Gangs in Port au Prince thrive when there is an absence of governance, no rule of law, and economic stagnation. The UN has described current levels of gang violence as unprecedented and affecting all aspects of life - for example, 11 medical centers and 442 schools have closed. National roads connecting Port-au-Prince to the rest of the country are dangerous, limiting the movement of people and goods. While the security situation continues to deteriorate Haiti's developmental issues remain unaddressed - environmental degradation, lack of infrastructure and investment, poor basic services, and unrelenting brain drain. Security is not enough to address these underlying problems but it is a prerequisite - and the gangs will not give up territory willingly. The full CNN article follows.
According to Webster’s on-line dictionary, the definition of poor is: 1. Destitute of property; wanting material riches or goods; needy; indigent. Haiti has come to be known as the poorest country in the western hemisphere, which is technically true if you base the statement according to dollars and cents. Many of the local Haitians I’ve come across say “yes we are poor” while smiling. My question is why the smile? Which leads me to ask what exactly does it mean to be poor?
"Timoun se moun" (children are people too). In Haiti, far too many children are treated as less than people. CNN's Sanjay Gupta recently travelled to Haiti to learn more about the restavek practice. His blog is below. All social problems have solutions, and while the attention of foreigners to this issue is welcome, lasting change must come from within. One person fighting to bring about this change is Jean Robert Cadet, who was himself a restavek fourty years ago. He has gone on to found the Jean Robert Cadet Foundation and has devoted his life to ensuring no one else experiences what he did. Far from a victim, he is a hero and a change agent.
Attached is the Haitian Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper. Within it, the Haitian Government has set priorities and identified steps that need to be taken to make progress against poverty. This document provides the framework that allows international partners to calibrate their programming in order to synchronize their efforts with the government. Any plan worth its weight in paper must be ambitious, flexible, and achievable. Let's take a look at the document and see if it holds up.