World's First Biofuel Flight Takes Off!

  • Posted on: 25 February 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Ever thought that you would see the day when jumbo jets were powered by biofuels?  Thanks to Virgin Airlines, we now know it is possible.  Click here to watch the (successful) test flight and then check out this article in the Toronto Global and Mail. What does this have to do with Haiti?  Presently, not much.  But it has a great deal to do with the future viability of biofuel production in Haiti for domestic and international consumption.

Giving Credit to Canadians: Canada Increases Engagement with Haiti

  • Posted on: 23 February 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Canada is a significant donor for international development programs both in Haiti and worldwide.  The country has a large Haitian population and high ranking government officials who were originally born in Haiti.  During a recent trip to Haiti, the Canadian Foreign Minister reaffirmed the government's long term committment to Haiti and new activities for partnership - activities which we believe could have a positive impact on Haiti's development.

Too Little, Too Far, Too Expensive - Water in Port au Prince

  • Posted on: 23 February 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Let's face it - life is fragile.  One mosquito bite or one glass of questionable water makes the difference between good health one day, and sickness the next. In developing countries such as Haiti, the very water needed to survive can also cause sickness and, for the young, even death.  In Port au Prince, the wealthy purchase treated water while the poor depend on  crumbling infrastructure.  A documentary entitled "Drop for Drop" explores access to water in Haiti's largest city.  

Promoting Food Security in Haiti: Doing Good, Doing it Right

  • Posted on: 21 February 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

When I see articles re-emerge about the clay biscuits the poorest of the poor in Haiti eat, as seems to happen every few years like clockwork, it frustrates me.  We all know Haiti is a hungry country, but communities need solutions instead of pity, and partners who empower rather than provide handouts.  Sometimes I read about well meaning groups in the United States that decide to box up food and send it to Haiti.  Well intentioned but not smart - this is dependency and not development.  Solutions exist and Kimberly Green of the Green Family Foundation writes about one in a blog she submitted to the Huffington Post.  You can read it here but i have also copied it below.

OLPC Foundation and IDB Team Up to Bring Computers to Haiti

  • Posted on: 21 February 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) Foundation and the Inter American Development Bank recently announced a plan to ensure access to computers for over 13,000 Haitian students.  Under the plan, the OLPC Foundation will provide 2 million dollars, the IDB will provide 3 million, and UNESCO will carry out an external evaluation.  If the program is successful, and we hope it is, then it could be expanded further in Haiti and other countries.

 

Haitian Government Expands Agreement with Royal Carribean

  • Posted on: 18 February 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

For Peace Corps Volunteers living on the Central Plateau, Cap Haitian was a nice city to spend a long weekend in.  Sure, the road was unbelievably rough, but there are nice hotels, restaurants, and beaches. Of those beaches, Labadee is one of the nicest and is basically set aside for Royal Carribean.   According to the Miami Herald, Royal Carribean and the Haitian Government recently inked a deal to expand the cruise line's operations in Haiti significantly.

 

Deforestation in Haiti: Weaning a Country off of Wood Fuels

  • Posted on: 16 February 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Attached is an assessment carried out by the World Bank's Energy Sector Management Assistance Program (EMAP) on Haiti's reliance on wood based charcoal for its energy needs - estimated to be about 70% of total energy usage.   Having read the assessment, I feel it raises some sensible interventions even if they do not go far enough.  However, the strategy could provide a foundation upon which to build.

WFP and The Hungry Times Ahead

  • Posted on: 15 February 2008
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Though we are all different, we have this in common - we must eat to survive.  In an ideal world, individuals, families, communities, and countries would be able to feed themselves.  Needless to say, the world is less than ideal.  For the poorest of the poor, climate change, population growth, environmental degradation and soaring food prices make feeding oneself increasingly difficult. The World Food Programme (WFP) plays a vital role in ensuring that vulnerable populations, including those affected by disaster and conflict, receive the food they need, in Haiti and worldwide.  

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