Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Cholera Response Steps Up As Haiti’s Rainy Season Begins

By Dennis Sadowski, Catholic News Service Blog An upswing in cholera in Haiti has prompted health care workers and aid agencies to step up efforts to prevent the water-borne disease from spreading rapidly as the rainy season begins. Catholic Relief Services was among the aid agencies that boosted the distribution of soap, water purification tablets and hygiene information within 24 hours of the initial spike in early April following a period of heavy rain. CRS reported reaching 22,000 families within days; in Port-au-Prince, agency workers installed or repaired sanitation stations and increased disinfection and maintenance of facilities in 12 settlements where people left homeless by the January 2010 earthquake remain in crude shelters. In addition, Boston-based Partners in Health has embarked on a vaccination program with the goal of reaching 100,000 people. While the vaccine typically is effective 70 percent of the time, […]

Monsanto’s 475-ton Seed Donation Challenged by Haitian Peasants

by Dennis Sadowski, Catholic News Service WASHINGTON – Advocates for Haitian peasants said a U.S.-based company’s donation of up to 475 tons of hybrid vegetable seeds to aid Haitian farmers will harm the island-nation’s agriculture. Thanks but no thanks. Advocates for Haitian peasants said the donation by U.S.-based company Monsanto of up to 475 tons of hybrid vegetable seeds to aid Haitian farmers will harm the island-nation’s agriculture. (Image: Elizabeth Vancil/Monsanto) The advocates contend the donation is being made in an effort to shift farmer dependence from local seed to more expensive hybrid varieties shipped from overseas. Haitian farmers and small growers traditionally save seed from season to season or buy the seed they desire from traditional seed markets. However, an official from the St. Louis-based Monsanto Co. told Catholic News Service that the seed is simply a donation to […]

Mental health needs of quake survivors pose risks to Haiti’s recovery

By Dennis Sadowski, Catholic News Service WASHINGTON (CNS) — Survivors of Haiti’s Jan. 12 earthquake face growing mental health challenges that pose serious risks to the country’s recovery, said a priest-psychologist working in makeshift tent camps around Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince. “Vulnerable people before Jan. 12 have become more fragile, and their conditions have worsened,” said Father Eddy Eustache, a Haitian priest who directs mental health and psychosocial services for Partners in Health in Haiti. In a May 26 e-mail message to Catholic News Service, he responded to questions about his work. People are experiencing depression, sleep disorders, anxiety, alcohol and substance abuse, and post-traumatic stress disorder, he said. Currently, an expanded team of 31 psychologists and social workers working for the Boston-based Partners in Health serves about 80,000 people in four large camps scattered around Port-au-Prince. A team of locally […]

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