The GOH is contributing the land and managing the project top to bottom with a team of Haitian professionals.
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Agriculture: Through USG investments in agriculture and food security, more than 9,700 farmers have benefited from improved seeds, fertilizer, technologies, and techniques. This has resulted in a 64 percent increase in rice yields, a 338 percent increase in corn yields, a 97 percent increase in bean crop yields and a 21 percent increase in plantain yields for these farmers. As a result of a full value chain approach, incomes are up over 50 percent for 8,750 small farmers.
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Haiti is experiencing continued and increasing international investment interest. A multi-day conference on business development opportunities in Haiti drew around 1,000 business leaders from the private sector as well as officials from 29 countries spanning the Americas, Asia and Europe. Marriot and Digicel announced the construction of a new 45 million Marriot hotel in Port-Au-Prince, with the construction by several developers of more than 750 hotel rooms in the pipeline -- representing the largest growth in the industry for the Caribbean region, which includes popular tourist destinations in Mexico, the Dominican Republic and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
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When I first started working in Haiti, someone steeped in working there said to me, "you cannot chase needs in Haiti because Haiti's needs are too great. You must chase opportunities." I urge everyone to continue to chase opportunities in Haiti -- to stay committed. In the days and weeks after the earthquake, more than half of all Americans gave money to help make a difference in Haiti's future. I encourage you to go back to the organization you supported -- you will see the difference you helped make -- and can continue to make. Together we can help Haitians achieve the future they deserve.

By Marisa Peñaloza and Carrie Kahn
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You can see some progress in Haiti two years since the 7.0-magnitude quake hit. But Port-au-Prince is a tour of unrelenting misery and often disturbing images. Things are happening — slowly. You can tell the pace of progress by looking into people's eyes — emptiness looks back at you. Pain is etched on their faces. You see it in Elicia Andre. We met her back in December at the homeless encampment run by Catholic Relief Services in Port-au-Prince, where she sought refuge after the quake. The charity had just given her $500 to rent an apartment for a year. There were hardly any tents left at the camp when we talked to her. It was pretty much a huge empty lot with a lot of garbage. We walked around for a bit. Andre had trouble finding the spot where her tent was. Finally, she stopped. "It's here," she whispered. Tears filled Andre's eyes as she told us about how her husband had been crushed to death in the earthquake, how she was in a state of shock for so long after, how she still doesn't know what to do without him. She also kept telling us how much larger of a person she used to be — a sign of affluence in Haiti; now she is skin and bones. Andre is 45 years old, but she looks more like 60. Since the quake, lots of help has come to Haiti — but it just never seems to be enough. It took Andre almost two years to get out of a camp, but so many aren't as lucky in Haiti. Plenty are stuck.
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Like those still living at Champs de Mars, the sprawling camp right across the street from the National Palace. We have been here many times, but this time it felt much different walking around. People weren't as willing to talk to us. They told us to get out or demanded money for interviews. They seemed much angrier and out of patience. Even when you find someone with a more open spirit, hope quickly fades. Like the boys playing a board game they had made — they call it nido — but they complain about how the police always come by and kick it out from under them. Or the woman eking out a living giving pedicures, yet lost her foot in the earthquake. Or the two men who tried to make some music with a rusted bongo drum and a guitar with very few strings. Running right under their feet is open sewage — the smell, nauseating. Some relieve themselves on the ground; gone are their walls, their privacy, their dignity.
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Champs de Mars is still huge, filled with once crisp tarps now discolored and torn. It has no running water. But Michelin Tibeaoux, who lives here with her son and grandson, had some water in buckets to wash her dishes. She's 69 years old. She said she just wants out of there. She wants what Elicia Andre got — money to rent an apartment. Andre took us to see her new place. She proudly unlocked the door and showed us in. The walls were painted white. She had a lace curtain up across the room to separate the bedroom. For the first time, we saw a brief smile as she showed off her new home. She even said, "I'm happy." But then her eyes seemed to go blank again. Her children aren't staying with her. She can't sleep. She's still sleeping on the floor. She used the $500 she got from Catholic Relief Services to pay for a year's rent, and she doesn't have a job — and a bed is a luxury she can't afford. Andre and others told us Haitians were emotionally taxed before the quake, but now their souls seem as damaged and fragile as their country's infrastructure. We went to Elicia Andre's house really hoping for some sort of happy ending — anything. That's what it's like in Haiti. There just isn't enough help to go around.

Singer Wyclef Jean (3rd L) greets his neighbors before heading off for a meeting with Haitian President Rene Preval on August 19, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Haiti's electoral authorities are scheduled to release the list of the presidential candidates that can run in the November 28, 2010 election on August 20. There is 1.5 million people still living in tent camps and less than four percent of the rubble from collapsed buildings has been cleared since the earthquake, that killed some 200,000 people. Singer Wyclef Jean (3rd L) greets his neighbors before heading off for a meeting with Haitian President Rene Preval on August 19, 2010 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Haiti's electoral authorities are scheduled to release the list of the presidential candidates that can run in the November 28, 2010 election on August 20. There is 1.5 million people still living in tent camps and less than four percent of the rubble from collapsed buildings has been cleared since the earthquake, that killed some 200,000 people. (Joe Raedle, Getty Images) Wyclef Jean spent Thursday volunteering in his native Haiti to commemorate two years since an earthquake leveled the nation. The Fugees star threw himself into charity work following the disaster on January 12, 2010, and even attempted to run for president in a bid to help improve life for desperate Haitians.
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His political run was denied, but the musician has continued working with his Yele Haiti foundation to help survivors cope in the aftermath of the crisis, and he returned to the country this week to mark two years since the quake. Jean filmed a special report for TV show 106 and Park on Thursday, and urged his fans to take time out of their day to remember the tragedy. In a series of posts on his Twitter page, he writes, "From The Ashes We Shall Rise. Tune into to 106 and Park today for a special episode dedicated to the Earthquake Victims, I will be reporting from the ground in Haiti. 2 Years ago at 4:53 PM a 7.0 devastated (sic) my homeland of Haiti. Let us now take a moment of silence 2 remember those that passed and their fam (families)..." And Wyclef wasn't the only star with the disaster on his mind - Janet Jackson also 'tweeted' to continue raising awareness. She writes, "2 yrs after Haiti's quake the # (number) of orphans has doubled, 40% unemployment, no schools, no food...500k people still live under tarps & in tents, 1000's of women are sexually abused, 100 rapes daily in settlements. If you want to help with me & (charity) AidStillRequired - plant trees, provide jobs, homes, food, education go to

By Peter Haas
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On the TED Fellows Blog today, TED Senior Fellow Peter Haas writes this powerful essay, considering the two-year anniversary of the deadly Haiti earthquake. Today is the two-year anniversary of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, and I wanted to write a positive article about the good projects I have seen there. Unfortunately after reflecting, I felt that it would be a disservice to all the people still living in camps; it would be a disservice to all those who have been evicted. Things are getting better and will improve in the coming year in Haiti, but we are a long way from having the rebuilt, revitalized Port-au-Prince that people hoped for. And it is respecting those hopes that I must say the international community, while good at meeting immediate needs, has done a poor job in transforming lives and livelihoods, and I fear we may fail to deliver what the Haitian people are expecting of us. Unfortunately we are running out of time to change our ways.
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Failures from Past Disasters: Gonaïves
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I want to bring your attention back to 2008 and another devastating tragedy in Haiti: the hurricanes and flooding in Gonaïves, a city a few hours north from the capital. Gonaïves flooded with 10 feet of water; 800 people were killed and there was over a billion dollars in damage. US$100 million was given in response (watch the video from Al Jazeera). The international community responded in force. Tents and emergency supplies were sent in. However, I invite you to visit Gonaïves 4 years on and tell me if that was money well spent. Many projects are half completed or not even started such as the US$19 million hospital pledged by the Canadian Government (http://www.canadahaitiaction.ca/content/failed-reconstruction-haiti-deba...). Admittedly there aren’t huge tent cities in Gonaïves, but that is because many people were able to reclaim existing housing stock when flood waters receded.
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I bring up Gonaïves only because it is a comparatively small problem compared to what is being faced in Port-au-Prince. It is an important frame of reference. Out of US$2.6 billion given for the Haiti earthquake, only an estimated US$360 million remains in unspent private aid funding. Three times what was ultimately spent in Gonaïves is not enough to address the problems remaining in Port-au-Prince. Yet for some reason the UN recently declared “two years later, we can say that the humanitarian response was a success.”(http://defend.ht/politics/articles/international/2161-humanitarian-respo...). With 500,000 still under tarps and tents, with a Cholera outbreak started by the UN (http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/08/110824123128.htm), and with a huge sex scandal, you have to ask, what would failure have looked like?
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While some might point to the 500,000 figure as a significant reduction from 1.3 million displaced by the disaster, it should be noted that only 4.7% of those who got out of camps got into quality housing (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/24/world/americas/24haiti.html ). Many were simply evicted into worse conditions than the camps in informal settlements. Many others got themselves out as soon as possible with the help of remittances from family and friends living overseas. The rate of people leaving camps over the past year and a half has slowed dramatically. The people who are left have fewer and fewer means. The biggest fear for me is that when the money runs out in Port-Au-Prince, we will have a situation similar to Gonaïves with closed NGO offices and unfinished projects and with people left to fend for themselves in informal settlements.
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Where is the money? The one positive statement I can make is that in analyzing the situation I don’t see a lot of opportunities for graft in the traditional sense. Contrary to conspiracy theory the money, wasn’t stolen, it was spent. Largely it was spent on things people might expect: food, water, gasoline, medical supplies, and salaries. But there were some expenditures people may not have planned on. For example of the US$376 million from the US government, 30% was spent on our own military Of the US$2.6 billion given in the past two years and the US$9.9 billion pledged at the Haiti Donors Conference held at the UN Headquarters in New York in March 2010, it can be hard to understand where the money went.
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TOP TEN NGO AID RECIPIENTS (USD)
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In total, the following 10 NGOs raised $1.4 billion out of the estimated $2.6 billion of private aid funding given for Haiti earthquake relief.
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American Red Cross: $486 million raised → food, shelter, medical supplies → $330 million spent
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Médecins Sans Frontières: $138 million raised → emergency medical support → $58 million spent
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Catholic Relief Services : $136.9 million raised → shelter, cholera → $67.6 million spent
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World Vision: $132 million raised → everything → $194 million spent
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Save the Children: $128 million raised→ child services → $100 million spent
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Oxfam: $120 million raised globally → water, sanitation, shelter → $89 million spent
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Partners In Health: $102 million raised → health care → $72 million spent
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CARE: $58.8 million raised → food, water, shelter hygiene → $41.4 million spent
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Clinton Bush Haiti Fund: $54.1 million raised → job promotion → $37.6 million spent
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Habitat For Humanity: $38 million raised → emergency shelter, housing → $38 million spent
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In March 2010, US$ 9.9 billion was pledged at the Haiti Donors Conference for the Haiti Reconstruction Fund (HRF), of which US$ 5.3 billion was to be disbursed by Fall 2011. Of that US$ 5.3 billion, US$800 million is debt relief. According to the Office of the UN Special Envoy, only US$ 2.38 billion have been dispersed of the remaining US$ 4.5 billion. From Haiti Libre: “Of the US$4.50 billion pledged, US$2.38 billion (52.9%) has been disbursed through four channels:

$1.59 billion (67%) in grants in support of the Government of Haiti, and to multilateral agencies, NGOs and private contractors;
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$319.9 million (13%) in budget support to the Government of Haiti;
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$275.8 million (12%) in pooled grant funding to the United Nations, Inter-American Development Bank and the World Bank through the Haiti Reconstruction Fund; and
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$197.6 million (8%) in loans to the Government of Haiti
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The donors have disbursed an additional US$654.8 million for general development in Haiti, outside of the New York conference recovery pledges.”
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(http://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-4673-haiti-reconstruction-52-9-of-the-...)
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The Interim Haiti Reconstruction Commission (IHRC), which was formed under the mandate of the Haitian government to disburse the funds in the HRF, has granted US$1.8 billion of those funds to several hundred organizations. Unfortunately, the IHRC suspended operations in October because the Haitian government would not renew its mandate. It is a shame because the IHRC was one of the few entities getting money out the door on a large scale. So the onus is now on the Haitian government to manage the money in the Haiti Reconstruction Fund. But even IHRC funding going out the door doesn’t mean work is happening on the ground. For instance everybody talks about housing in Haiti as the biggest need, but one of the big barriers to quality housing, aside from land title, is access to micro-mortgages and repair financing. Over a year ago, I spoke with Gabriel Verret, the head of the IHRC about micro-mortgages as an option to facilitate home ownership for those affected by the disaster. He said yes they had been looking into that. Indeed the Housing Finance Facility was approved with US$47 million to do this in February 2010 (http://en.cirh.ht/housing-finance-facility-hff.html ). By March 2011, this money was appointed to Development Innovations Group (DIG). As of this week, the country director at DIG couldn’t provide information on when the funds would become available. For a US$50 million fund focused on Haiti’s core challenge, it is a shame there is not even a launch date in place yet. This is just one project in the book of IHRC funded activities.
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So a lot of the money spent by NGOs went to getting people the basics: shelter, food, water, medical care and sanitation. For the all the problems with these responses, and I am going to piss off a lot of my activist friends by saying this, all things considered the international community did pretty well on triage. They housed and fed over a million people. They took care of 300,000 wounded. They treated 250,000 cases of cholera. That is serious work and should not be discounted. The problem is when you give to groups like the Red Cross this is the extent of the services you will get, food, water shelter, medical care. The humanitarian organizations are really good at that. What we’re worse at on the humanitarian side is rebuilding lives and livelihoods. That requires government intervention.
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A good example of the failed ties between humanitarian organizations and government comes from housing and the Building Back Better Communities Expo. The Expo was supposed to be a showcase of model homes that would be used in reconstruction. I first heard about it in May 2010; the first Request for Proposals went out in June. But due to untold delays the Expo itself didn’t happen until June 2011! I knew several of the participant companies and they were hopeful to leverage government contracts after the Expo to launch real housing solutions in Haiti. Even now two years on from the quake those hopes have not moved forward. Another unfortunate thing about the BBBC Expo is that it took place in the common area of a giant affordable housing apartment complex built during the Aristide era that stood up to the quake (unfortunate because it took the only green space from that community). My colleague Sasha Kramer, Executive Director of SOIL, (http://www.oursoil.org) kept asking the organizers, “Why is nobody building apartments like that…?” She never got an answer. Not all projects were delayed. The Iron Market is a perfect example of this and is the crown jewel project of billionaire philanthropist Denis O’Brien, founder of Digicel. In all deference, Denis became the success he is because he has a “get ‘er done” attitude that is almost a force of nature. The man gets involved in all level of projects across the country and sees them through to completion from bridges across previously uncrossable rivers to schools in the remotest regions. But as one guy he can only do so much, as epitomized by the Iron Market. If you look at photos around the market it is surrounded by destroyed buildings. The entire area looks like a war zone, except for one gleaming project.
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That captures a lot of the aid effort in Haiti right now, one project at a time. Maybe a nice school or an orphanage but no systemic change. I remember in the days early after the quake being berated by Denis because I was trying to get container forklifts sent to the Port of Cap-Haïtien, the second largest port in the country and then the only functioning port. At that point in time Cap-Haïtien was not accepting new containers of goods, aid, or food for the rest of the country because it was clogged with empty shipping containers. “We need to focus on Port-au-Prince people,” said Denis who offered that he might buy the forklifts for Cap-Haïtien himself if needed. This situation became symbolic to me of the problems of centralized Haiti, a country being denied food because its main port in Port-Au-Prince was shut down, couldn’t accept supplies in its secondary port because of something as small as broken forklifts. For me at that point, understanding Haiti’s problems involved stopping for a moment and getting the focus off of Port-Au-Prince.
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At one time Haiti had a number of vibrant port cities, Port-au-Prince was just one of them. If Haiti wants to get out of poverty it needs to reclaim its regional metropolis structure. Creating economic opportunities requires development in the regional city hubs: Cap-Haïtien, Gonaïves, Jacmel, Jeremie, Mirebalais, St. Marc, etc. A few months after the quake former Haitian Prime Minister Michelle Pierre-Louis sent me a copy of this interministerial plan (http://www.aidg.org/documents/mpl_HAITI_DEMAIN.pdf). This was one of a few plans developed for the first donors’ meeting in the Dominican Republic. The countering government plan that was presented at the March 2010 Donors Conference in New York also included decentralization as a theme (http://www.haiticonference.org/Haiti_Action_Plan_ENG.pdf), but the implementation has been muted. Following a true plan of decentralization could lead to wealth generation for all Haitians.
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It is important for people outside Haiti to understand the importance of decentralization for the economic development of the country. Rugged terrain and a poor road network heighten the needs for stronger regional economic markets. People have blasted the industrial park at Caracol, currently the largest project in Haiti at US$257 million, for being located on the North Coast and for being low wage textile jobs. In my mind, the primary mistake in this project is that they did not hire 50% of the workers straight from camps in Port-Au-Prince and build them worker housing at Caracol. The country needs more projects like this, generating large amounts of employment, leveraging functioning urban centers outside of the metropolitan Port-Au-Prince area. The US$16 million teaching hospital being built by Partners in Health in Mirebalais is another example of projects outside the capital that hold bright promise for the future of the country. The ideal would be to tie these projects to housing initiatives that clear out the camps in Port-Au-Prince. In Port-Au-Prince everybody argues about land title. If you offered Jeremie a new road network, factory and airport, I can guarantee you’ll find land for a 40,000 person community out there. The same holds for other cities.
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I am just trying to be clear here that the reconstruction of Port-au-Prince is going to be a decades long affair. The conditions there are not ideal for the population contained within the city limits. We are late on this. We should have started transitioning people day one out of camps by empowering business development throughout the country. I remember the Delegate for the North telling me he expected 100,000 people relocated to Cap-Haïtien. How many did Cap get? 15,000 coming on their own. That is not an effort toward decentralization. But we should know it is not too late to start. There is still hope for developing an economically robust decentralized Haiti.
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And let’s be clear the clock is ticking. The aid money is drying up in Port-Au-Prince (http://philanthropy.com/article/Charities-Have-Spent-Most-of/130223/ ). Of 35 major charities surveyed by the Chronicles of Philanthropy, 15 had less than US$200,000 or had spent all their Haiti aid money. The time has past to be focused on the basics. If you are going to help, don’t waste your money on sheds built out of 2 by 4s. Focus on permanent solutions that improve people’s lives and livelihoods, don’t settle for stopgaps that should have been finished 6 months after the quake. It is time to get those larger systems in place leveraging what is left of the money pledged at the Donors Conference. The massive jobs programs. The micro-mortgage programs. The SME investment. The industry relocation. The agricultural renewal. The road rebuilding. Port and airport Revitalization. Grid development. Ecotourism development. Improving ease of doing business. Overhauling the courts. If these projects don’t get moving soon, the money available to the government won’t keep pace with the continued triage work that has already drained the aid community. If these projects move forward they will also help engage the diaspora. The diaspora are the silent lion for the redevelopment of Haiti. There are over 1 million Haitians and people of Haitian descent living abroad. These families send over US$2 billion annually in remittances back to the country. They want to invest but the economic climate in the country needs to improve.
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If I seem angry, it is because I am. No rational person in my situation wouldn’t be angry. Instead of trying to build a new Haiti, we fed people false promises of housing and T structures in government-sanctioned wastelands right outside of Port-au-Prince. Financing has been stuck for reconstruction and training. In the meantime people rebuilding on their own have been doing so improperly with limestone “quarry sand” just perpetuating the risk in the next earthquake. There was a point for a few weeks after the quake when the international community had a real chance to capitalize on the migration out of Port-au-Prince and could have avoided a lot of this suffering. But we blew it in our focus on the camps. I am angry that we broke our promises, that all of us, for however hard we worked, truly failed the people of Haiti in the scale of the response. Even the voices to the voiceless project (http://www.iomhaiti.net/flipbook2/index.php) has an empty echo to it these days, not updated, not followed up upon. The sad story of people’s sad stories, another echo of empty promises made to people after the quake, never fulfilled and nearly forgotten. It is time to own up to those failures and move the dialogue forward beyond stopgaps and T shelters and towards the future of the country.
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Peter Haas is the Executive Director of AIDG. http://www.aidg.org

