Unchecked violence continues to spread like a cancer in Haiti, with over 10,000 displaced from their homes in the north. Suspected gang members attacked a police station in Saut-d'Eau and the Zanmi Lasante (Partners in Health) Facility in Mirebalais has also been attacked. The Kenyan-led peacekeeping force is still more idea than reality and despite the violence, the United States continues to deport Haitians. The peacekeepers will face a much worse security situation than any previous peacekeeping force. More information follows in the Reuters article below.
Kenya's Foreign Ministry said his country is ready to lead a multinational force into Haiti, which is experiencing a surge in violence between police and gangs. During a time when so few countries are willing to get involved in Haiti's increasingly desperate situation, it is refreshing to see a country, and one that is not even remotely close to Haiti geographically, offer to take a leadership role. The proposed 1,000 police officers would help train and assist the Haitian National Police in restoring security. The deployment would still require a U.N Security Council mandate and formal approvals in Kenya. The brief article is linked and follows, updates will be posted in comments.
Below is the latest semi-annual report from the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) covering the period from August 31st - March 15th. The report provides an overview of key developments during this time, especially police capacity, rule of law, and human rights promotion - all of which need to be strengthened significantly before MINUSTAH can fully transition its responsibilities to the Haitian government.
Refugees International (RI) researchers Melanie Teff and Emilie Parry traveled to Haiti in September to assess the needs of Haitians displaced by the earthquake. Attached and below are their findings. For the displaced, this is still clearly an emergency. Less than 30% of camps have managers, a serious problem given insecurity and the fact that the majority of the displaced are not going anywhere until the Haitian government develops a systematic approach for determining land ownership and resolving property disputes. Most agree that the response of UN agencies could have been improved with better surge capacity, clarity over who is responsible for protection and a concerted effort to include Haitians in coordination efforts instead of shutting them out.
The RAND Corportation has produced a report that convincingly argues building the Haitian state should be central to reconstruction efforts. This includes the development of skilled, trained, and properly organized government personnel and management systems within and across Ministries. The report suggests that, at least through the medium term, the Haitian government should contract out health and education services, monitoring and regulating but providing no direct services itself. It also notes the importance of developing the capacity and accountability of the Haitian National Police. A summary is copied below and the full report is attached.
In the aftermath of the January 12 earthquake, the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) released a report on opportunities for effective reconstruction. The report emphasizes he importance of: (1) providing training and budget support for the Haitian government; (2) rapid job creation, not just in Port au Prince, but around the country; (3) building up the capacity and credibility of the Haitian National Police and courts; (4) strengthening disaster preparedness and response; and (5) the importance of gender sensitive recovery activities. The report is attached and copied below.
Last week, the New York Times ran an article about the relationship between hunger and insecurity, with considerable attention given to Haiti. It notes the food rioting, the mud cookies, and the desperation that comes from not being able to feed onself and one's family. Hunger is not new to Haiti. While this article has raised awareness about hunger in Haiti, it does not go into why or offer up solutions which is unfortunate.