Security on the Horizon?
By Anonymous on Dimanche, novembre 27, 2005.
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In what is hopefully a sign that stability and security are beginning to return to Haiti, this week the US Embassy announced that they have given clearance for all personnel to return to post. I realize that considering elections are just about a month away, I should be running to find some wood to knock on. But, perhaps this is an indication that after a shaky start, the UN forces are finally doing their jobs, the Haitian National Police force is gaining strength, and the Haitian people are committed to ending the violence and civil unrest.
Hopefully, the Embassy’s decision to return to work will signal to any humanitarian organization or philanthropist that it is safe to return and begin investing in Haiti. (I do want to note that the overwhelming majority of NGOs stayed during the time of civil unrest, and bravely continued providing help to those in need. Many sacrificed their safety to continue helping the country they love, and nothing written here can convey our gratitude and admiration).
With national elections just around the corner, the likelihood of a new round of violence is at the forefront of everyone’s mind. And let us not forget that civil unrest and violence always have the most devastating effects on the poor and disenfranchised. The tendency among donors is to question investing in development projects when violence is widespread. And who can blame them? With the barrage of images that have come from Haiti in the last year, is it any wonder why donors question the validity of investing in community based development projects?
But we need to be careful not to become apathetic and hopeless. Haiti has made tremendous progress over the last year, both in security and in transitioning to a fully democratically elected government. And do not forget the many NGOs that have continued to work and expand their programs at the same time. Successful development work is being done, and new projects are beginning weekly.
The return of Embassy personnel is a positive sign in the right direction. Security is returning to Haiti, elections are on their way, and the time to invest in Haiti is NOW.
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