Chronicle of Philanthropy
By Marisa López-Rivera and Caroline Preston
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Flying into Port-au-Prince on a recent day, Wendy Flick noticed changes to the landscape that gave her hope for the earthquake-ravaged city. Ms. Flick, who runs the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee’s relief program in Haiti, saw more green spaces than she had remembered. That meant more rubble from the capital’s destroyed buildings had been cleared and some tent cities closed. And she saw new clusters of homes. Two years after a 7.0-magnitude quake left 1.5 million Haitians homeless, aid workers like Ms. Flick cling to signs like that. But the numbers alone tell a grim story. Roughly 519,000 people still live under tents in emergency camps that have dotted Port-au-Prince since the disaster. By the end of 2012, that number is expected to drop by only about half, according to a coalition of groups that coordinates shelter. Just 11,393 homes have been repaired and 3,206 permanent units constructed. Housing has proved the trickiest challenge facing aid workers in Haiti, as they grapple with disputes over land ownership and where they can legally build. And now, with hundreds of thousands of people still homeless, money is starting to dry up. Only about a third of the money raised by aid groups remains. Charities like Food for the Poor and Habitat for Humanity International, which specialize in housing, have spent all the cash they received. The American Red Cross and other large charities still have money, but they are struggling to find effective ways to spend it.
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Most Haitians didn’t own land before the quake and have nowhere to rebuild. Squabbles over land titles have scuttled projects. Critics fault aid groups for focusing too much on transitional shelter and not enough on long-term solutions.
Emptying Coffers Over all, about two-thirds of the $1.7-billion raised in the United States and abroad by 47 nonprofits has been spent, according to a Chronicle survey. Fifteen of 53 groups have either run out of funds or have less than $200,000 left. In total, 60 aid groups and their international affiliates have raised $2.1-billion worldwide for Haiti’s earthquake victims, including $1.43-billion from Americans. That is similar to the rate of spending after other disasters. But with so much work left undone, hopes of building Haiti “back better” seem increasingly out of reach. Smaller building projects, and those in rural areas, have met with some success, but large-scale construction hasn’t happened. The American Red Cross plans to put $187-million of the $486-million it raised toward housing. Mostly it is providing aid to other nonprofits; so far, it has committed $58.8-million to other charities to provide shelter. But while Red Cross money has given temporary shelter to 36,270 people, it has yet to build a single permanent home.
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The Red Cross blames the slow pace on confusion over land ownership. Julie Sell, spokeswoman for the Red Cross Haiti assistance program, says fighting over land has brought a few projects to a halt after the charity identified a place to build and gave money to other nonprofits to carry out construction. “We all wish that there were not so many people living under tarps and tents,” she says. “But given the significant challenges working in a place like Haiti, we have made significant progress, particularly in this last year.” But critics fault the charity’s approach. They say the Red Cross, whose focus is on disaster preparedness and immediate emergency response, lacks experience in rebuilding and has not worked closely enough with local organizations and government officials, a charge the nonprofit denies. Dominique Toussaint, chairman of Mobilize for Haiti, a nonprofit started by Haitian-Americans, says that last month his group pulled out of an informal collaboration on housing with the Red Cross and other charities, called the Haiti Reconstruction and Redevelopment Task Force, because of lack of progress. He said he’s talked with mayors in Haiti who offer to help arrange land for building but that nonprofits like the Red Cross don’t seem to take advantage of such opportunities. “Groups are unfamiliar with the process of building in Haiti, but if they did more outreach, they would find that there are solutions,” he said. Nonprofits “have become accustomed to operating in a certain way that is very top-down; they don’t do much in terms of consultation.”
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Others say they wish the Red Cross and other large nonprofits would put more pressure on Haiti’s government to free up land and resolve disputes. “There are legitimate concerns about land and having title to the land, but many [nonprofits] are sitting at cluster meetings and throwing up their hands,” says Melinda Miles, who directs the Let Haiti Live project at the TransAfrica Forum, an advocacy group. “That borders on criminal negligence. They should put their voices together and exert influence on the Haitian government.” Other nonprofit officials say critics vastly underestimate the challenges facing large-scale construction. Mark Andrews, vice president for Habitat’s earthquake recovery work, says his group has built 100 permanent homes so far and plans to build another 400 on the same plot of land. It would be difficult to overstate the complications his charity has faced, Mr. Andrews says. First, Habitat planned to build permanent homes in a town called Cabaret. But several people said that the mayor, who gave Habitat the land, had done so illegally. Habitat moved the project to another town, Léogâne, where similar disputes erupted before the mayor there helped resolve them. As soon as word got out about the project, 300 homeless families moved onto the land in hopes of being awarded one of the homes. Habitat can’t simply remove them, says Mr. Andrews, and the homes have already been assigned to other families.
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“If you are doing a small project like an orphanage or a school, yes, the church community and those kind of entities can deed land,” he says. “But large-scale housing is a politically loaded issue, and every politician who has a stake in the land will be involved, and it’s just extremely complicated.” Now Habitat, which received $36.4-million for Haiti recovery, is out of money. Unless the group gets more donations, it may be able to construct only another 100 permanent homes. Food for the Poor, which, like Habitat, operated in Haiti for decades before the quake, also quickly depleted the $20.7-million it raised for the recovery. That’s particularly discouraging because Food for the Poor has built 2,681 homes since the quake, says Angel Aloma, the charity’s executive director. He says that rich landowners, the church, or city mayors typically donate the land because they’re familiar with the group’s 25 years of work in Haiti. Since October 2010, Food for the Poor has drawn on its general funds to help Haiti rebuild. “We have the infrastructure and capacity to build,” Mr. Aloma says. “It’s frustrating not to be able to do more.” The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, which received $2.6-million after the disaster, has also had some success in securing land. Mouvement Paysan Papaye, which represents Haitian peasants, donated 20 acres in a town called Kolade, less than three hours from Port-au-Prince. So far, 10 homes have been constructed with the Unitarian group’s money. An irrigation system is being built, and the Haitians have received training in agriculture. Ms. Flick, of the Unitarian Universalist committee, says she is optimistic. The European Union recently paved a road to a nearby village; this year, it plans to construct a road to Kolade—which, Ms. Flick says, will make it easier for villagers to transport their fruit to market. “It’s a small example, but if it could be replicated all over Haiti, the country could not only be feeding itself but be exporting food,” she says. And yet, repeating such successes seems frustratingly unlikely. Much of the land in the area supported by the Unitarian group is owned by the government and the Catholic Church. Ms. Flick says she isn’t sure why more of the land isn’t being made available for ordinary Haitians. “The land is fertile,” she says. “But it’s just sitting there.”
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Noelle Barton and Peter Bolton contributed to this article.

By Jason Beaubien
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On Thursday, Haiti marked the second anniversary of the devastating 2010 earthquake. NPR's Jason Beaubien was back in the Caribbean nation for the quake memorials and he sent us this reporter's notebook about covering Haiti over the last few years. Haiti is a land haunted by ghosts. My translator, Jean Pierre, won't shut up about the ghosts. He points toward some men plodding up the dusty street hauling huge bags of charcoal on their heads. "Zombies," he declares. "Dead dudes are everywhere." Haiti makes you believe in spirits, in resurrection. Fallen presidents rise up, they return in waves. Baby Doc Duvalier; Jean Bertrand Aristide; Ousted into exile but now home. When I first came to Haiti in 2008, the city of Gonaives was under water. Over the course of a month, Gonaives was hit by two hurricanes, two tropical storms and it flooded twice. When I came back in 2010, Port-au-Prince was under piles of rubble. Entire hillside slums had slammed down onto their neighbors below. Grey powdery dust covered everything; fires burned across the city.
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Two years later, I still can't pull into the driveway of the Hotel Villa Creole without seeing the ghosts lying there. Right after the quake, the hotel driveway was covered with dying and injured Haitians. Children lay on sheets and blankets on the ground. A visiting gynecologist was sewing up a girl's head wound by flashlight. As a reporter, some quotes get burned into your mind. "There isn't a family in Haiti that isn't crying right now," a woman told me in English. Maybe those words stuck with me because I'd been crying myself. That morning my translator and I had been standing on a field of earthquake debris talking to an old woman. Tears streaked all our faces as the woman recounted how the walls of her house had started to wobble, and how her grandchildren didn't get out. And then there were the bodies — piles of bodies — stacked like cord wood beside the road, dumped at the morgue, burned in the streets, shoveled with front-end loaders into trucks and dropped into mass graves at an old gravel pit just outside the city. Elicia Andre, who says she used to be much larger — a sign of affluence in Haiti — is now skin
You can tell the pace of progress by looking into people's eyes — emptiness looks back at you.
Students in the first round of workshops used Holgas — very basic, toy film cameras. You've seen plenty of news photos, but how many photos by actual Haitians have you seen. Some of the men clearing debris could have been zombies, ghosts who'd wormed their way up to the surface. They were everywhere, stoically pounding away with sledge hammers at what looked like insurmountable piles of rubble.
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Just days after the quake, people gathered in front of destroyed churches to sing, to pray, to praise a God that appeared to have abandoned them. Over the coming weeks and months, spaces cleared. Tarps and tents went up. Shacks were built. But like the double flooding of Gonaives, Haiti can't seem to get just one catastrophe at a time. A cholera outbreak spread across the entire island, sickening a half a million people and killing thousands. More dead; more ghosts. There's a lot of bad news in Haiti. Earthquake victims — 500,000 of them — are still living in squalid camps. There are entire neighborhoods in Port-au-Prince with no toilets, no electricity and no clean water. Cholera is now endemic. But I left this time feeling like the country is at least moving forward. New universities, hospitals and hotels are being built. There's a government in place. Haiti's ghosts seem to hang over the country whispering about its long tragic history. But even so, the streets of Port-au-Prince fill every day with chaotic traffic jams and freewheeling commerce. It's reassuring that despite everything, people have somewhere to rush to. They have things they need to do, lives to live.

By Marisa Peñaloza and Carrie Kahn
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Last year, the Annex de Martissant area of Port-au-Prince was a camp for displaced people. The area was filled with tents. Today, locals are building sturdier shelters with funding from the American Red Cross. After Haiti's devastating earthquake two years ago, Americans donated large sums of money. This helped charities and aid groups save lives immediately after the disaster. But it's been much harder for them to help Haitians rebuild their devastated country. In the second of two stories, NPR's Carrie Kahn and Marisa Penaloza report that its difficult to get detailed information about how organizations spend their money. NPR surveyed 12 of the largest and best-known U.S. charities about their work in Haiti. The groups say they raised nearly $1.8 billion and have spent more than two-thirds of that. But how is the money being spent, and what kind of impact is it having?
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Guy Serge Pompilous is not impressed with the job nongovernmental organizations, or NGOs, are doing. Serge heads a small community group called Haiti Aid Watchdog. "Satisfactory ... just plainly satisfactory," he says. "People have been helped; there have been some beneficiaries. But there is still some work to do. That would be a D-plus, C-minus. I would rate them C-minus. Serge says it's been difficult to get nongovernmental organizations to account for the money. Julie Sell of the American Red Cross disagrees. She says her organization has done a good job. She's standing in a Port-au-Prince neighborhood where 100 homes are being repaired with $150,000 from the Red Cross. Sell says it's difficult to show someone exactly where their $10 contribution has gone. "One way we can show that impact is by telling the stories of Haitians and the people that we helped ... here is a life that you have helped to change," she says.
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But as the pace of recovery in Haiti drags on, those whose lives have not changed are angry. Much of that anger is directed at the NGOs. Pierre Jean Nelson has been living in a tent for two years and is out of patience. "What are they going to do with us? Because we can't suffer anymore. ... We can't take it anymore. ... It's too much," he says
He can't find a job and spends most of his days playing his rusted bongo. A small stream of foul-smelling water runs beside him. He wants to know where all the money has gone. Nigel Fisher, the United Nations humanitarian coordinator in Haiti, says NGOs must do a better job accounting for their funds. He says other kinds of aid, like money given by foreign governments and international banks, is very closely tracked and monitored. "It's not so easy to track the NGO resources that were raised, and we guess that there were maybe $2 billion raised by NGOs around the world ... that has been difficult to track," he says. The only legal accountability U.S. charities must complete is an annual form with the IRS. Many go beyond that requirement and post audited financial statements and other information on their websites. But those are complex documents with few details, especially when it comes to overhead costs in Haiti like housing, rental cars, security and local staff salaries. There's the proverb, you know ... they are giving a lot of fish but they are not teaching how to fish. A spokeswoman for the American Red Cross declined to provide a local overhead breakdown. World Vision did give NPR a local figure of nearly $1 million a month on average. That's 8 percent of the total amount the religious charity spent in Haiti.
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One of the other big issues facing aid groups is making sure enough resources go to long-term reconstruction as well as immediate relief. The U.N.'s Nigel Fisher says everyone must invest in the future of Haiti and make sure national institutions are strengthened, or "we'll be here in 20 years' time, and our successors will have the same discussion unless we change the approach." Without that greater accountability, many fear there will be more waste and duplication. Peter Bell of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a former CEO of CARE, agrees. He says U.S. charities should adopt a model used in the United Kingdom where groups jointly ask for money when a major disaster occurs. "It would take out some of the competition among the NGOs for resources and allow more of them to band together," he said. Guy Serge Pompilous, of the Haiti Aid Watchdog group, would have welcomed such an approach. His group tried to do its own survey of NGOs but none responded to his inquiries. His organization is no longer trying to monitor the work of NGOs. Serge doesn't want NGOs to leave Haiti, he just wants them to include more local input in their decision-making. "There's the proverb, you know ... they are giving a lot of fish but they are not teaching how to fish," he says.

