Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Group says children suffer in Haiti jails

The Jamaica Observer PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – A human rights group here says that more than 50 children are currently subjected to harsh treatment in jails in the earthquake-ravaged, French-speaking Caribbean country. “These minors are receiving no special treatment whatsoever and routinely face prolonged preventive detention, overcrowding, poor conditions and no rehabilitation strategy,” said the Haitian National Human Rights Defence Network in a statement, disclosing that at least 58 children have suffered this fate. The network said that since the January 12 devastating earthquake 43 boys and 15 girls have been transferred to two prisons built for adults. “There are 15 girls jammed into one little cell in which there are supposed to be a maximum of four people,” it said. This comes in the wake of a report by a United Nations human rights expert, which describes conditions at two […]

Major vaccination campaign to start in Haiti

by Ted Purlain, Vaccine News Daily UNICEF in Haiti A major immunization campaign will begin on Saturday in Haiti to give life-saving vaccinations to an estimated 60,000 Haitian children, the United Nations Children’s Fund has announced. Following the January 12 earthquake in Haiti, routine immunization of children was severely disrupted, with health facilities damaged or destroyed and fuel and electricity interruptions impacting health services, including refrigeration systems used to store and distribute vaccines. Before the quake, UNICEF said, vaccination rates in Haiti were already as low as 53 percent. As part of the new vaccination campaign, which is led by the Haitian health ministry with the support of UNICEF, the World Health Organization and the Pan-American Health Organization, children will be given vaccinations to fight polio, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, measles and rubella. The vaccinations come as part of the […]

Emergency Food Production in Haiti

By MERVYN CLAXTO, CounterPunch Haiti’s Ministry of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development (MARNDR) has formulated a 77-page Emergency Food Production Assistance Programme to respond to the needs of the large number of displaced people following last January’s devastating earthquake. The Emergency Programme which, to the best of my knowledge, exists only in French. The programme is in two parts. Part 1 covers the following immediate and short – term urgent actions for the next – 3 to 6 months: a) Support for Haitians who have migrated to the rural areas; b) Increasing food security; c) Economic improvement and development of rural areas; d) Ensuring employment and a more equitable income for the urban population who were forced into rural exile. Part 11 comprises a number of medium-term policy actions (9 to 18 months), of which the following are the […]

Food Aid Hurts Haiti’s Farmers

By Steve Baragona, Voice of America Helping in a crisis can pose dilemma for local farmers and merchants Photo: VOA – S. Baragona, Rice farmers can be adversely affected by food aid. About three hours north of Port-au-Prince, the Artibonite Valley is the center of Haiti’s rice production. This season, farmer Charles Surfoad is storing his rice rather than selling it. He says food aid from the earthquake relief effort produced a glut that pushed down prices.  If he sells now, he says he’ll lose money. Adverse effects “Food aid is never good for us,” he says. “As a farmer, I’m one of the first affected. You can’t send that to a country where that’s what they grow.” Surfoad says if he can’t sell his rice, he won’t have money to buy seeds for next season. And because he supplies […]

UN-supported vaccination drive targets thousands of Haitian children

UN News Centre Haitian children An estimated 60,000 Haitian children under the age of five will receive life-saving vaccinations in a major immunization campaign that kicks off in the Caribbean country on Saturday, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) announced today. Routine immunization of children in Haiti was severely disrupted by the massive earthquake that struck on 12 January. Health facilities were damaged or destroyed, and interruptions to fuel and electricity had a major impact on health services, including the refrigeration system that supports storage and distribution of vaccines, according to UNICEF. Vaccination rates in Haiti were as low as 53 per cent even before the quake, the agency said. Children will receive vaccinations against polio, diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough (pertussis), measles, and rubella during the drive, which will be led by the Haitian health ministry with the support of […]

Brazil, CARICOM to Hold Haiti Aid Meeting in 30 Days

People’s Daily Online Brazil and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) promised Monday to convene a high-level meeting in 30 days to discuss ways to help Haiti recover from a devastating earthquake. The meeting between the Brazilian government and the CARICOM secretariat will be aimed at establishing modalities of trilateral cooperation with Haiti in sheltering, educational and agricultural aid, among others, the leaders said in the Declaration of Brasilia, a statement issued after the First Brazil-CARICOM Summit in Brasilia. Leaders from Brazil and the CARICOM members, which include Haiti, gathered for the first time in the Brazilian capital to discuss how to build on bilateral cooperation. Haiti, a member of the 14-member CARICOM, and Brazil signed several cooperation agreements at the Brazil-CARICOM Summit. Haitian President Rene Preval held a private meeting with Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. Preval asked for […]

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