Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Why Natural Disasters Cause Unnatural Damage in Haiti

In the interview below, Jonathan Katz, who was a foreign correspondent in Haiti at the time of the 2010 earthquake and the cholera epidemic later caused by the UN, explains what needs to be done better after Hurricane Matthew. He stresses the needs for accountability from international aid organizations and agencies, partnership with the Haitian government, and building systems to prevent such a devastating impact from the next natural disaster. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Why Haiti wasn’t ready for a hurricane: A Q&A with Jonathan Katz Jonathan Katz, IRIN News October 19, 2016 Two weeks after Hurricane Matthew slammed into southern Haiti, the scale of the damage is still becoming horrifyingly apparent. According to the UN, some 1.4 million people are in urgent need of aid and that number is expected to rise, […]

How to Truly “Build Back Better” After Hurricane Matthew

After Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, international organizations and donors promised to “build back better” but the effort became a strong example of failed disaster aid. After Hurricane Matthew, care needs to be taken to ensure that the same mistakes are not repeated. The best way to do that is to work with local Haitian groups, who know the context in Haiti and (contrary to some beliefs) have lots of ideas about how to rebuild. Though this can be complicated by lack of donation infrastructure, there are some nonprofits who are trying to bridge the gap. The key is using “our considerable resources to truly partner with Haitian groups.” Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Hurricane Matthew: Haitians Rebuilding Haiti Nancy Young, Common Dreams October 11, 2016 In the days before Hurricane Matthew, when it became […]

Hurricane Matthew and its Unnatural Ramifications

Hurricane Matthew has left a path of devastation and destruction in its wake, ruining much of Haiti’s infrastructure and displacing tens of thousands of its citizens.  The hurricane alone, however, is not the only thing to blame for the damage done.  A history of maltreatment and injustice has left Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the world, much more vulnerable to natural disasters. Part of the article is below.  Click HERE for the full text. For Haiti, Hurricane Matthew is an Unnatural Disaster Jason Von Meding and Giuseppe Forino, New Republic October 11, 2016 At least 1,000 people were killed when Hurricane Matthew battered the Tiburon Peninsula in Haiti last week, destroying houses and displacing tens of thousands. A humanitarian crisis is now unfolding for the survivors, with the Pan American Health Organization warning of a likely cholera surge in the country due to severely damaged water supply […]

Is the United States Undermining Haiti’s Democracy?

Now that the United States has decided to withdraw funding from the redo of Haiti’s presidential elections, Haitians are starting to unite to find a way to fund the elections themselves. Unfortunately, the U.S. withdrawal, as well as the country’s continual denouncing of Haiti’s attempt at a more democratic process, may be detrimental to the credibility of the elections. While many take Haiti funding its own elections as a step towards sovereignty and improving the process, the electoral process is still being blocked by a portion of Parliament and there are also many concerns about what the U.S. will do once the elections have taken place. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Will a Haiti election without U.S. dollars undermine the vote? Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald July 18, 2016 For months, the United States has […]

Haitian Civil Society Delegation Travels to Europe

Recently, three representatives from Haitian civil society groups visited Brussels and Paris in order to discuss and explain their viewpoints with regards to the current political and socio-economic conditions in Haiti. Meeting with members of the European Parliament, EU desk officers, staff members of European NGOs, members of the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and various journalists, each member the Haitian delegation represented a different sector of Haitian civil society, including environmental, agricultural, and human rights concerns. Although they ran into resistance in their discussions with EU officers in Brussels, the Haitian leaders found the French government and the French NGOs to be very receptive. …. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. First impressions visit Haitian delegation to Brussels and Paris Els Hortensius, Coordination Europe-Haiti July 2016 From Monday through Wednesday June 27 – 29, three […]

Six Years Later, Earthquake Aid Failures Forgotten?

This year’s 2010 earthquake anniversary saw much less press coverage than did previous years’ and this article asks why, especially given all the questions that remain unanswered. In many cases, it seems like the outpouring of aid money did more harm than good in Haiti and it is still unclear where a huge portion of it went or what it did. This article suggests re-evaluating the humanitarian aid system and recognizing the problems it created in Haiti after the earthquake. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Humanitarian Aftershocks in Haiti Mark Schuller, Counterpunch January 18, 2016 This Tuesday, the sixth anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti came and went with little fanfare. On the one hand, this could be a sign of moving on. As Gina Athena Ulysse has powerfully demonstrated, Haiti needs new narratives. Maybe […]

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