By Amanda Klasing
Women’s Rights Researcher
Human Rights Watch
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It is easy to give up on Haiti reading through the litany of articles about where the country stands after two difficult years since the January 12, 2010 earthquake. In many ways, that was true even before the quake -- in the last five years, there have been food crises, multiple hurricanes, and political and electoral crises. With more than a half million people still living in the squalid displacement camps and cholera still threatening the health of thousands, what can be said about the recovery in Haiti that doesn't reflect only hopelessness? That doesn't make donor nations and their taxpayers throw up their hands in despair? That doesn't make forgetting about Haiti easier than following through on promises made in the months after the quake? Women's rights is one example of huge problems and work ahead, and yet it also shows why no one should give up on Haiti. Groundbreaking work is being done to promote the rights of women and girls -- who have suffered immeasurably in Haiti's disasters and instability -- through new legislation. Haiti's current criminal justice system does little to protect women and girls from rape and gender-based violence, and its health system is also failing victims. In 2010 and 2011, I interviewed over 120 women and girls living in shredded tents in displacement camps about sexual violence and health services, as well as scores of officials.
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Rape survivors described brutal attacks and poor state health and justice system responses. I found that the government is doing little to inform the public about access to post-rape care, and few health providers are trained to address gender-based violence. Professional schools for doctors and nurses do not include instruction on treating gender-based violence as part of their core curricula or continuing learning programs. Medical and judicial communities cannot agree on the necessary forms to record forensic medical evidence of rape. The penal code fails to encompass most forms of violence against women, and provides virtually no victim protection measures. But this under-developed and unwieldy system is capable of change, and in fact, it's under way. Years before the earthquake, women's rights activists and the Ministry of Women's Affairs began preparations for legal reforms to address gender-based violence. A significant step was taken in 2005 when rape was redefined as a crime against a person with significant penalties. This came after almost two centuries when rape was treated as a "moral" offense in Haiti. Sadly, the ministry and the women's rights advocates suffered heavy losses during the earthquake. Some of the strongest workers for reform lost their lives in the quake.
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Yet, 2012 can be the turning point. The Ministry of Women's Affairs is forging ahead with legal reforms. A draft law it plans to introduce in parliament soon would provide new protections against gender-based violence and to women in the workplace, home and community. If adopted in its entirety, it would be nothing short of a rights revolution for Haiti's women. Of course, much could happen to water down this bill before it passes, and the government will need outside support for resources to carry out some components, like a shelter system for survivors of violence. But the very fact that this bill is gaining momentum inspires optimism. During my first human rights investigation in Haiti, a Haitian friend of mine looked through my camera and saw only images of despair. Disappointed, he asked me to look harder for positive images of his country -- something that I could capture with my camera to prove to people back in the U.S. that not everything in Haiti was bad. This was years before January 2010, and even then it was a difficult exercise. Two years after the quake, with much still going wrong, looking for signs of progress, particularly for the rights of the most vulnerable, is not easy. But, we must keep reminding ourselves and others that not everything in Haiti is going wrong. Women's rights leaders in Haiti are proving this again with their remarkable work to change the laws to guarantee justice and equality for women and girls.
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Amanda Klasing is a women's rights researcher at Human Rights Watch who has done research on post-earthquake conditions and services in Haiti.

1/12/2012
Colombia Journalism Review
By Maura R. O'Connor
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Fifteen miles north of the National Palace in Port au Prince, along Haiti’s azure coastline, is a place called Titanyen. From Kreyol, this name translates to something like “less than nothing.” Titanyen feels practically barren, mostly dusty hills with some farmers herding animals. On one of these hills looms a large cross with strips of black cloth tied to it. These rags flap in the breeze like a murder of crows, memorializing the victims of the 2010 earthquake who are buried at the spot in mass graves. The dirt at Titanyen today is undisturbed and covered in thick brush. There’s no trace of the bodies, widely photographed by the media and shown around the world, being bulldozed into ground. The process of clearing the dead from the streets was chaotic and rushed, and as a result no one knows exactly how many are buried there. The Haitian government, as reported by Time in January 2010, says as many as 150,000 were buried at Titanyen.
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The official death toll of the quake is 316,000, according to the Haitian government. It’s a number that was arrived at mysteriously. In the first year after the quake, the government had set the death toll at 230,000, and the media and NGOs widely repeated the figure. On the first anniversary in January 2011, the 316,000 number was made official without explanation by then-prime minister Jean-Max Bellerive. Some viewed the revision as an effort to ensure the international community’s pledged reconstruction funds did not dry up. The story around Haiti’s earthquake death toll has only grown murkier and more controversial in the last year. In October 2010, a report was published in the journal Medicine, Conflict and Survival that estimated the probable death toll at 158,000 people. It received little media coverage. In May 2011, Agence France-Presse received a copy for an unpublished report originally commissioned by the United States Agency for International Development, which suggested the number might possibly be as low as 46,000. But journalists have continued to report the official Haitian government numbers as fact without acknowledging these dissenting views. Undoubtedly, debating the specifics of death tolls can feel distasteful and even disrespectful. But how the media reports those numbers—whether in the context of natural disasters such as the quake in Haiti or conflicts such as Iraq, Darfur, or Sri Lanka—is critically important. Such reports can and do influence policy, public perception, and, as a result, people’s lives. In particular, the story of how the USAID report came to be and the controversy it has created is a study in why numbers aren’t infallible facts. On the contrary, they can be political tools. They can be emotional. And they can obscure the truth. In the fall of 2010, USAID approached a Washington-based consulting firm to carry out a study. The agency wanted to know how its rubble-removal projects—on which USAID had spent $100 million—improved Haitians’ ability to return to their homes. A team from LTL Strategies, an international development and business-consulting firm, spent six months designing the survey and the methodology.
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The team randomly chose fifty-five control points around Port au Prince. From December 17, 2010 to January 29, 2011, they went to each of them and interviewed nearly 2,000 residents, asking them a series of questions about where they went after the earthquake and their current living situation. The team found was that rubble-removing projects helped anywhere between 34,000 and 56,000 Haitians—an estimated 10 percent of the total displaced population—return to their homes. They also found that as many as 629,000 people were still living in houses that could collapse in bad weather or earthquake tremors, and another 217,000 people were living in buildings that could collapse at any time. In the process of collecting this data, the researchers inadvertently discovered other numbers, ones that they had not necessarily set out to find. When they visited a home they had to ask who lived there before the quake and lived there now. Any discrepancies needed to be explained. Were there people living in a camp? Had a family member moved to the countryside? A different home? Or were they not there because they had been killed in the earthquake? In cases of completely empty houses, the researchers went to neighbors for this information.
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In the aftermath of the earthquake, all affected buildings had been structurally evaluated through a USAID-funded program and were given a color-coded ranking. Green meant the building was safe, yellow meant it needed repairs, and red meant it was uninhabitable. By January 29, the team had collected data that gave them an average number of deaths for these three categories of buildings. They then extrapolated those numbers for the earthquake-affected population of 3 million. Based on those calculations, the report estimated 46,190 to 84,961 people had died in the quake. The LTL Strategies team was led by anthropologist and statistician Timothy Schwartz, who received his doctorate from the University of Florida in 2000. Schwartz has lived in Haiti on and off for nearly twenty years, and his work in the country seems to often end up slaughtering a sacred cow or two. His doctoral dissertation, “Children are the Wealth of the Poor,” challenged the popular accepted notion of child slavery in Haiti, which Schwartz believes has been grossly misunderstood and exaggerated by NGOs who profit from the issue, as well as journalists seeking sensational stories. Schwartz’s 2008 book, Travesty in Haiti: A True Account of Christian Missions, Orphanages, Fraud, Food Aid and Drug Trafficking, criticizes aid agencies such as Catholic Relief Services and World Vision, arguing that international aid to Haiti is rife with fraud, greed and political agendas. When it was published, Paul Farmer, the respected medical anthropologist and doctor, said the book “knocks it out of the park.” According to Schwartz, the methodology and findings of the report met with approval inside USAID. “First time I went in, I went with general info. I said, ‘By the way, here’s what we got for death count and here’s what we have for people who came home.’” USAID sent the report to Washington in February 2011 for deliberation. When Schwartz was called back in, the report had been vetted and approved. The last time he walked out of USAID’s offices, Schwartz told me, everyone was happy. The final report was submitted to USAID on March 13. Once there, however, it lingered for months.
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Schwartz said he did not leak the report, but he did share it with friends and other professionals during this period. (Some have accused USAID of leaking it in an attempt to discredit the Haitian government.) AFP got hold of it and published its findings on May 27, at which point USAID in Washington distanced itself from the study’s methodology citing “inconsistencies.” Meanwhile, USAID Haiti’s mission director, Carleene Dei, issued a statement that said: “Any comment on the death toll of the tragic earthquake of January 2010 that affected so many is beyond the scope of the commission and purely reflects the views of the author.” “It was logical, and the methodology was good, but the big thing was the politics,” said Schwartz. “They said, ‘We’re going to shut it down because the report wasn’t representative.” In his opinion, USAID knew that the numbers in the report would cause a quagmire for both the American and Haitian governments as well as the international development community. If there were fewer deaths, less rubble, and fewer people in the camps, as the report claimed, what was happening to the billions of dollars being spent in the country? Why was the recovery and rebuilding effort so marred by gross inefficiency and corruption? Schwartz arrived at our meeting in Port au Prince on his motorcycle, full of enthusiasm to talk about the report and the issues it raises. I couldn’t help but think he had the fatigued look of a lone crusader. Schwartz has been called a “liar” and a “despicable vampire” online by people who believe the report hurt Haitians. “People will die because of this criminal’s report,” wrote Michael Collins on his popular website, Haitian-Truth.org. Schwartz’s reputation as a virulent aid-hater in a country where foreign assistance makes up at least half the national budget and there are hundreds of aid groups operating has only solidified since May.
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Schwartz expressed frustration that the issues the report raises have been seemingly buried in order to serve what he sees as the interests of the development community in Haiti. And the media? “The press is perhaps even more guilty than the aid groups,” he said. After the report was leaked in May, the Associated Press, The New York Times, the BBC, and NPR each reported on the story, if somewhat cursorily. Foreign Policy published a piece by David Rieff which argued that while it is understandable that NGOs, governments, and the UN feel they must exaggerate crises in order to attract attention and money, “we are raising the bar to impossible heights. At this rate, the 46,000 to 85,000 Haitians Schwartz estimates to have died in the earthquake will seem too small a number to really command the attention of donors and the general public in the developed world.” Since this initial spate of media attention, journalists have continued to report the Haitian government’s death toll of 316,000. In December, both a New York Times story and an AP story used 300,000 without citing the Haitian government as the source of their information. (In November 2010, I myself used the 300,000 number in a story for CJR.)
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Arguably, the most meaningful contribution to the coverage to date didn’t come from a journalist. In July 2011, the Los Angeles Times published an opinion piece written by the two authors of the study published in Medicine, Conflict and Survival in October 2010. Robert Muggah and Athena Kolbe gave a systematic explanation for why they believed Schwartz’s numbers to be an underestimate (the two authors pegged the death toll at 158,000) but made a succinct argument for why accuracy matters: The science of measuring mortality and morbidity is controversial. There are bitter disputes among groups of researchers who study death tolls in the world’s hot spots. Many governments would also prefer to discreetly avoid any discussion of the civilian costs of war. Yet the numbers matter. They can influence political responses to armed conflicts, famines and natural disasters. Statistics are routinely used to draw attention to evidence of systematic human rights violations and even genocide.
In Haiti, they wrote, the risk is that those wishing to justify reductions in aid will advocate lower figures, while Haitian officials and relief groups will advocate higher ones. Somewhere in between, the truth—and perhaps a better response to the tragedy of the earthquake—has been lost.
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Correction: The original headline to this piece was “One Year Later, Haitian Earthquake Death Toll in Dispute.” Of course, the earthquake happened two years ago, not one year ago. The headline has been fixed. CJR regrets the error.

2/17/2012
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IOM this week helped a first wave of families move permanently from the shelters and tents they have lived in for the past two years, directly in front of Haiti's ruined National Palace. In all, one hundred and seventy six families were relocated to homes they have chosen, with each family receiving a year in advance rental subsidy under a programme devised and led by the government of Haiti and financed by Canada. Historic Champ de Mars Plaza, in the heart of the capital Port-au-Prince, has been home to a community of 4,600 desperately poor families who have lived since the earthquake in miserable, overcrowded conditions. Women in particular have been prone to sexual and gender based violence (SGBV). The aim of the relocation programme is to enable as many of these earthquake displaced families as possible return to their original communities, under a framework agreement developed by the government of Haiti and the humanitarian community. Some 126,000 families still remain in Haitian camps in deteriorating conditions and it will be at least two to five years before the neighbourhood regeneration approach has time to fully rebuild the neighbourhoods of return. "A week before carnival comes directly through Champ de Mars, it is appropriate that these vulnerable families get an opportunity to start their lives anew and that our work to take care of them begins to take shape," said IOM Haiti Chief of Mission Luca Dall'Oglio.
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The devastating earthquake of January 2010 left over 1.5 million people homeless and almost destroyed an already weak economy. It contributed to both an individual and a collective sense of loss, combined with guilt towards those who died, anxiety about the future, frustration and anger. Protection is a major issue for those living in flimsy shelters and tents and Champ de Mars is a particular hot spot. IOM is mainstreaming protection issues to ensure that everyone involved in relocation, the displaced themselves, community leaders and those coming into direct contact with the displaced are aware of the seriousness of SGBV. IOM has also provided psychosocial support for those living in camps in Haiti, including Champ de Mars. Operating in very trying circumstances, the mission's health team coordinates healthcare solutions wherever possible. IOM began the move by ensuring that the most vulnerable families were prioritized and assisted in terms of their health needs. They included pregnant women, those with children less than 5 years old, the elderly, single heads of household, people living with disabilities and chronic medical illness such as TB or HIV. In one case, it included a 19-year old paraplegic woman who has lain on a mat in the camp for two years, dependent on her mother for help. Bettyna's bright smile and lively demeanour as she was moved first to a wheelchair, to a bus and finally up to her new apartment, belied the hardships she has endured and the chronic pain she suffers constantly due to lack of medical attention.
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The move from Champ de Mars is due to pick up tempo over the coming months, while parallel efforts are underway to rebuild quality housing and provide sustainable community and public health facilities in people's neighbourhoods of origin. This is particularly important in a country where unplanned slums have developed, and which is especially vulnerable to natural disasters like earthquake and flooding. A unique part of the process involves engaging residents of neighbourhoods to participate in the reconstruction efforts through community platforms where plans are proposed and discussed. These community-elected leaders will be encouraged to help with urban planning and to identify rehabilitation priorities in ways that guarantee community participation. As part of the reconstruction process, small suppliers of materials and construction services will also get support to make them more competitive and ensure the community supports their businesses. There will also be technical teams to assess damage to houses and where possible repair them. Owners of irreparably damaged houses will be helped to rebuild them, a move that will help restore the housing stock for those leaving the camps. The closure of the camps in Haiti is a priority of the government and the entire humanitarian community. IOM has taken the lead in identify sustainable solutions to help families living in camps to return to their priority areas of origin. IOM is also collaborating with UNOPS, ILO and UNDP, along with local and international humanitarian organizations, to rapidly respond to the government's requests in its relocation and reconstruction strategy.

