Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Message from Humanitarian Parole Lawyer Jayne Fleming

Message from Jayne Fleming Many of you have written to me, wondering about my silence. I’ve been in Haiti for four days now, but so far not a word. “What’s up?” you ask. “How’s life in Port au Prince?” My mother taught me as a child that if I felt like blowing up about something I should count to at least 100 before speaking. “The mind works best at cool temperatures.” I’ve counted to about 10 million and I’m still boiling. But my mother also said “silence is acquiescence”, echoing Victor Frankl, Martin Luther King and Nelson Mandela. So I’ll stop counting and send this report. I’ve been focused on three main issues: food, shelter and physical security – the greatest concerns of our clients here. Is Haiti making progress in these areas? Are the billions of dollars in aid […]

Groups to Press Array of Concerns Before the Congressional Black Caucus

Click here to view the original: For Immediate Release Monday, July 26, 2010 Contact: Suzanne Offen, American Jewish World Service, 212.792.2889 Elise Young, Action Aid USA and Gender Action, 202.631.6335 Haiti: Groups to Press Array of Concerns From Education to Gender Violence Lineup to Address Gaps in Reconstruction WASHINGTON, DC — As Haiti passes the six month mark of its attempts to recover from a massive earthquake, Haiti Civil Society and Diaspora members covering different aspects of the recovery will press their cases Tuesday, July 27 on Capitol Hill. Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) board members Ira Kurzban, Esq. and Dr. Paul Farmer will both testify. Haiti’s recovery has been viewed as halting and in disarray by a growing variety of observers. Civil society organizations (CSOs) have been alarmed at the conditions for displaced persons, violence […]

A guide for American journalists: How to report on Haiti when you visit again six months from now

By Ansel Herz, with Crossover Dreams in the Huffington Post Actor Sean Penn, who is helping manage a camp of displaced earthquake victims in Haiti, is making pointed criticisms of journalists for dropping the ball on coverage of Haiti. He’s wrong. I’ve been on the ground in Port-au-Prince working as an independent journalist for the past ten months. I’m an earthquake survivor who’s seen the big-time reporters come and go. They’re doing such a stellar job and I want to help out, so I’ve written this handy guide for when they come back on the one-year anniversary of the January quake! For starters, always use the phrase ‘the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.’ Your audience must be reminded again of Haiti’s exceptional poverty. It’s doubtful that other articles have mentioned this fact. You are struck by the ‘resilience’ of […]

IMF cancels $268 million Haiti debt

Associated Press PARIS — The IMF says it has canceled Haiti’s $268 million debt and will lend the earthquake-devastated country another $60 million to help it with reconstruction plans. The International Monetary Fund said Wednesday the decision is part of a plan for long-term reconstruction after the Jan. 12 magnitude-7 quake, which killed as many as 300,000 people. The three-year loan carries a zero interest rate until 2011 which then rises to no more than 0.5 percent. The Washington-based fund says its moves should encourage aid contributions to the impoverished country. “Donors must start delivering on their promises to Haiti quickly, so reconstruction can be accelerated, living standards quickly improved and social tensions soothed,” IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn said in a statement. In Haiti more than six months after the quake, rubble and collapsed buildings still dominate the landscape. The […]

IMF forgives Haiti’s $268 million debt to the fund

By CNN Wire Staff The IMF has canceled Haiti’s $268 million debt to the fund so the country can free up more money for reconstruction. Washington (CNN) — The executive board of the International Monetary Fund approved Wednesday the cancellation of Haiti’s $268 million debt to the fund. The board also approved a three-year request by authorities to support Haiti’s reconstruction and growth program. The decisions are part of an effort to support Haiti’s longer-term reconstruction plans after the January 12 earthquake, which killed more than 220,000 people, destroyed 60 percent of government infrastructure and left more than 180,000 homes uninhabitable. Six months later, more than 1.5 million remain in overcrowded displacement camps. “The new program provides a strong and forward-looking framework to support economic stability and reconstruction in the country, and will also help catalyze donors’ contributions,” the IMF […]

Rained Out? Opportunities in Haiti Washing Away

By Mark Schuller, Huffington Post It’s about 7:30 local time as I write this. We’ll see if I can connect to the internet and post. I just got off the phone with Leslie, a friend and leader in Asanble Vwazen Solino (the Solino Neighborhood Assembly). Knowing the answer, he asked me, “is it raining over where you are?” “Of course it is. But you know I have a house.” “We are all wet!” he intoned. “We won’t get to sleep tonight.” I doubt if I will either. It’s been raining — hard — since the afternoon. There’s a tropical storm brewing off the northeast coast of the island — yes, on the Dominican side. But there’s currently a sixty percent chance of several days of rain. Now more than six months after the earthquake, the 1.5 million homeless that it […]

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