Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Testimony of Dr. Paul Farmer to the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations

By Paul Farmer Thank you for inviting me to testify today before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. I speak as the U.N. Deputy Special Envoy for Haiti—President Clinton, as you know, is the Special Envoy—and also as a physician and teacher from Harvard who has worked for over twenty-five years in rural Haiti. Today, my hope is to do justice to Haiti not by chronicling the events of the past two weeks, which are well known to you, but by attesting to the possibility of hope for the country, and of the importance of meaningful investment and sustainable development in Haiti. That said, I will not pretend that hope is not at times difficult to muster. As I was flying from Port-au-Prince to Montreal on Monday, headed to a conference on coordinating responses to the massive earthquake, I did […]

Rising to meet an infinite need Partners in Health, long a force in Haiti, vaults into central role

By Stephen Smith and James F. Smith ANGE, Haiti – His hometown in ruins, his right arm broken, Frantz Verdieu knew he had to escape the acrid air and rubble-strewn streets of Port-au-Prince. There was, he decided in the desperate hours after the earthquake that sundered the capital city, only one place to seek safe harbor and medical care: Cange, a town of about 30,000 in Haiti�s Central Plateau, and the birthplace of Partners in Health. So he traversed mountain roads – rough as a washboard in patches – along with hundreds of others who fled here by auto, truck, and bus. Overnight, they crowded Cange with their needs, and transformed the mission of an organization that for 25 years has built a worldwide reputation by treating tuberculosis, AIDS, and other chronic diseases that flourish among Haiti�s poor. �I took […]

Haitian Food Riots Unnerving But Not Surprising

Mark Schuller | April 25, 2008 Beginning early April, Haiti was gripped by a nation-wide mobilization to protest high food prices, reaching a crescendo on Thursday the 10th, as thousands of people took to the streets. Some protestors burned tires, blocking national highways and city streets in Port-au-Prince, and a few looted local stores. Clashes with police and UN troops resulted in an official count of five dead. The media covered these events during the days of the crisis but offered little information to explain the protests. This superficial coverage tells an all-too-familiar story of Haiti. The media swarmed to cover the high drama of UN troops breaking up demonstrations with rubber bullets, and the U.S. State Department warning its citizens not to enter the country. Then, almost as quickly as it appeared on the news, Haiti disappeared, leaving the […]

Anti-Hunger Protests Rock Haiti

Written by Nazaire St. Fort and Jeb Sprague Wednesday, 23 April 2008 Demonstrations that started in Le Cayes on Thursday, April 3rd, against soaring food prices spread across Haiti to Petit-Goagve, Gona�ves, Aquin and, by April 7, to the capital, Port-au-Prince. Anger over rising prices has been building for many months with basic food stuffs increasingly out of reach for the poor.��Tires were set ablaze in the streets and thrown together to form barricades that paralyzed traffic for days.Numerous businesses were vandalized and looted, especially those selling food, as crowds vented their anger at the perceived indifference to their plight by the nation’s elite, including the Ren� Pr�val /Jacques Edouard Alexis administration. Broken glass on the streets near targeted buildings and cars became a common sight.Hunger now termed “Klorox” and “Battery Acid” by Haiti’s poor, likens hunger to a chemical […]

The U.S. Role in Haiti’s Food Riots

30 Years Ago Haiti Grew All the Rice It Needed. What Happened? The U.S. Role in Haiti’s Food Riots By BILL QUIGLEY Riots in Haiti over explosive rises in food costs have claimed the lives of six people. There have also been food riots world-wide in Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Cote d’Ivorie, Egypt, Guinea, Mauritania, Mexico, Morocco, Senegal, Uzbekistan and Yemen. The Economist, which calls the current crisis the silent tsunami, reports that last year wheat prices rose 77% and rice 16%, but since January rice prices have risen 141%. The reasons include rising fuel costs, weather problems, increased demand in China and India, as well as the push to create biofuels from cereal crops. Hermite Joseph, a mother working in the markets of Port Au Prince, told journalist Nick Whalen that her two kids are like toothpicks they re not […]

Boston doctor fasting for debt relief for Haiti

From, an online-only feature of the Boston Globe: Tuesday, September 25, 2007 Boston doctor fasting for debt relief for Haiti A Boston doctor is fasting for three days as part of a national push to cancel Haiti’s debt to the developed world. Dr. Evan Lyon, a hospitalist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a researcher in its division of social medicine and healthcare inequalities, has worked in Haiti for the past 10 years through Dr. Paul Farmer’s organization, Partners in Health. Because of his connection to Haiti, Lyon got involved with the Jubilee USA Network, a coalition of 80 religious denominations across the country that wants Congress to cancel the debt of 26 countries and make it easier for other nations to find financial relief. “Hunger is the most important issue that we see” in Haiti, Lyon said in […]

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