2/19/2012
Associated Press
By William Booth
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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — International aid worker Emmett Fitz­gerald has to get 20,000 very poor people squatting in front of the National Palace to pack up their tarps and tin, their plastic buckets and soiled mats — to empty the most notorious camp in Haiti and go home. The hard part: What home? There is not enough money, there is not enough time to build the cities of tomorrow in Haiti today. So the 4,641 families that have been living for the past two years in the Champ de Mars park in downtown Port-au-Prince will be given $500 to return to the kind of desperate housing they lived in before the earthquake. In Haiti, that is considered good news. “We’re not talking about a house. We’re talking about renting a room, space on the floor, with a roof, access to water, a communal kitchen, maybe a toilet,” Fitzgerald said. As program coordinator for the International Organization for Migration, he is working alongside the Haitian government to clear the Champ de Mars camp, with a $20 million grant from the Canadian government. If that sounds grim, the residents of Champ de Mars are the lucky ones. Given the magnitude of the housing crisis, combined with donor fatigue and lack of investment, the promise of constructing new public housing to absorb the homeless in Haiti has collided with reality. Most of the approximately 135,000 families still in camps will not be offered a shelter arrangement. Some camps will become “formalized” as permanent slums. The displaced will mostly have to fend for themselves.
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Why not allow the residents to remain in Champ de Mars? Because the tarp shanties are overcrowded fire hazards that will blow down in the first hurricane, the Haitian government says. There is no running water or electricity. There is another reason, too: The Champ de Mars camp is an embarrassment. Two years after the world’s worst urban disaster in a generation, about 515,000 Haitians linger in 707 camps scattered across the capital. Although it is not unusual for refugees fleeing conflict to be stuck in camps for years, as Somali refugees in Kenya or Palestinians in Lebanon have been, rarely are people displaced by natural disasters for so long, and almost never in a camp in the central plaza of a capital city. ‘There is not a word for it’ Since the population in the earthquake camps in Haiti peaked at 1.5 million in July 2010, more than a million displaced persons have abandoned the tent cities. The vast majority left on their own, with little or no help. Some were shoved. A report by Nicole Phillips of the University of San Francisco School of Law found it likely that many of the displaced persons who had left tent cities are now living in conditions worse than those found in the camps.
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The International Organization for Migration counts 63,109 individuals forcibly evicted from 134 camps in the past two years and says 100,000 others are vulnerable to the same fate. But where to go? In Port-au-Prince, 84,866 buildings have been marked with red paint, indicating they should be demolished. Nonetheless, more than half of the red-marked houses are inhabited, with little or no repair, as people desperate for shelter live in the ruins. Inspectors with the Ministry of Public Works have also tagged 120,000 homes with yellow paint, meaning the structures are damaged but repairable. International donors, including the U.S. government, have helped renovate just 6,000 homes in two years. At the current pace, it will take another decade to bring the yellow houses up to minimal safety codes. "I can't believe that we have lived here on the ground for two years,” said Williamson Aristide, who once worked at the airport handling cargo freight but has not had a real job since the earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010.
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Asked about the prospects of finding a place to live, Aristide said: “There is not a word for it. It is very, very, very hard. There is nothing to rent.” The ambitious plans of last year — with seaside promenades built of earthquake rubble and boulevards lined with three-story mixed-use commercial and residential developments — gather dust on government shelves, relics of a more naive era. The “exemplar communities” of foam homes, geodesic domes and innovative Caribbean-style cabanas designed by world-class architects, promoted by the “Build Back Better” mantra of former president Bill Clinton and his Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, are on hold. All the while, the camps are quickly deteriorating. As of last month, there was no committed funding for emptying camp latrines, a risky gambit in a country facing a cholera epidemic. Almost all health services have been removed. U.N. peacekeepers are pulling back. The plastic tarps given to residents two years ago have a recommended life span of six months, and the temporary cities are in tatters. “This is a dangerous place for a woman,” said Jasmine Charles, with a toddler on her hip. A man standing nearby said that the perimeter of the camp was relatively safe. “But go in deep? They will cut you and rob you, brother.” All camps in Haiti are heartbreaking, but the Champ de Mars is the most visible, a monument to endurance and despair, in a public space as prominent in Port-au-Prince as the Mall in Washington.
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In the predawn hours of Dec. 6, hundreds of aid workers stole into the sprawling camp and dashed from shanty to shack, waking those inside and asking for the head of the household, to award them a plastic ID bracelet. Aid officials knew from experience that the population of the camp would double overnight if word got out that the international community was coming bearing gifts. Now the 5,000 households must decide what they will do. There are three options. The vast majority — probably 90 percent of the camp — are renters. They can accept a $500 rental subsidy and find a place to live. Based on surveys of local real estate, that is enough money to rent a small space for a year. If the family can get a better deal than $500, they keep the change. The international aid workers do not want to involve themselves as real estate brokers, as that would only send rents spiraling upward. The families will also get $25 to move their household goods, and they will receive an additional $125 if they remain for two months in the space they rent. The new model for emptying a camp is more carrot, less stick, but more Keynes than Kumbaya.
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The most vulnerable 10 percent — single mothers, the elderly and infirm, those suffering psychological trauma — will get additional services. To the few families in Champ de Mars who own their homes, the program will give $1,500 to repair a yellow house and $3,500 to demolish a red one and erect a “T-shelter,” of tarp and plywood, a kind of shack 2.0. For Champ de Mars, something is better than nothing, but expectations are high. “The $500 is not enough,” said Jose Wildrick, a two-year resident of Champ de Mars. “It is not a good deal.” Wildrick heard rumors that someone will build cement-block houses for the poor out in the dry cactus wastelands north of the capital. “We want one of those,” he said.
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The second component is to revitalize the neighborhoods the camp residents might return to. The Canadian government is paying to reestablish 500 ­informal camp businesses, train 50 entrepreneurs, create 2,000 construction jobs for debris removal, and rebuild and repair damaged houses. “If all we do is clear the Champ de Mars, we will have failed,” said Beverley J. Oda, minister of international cooperation for the government of Canada. The successful emptying of Champ de Mars over the coming months would be a milestone for post-quake Haiti, a part of the promise that “Haiti is open for business,” and that the international community and nongovernmental organizations have not failed. But the darker reality is this: The Haitian government is spending $30 million to empty six camps. There are 701 more. The Champ de Mars project will cost $20 million for 20,000 people. There would still be close to half a million displaced persons in camps. No country, no group of donor nations, no NGO is considering donating $500 million to Haiti to empty the camps. The math does not work.

12/21/2012
International Organization for Migration
By Leonard Doyle
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Haiti - Cité Soleil is rebranding itself and turning its back on an ill-deserved reputation as a "no-go" area in Haiti. It's happening because the impoverished community took its destiny in hand. Volunteer labor crews now clean many of the area's garbage-strewn streets. It began in a small and blighted neighborhood constantly flooded by an overflowing canal. The way local residents tell the story, they simply grew fed up of being left to their own devices, to live amidst garbage and dirt that floated into the community from neighborhoods further up the hill. Local community organizers started cleaning up the neighborhood. They did more than that. They started a self-help a movement. First, they renamed their community La Difference – setting their sights on a different future. That was a few years ago and every afternoon since then, the community has stopped work in the afternoons to clean the streets. The impact was immediate. La Difference is held up as a model for other communities all around Port-au-Prince. Today in Cité Soleil there are many examples of similar self help groups. They come together in a movement called Soley Levey or Rising Sun. The self-help initiative was noticed by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), which asked IOM to further support the community in its efforts to build a healthier, cleaner neighborhood.
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After consultation with community groups, CARICOM agreed to fund a public health programme centered on 25 community toilet blocks. The objective was to create sustainable sanitation facilities that would be maintained and run by the local community. So far, 20 community toilet blocks and hand-washing stations have been built and handed over to the population. Notwithstanding the willingness of community leaders to cooperate, some areas remain a challenge to work in. This is the reality of working in very deprived neighborhoods and a lengthy process of consultation remains necessary to ensure that the community does its part in digging the pit, preparing the area for construction and other preparatory tasks. "It's best to ensure that the community is well-organized and behind the project or it is unlikely that it will maintain the toilets after construction," said IOM's Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) manager Nicole Klaesener. The community toilet blocks are also equipped with solid waste collection points and free collection is currently advocated for with a private company until the end of 2012. Community-based organizations are, meanwhile, advocating for paid household collection services in the future. With CARICOM's endorsement, IOM has also organized for waste removal from Cite Soleil, with community assistance. Locals make the effort to load garbage into skips so that the neighborhood remains cleaner. In addition, community leaders sensitize their neighbors on a daily basis on positive hygiene practices, such as washing one's hands, and treating drinking water. Over 14,000 persons have now been sensitized in neighborhoods and schools of Cité Soleil.

Miami Herald
By Jacqueline Charles
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Foreign diplomats, influential business leaders and top Haitian politicians have been scrambling this week to prevent a political confrontation that could lead to the ouster of Prime Minister Garry Conille just four months after he took office. All have been urging parliamentarians and advisers close to both Conille and President Michel Martelly to solve the political crisis that threatens to leave Haiti without a functioning government just as the post-quake country appears to be emerging as a nation of promise. The urgent appeals come as Haiti prepares to wrap up a successful three-day pre-Lenten carnival in the southern city of Les Cayes, and on the heels of last week’s public plea by Susan Rice, the U.S.’s top envoy to the United Nations, for leaders to stop the political infighting and put their country’s interests above their own. Conille and Martelly have been at loggerheads over nationality issues, an investigation of $300 million in post-quake contracts and who controls government ministers. “We are hoping for political stability and that they find an agreement among themselves,” said Sauveur Pierre Etienne, newly elected leader of the Organization of People in Struggle (OPL), an opposition party with lawmakers in both chambers of parliament. “Now is not the time to try and reverse the political situation. It will unleash a political and economic catastrophe.”
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Etienne, who opposes Conille’s ouster, said opposition leaders are not the ones pressuring the former United Nations official to either resign or face a no confidence vote in the Senate, possibly as early as Thursday. “The people who are in power, are the ones who are destabilizing themselves,” Etienne said. “The president says ‘Haiti is opened for business.’ And we agree. But when you create a crisis, will capitalists come and invest in the country? Their actions do not fit their words. This group in power is being irresponsible.” The infighting comes as Haiti replaces Colombia as the top recipient of U.S. aid in Latin America, according to the U.S. State Department, and it has been the beneficiary of efforts to create jobs. The United States and other international donors are investing more than $300 million to build a new industrial park in the north that could create 60,000 new permanent jobs. “You’re looking at a country where we’re putting in a lot of attention,” Jose Fernandez, asst. U.S. secretary of state in the bureau of economic and business affairs, said this week while visiting Miami. “I have a lot of colleagues in the State Department and USAID who spend a lot of time promoting Haiti and working on investments, electricity issues, health issues and prioritizing investments in Haiti.’’
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But all of that could be at risk should the government fall and Haiti once more spend months in political deadlock without a prime minister. Observers say a political vacuum would impact aid as donors refuse to turn over funds until a prime minister is in office. They also fear the void could lead to further instability. Already concerns are mounting over hundreds of former military officers and young men — some of them armed — who have taken over former army barracks throughout the country. Some have even posted themselves in slums once controlled by gangs loyal to former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s Fanmi Lavalas political party. In recent months, international organizations and foreign diplomats in Port-au-Prince have complained privately that tensions between Conille and Martelly have hindered progress as the country struggles to come back from the devastating January 2010 earthquake. Over the past few weeks, the relationship between the two have deteriorated further as their private disagreements have become public and government ministers side with the president.
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Adding to the tensions is an ongoing Senate Commission charged with investigating the nationality of government officials, including Conille and Martelly. Both have denied holding other nationalities, which would make then ineligible to hold office. Further complicating the situation was Conille’s decision to name a commission to audit $300 million in contracts awarded by his predecessor, former Prime Minister and Martelly’s cousin, Jean-Max Bellerive, during the 18-month emergency period after the earthquake. The contracts were financed by a Venezuelan fund. Martelly’s supporters say the country is facing a governance crisis. Sen. Joseph Lambert, who once led a majority in the Senate until his party publicly rebuked him last week for his supporting of Martelly, said the votes exist for Conille’s ouster. Lambert said he is undecided about whether to support Conille’s ouster, but “it is possible.” Sen. Edmonde Beauzile said while Conille doesn’t appear to have control over his Cabinet, the answer is not to fire him. Whether he goes or stays should not be parliament’s decision, she noted.. “The two heads of the executive should find a modus operandi to contain the crisis,” she said. “The government is still at the starting bloc. It should be given time to assess itself. I may be in a minority but I am guided by the voice of wisdom.” Sen. Steven Benoit said he believes the move against Conille is linked to his audit of the post-quake contracts. “You know how Haiti is, when you are trying to do things, some Haitian politicians want to get rid of you.,’’ said Benoit, who’s opposed to the ouster. “That’s why he’s losing support among a lot of senators and deputies.” Said Etienne: “It has made him vulnerable. They are panicking. They don’t want an investigation.”

UNOPS
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Haiti’s President Martelly met with top UN officials at UNOPS offices in Panama City earlier this month to discuss his country’s ongoing development needs. Regional representatives from 12 United Nations organizations met with the Haitian President and his Foreign Affairs Minister to discuss Haiti’s development priorities and harmonize recovery and reconstruction efforts following the 2010 earthquake. The meeting was held in the headquarters for the UNOPS Latin American and Caribbean regional office. President Michel Martelly thanked the United Nations for its continued support to Haiti and called for increased coordination between UN agencies and the Government to continue improving lives. “Thank you for being in Haiti and helping us well before the earthquake, although your help has been even more important after the earthquake. Gradually we are rebuilding but there is still a lot to do,” he said. Mr Martelly emphasized that reconstructing damaged houses and resettling camps are among his top priorities, alongside education, gender equality, poverty reduction and reforestation.
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Maria-Noel Vaeza, UNOPS Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, expressed UNOPS continued commitment to Haiti’s reconstruction, particularly through the dismantling of the Champ de Mars camps and the multi-agency 16/6 project. Under this project UNOPS will repair and build thousands of houses and community infrastructure for earthquake-affected families in Port-au-Prince. “Our work is primarily focusing on strengthening key Government institutions as well as specific reconstruction and mitigation works, while generating incomes for disadvantaged families," she added. President Martelly also thanked UNOPS directly for its project implementation work. “We are aware of the relevant work UNOPS is doing in Haiti and your continued support to strengthen our national capacity and institutions such as the Ministry of Public Works. That is what Haiti needs.” Foreign Affairs Minister Laurent Lamothe also stressed the need for empowering Haiti’s public institutions and developing local capacity. “A lot remains to be done, especially regarding the people of Haiti and the training of our resources. Fifteen percent of the population is unemployed. We must encourage the brains of Haiti to stay and work in Haiti. Without resources and without bright minds at work it is difficult to progress.”
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A range of United Nations representatives highlighted the sectors they are currently working in and their plans for the future in Haiti. Alongside Ms Vaeza, there were representatives from the World Food Programme, the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, the United Nations Environment Programme, the United Nations Development Programme, UN Women, the United Nations Children's Fund, the International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, the United Nations Population Fund, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the United Nations Development Group for Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Panama who hosted Haiti’s official visit to the country.

Reuters
By Anastasia Moloney
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For the past month, Yvenna Calixte has been searching for a room and a way out of the Champ de Mars camp, where she lives with thousands of other Haitians left homeless by the 2010 earthquake. Champ de Mars in Haiti's capital Port-au-Prince was once the city's main park, but now it is densely packed with shacks made from bed sheets, tarpaulin and scrap metal, which provide flimsy shelter for some 17,000 people. Every day several buses line up outside the camp, which faces Haiti's ruined presidential palace. The free buses ferry Calixte and camp dwellers like her around the city to look for lodgings under a scheme offering Champ de Mars residents a one-off payment of $500 - the equivalent of a year’s rent - if they can find a new, safe place to live. Funded by the Canadian government, the $20 million initiative is part of a plan launched by the Haitian government in January to shut down Port-au-Prince's most prominent camp within eight months. "It’s not been easy living in Champ de Mars," Calxite says wearily. "It’s been so humiliating, having to depend on people for food. I used to be able to fend for myself before I lost my home in the earthquake."
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As the bus lurches away, Calxite hopes this time she will join 176 families who have moved out of Champ de Mars and into rent paid rooms across the city. The first stop is a nearby brick house where a stocky landlord shows the way to a windowless hovel along a dark alleyway. For Calixte, a 32-year-old unemployed mother of three, anything is better than living in the camp. But the room has no toilet nearby and so it is vetoed by a member of the International Organisation of Migration (IOM), one agency overseeing the rehousing project. Luckily the landlord has another room, which is being renovated, in a concrete house across the road. It gets the green light. “I feel better having a home. I’m happy. God willing things will be better here,” Calxite says, signing the rental contract. A mixture of exhaustion and relief brings tears to her eyes as the possibility of life returning back to normal after two years of living among strangers draws nearer.
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The same urgent desire for proper housing is felt among the dozens of Champ de Mars residents who rise early every morning to make their way to IOM offices nearby. Forming long queues under the searing sun, they are desperate to secure a spot on the buses, get their damaged homes repaired and new homes built on the site of destroyed ones. The office can only handle around 50 cases a day, and tensions are simmering. Several people vent their frustrations at IOM officials. “I’ve been coming here every day, every day, for weeks and I haven’t got anywhere,” said one man, clutching his paperwork. Missed appointments with landlords can mean more weeks of waiting. Often camp residents find accommodation but it turns out to be unsafe, for example, houses built in areas at risk from flooding and landslides.
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"These are very poor people and many are illiterate and have been excluded from making consumer choices in the past,” Leonard Doyle, IOM's communications officer told AlertNet. “When you involve consumer choice it’s a complex process. What we’re seeing are teething problems of communicating to the people and explaining their choices and options. It isn’t perfect.” Doyle said IOM coordinators are going into Champ de Mars every day to explain what type of housing will be approved to receive the rent subsidy and a short film about the scheme is also being shown to camp residents. While the number of Haitians living in camps has decreased by two-thirds from a July 2010 peak of 1.5 million, the pace of people leaving the camps has slowed to a trickle. Efforts to resettle homeless Haitians to new housing or to repaired homes has been hampered by political uncertainty, poor coordination and a cholera epidemic during the first year after the earthquake, along with age-old land tenure problems.
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From November last year to January this year, the camp population fell by only six percent - one of the slowest rates since people started to leave the camps from September 2010 - according to the IOM. Around 63,000 camp dwellers have been evicted from private land, while others are back in some of the red and yellow marked 150,000 houses that need to be repaired and or demolished. The new government led by President Michel Martelly says building new homes and restoring neighourhoods is a priority, a task the IOM estimates will take from two to five years. But while progress has been made in clearing half the quake rubble from the capital’s streets, few new permanent homes are being built in Port-au-Prince to resettle the some 500,000 Haitians still living in makeshift camps sprawled across the city.
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The Red Cross has built a cluster of pastel-coloured houses powered by solar panels and a controversial housing programme on land given by the Haitian government has provided around 7,000 people shelter in wooden temporary houses in Corail-Cesselesse, a desolate area on the capital’s outskirts. But these are the notable exceptions. “Two years after the earthquake there is still no policy in terms of housing. The vast majority of construction has been temporary shelters with a life span between two, maximum five years. There’s no plan, no strategy to make temporary shelters more permanent structures and provide people with access to basic services like water,” Gerardo Ducos, Haiti researcher at Amnesty International told AlertNet in a telephone interview. “I don’t believe offering $500 to a family could be considered an adequate alternative solution to the housing crisis. What happens to the people when their rent money runs out in a year?,” Ducos added. While Haitians wait for the government to build homes, foreign investors are forging ahead. Construction work by several new big name hotel chains is underway. Moving camp residents who face deteriorating conditions to safer housing is becoming ever more urgent. There is the threat of the world’s deadliest cholera epidemic regaining its force with rains expected in June, and drinking water and clean toilets are fast disappearing as more cash strapped non-governmental organisations leave the camps. Meanwhile, camp residents wait as the daily struggle to fend off disease and hunger continues. “I hope we’ll leave soon,” said Elsie Baptiste, hunched over a coal stove in Champ de Mars. “Everyone wants to leave this place.”
Editing by Katie Nguyen)

