As we get closer to May, the rains will become more frequent and intense. Even brief rainfall to date gives an indication of how vulnerable the displaced in Port au Prince are to flooding and mud-slides. Some, such as the displaced at the Petionville Golf Club are being relocated to the hastily prepared Corail-Cesselesse site 15 km north of Port au Prince. Six other sites require urgent evacuation before the rainy season. Other sites can be made safer with engineering interventions. Disturbingly, hundreds sheltering at the National Stadium were reported to have been forcibly removed. Close coordination and rapid action are urgently needed to protect the displaced from the upcoming rains.
Jonathan Katz reported that the World Bank, IMF, and IDB canceled $1.2 billion of Haiti's debt Tuesday, freeing up millions of dollars for much needed poverty reduction programs. Needless to say, this is excellent news. Given the scope of Haiti's needs, it never made sense its citizens should have to pay $1.6 million in debt per month, most of which was acquired under dictators that they never voted for. This represents a measure of confidence in the Preval Administration, which now has a bit more economic flexibility than it had before. More info below.