Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Work with the Haitian Government

Room for Debate: The Help that Haiti Needs Brian Concannon, New York Times January 14, 2010 Haiti’s lack of infrastructure and history of corruption should be considered in shaping the international response to Tuesday’s earthquake. But these factors should be a reason for investing in infrastructure and good governance, not for bypassing Haiti’s government. Help the government provide basic honest services to its citizens both in the short term and the long term. Excluding the government now might expedite aid and relief in the short run, but it will also expedite the return of the disaster relief set when Haiti is unable to handle the next environmental stress. Haiti’s devastation exposed the disadvantages of an extremely limited government. The earthquake itself was a natural phenomenon, but its horrible toll was largely the product of manmade factors like the failure to prevent […]

New York Times Editorial: Haiti

New York Times January 14, 2010 Once again, the world weeps with Haiti. The earthquake that struck on Tuesday did damage on a scale that scarcely could have been imagined had we all not seen the photos and videos and read the survivors’ agonizing accounts — of the sudden crumbling of mountainside slums, schools, hospitals, even the Parliament building and presidential palace. Whenever disaster strikes, we are reminded that Haiti is the poorest country in the hemisphere. And each time there is a disaster, this country and others help — for a while. This time must be different. Haiti urgently needs relief to dig out and shelter survivors, and to nurse, feed and clothe people who had little to start with and now have nothing left. But Haiti needs more. It needs a commitment to finally move beyond the relentless […]

Update on Haiti

from Amber Lynn Munger In my thirteen years of working in Haiti, not once before have I seen such massive destruction as we are experiencing now.  Nor have I seen such motivation, determination, compassion, and solidarity among people.  When we entered portoprens after the quake struck, the city had fallen and was continuing to fall as a result of continuous aftershocks.  The streets were full of people sitting together.  Everyone was sitting in the middle of the roads for fear that the houses would continue to fall on them. They were singing.  The whole city was singing.  They were singing songs of solidarity.  They were singing songs of thanks and praise that they were still able to sing and to be together.  These people have lost everything.  The city is now a city of refugees.  But they are putting their […]

What the Mainstream Media Will Not Tell You About Haiti: Part of the Suffering of Haiti is “Made in the USA”

By Bill Quigley Huffington Post Part of the suffering of Haiti is indeed “Made in the USA.” While the earthquake would harm any country, actions by the United States have absolutely magnified the harm from the earthquake in Haiti. How? In the last decade alone, the U.S. slashed humanitarian assistance to Haiti, blocked international loans, forced the government of Haiti to downsize, ruined tens of thousands of small farmers, and replaced the government with private non-governmental organizations. The result? Small farmers are starved out of the countryside and migrate by the tens of thousands to the cities where they built cheap shelters on hills. International funds for roads and education and healthcare are halted by the U.S. The money that does come into the country goes not to the government but to private corporations. Thus the government of Haiti is […]

Reach out to Haiti: The epic disaster befalling one of the world’s poorest nations demands a global response.

Orlando Sentinel Editorial Nothing prepared the hemisphere’s longest suffering people for the catastrophe that befell them on Tuesday. Not Haiti’s abject poverty. Not its history of political corruption and military coups. Not even its disproportionate experience with natural disasters. And nothing will allow the Haitians who survived it to get back to their feet, save an international response on the scale of the earthquake that killed perhaps hundreds of thousands of people and displaced millions more. The world hasn’t glimpsed such devastation since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami that killed almost 300,000 people in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and elsewhere. Hospitals and schools demolished. Entire neighborhoods leveled. The country’s parliament and government palace turned to rubble. Unable to respond to the crisis, Haiti’s government fell to imploring the international community to rescue the nation while its now countless homeless wandered, dazed, […]

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