Reuters
By Anastasia Moloney
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When the earthquake struck Haiti in 2010, the decision for Haitian-born Nathalie Tancrede to leave behind a successful career in finance in New York was easy. She flew to Port-au-Prince and has not looked back since. "I always knew that I wanted to return to Haiti but I just didn't know when. So when the earthquake happened I asked myself what I could do to help," she said. Tancrede now heads Pathways Haiti and co-founded the Artisan Business Network in Port-au-Prince. Both organisations help 700 local artisans sell their pieces - from handmade cow horn jewellery to bowls made from recycled oil drums and soapstone candlesticks - in places like Macy's store in New York. "I help artisans better their business, find a niche for their products so that they have sustainable incomes and jobs," 37-year-old Tancrede said. "I feel like I'm making a real difference here." She left the Caribbean nation as a teenager with her family, one of hundreds of thousands of Haitians, driven away by high levels of crime and the desire for a better life. Others fled the country to escape the brutal reign of Francois 'Papa Doc' Duvalier and his son, Jean Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier. For years the Haitian diaspora have provided a lifeline to their families back home, sending annual remittances of roughly $2 billion - which is equivalent to nearly 20 percent of the country's gross domestic product.
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But after the quake many among the three million-strong diaspora wanted to do more than send money home. The disaster prompted much soul-searching among Haitians abroad about their role in rebuilding and shaping Haiti's future. Many of the diaspora's young, educated professionals view themselves as Haiti's best hope and the driving force behind the development of the Western hemisphere's poorest country. Their return could slowly help reverse Haiti's brain drain, which in recent decades has depleted its middle class and skilled labour force, including the country's doctors, teachers and business leaders.
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Since the earthquake the Haitian government — once known for dismissing elected officials who held a U.S. passport - has been courting the Haitian diaspora to return. "Haiti has a human resources problem which is very serious," Haitian Foreign Minister Laurent Lamothe told France Info radio during a visit to France in January. "There is a shortage of executives, therefore, we must have the return of the diaspora to help us, to accompany us in the re-founding of Haitian society and the reconstruction of Haiti." Like Tancrede, Haitian-born Johnny Celestin felt the pull of home. He left his job at a grant making foundation and sold his bustling café in New York's Harlem. Within weeks of the disaster, he was back in Haiti.
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For him and many other returning Haitians, it is a homecoming fuelled by a mix of duty and nostalgia. "Haiti is a place where I thought I could make an impact and really change the lives of Haitian people. It's very natural for me to be here," Celestin said. "When I’m the U.S., I feel a cog in the wheels. But here I can be part of something, of history. I can say to my daughter that I played a part in this change in Haiti." "On my flight back to Haiti I started thinking what can I do, what can I bring. I realised I've been picking up skills to return home all along in technology, consulting, business and management," he added. He first put those skills to use by fundraising for the humanitarian effort in the early days after the disaster. He then founded the Haitian Fund for Innovation, which helps Haitians start and build small and medium-sized businesses and local grassroots groups access grants and free accounting services.
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"Haiti is a place where there are tremendous opportunities to help people create their own wealth, which is what Haiti needs right now," Celestin said. Fluent in French, English and Haitian Creole, Celestin sees himself as a bridge between two worlds – the international aid community and local Haitian communities – whose relationship is often marked by mistrust and misunderstanding. "We can be the interlocutor of both worlds. I can see the limitations and challenges of both worlds," he said. Getting things done in Haiti, though, is fraught with difficulties. Red tape, slow internet connection, intermittent electricity, long delays at customs and in setting up bank accounts and registering foundations and businesses, are just some of the daily challenges often cited by Haitian immigrants returning home. "The bureaucracy is frustrating. We're still using bureaucracy that the French left us in the 1800s," Celestin said.
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It also takes time to build trust among local communities, as Tancrede who runs the local artisan network, found out. "In Haiti, most of the management roles are done by men so coming in as country director, it was at first a bit of a challenge because a lot of artisans are males and they thought I would be coming into their lives as a boss and telling them what to do," she said. "But in turn they have found I’m an ally, so now that they can trust me, they can really speak freely and ask questions." Carving out a role for the Haitian diaspora in the country's reconstruction - beyond propping up an ailing economy through remittances - is proving to be difficult. Many from the Haitian diaspora feel the government needs to make them feel more welcome and included in the rebuilding effort. They are urging the government to introduce constitutional reforms, which would give them more rights. Under the country's constitution, Haitians cannot hold dual nationality. It means those Haitians living abroad, who take up another nationality, are no longer considered Haitian and basically have the same rights as tourists. More importantly, it means they cannot vote in Haiti's presidential elections and or run for office. But that has not dampened Tancrede's enthusiasm. "Being here is so special to me because it's home, it's home. I fell in love with Haiti all over again,” she said. (Editing by Katie Nguyen)

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2/28/2012
IOM
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The total number of Haitians still living in tents and shelters is now less than 500,000 - about one third of the population initially displaced by the earthquake of 2010. This comes as the Government of Haiti's newly created housing authority L'Unité de Construction de Logements et de Bâtiments Publics (UCLBP) starts to deliver results and the pace of relocation picks up. An initiative known as "16/6" is helping earthquake displaced people living in six public spaces to return to sixteen communities which are undergoing redevelopment. It was launched by President Michel Martelly last year and a government-led steering committee is now setting the pace for reconstruction and relocation. In the last two weeks, under this programme, some 200 families have permanently left Champ de Mars, the historic plaza in front of the ruined National Palace. Over the coming months the square will be returned to public use under the project, which is funded by Canada.
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"Haiti needs to have its public spaces like Champ de Mars restored to their former glory," said Patrick Rouzier, the housing adviser to President Martelly. "This project looks after the immediate humanitarian interests of those who have been living in tents and shelters in the plaza since the earthquake by helping them start their lives over in the neighborhoods. The project bodes well for a revitalized capital, where everyday life is returning to normal." The Government's rehousing strategy is now focused on emptying prominent public spaces, while parallel efforts are made to rebuild earthquake-damaged neighborhoods. The broader aim is to start a movement from camps back to communities by pump-priming the local economy and thereby creating pull factors to encourage people to leave camps. However the movement of families from camps remains a slow and painstaking process with most families requiring help to get their lives back on track. These are extremely impoverished people, for whom getting their children to school and providing enough food to eat is already a challenge. Along with resources to relocate people from camps and help rebuild the areas ravaged by the quake, has come a measure of optimism.
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"The government of Haiti is leading the way in restoring life and dignity to the Haitian capital," said Luca Dall'Oglio, IOM Haiti’s Chief of Mission. "Champ de Mars is now visibly less congested and there is a sense of optimism among those preparing to leave, something that has not been in evidence before," he added. There are now about 491,000 individuals remaining in 660 camps in the earthquake-affected areas, or 120,791 households. At the height of the displacement crisis in July 2010 there were an estimated 1.5 million. In other words some 67 percent of the original camp population is no longer living under canvas and tarpaulins. Evictions remain a constant problem however, especially from private landowners. And as pressure grows on families to leave privately-owned lands, impatience is growing among a population which is hoping to return to rebuilt neighborhoods with adequate public health and road networks. The pace of reconstruction is itself limited by the difficulties of rebuilding ravaged areas of a living capital city. It is all happening despite the rubble, dust and broken buildings.

2/29/2012
Reuters
By Anastasia Moloney
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Former Haitian soccer star Boby Duval has spent most of his life fighting on and off the pitch. In the mid-1970s, he battled near death from starvation during a 17-month stint in Haiti's Fort Dimanche, a notorious prison which served as a torture centre during the dictatorship of Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier and his son Jean-Claude. Tortured and placed for a while in solitary confinement, Duval witnessed the deaths of fellow rights activists, who dared to speak out against the Duvalier regime. The political prisoners had been beaten to death with clubs in the fetid 13 feet by 14 feet cells they shared with up to 40 others. After his release, Duval, who played for Violette soccer club, one of Haiti's most successful teams, turned again to sport, converting a wasteland near Cite Soleil, a slum on the edge of the capital Port-au-Prince, into a youth sports centre. "We are in an area most Haitians don't want to see at all or know about," Duval, 58, told AlertNet. "There are two worlds in Haiti. You have the very rich, who have kind of everything and you have the very poor who basically don't have anything."
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One of the aims of the centre - L'Athletique d'Haiti - is to provide children with a free education in a country where around 90 percent of schools are private and 50 percent of children do not attend primary school. But an equally important goal is to use sports to teach some of the city's most deprived children life skills and basic values such as tolerance and teamwork. Since 1996, the sports centre has been Duval's way of struggling against what he says is widespread indifference among Haitian society to the country's poor. Eight of out 10 Haitians live on less than $2 a day. "I've had a privileged background. I've travelled and seen the world," said Duval, whose businessman father sent him to Canada and the United States to study. "I've always felt a responsibility to give it back."
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As the bell rings to signal the end of the school day, around 200 pupils dressed in blue shirts, and girls sporting white ribbons in their hair, pour out of the brightly painted large tents that serve as classrooms. Along with free schooling, children receive basic healthcare, hot meals and coaching in sports such as soccer in the open grass fields. Basketball, karate and boxing in a shaded ring are also on offer. It's a safe haven for the children who live in the nearby slums. "Their parents have given them everything they possibly can," Duval noted. What parents cannot give, Duval sees as his responsibility to help provide. "I believe you can teach values of self-esteem, tolerance, teamwork and respect through sports," Duval said. "Playing a sport, you learn the rules of the game, you develop discipline and self-esteem." One of Duval's favourite teaching drills is to get boys and girls to play soccer together - except only the girls are allowed to score goals. Another is to make teams play in pairs, tied together at the wrist, a tactic that soon instills the importance of teamwork, he said. It is the kind of training that has helped the club's boys and girls soccer teams win local and international competitions, Duval said, as he proudly pointed to a shelf cluttered with silver cups and medals in his otherwise bare office.
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Duval, a stocky man whose voice is as big as his frame, also sees sport as a way of breaking down Haiti's highly stratified society and narrowing the gap between its social classes. Amid raised eyebrows, Duval has over the years organised soccer tournaments where teams from Port-au-Prince's wealthier neighourhoods and private schools play against L'Athletique d'Haiti. Against the odds, Duval has kept the sports centre running through years of political turmoil. More recently, the sports grounds served as a refuge for around 30,000 Haitians, who had lost their homes during the 2010 earthquake. Duval's latest education programme targets 400 young adults, aged from 16 to 24 years old. It is designed to help them get jobs or encourage them to keep studying. Through soccer, other sports and workshops, they are taught life and jobs skills and the programme helps place students on work experience and internships.
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"There is no system for these kids. We knock on doors for them. We are trying to give them a hand. To lift them up," Duval said passionately. "It's like a very opaque ceiling they have to break. We try to help them break that ceiling, but not break it in a violent manner – rather by giving them the tools and the know-how." Getting a job in Haiti, though, is a near-impossible feat. Despite government promises of creating more jobs, around 70 percent of Haitians remain either unemployed or underemployed. "The kids know the reality on the streets. They have a school diploma, some have been to college but they can't find jobs. They start doubting whether they can get somewhere. They are really hurting," Duval said. Still, for 17-year-old Floriant Dieulet, the three-month course has raised his confidence and self-awareness. "I've discovered things I didn't know about myself, good things too. I've realised I'm a good communicator," he said. Meanwhile, Duval continues his fight to raise the $20,000 or so a month he needs to keep the sports centre going, which has grown to cater for around 1,500 children. "There's no choice," Duval said. "We have to keep going and serve these kids." (Editing by Katie Nguyen)

Remarks by Ambassador Susan E. Rice
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U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on the Security Council Mission to Haiti
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Susan E. Rice
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U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations
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U.S. Mission to the United Nations
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New York, NY
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February 28, 2012
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AS DELIVERED
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Let me begin this report on the Council’s trip to Haiti by thanking the Special Representative of the Secretary-General Mariano Fernandez, the MINUSTAH team, and the government of Haiti for welcoming us and facilitating our visit. This trip, the Security Council’s first to the country in three years, was undertaken to examine the security situation, review post-quake reconstruction efforts, and assess the consolidation of democracy. We saw firsthand Haiti’s important progress since the tragic earthquake of January 2010. We also saw a disturbing level of political infighting in a country that can ill afford it. Throughout our trip, we reiterated the international community’s solidarity with Haitians as they tackle these challenges.
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In Port-au-Prince, we heard President Martelly and then Prime Minister Conille outline their respective visions, including for promoting development by attracting foreign investment and creating jobs. We gained some insights into the government’s ideas for rebuilding Haiti’s devastated infrastructure and strengthening health care. Our interlocutors underscored that development efforts are a critical part of ensuring Haiti’s long-term stability. President Martelly told us that he wants to create a second security force, with responsibilities that could include border security, environmental protection, and disaster response. Council members questioned this course of action and emphasized instead the importance of completing the reform and strengthening of the Haitian National Police (HNP) so it can assume full responsibility for the country’s security. Members of the Senate and Chamber of Deputies shared with us very frank and sometimes critical views about the slow progress of international support, alleged sexual abuse by MINUSTAH personnel, cholera, and what the legislators saw as the failings of Haiti’s executive branch. On the first full day, MINUSTAH officials briefed us on plans underway to reduce the mission’s military component in accordance with Security Council Resolution 2012 and to put greater responsibility on UN police and their Haitian counterparts. Later, we traveled to Miragoane, from which MINUSTAH has already withdrawn military forces. There we saw a demonstration of how a MINUSTAH police unit from Bangladesh was supporting the Haitian National Police in crowd control and other security operations.
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From Miragoane the Council traveled to Leogane, the epicenter of the 2010 earthquake. We met the leaders of a Korean company of MINUSTAH engineers, whose work included rebuilding roads and other infrastructure necessary for MINUSTAH’s operations and installation of solar-powered lights in nearby displaced-persons camps to help increase security. We also visited the site of an NGO-led project constructing houses for people who lost theirs in the earthquake. The MINUSTAH engineers were working there to strengthen local capacity by training Haitians in construction and basic engineering. We met representatives of the Haitian private sector and civil society as well as members of the diplomatic corps at a reception at the end of our first full day. We heard a range of views regarding the challenges that face Haiti and the role of the international community in supporting the country.
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On our second full day, the Council traveled to Cap Haitien in the north to examine how rule-of-law institutions function at the local level. We visited a typical, severely overcrowded prison and a judicial tribunal plainly unable to cope with the demands it faces. These visits were stark reminders of the enormous challenges in strengthening the judicial system in Haiti. We toured Caracol, also in the north, where Haitians and international partners are starting to construct the first major industrial development since the earthquake—the Caracol Industrial Park. The project is set to open later this year and Sae-A Trading Co., a leading Korean garment manufacturer, has already committed to invest in an operation there. Once up and running, the park could create up to 60,000 new jobs when it is completed. On returning to Port-au-Prince, we visited the Delmas 33 Police Station, where we saw how the simple act of co-locating UN and Haitian police can enable mentoring, training and the transfer of key skills.
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We began our final day with a visit to the Haitian National Police academy in Port-au-Prince, where we were briefed about efforts to increase the numbers of HNP personnel, bring more women into the force, investigate officers accused of corruption or human-rights violations, and build skills for combating drug trafficking and sexual and gender-based violence. In the Carredeux IDP camp, Council members visited tent homes and witnessed the difficult conditions that face Haitians still living in camps – nearly half a million people. UN police and camp leaders briefed us on efforts to protect women and other vulnerable groups from sexual and other violence. We also visited one of only two cholera treatment centers in the capital, where Haitian and international partners are working to slow the spread of the disease and treat those stricken by it. We met over lunch with members of women’s organizations, religious groups, non-governmental organizations, youth leaders, and other civil society leaders. They shared with us Haitians’ deep desire to see their country stand on its own and rely less on international support.
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Mr. President and fellow Council members, many Haitians shared with us serious concerns about the bitter disputes that divide Haiti’s political leaders, both within and between the executive and legislative branches of government. Ordinary Haitians told us they want their elected leaders to put aside winner-take-all politics and work together in a spirit of compromise to solve the nation’s problems. Moving forward with elections for local officials and one-third of the Senate is a critical part of this process. The Council saw that Haiti’s enormous challenges require the coordinated efforts of all stakeholders—most importantly the Haitian government and civil society, but also the civilian and military elements of MINUSTAH, other parts of the UN system, donor governments, and local and international NGOs. These efforts are critical to realizing the government’s goals of attracting investment and creating jobs.
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This trip gave us the opportunity to see the dedicated work that the men and women of MINUSTAH perform under very difficult conditions. Many Haitians acknowledged that MINUSTAH plays a necessary role maintaining security and stability. However, they also shared a desire to see the mission eventually leave, with strengthened Haitian institutions taking on its responsibilities. The cholera epidemic and allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse by some mission personnel have badly eroded support for MINUSTAH and undermine its work. We are deeply troubled by these allegations, and expect the United Nations to redouble its efforts to prevent any further incidents of this kind and to ensure that those responsible are held accountable. Haitians and the United Nations mission have endured much together, and accomplished much, in the two years since the earthquake. With continued dedication and hard work, they can yet build a better future for Haiti.
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Thank you, Mr. President.

