Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

A Reconstruction Success in Haiti?

This article is about a development called Village La Difference, which was meant to provide housing for earthquake survivors but ended up with more of an assortment of residents due to amenities like reliable electricity . In this Village, a group of women and garment workers from the local industrial park support each other in hopes that the development won’t become another failure of Haiti’s reconstruction.

Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text and audio.

‘Women aren’t a broom to be left in the corner’

Amy Bracken, PRI’s The World
January 12, 2015

After Haiti’s disastrous earthquake in 2010, foreign aid poured into the country. Much of it went to long-term efforts to get people employed and housed. But results have been disappointing.

The US Agency for International Development, for example, initially pledged to construct 15,000 permanent houses; only 906 have been built. Most of them are in one remote development in Haiti’s north called Village la Difference. It’s a $33 million project that was supposed to serve people displaced by the earthquake, but it took so long to build — opening more than three years after the disaster — that much of the target population had already relocated.

The residents are a mix of earthquake victims and people barely affected by the disaster. They came here to live in better homes with amenities rarely available in Haiti — like running water and reliable power — and access to jobs to pay for such luxuries.

Women are at the center of an effort make this place a long-term success. Residents know the risk of shiny developments like this falling into disrepair and becoming bad places to live.

 

Click HERE for the full text and audio.

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