Reuters
By Joseph Guyler Delva
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Port-au-Prince - Haitian President Michel Martelly nominated his foreign minister and close adviser, Laurent Lamothe, as prime minister on Thursday, raising hopes of a swift end to the country's political vacuum. The news came barely a week after the previous prime minister, Garry Conille, resigned after only four months on the job. Conille fell out with Martelly over a parliamentary inquiry into government contracts related to the recovery effort from the 2010 earthquake that devastated the capital of the impoverished Caribbean nation. An official letter seeking legislative confirmation of Lamothe, a 39-year-old former businessman, was sent to the Haitian parliament on Thursday, according to legislative sources. Lamothe is a fluent English-speaker who went to a university in Miami and ran a telecom solutions company with operations in Africa before entering politics. Lamothe was an important adviser during the presidential campaign of Martelly, a popular folk singer who was sworn in last May.
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In order to take office, Lamothe is required to submit documents proving his constitutional eligibility, which requires five years of residency before the appointment, and bans dual citizenship. That could be a problem for Lamothe whose career in business has involved spells in Miami and Africa. The confirmation process can be lengthy. It took Martelly six months to secure approval of Conille's nomination. Foreign leaders of donor countries that have poured billions of dollars into Haiti's earthquake recovery effort are deeply concerned about the political paralysis brought about by Conille's resignation. Under Haiti's constitution, it is almost impossible for the president to run the country without a prime minister, who acts as the day-to-day head of government. During his time in office, Conille earned the respect of local diplomats. A former UN development officer, he served as a senior aide to the UN special envoy for Haiti, former US President Bill Clinton, before becoming prime minister. After Conille's resignation, the United States and the United Nations led calls for Haitians to bury their political differences and pick a new prime minister as soon as possible. The head of the UN mission in Haiti, Mariano Fernandez warned that the resignation of Conille “shows, unfortunately, that the rifts have taken over the reconciliation to the detriment of the country.” -

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Reuters
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Haitian President Michel Martelly has asked government officials to find ways to clear several sites around the country being occupied by ex-members of Haiti's armed forces. Last week, Reuters reported irregular military training camps have sprung up in different parts of Haiti, including one at an old military camp in the capital, Port-au-Prince, where an armed band of former soldiers brandished assault rifles and handguns. The emergence of the camps comes against a backdrop of mounting international concern over a push by Martelly to revive Haiti's army, which was disbanded in 1995 after a brutal period of military rule. In a statement released on Saturday, the presidential palace said Martelly held a meeting last week with police officials and lawmakers to examine ways to clear the sites. The former soldiers, some dressed in military fatigues, were apparently mobilizing at the camps believing the restoration of the army is imminent.
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Martelly, a former pop star, has ordered a commission to study the issue. He has said Haitians would prefer to have their country protected by its own army rather than foreign troops who have acted as peacekeepers in the impoverished Caribbean nation since 1994. Haiti has a U.N.-trained police force of about 10,000, but the force's image has been badly tarnished by accusations of sexual assault against several peacekeepers. It has also faced accusations that Nepalese U.N. troops brought a deadly cholera epidemic to the country that killed more than 6,000 Haitians. International aid donors and human rights activists say they fear the return of an institution accused of past human rights abuses could be divisive and divert resources from more pressing challenges of rebuilding after a 2010 earthquake killed more than 200,000 people.(Editing by Kevin Gray)

Reason
By Tate Watkins
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Haiti—Jocelyn Louis and her extended family of 10 have lived in the same three-bedroom house in the Port-au-Prince working-class borough of Delmas since 2000. Just after the earthquake of January 12, 2010, Louis’ New York-based landlord told her that he wanted to increase rent, and the family could either pay up or move out. Demand for housing spiked after about half of the city’s housing stock was destroyed or significantly damaged in the disaster, and rental prices rose accordingly. The Louis family paid about $2,250 per year in rent just before the quake; in the wake of the disaster, it shot up by $1,000, nearly a 50 percent increase. The family’s rent has since risen to almost double what they paid before the earthquake. What's causing the inflation? The widespread destruction from the disaster jolted real estate prices, but the presence of foreign NGOs and government organizations, who pay premiums for office and housing space in the capital, pressures local rental markets as well. “Many foreigners come to rent houses and pay a lot of money,” says Louis, “and they pay in U.S. dollars. We get paid in Haitian goud, but owners want U.S. dollars and want foreigners to rent from them.”
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Property owners prefer dollars, which are more scarce and hence more valuable than Haitian goud—and more difficult for ordinary Haitians to come by, often at an unfavorable exchange rate. The preference for foreign currency predates the earthquake, but it’s since become much more common for owners to demand bills marked with dead white presidents instead of those featuring Haitian revolutionary heroes. Foreign organizations didn’t line up to rent the Louis’ house specifically. Most foreign NGOs, contractors, and governmental organizations prefer offices and houses in Pétion-Ville, a hillside neighborhood that is one of the most affluent areas of the capital. But even though the aid economy is centered high above downtown Port-au-Prince, its effects on the local economy reverberate throughout the city. Inflation had plagued Haiti before the earthquake, especially in 2008, when four hurricanes thrashed the island nation and, combined with the global financial crisis, caused drastic increases in food prices. The enormous foreign aid inflows that followed the 2010 earthquake provided relief for countless suffering Haitians, but they’ve had certain deleterious effects as well. In its March 2010 assessment of earthquake damage, the World Bank predicted Haiti would be saddled with 11 percent inflation due to, “among other things, the reduction in goods available, the increase in the cost of transport, and the influx of external aid.” Last fall, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) reported a 12-month inflation rate of 10.4 percent, largely attributed to increased food prices. Louis is unemployed; her husband earns the family’s living as an electrician. Besides inflation in housing, increases in food prices are the most arduous strain on her household. She used to budget $100 a week for staples like rice, beans, sugar, milk and some meat, and she’d usually have $15-$25 to spare. Now, she says that $100 isn’t enough to eat properly for a week, and spends her entire weekly budget even while buying less food.
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Nelda Simon, who also lives in Delmas, says that feeding her family costs more than double what it did before the earthquake. She works as a street vendor selling women’s sandals and shoes. Her husband, who used to support the family, died in the earthquake, so it’s up to her to come up with rent payment for her two-room house and school fees for her two young daughters. Before the disaster, the family lived in a three-room house on a nearby street. Her landlord, who lives somewhere lòt bò dlo—”on the other side of the water,” or abroad, in Haitian Creole—raised rent by 50 percent after the earthquake. He eventually told her to vacate so that he could have the house repaired. Simon thinks the real reason she had to move was that he wanted to try to rent the house to an NGO or aid workers, although she admits that she doesn’t know whether he did. In certain respects, the situation in Haiti resembles that in Afghanistan, where locals fret the scheduled withdrawal of foreign aid and military spending. The effect is much more significant in Afghanistan because the occupation is a decade old and aid flows are monumental. The World Bank estimated that in 2010, 97 percent of the country’s GDP was derived from economic and military aid from foreigners, according to a June 2011 report by the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. “Afghanistan could suffer a severe economic depression when foreign troops leave in 2014,” warned the Bank, "unless the proper planning begins now.” Some onlookers have similar worries about the Haitian economy. In a June 2010 report, The Brookings Institution warned that the $5.3 billion in aid pledged at the time for the first two years of recovery "is some 50% of Haiti’s annual GDP, raising the possibility that the massive inflow of aid and the reconstruction process could lead to major macroeconomic distortions." Harley Etienne, a native of Haiti and assistant professor of city and regional planning at Georgia Tech, says that the so-called "disaster economy" has drastically inflated the capital city’s real estate market. "The prices are way out of scale," Etienne told The Christian Science Monitor in March 2011, "to the point that I don’t know how you can justify some of it. Part of it is tied to how devalued the Haitian currency is, but Haitian property owners are certainly trying to get some money while the getting is good."

CAP-HAITIEN, Haiti – group crowds around an instructor for an urban gardening lesson in this northern city in Haiti. They laugh as the man perches a plastic bucket on his head and demonstrates how to use drip irrigation technology to grow tomatoes. Workshop participant Manola Lamy was excited to try growing vegetables on her roof, but also enjoyed the camaraderie. “Before, I hadn’t experienced a union among Haitians,” she said. “Through the workshop, I experienced a union among others trying to make a better life here.” Students are expected to share their knowledge, and instructors empowered them to take charge of their own food security. Such sustainability is the aim of USAID’s work in Haiti. “Cap-Haïtien is one of the most important cities in the Government of Haiti’s plan to increase access to services outside of the overcrowded capital,” said USAID/Haiti Mission Director Carleene H. Dei. After the catastrophic January 2010 earthquake, about 100,000 displaced Haitians sought refuge around Cap-Haïtien. The city is now one of three geographic corridors that the U.S. Government is targeting to catalyze economic growth outside of the overcrowded capital of Port-au-Prince. Consistent with the Government of Haiti’s action plan, the United States is focusing its investments in infrastructure and energy; economic and food security; health and other basic services; and governance, rule of law, and security.
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USAID’s dozens of wide-ranging projects in the north, most implemented by the Agency’s Office of Transition Initiatives, include supporting an NGO that develops nutritional peanut butter to fight malnutrition; rehabilitating roads and the Sans Souci Palace, a World Heritage site; assisting families who host those displaced by the quake; leading human rights trainings with community-based organizations; and rehabilitating community centers and health clinics. In an ambitious project announced by former President Bill Clinton, the United States is also collaborating with the Inter-American Development Bank and the Government of Haiti to develop the 617-acre Caracol Industrial Park in the North—future home to the Korean textile giant Sae-A’s new garment-making operation. The park has the potential to support 65,000 permanent jobs in a country that has an estimated 40 percent unemployment rate. USAID is funding the construction of an associated power plant, which will supply electricity to the park and surrounding communities. The Agency is also supporting housing for 5,000 households (25,000 beneficiaries) close to the park as well as infrastructure improvements in neighboring communities and Haitian cooperatives to jump-start training for industrial sewing.
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The park, which is expected to open this year, is viewed by many as a potential panacea to some of the country’s economic woes. Montoban Abdonel, the deputy mayor of nearby Limonade, said everyone has tremendous hope because of the park. “As an underdeveloped country, we need jobs,” said Abdonel, a participant in a USAID-supported leadership training course for local officials and leaders to help them develop skills in communications and collaboration.
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The World Bank has reported that the majority of businesses in Haiti operate in the informal sector, employing about 80 percent of the total workforce. The Haitian economy continues to be primarily driven by these informal micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises, which generate up to 90 percent of new jobs. Therefore, in addition to working closely with local officials, programs also target small business owners like Arnoise Clerveaux. While Clerveaux has operated her business for 10 years, she didn’t know how to properly keep track of her sales. Through microenterprise training, she learned how to make a return on her investments. “I learned about pricing things so I can make a profit,” she said, from her a toolshed-sized business, surrounded by her wares: vegetable oil, juice, diapers, clothes, and pasta. “I now have accounting practices I’d never learned before.”
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Up the road in a bustling open market, Nanot Jacques sells fresh onions and garlic seven days a week. While public toilets previously overflowed into the market, another USAID project worked with market vendors to improve sanitation and design a compost removal plan. “They’re doing something very good and beautiful because they’re making it more sanitary,” Jacques said. Area farmers have significantly improved their livelihoods thanks to USAID projects. Following training, more than 5,000 cacao growers increased their incomes by at least 25 percent; and a new dairy processing center built by USAID allows farmers to process more milk, increasing output by over 50 percent. “It’s a great thing for us because it’s a guaranteed point of sale,” said Raynold Jean, who sells milk to help send his eight children to school. “This gives us the ability to have a decent life.”

A United Nations official is urging Haitian authorities to revive a panel to coordinate reconstruction efforts following the 2010 earthquake. Helen Clark of the U.N. Development Program says the absence of the commission is blocking debris removal, housing projects and other attempts to rebuild Haiti. The panel was dissolved in October when lawmakers failed to renew its mandate. One of its co-chairmen was former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who is the U.N. special envoy to Haiti. Major reconstruction has been hobbled further by the absence of a prime minister. Prime Minister Garry Conille resigned last month because of conflicts with President Michel Martelly. Clark made the remarks Saturday at the end of a four-day trip to Haiti.

In her second visit to Haiti after the devastating January 2010 earthquake United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark said she was impressed by the visible progress seen in the capital Port-au-Prince two years after the devastating earthquake that rocked the country killing 200,000 people. “I saw a huge difference from the desolation I saw four days after the earthquake: The streets of Port-au-Prince are alive again,” Helen Clark said. “I feel very confident in the capacity of the Haitian people to rebuild their own country.” More than 60 percent of the 10 million cubic metres of rubble caused by last year’s Haiti earthquake has been removed in one of the largest-scale clearance operations of its kind by the United Nations and partners, coordinated by UNDP. Over 80,000 buildings in the capital city Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas collapsed after the magnitude 7.0 earthquake rocked Haiti on 12 January 2010 leaving a mass of concrete, steel and other debris, equivalent to 4,000 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
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UNDP helped the Government develop a National Strategy for Debris Management and created a Debris Stock Exchange to coordinate the reuse of rubble to rebuild buildings houses and infrastructure. For this year a total of 25,000 cubic metres have been allocated to several projects and organizations through the Debris Stock Exchange. “Rubble removal has been very impressive,” UN Humanitarian Coordinator and UNDP Resident Coordinator Nigel Fisher said. “More than half the rubble has been removed at a much faster rate than in Aceh, Indonesia, after the tsunami and in lower Manhattan after 9/11.” While meeting with government officials, Helen Clark stressed the need to continue UNDP’s long-term partnership with the government to beef up civil protection and reduce risks of future disasters, while continuing to enhance Haitian institutions’ capacity to deliver quality services to the population. The UNDP Administrator also met with a group of Haitian women leaders from the private sector, government and civil society. The women ranged from agribusiness leaders in the fruit exporting business and the minister of tourism to powerful head of national non-governmental organizations advocating for women’s issues.
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Even though women head more than 40 percent of Haitian households, they hold only four percent of seats in parliament and almost 60 percent of women cannot read or write. Haiti also has the highest fertility rate in the region: 4.8 per woman (between the ages of 15 and 49), and the highest maternal mortality rate in Latin America and the Caribbean: 670 deaths for every 100 thousand born. “With more than half of the Haitian population being women and with over 50 percent of the Haitian population being below the age of 25, it is time to transform this potential into real opportunities,” said Maryse Penette-Kedar who is a senior consultant to Royal Caribbean and president of its Haiti affiliate. Helen Clark also visited Place St. Pierre, one of the six priority internally displaced camps whose residents have all been re-housed through the Government of Haiti’s flagship “16/6 Project”, which seeks to revamp quake-damaged communities to boost the safe return of camp residents.
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Today, Helen Clark will inaugurate the Northern Seismic Risk Plan Project in the northern coastal town of Cap Haitien along with Minister of Interior and Local Development Thierry Mayard-Paul, Departmental Delegate Yvon Alteon and Cap Haitien Mayor Wilbreon Bean. Yesterday, the Administrator took part of the national launch of “Haiti Rebuilds: A Journey of Hope”, a 20-minute ‘road movie’ produced by UNDP and created by Cine Institute—Haiti’s only professional film academy based in the southern coastal town of Jacmel. To wrap up her four-day visit, the UNDP Administrator will visit the Community Support Centre for House Self-Repairs, known locally by the French acronym CARMEN. The Government of Haiti-UNDP initiative has been empowering quake-affected communities in Port-au-Prince and the western town of Léogâne to directly take charge of house reparations, with engineering assessments and construction trainings. Eight thousand families have already registered to take part of the project, benefitting 19,000 people. Five thousand participants have been trained in construction techniques and 3,000 damaged houses have already been evaluated. More than 2,000 mobile money transfers are planned in the next three months to 1,000 low-income families receiving subsidies totaling US$500 to purchase construction materials such as cement, iron and wood at selected project-certified stores for high-quality assurance at affordable prices.

Reuters
By Michelle Nichols
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The United Nations warned on Tuesday that a lack aid money for Haiti was putting hundreds of thousands of displaced people at risk by forcing humanitarian agencies to cut services in one of the world's poorest countries. Haiti received only about half of the $382 million in aid money requested last year and so far less than 10 percent of the 2012 appeal for $231 million has been funded, Nigel Fisher, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator in Haiti, said in a statement.(Underfunding) threatens to reverse gains achieved in the fight against cholera through the promotion of sanitary and hygiene practices," he said. "It threatens the very existence of hundreds of thousands of (displaced people) living in camps."
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Haiti is still struggling to lift itself from the rubble left by an earthquake two years ago that killed roughly 300,000 people and left more than 1.5 million homeless. Despite billions of dollars pledged by donors to help rebuild, reconstruction efforts remain slow with only incipient signs of some progress. "Almost half a million people still live in camps, exposed to cholera outbreaks and risks of flooding that will be exacerbated by the upcoming rainy and hurricane season from May to November," Fisher said. A cholera outbreak has sickened more than half a million people and killed more than 7,000 since October 2010. Some Haitians have accused Nepalese U.N. troops of sparking the epidemic after their camp latrines contaminated a river. Haitian President Michel Martelly said in January that more than 8 million people live without electricity, 5 million are illiterate and eight out of 10 Haitians live on less than $2 a day.
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"The government of Haiti and its humanitarian partners express their deep concern over the lack of financial resources at their disposal for continued humanitarian operations and for sudden onset disaster response," Fisher said. "This scarcity of resources is curtailing their ability to fully provide frontline services," he said. Fisher said the humanitarian community was urgently requesting $53.9 million for the April-June period to protect those living in camps and to continue to provide services such as clean water, food and crime prevention and respond to cholera outbreaks, among other things. (Reporting by Michelle Nichols; Editing by Bill Trott)

UN Development Programme
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The main driving force for earthquake-damaged house rebuilding in Haiti is not the government, the private sector, NGOs or international organizations. Families and communities have been playing a vital role, taking the task to build back a more resilient country into their own hands—especially women who head more than 40 percent of Haitian households. For the past three months the Community Support Centres for House Self-Repair, known by the French acronym CARMEN, have been empowering quake-affected communities in Port-au-Prince and the western town of Léogâne to directly take charge of house reparations, with engineering assessments and construction trainings. The UN Development Programme (UNDP)-Government of Haiti initiative has registered more than 19,000 people who will be trained in disaster-resilient house building techniques. Nearly half of them are women. “My house was quite damaged after the earthquake and I had nowhere else to go. So this initiative really suited my needs: To repair my house, earn money—and gain new skills to offer my services to others in the future,” said Gela Pierre Paul Richemond, one of the women construction workers who is among the 1,000 low-income Haitians receiving a US$500 grant to buy certified quality construction materials through the project’s innovative money transfer scheme via mobile phone—the first ever for housing repair efforts. “When I received that first text message on my cell phone saying that my money was there I just couldn’t believe it. I was exhilarated!” added the 48 year-old Haitian woman who has never owned a bank account.
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More than 19,000 people will be trained in disaster-resilient house building techniques. About $1.8 million in funding has been secured for five House Repair Centres until mid-2012. In the past three months more than 8,000 families have registered to take part of the project. Only 10 percent of the population owns bank accounts, but mobile phone coverage in Haiti jumped from nine to 50 percent in the last six years. Such mobile money schemes also have the potential to include a large number of Haitians in an alternative financial system. UNDP Administrator Helen Clark visited one of the House Repair Centres in Port-au-Prince on Saturday and was especially thrilled to see so many women working in reconstruction. Women workers showed Helen Clark the step-by-step process: From choosing the quality materials to laying the cement on iron-filled forms to ensure resilience to disasters such as earthquakes, cyclones, hurricanes and flooding—all of which Haiti is prone to.
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Danielle Saint Lot, one of the most influential Haitian women leaders whose NGO is CARMEN’s women empowerment partner admitted facing difficulties to entice women into construction, a traditionally male sector. But once the first few began and saw the benefits, others felt encouraged to follow. In three more months, when the training period is over, female construction workers will kick-start their own business offering services to other earthquake-affected communities. More than 80,000 buildings collapsed due to the earthquake that rocked Haiti in 2010 killing more than 200,000 people. More than 100,000 other buildings were partially damaged but could still be repaired or rebuilt to offer safer housing conditions. Up to now, 13 percent of such buildings have been repaired and less than six percent have been rebuilt. There are currently five House Repair Centres with a $1.8 million funding until mid-2012. In the past three months more than 8,000 families have registered to take part of the project, benefitting 19,000 people. Five thousand Haitians have begun training in construction techniques and more than 3,000 houses have been evaluated by a team of engineers. With an additional $5 million for a period of two years the project would be able to provide: Technical support to evaluate 50,000 houses; subsidies to up to 5,000 low-income families for self-repairs using mobile money transfer technology; training for more than 20,000 people and distribution of about 3,000 construction security kits.

The Jamaica Gleaner
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Haiti's President Michel Martelly says a comprehensive community decentralisation programme called Katye Pam Poze (KPP) is the cornerstone of his administration's National Decentralisation Agenda. "Since the beginning, I have held a vision for a decentralised Haiti, and now we have a programme under way to turn that vision into reality, with citizens participating in decision making that affects their communities. My government and I are fully committed to making our communities safer and more prosperous, one neighbourhood at a time," Martelly told the launch of the first phase of KPP. He said the goal of his administration is to enable safe and prosperous communities throughout Haiti, calling on all citizens to fully participate in the programme. "The implementation of Katye Pam Poze marks a turning point for our communities and our nation, with my administration inviting local authorities and local citizens to work hand in hand with us to push economic and social development at the local level," Martelly said. "As citizens, you now have a voice and are part of an historic event - the beginning of a new day for Haiti," he added.
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Haiti's minister of the interior, Thierry Mayard-Paul, who leads and organises the community cafés in his role as chief implementer of Martelly's community-based decentralisation programme, said KPP brings decision making "closer to the people while promoting good governance, boosting economic development and job creation, and delivering public services as efficiently as possible". Mayard-Paul said community cafés are a "key component" of KPP's participatory approach. He said they consist of a dialogue session between central and local government entities, and citizens, designed to identify the most pressing local needs, and work together to find solutions. "Once local needs are assessed through KPP cafés, as well as extensive asset-based community development research on the ground, a detailed blueprint will be developed for each of the 10 pilot communities, laying out priority subprogrammes that will guarantee access to basic social services and citizen safety," Mayard-Paul said.
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He said the KPP cafés so far have identified general challenges, including: safety and security, education, health services and the environment. Mayard-Paul said the range of actions within KPP includes strengthening municipalities; natural disaster mitigation efforts; improving the delivery of health, housing and education services; recovering public spaces, developing local citizen initiatives and creating job opportunities in tandem with the private sector. "In the end, our goal is to improve the quality of life of the Haitian people by enabling safe and prosperous communities, right where they live," he said. "Building the capacity of citizens to manage and maintain KPP programmes and infrastructure at the local level is very important to our administration, as is developing culture and sports programmes. This is an ambitious decentralisation programme," he added. Mayard-Paul also pointed out that while Katye Pam Poze is modelled on successful experiences in other parts of the world, including Asia, the Americas, Africa, Europe and the United States, it introduces a "new and innovative approach to community-based decentralisation, created by Haitians for Haitians".

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
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Haiti's Senate late Tuesday approved the nomination of Laurent Lamothe to become the new prime minister of the impoverished earthquake-ravaged nation, a parliamentary source said. Lamothe, who was tapped for the position by President Michel Martelly after the resignation of Gary Conille in February, must still win the approval of the Chamber of Deputies. The Senate vote was held late Tuesday after a long debate and was announced by Senate President Simon Dieuseul Desras. Lamothe's candidacy was approved 19-3, with one abstention. In Haiti, the prime minister is appointed by the president and mainly serves as cabinet chief. Lamothe's appointment and the formation of a new government, however, could still take months, as Martelly does not have a majority in parliament. Lamothe received a political sciences degree from Barry University in Miami and also earned an MBA at St Thomas University in Florida. Known as a keen sportsman, he played tennis for Haiti in the Davis Cup.
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He became foreign minister in Martelly's government in October last year. Martelly's administration is trying to ramp up stalled reconstruction efforts following the devastating January 12, 2010 earthquake that flattened large parts of Port-au-Prince and damaged much of the south of the country. The magnitude 7.0 quake killed 250,000 people and displaced hundreds of thousands. According to UN figures, the quake killed, injured or displaced one in six of the Caribbean nation's entire population of almost 10 million. Lamothe told AFP last month that his country was seeking another $12 billion in aid. But the head of the UN mission to Haiti has said that the political situation there remains "fragile" and that delays in forming a new government are hindering the recovery and economic development. "Every time that Haiti is without a government, a prime minister and cabinet . . . violence and the feeling of lack of security grow," Mariano Fernandez, head of the MINUSTAH peacekeeping force, said in March. Even before the earthquake Haiti was the poorest country in the Americas.

Miami Herald
BY JACQUELINE CHARLES
JCHARLES@MIAMIHERALD.COM
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A day after busloads of armed former and wannabe soldiers forced their way onto the grounds of Haiti’s parliament seeking a meeting with lawmakers, the country’s leaders are condemning the incident. Prime Minister Garry Conille, who resigned on Feb. 24 but remains in charge until a new head of the government is approved by parliament, said Wednesday he is “deeply dismayed by the incident.” He also strongly condemns “the invasion by the armed individuals calling themselves demobilized military,” the prime minister’s office said in a press statement. Conille’s office said he has directed both the Minister of Justice Pierre Michel Brunache, and Haitian National Police Director Mario Andresol to quickly address the situation, which is “detrimental to the public peace.” Both Brunache and Andresol have been at loggerheads over how to attack the problem of the so-called ex-soldiers who have taken over former military barracks throughout Haiti. They have since recruited scores of young Haitian men and women, with numbers ranging from 2,000 to 3,500 individuals in the former barracks.
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Haiti’s National Palace also issued a statement late Wednesday afternoon saying the presidency wants for the public peace and order to be maintained throughout Haiti, and the formation of a new public security force has to be done within the law. “Any offender will undergo the rigors of the law,” the statement said. Though President Michel Martelly has called for the reinstitution of the Haitian army, the move has been opposed by the United States and others in the international community. Mariano Fernandez, the head of the U.N. Stabilization Mission (MINUSTAH) in Haiti, called the incident “an unacceptable act of intimidation” that was “an attack on the integrity of sovereign democratic institutions” of the country. On Wednesday, MINUSTAH beefed up security around parliament where lawmakers have met in pre-fabricated buildings following the January 2010 earthquake. Tuesday’s incident occurred while members of Haiti’s lower chamber of deputies were meeting to set up a committee for the ratification of Prime Minister Designate Laurent Lamothe, who was approved last week in the Senate. Lower Chamber President Levaillant Louis-Jeune told The Miami Herald the group was “well-equipped” and caused a panic among lawmakers. The incident was peacefully resolved, and the day’s session was eventually suspended.
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As the armed men were on the parliament grounds, Martelly was in Miami laying in a hospital bed. He is recovering from pulmonary embolism, his advisers said. Martelly was forced to fly to Miami on Monday as a result of post-surgery pains. He underwent shoulder surgery in Miami two weeks ago. An earlier statement released Wednesday by the palace said the president remains “in constant contact” with his office and members of the government. "I am better now and I am in contact with the government team and members of my Cabinet so that everything continues to function normally,” Martelly said. “I continue to work with them for good government. I thank the Haitian people for their support and send a message of peace.”

IPS/Other Worlds
By Beverly Bell and Alexis Erkert
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In honour of Earth Day, we run an interview with Yves-André Wainright, who discusses ways that poor governance and the role of foreign donors have contributed to the country's environmental catastrophe. He also lays out a blueprint for what could turn the situation around, effectively mobilising both government and the population to begin restoring the environment. Yves-André Wainright served twice as Haiti's minister of environment. Trained as an agronomist, Yves-André's work has focused on environmental management, especially management of natural resources and waste.
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His comments follow:
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My approach towards management of the environment is to have Haitians who face (the same environmental) challenges come together. We might not all share the same economic interests, but if we work together, we can reach a compromise where one's interest won't trump another's.
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The Nine Environmental Priorities
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Education related to ecology and environmental health;
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Reinforcement of the state's capacity to (manage) the environment, from locally elected officials to the central government;
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Integrated management of watersheds and coastal areas;
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Promotion of alternative energy sources to charcoal and, as possible, imported fossil fuels;
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Regulation and policies related to where and how people can or can't build houses and decentralization of activities from Port-au-Prince;
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Sanitation, and the management of garbage and pollution;
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Application of the national plan for management of risks and disasters - mainly focusing on floods and water-related epidemics for the short term, with later focus on other sources of pollution that impact human health and the ecosystem;
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Preservation and sustainable management of biodiversity, relating to protection of the habitats of endemic and other endangered species;
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Sustainable management of mineral resources like construction materials, quarries, and mines.
Current poverty levels can't be used as an excuse for environmental mismanagement, like deforestation of watersheds or the poor construction of rural roads. More than an issue of technology or of funding, the challenge with environmental management in Haiti is a matter of governance.
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It's a multi-pronged issue. First, there is the fight against impunity. As long as anyone thinks he or she can do as he pleases without any consequences, it will be difficult to manage the environment.
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A second issue is that (central) government ministries act as competitors rather than allies. As a result, information is not shared and institutions are not organised to provide assistance and directives to local government or NGOs (non-governmental organisations, and international agencies).
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Since management of the physical environment is a crosscutting and long-term challenge, it's very difficult to maintain continuity from one government to the next, which hinders the implementation of required programmes. For example, in the 1990s, I led the preparation of an innovative programme to fund peasant-managed micro-enterprises for families who depended on cutting down trees in national parks. All state institutions including local governments, the judicial system, the national police, and key ministries would be able to give input and would receive training in the sustainable management of biodiversity.
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The project facilitated coordination among the various stakeholders, public and private, through various management committees. The first disbursements were made two weeks before I left the government. (When I returned,) the project was considered overall as having failed. The governance structure of the project was considered too complex, and (since) normally in the government, people from different ministers don't talk to each other, the project's implementation lacked leadership. There were even 70 or so agronomists trained, and about 10 who went abroad for professional specialisation, but none of them were never put to use. And, the peasants never benefited from the comprehensive technical and financial assistance I had dreamed of. The third issue I wish to highlight is the role of donors from the international community. They put too much emphasis on 'transparency' toward their foreign constituency and lack sensitivity to the process of building democracy within communities receiving aid.
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I admire the abundance of documentation donors have accumulated on Haiti but feel that not enough effort is put into making this information available to local stakeholders. This has facilitated the creation of an oligarchy of consultants and specialists who monopolize the field of international assistance. Donors don't seem to trust the initiatives from people outside of this circle. For instance, during my first term as minister of environment, USAID and the World Bank were the main donors providing assistance to the process of clarifying the role of the newly created ministry and prioritising actions for environmental management and rehabilitation.
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I started to organise multi-stakeholder platforms towards preparation of a National Action Plan for the Environment, but the donors decided to replicate the preparation process from various African countries – a plan written by specialists and validated afterwards by the civil society. They succeeded in having beautiful documents prepared, which are currently embellishing shelves of libraries in foreign universities. What is needed is to help Haitians develop partnerships around common environmental concerns. (In 2010), the office of the prime minister organised a forum on lessons learned from watershed management over the past 30 to 40 years. That forum had a large participation of funders, with data- rich presentations by the experts.
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These presentations confirmed that, during the period considered, more and more short-term NGO-led projects promoted market-linked incentives for environmental protection instead of building of decentralised state capacity so that the government ensures respect of environmental norms. (Participants of the forum) acted as though the state were outsiders of the process and that the government should be replaced by the market as the driving force for livelihood improvement. But the problem is that the market promotes individualism and a spirit of competition. It can't instill the feeling of community and citizenship needed to stimulate Haitians to take part in the rehabilitation of the environment. We must have regulations that guarantee the socioeconomic and environmental rights of all citizens: the right to be informed of initiatives affecting their environment; the right to have input into (environmental) mitigation measures to be implemented; the right to an unbiased judicial system to (ensure) the application of norms.
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We must also have an appropriate democratic governance structure able to implement this at the regional and local level. Otherwise, even if the billions of dollars pledged would be effectively disbursed, we won't resolve anything. One of the principles in the Rio Declaration on Sustainable Development (endorsed by 165 countries in June 1992) states, "Peace, economic development and protection of the environment are interdependent and indivisible." There is no peace without social justice. I'm not preaching anything new.
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Fortunately, there is progress being made. In October 2005, the government adopted an important environmental decree. It integrates most of the international principles for managing the environment promoted by the Rio Declaration. It identifies nine priorities (to be implemented by government authorities and) the private sector. By the private sector, I don't just mean the bourgeoisie in town, but also peasants and small merchants. There are ways to improve governance of the environment around these themes, provided they are integrated into a comprehensive and progressive land-use zoning process. For example, alleviation of the pressure of agriculture production on mountainous lands should be a common objective for all groups working on any of these nine issues. With more than 500,000 families depending on subsistence agriculture on eroded lands, there's no potential for improving living conditions.
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Policies must be proactive in providing alternative means to make a living, and we have to invest more in building governance capacity at the municipal level. We have to start working collaboratively. We can be successful in the nine priorities listed, but only if we admit that whatever our capabilities and our excuses, we're condemned to fail without cooperation. By we, I mean the government, the ministries, the parliament, the NGOs and their networks, grassroots organisations and social movements, enterprises and trade unions, donors and others.
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*Read the full, unedited interview with Yves-André Wainright here. Interview translated by Larousse Charlot and David Schmidt. Beverly Bell has worked with Haitian social movements for over 30 years. She is also author of the book Walking on Fire: Haitian Women's Stories of Survival and Resistance and is working on the forthcoming book, Fault Lines: Views across Haiti's New Divide. She coordinates Other Worlds, which promotes social and economic alternatives. She is also associate fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies.
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Alexis Erkert is the Another Haiti is Possible Coordinator for Other Worlds. She has worked in advocacy and with Haitian social movements since 2008. You can access all of Other Worlds' past articles regarding post-earthquake Haiti here.

HAITIANS have good reason to be suspicious of foreigners claiming to act in their interests. In the 19th century France, the former imperial power, kindly offered to have Parisian banks finance the reparations it demanded in exchange for recognising the country’s independence. The resulting debt drained Haiti’s treasury for decades. A century later the United States generously built up the country’s infrastructure—using virtual slave labour during a brutal military occupation. Today’s foreign do-gooders in Haiti are the 9,000 members of Minustah, the UN’s peacekeeping force. They are surely better-meaning than the interlopers of the past. But the Haitian government has little more influence over them than it did over America’s marines. And in recent years the force has inflicted great damage. Its troops have been blamed for starting a cholera epidemic that has claimed 7,000 lives, and have been accused in numerous cases of rape and sexual assault. Its missteps are leading to ever more strident calls for greater accountability for peacekeepers.
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The latest public-relations volley was launched on April 21st at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York. “Baseball in the Time of Cholera”, directed by two foreign-aid workers living in Haiti, weaves together the stories of a teenage athlete who loses his mother to cholera and lawyers suing the UN for negligent sanitation at a Nepali peacekeeping base. The film features plenty of news footage of the base, including sewage pipes flowing into a tributary of Haiti’s largest river. The first cholera cases appeared near the base, and the bacteria—a South Asian strain—quickly spread along the river and its network of canals, which Haitians use for bathing, drinking, irrigating crops and washing clothes. Since the outbreak began the UN has tried to dodge accusations of responsibility, saying that the source of the disease is unknowable or unimportant. But a series of epidemiological and genome studies have all but established Minustah’s role as fact. Even Bill Clinton, the UN’s own special envoy for Haiti, has acknowledged it. “It was the proximate cause of cholera,” he said last month. “That is, [a Minustah soldier] was carrying the cholera strain. It came from his waste stream into the waterways of Haiti, into the bodies of Haitians.”
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Citing scientific evidence, in November the lawyers featured in the film filed 5,000 complaints to Minustah’s claims office on behalf of cholera victims, seeking at least $250m in damages. The UN’s peacekeeping department says it is studying them. Until now, the claims office has dealt with smaller matters, such as property damage. Minustah’s agreement with the government states that bigger disputes should be handled by a special tribunal. So far, however, none has been set up. Since the force and its troops enjoy immunity from local courts—which most countries demand before offering soldiers to the UN—cholera victims have no other formal legal recourse. As a result, their lawyers are threatening to challenge Minustah’s immunity in the Haitian courts if the UN does not address their claims. That could affect peacekeeping operations worldwide.
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Minustah’s reputation has been further tarnished by charges of sexual abuse. Two Pakistani soldiers were accused of raping a 14-year-old boy, and a group of Uruguayan peacekeepers allegedly sexually assaulted an 18-year-old boy and videoed the incident. The justice system has worked somewhat better in these cases—a Pakistani military tribunal convened in Haiti convicted its soldiers last month, and the Uruguayans seem likely to face trial in their home country. But the Pakistanis were sentenced to just one year in prison. A popular song at this year’s Haitian Carnival included a line cautioning young men nearby the peacekeepers to watch their rears.
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Even as Haitians have been outraged by Minustah’s wrongdoing, they have become increasingly doubtful of the benefits it provides. The UN originally deployed the force in 2004 to stabilise the country during the civil unrest that followed the ejection of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, a populist former priest, from the presidency. There has been no serious armed conflict in Haiti since 2006—which can be taken as evidence either of Minustah’s effectiveness or of its irrelevance. Even if the troops do contribute to security, critics of the force note that a single year of its $800m budget might be enough to revamp the country’s decrepit water infrastructure. That might well have prevented cholera from spreading in the first place.
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Minustah’s footprint in Haiti is getting somewhat lighter. Assuming that 1,600 troops leave by June as scheduled, the force will be cut to 7,400, roughly the same number as before Haiti’s earthquake in January 2010. But further reductions are unlikely in view of the political tumult during the first year of the presidency of Michel Martelly, a former musician. In February his prime minister, Gary Conille, offered to resign after just four months in office, which he spent mainly investigating corruption. Mr Martelly can do little until a successor is confirmed. On April 17th, 50 members of a rogue paramilitary force, claiming to represent a volunteer militia that has occupied an abandoned army barracks, disrupted parliament and forced it out of session. The president himself was abroad, recovering from an embolism. The government is in no position to dictate terms. Only the UN can restore Minustah’s legitimacy.

The number of people living in displacement camps in and around Haiti’s capital Port au Prince has declined by 14% to an estimated 421,000 since February, according to figures collected by IOM. This is the steepest decline in the camp population since early last year. Some 73% of the original population has now left Haiti’s camps since the height of the crisis in 2010, when an estimated 1.5 million people were made homeless by a massive earthquake, which the government says killed up to 300,000 people. IOM’s April 2012 Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) report shows that a further 58 camps closed between February and April, bringing the total number of camps down to 602 from 660 in February 2012 and 1,555 in July 2010. The decline in camp numbers results partly from several well-funded programs, administered in part by IOM. These are providing alternative housing solutions, including rental solutions for families who were otherwise too poor to leave the camps and find alternative accommodation, according to IOM Haiti Chief of Mission Luca Dall’Oglio. “The dramatic fall in numbers is a direct result of the humanitarian community rallying around to provide tangible solutions. For families trapped by economic circumstances in high profile camps in Port au Prince, we have been able to provide a breathing space in the form a year’s rental subsidy,” he says. Subsidies of $500 per family were given under Rental Support Cash Grant programs developed in late 2010 and scaled up to reach more camp residents in the second year of the earthquake response. This approach was adopted after it became clear that permanent reconstruction would be a long process in Haiti and there would continue to be a very large camp population in need of shelter assistance.
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The latest drop in camp numbers can also be attributed to Government of Haiti-led return and relocation projects widely known as “16/6”, and similar projects implemented by Camp Coordination, Camp Management (CCCM) Cluster agencies. The “16/6” framework refers to an original plan to help people move from six well-defined camps to 16 communities. This has now grown to incorporate other relocation projects, not least the Government of Canada-financed relocation of some 5,000 families from the symbolic Champ de Mars square in the heart of Port au Prince. The DTM report says that 60% of the 421,000 displaced are now clustered in 48 large sites hosting over 500 households. Living conditions in the camps are wretched and deteriorating, due to the early onset of unusually heavy rains this year.

5/3/2012
UN News Service
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Haiti continues to recover gradually from the double tragedies of a catastrophic earthquake and an outbreak of cholera in 2010, which compounded the effects of underdevelopment, poverty, limited institutional capacity and weak governance. While the overall humanitarian situation has improved, funding for relief work has fallen, leading to some concerns about the ability of the humanitarian community to fully provide frontline services for those in need. Close to half a million people remain in camps while the cholera epidemic, which already claimed the lives of more than 7,000 people, is expected to surge as the rainy season sets in. Haiti is also exposed to devastating hurricanes and food security remains fragile. In an interview with the United Nations News Centre, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Haiti, Nigel Fisher, details the country’s vulnerabilities and the risks the people are exposed to and the risks people face as a result of decreasing resources.
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UN News Centre: What humanitarian problems does Haiti face?
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Nigel Fisher: We have a number of simultaneous challenges. One is still following the earthquake, where we have about 490,000 persons still displaced and living in camps. I must say it is a lot better than at the height of the displacement when we had a 1.5 million people living in camps, so two thirds have gone home – but 490,000 people is still a lot.
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I think the second is that we are still in the midst of a cholera epidemic, and WHO [World Health Organization] estimates that we could have up to 200,000 further infections this year, in a worse case scenario. Now again, [this is] much less than last year, when we had almost half a million, which is enormous – and also the infection rates and the death rates have gone down considerably, but we are still in an epidemic situation.... to make matters worse, we are in the midst of the spring rains which are proving unusually heavy this year and have already led to further displacement of people and some deaths.
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Just to make matters worse, we are in the midst of the spring rains which are proving unusually heavy this year and have already led to further displacement of people and some deaths. And we still have heavy rains and the hurricane season to come later this year. And just to top it off, WHO and FAO [UN Food and Agriculture Organization] are currently doing an assessment with the Government of the food security situation because we feel it is getting worse, household debt is increasing. So there are a number of simultaneous crisis facing Haiti at the moment.
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UN News Centre: What challenges are relief agencies facing in their efforts to address those problems?
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Nigel Fisher: Well, first of all, on the good news side, I think we have achieved a lot in the two years since the earthquake because, as I said, two-thirds of the people in the camps have gone home, and we estimate that about two-thirds of the amount of debris that was created by the earthquake has been removed. We have many hundreds of thousands of people who have gone back into new shelters and housing. But, as I said, we still have almost half a million people in camps.
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The challenge now is that many donors are feeling that the humanitarian phase is over and are focusing on long-term development, and of course that is the long-term solution for Haiti – to focus on improving jobs, the economy, better health care, education. But, in the short term, we still have these crises, and because of the declining funding we are finding that quite a few of our partners, for example, who worked in the camps on ensuring water and sanitation, have actually closed down.
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So we are facing something of a crunch this year, where actually conditions are getting worse in the camps and we are very concerned about cholera. Last year camps were the safest place to be because it is where we had the most effective coverage with chlorinated water, where we had latrines which people could use, and these were being cleaned out.
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Some of those services have now stopped. We are able to continue in some camps, but not all of them. So that’s one of our concerns where we are looking for additional resources to make sure that camps don’t, in fact, become centres of infection instead of being the safest places to be.
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The cholera epidemic – again we are facing a similar situation. We do have a national plan and strategy. We have a national alert system now in place which is able to spot very early on when there are cholera outbreaks.
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But the challenges are that, as we hand over to the Ministry of Health, these infrastructures are still very weak. We still need to back that up, so that, for example, when there are outbreaks we still need international partners to come in quickly when needed and set up cholera treatment facilities or to distribute chlorine, distribute oral rehydration salts to communities because rehydration is the most effective early action against cholera.
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Again, funds are declining and we do not have the resources we need to enable those partners to continue. So, this is a challenge and we are preparing for the rainy season, and we’ve already had, with the heavy rains in March and the first part of April, quite a few of the camps in which displaced people were flooded.
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So again the UN Mission in Haiti, MINUSTAH, together with the agencies and the Government, is now focusing on trying to clean up some of the ravines that cut through Port-au-Prince which are full of debris, soil, rocks, [and] also rubbish; and try to clean up so that the water can flow through the town, instead of spilling over and flooding camps.
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We do not have all the resources we need do the necessary mitigation work on the ravines or to prepare evacuation sites, should we need to prepare them, and we are also rapidly exhausting our stocks of things like tarpaulins, which we need as people get flooded out to give them emergency shelter. So, again the team is working together, but the resources are very strained this year.
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UN News Centre: What feedback have you gotten when speaking with donor representatives in Haiti?
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Nigel Fisher: Well, of course they are expecting the national authorities to take more responsibility. We are trying to work with them [local authorities] to develop capacity but that takes years. It doesn’t happen overnight. They [donors] also realize that we still have these residual problems, but they come back and say, ‘well, we have less funding available this year, and not only do we have less funding, but it has to be scattered to other emergencies.’ So, basically, they are telling us that the facts of life are that there are less resources around, and therefore we have to make do with less. That’s why I said, for example, camp conditions – we can’t pretend they are up to international standards. They are not. We have to do what we can.
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Some donors have said… if there is a new emergency, then they would be able to find funds for that, but certainly not for preparation.
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I have a couple of missions coming in, in the next few weeks, to look at how we manage the humanitarian situation in the future. How we are going to ensure that we can continue to build government and national capacity, capacity of local civil society organizations,[and] at the same time, have a rapid response capacity.
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UNDP [UN Development Programme], for example, have been working over the last year or so with the national civil defence organizations and it is much stronger now, is able to coordinate response centrally and locally, but many other partners, many other ministries are still weak.
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The reality is, I feel, this year, the funding situation looks like needs are going to outstrip our resources. We have tried to be very focused this year in our humanitarian appeal which is worth about $230 million for 2012 – for people in camps, cholera, rainy season, the worsening food security, but I was talking to the humanitarian country team… and I think we have to go back to that (appeal) and look again and re-prioritize, because I don’t see that we are going to get the resources. Right now our appeal is only funded to nine per cent. It’s really quite disastrous. Obviously we want to more assertively go out to donors, but at the same time we have to realize that the funds are not going to come as we had hoped.
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UN News Centre: Can you tell us some more about the water and sanitation situation in the context of the cholera epidemic?
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Nigel Fisher: As humanitarian actors facing cholera, what we are doing is sort of patchwork, band-aid work on a fundamental problem. The fundamental problem is when cholera broke in Haiti there was no experience of it and the conditions were ripe for it to spread quickly
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Only less than two-thirds of Haitians have access to safe, protected drinking water and only 17 per cent, that is not even one in five, of Haitians have access to latrines and safe waste management, which means people go to the toilet wherever – waste matter is mixed often with drinking water sources, so already we have very high [rates of] diarrhoeal diseases and once cholera was introduced and given these poor sanitary conditions, it spread like wild fire.
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What we are doing in the short-term, in terms of treatment, education [and] oral rehydration is necessary, but we all agree that the long-term solution is investment in improved drinking water sources and in waste management.
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The Government has declared that these are one of its top priorities and recently, back in January, WHO, UNICEF [UN Children’s Fund], [the] Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and the governments of both the Dominican Republic and Haiti actually declared the intent to try and eradicate cholera from Haiti. But that demands a massive investment in everything, from food hygiene to water and sanitation to education. It’s long-term and we are working out the details of that.
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There is also another initiative under way to try to pilot the use of [a] cholera vaccine in Haiti. It’s quite a controversial issue, but the Ministry of Health has agreed that we need to try that. The aim of that is to show that with vaccination we could start to create immunity which would mean that next time that cholera came around, less people would be likely to get it or [get it] less severely.
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So, there are a number of short- and long-term initiatives that we are trying to tackle this basic problem of unsanitary environment.
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UN News Centre: What message would you like to send to the international community about Haiti’s humanitarian situation?
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Nigel Fisher: Well, in simple words: don’t forget Haiti. I think we have gone off the radar because there are so many other emergencies around, but this is an extremely poor country – 70 per cent of the people do live in poverty, [and] that was the situation before the earthquake.
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So, just because are progressing post-earthquake doesn’t mean that the structural problems I mentioned – the weak economy, weak government, most people living in poverty, poor infrastructure, poor services [have gone] – all these long-term issues remain.
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We need continued international response to look at the long term. But right now we still have 490,000 people in camps, we are still in the midst of a cholera epidemic where we need immediate action to protect water, to ensure better sanitation, health education – these things can work and we need support for those.

Miami Herald
By Jacqueline Charles
jcharles@MiamiHerald.com
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Haiti’s former Foreign Minister Laurent Lamothe was named the country’s prime minister by presidential decree Friday. President Michel Martelly signed the decree less than 12 hours after the lower chamber of deputies ratified Lamothe, a telecommunications entrepreneur and former competitive tennis player. He replaces former U.N. diplomat Garry Conille who resigned in February after only four months on the job and amid tensions with Martelly. The 62-3 vote with 2 abstentions for Lamothe came after hours of debate. Lamothe is seen as a deliverer by some in the international community, who have become frustrated with Haiti. Among his promises, Lamothe says he wants to reignite reconstruction and promote Haiti as an investment destination. The speed at which Martelly signed the decree has surprised many longtime observers. The presidential decree and installation ceremony, which the palace initially announced for Friday then cancelled, usually takes place after the newly ratified prime minister has presented his political program and government to each chamber for the final two votes in the four-vote process. “He certainly breaks with tradition and expectations,” Jocelyn McCalla, a New York-based Haiti expert, said of Martelly. Next up for Lamothe is getting approval from each of the two chambers in parliament for his political program and government. Haiti experts say if he wants to avoid a lame-duck Senate he has to move quickly. On Tuesday, the terms of 10 of the 30 senators expire, making it increasingly difficult to get the votes needed. “A weakened parliament still wields much power,” McCalla said. “The challenge for Haiti is to have a strong and efficient government administration that can get the job done.”

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