Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

The Total Failure of Global Aid in Haiti

By Michelle Chen, Colorlines October 13, 2010 With his country still in ruins 10 months after disaster struck, Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive recently told Reuters, “If the whole international community cannot solve the problem, along with the Haitians … it raises a lot of questions over the effectiveness and utility of cooperation and international aid.” It’s hard to escape the troubling conclusion that those questions have already been answered. The outpouring of donor sympathy after the earthquake has resulted in a disturbingly slow trickle of tangible help so far. In fact, very few of the promised rebuilding funds have arrived at all. The Associated Press reports that just about $732 million of the $5.3 billion donor countries pledged for 2010-2011 has been dispersed. And none of the promised $1.15 billion in U.S. aid has come, according to AP, because Oklahoma Republican Sen. Tom […]

US lawmakers warn of flaws in Haiti vote process

By Joseph Guyler Delva, Reuters PORT-AU-PRINCE – The United States should only support November elections in Haiti if they include all eligible political parties, a group of U.S. lawmakers said, warning they saw signs of flaws that could be a “recipe for disaster.” In a letter sent this week to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the members of Congress said failure to hold free, fair and inclusive presidential and legislative elections on Nov. 28 could endanger Haiti’s governance and reconstruction after the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake. The Democratic signers of the letter headed by California Representative Maxine Waters expressed concern that Haiti’s Provisional Electoral Council had excluded candidates from more than a dozen parties, including the country’s largest, Fanmi Lavalas, loyal to exiled former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. The lawmakers urged Clinton to demand the elections include all eligible political parties […]

U.S. to provide $120M to Haiti

By Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald The U.S. approved $120 million in Haiti aid. Former President Bill Clinton visited Sean Penn’s Haitian camp. The United States will provide $120 million for education, rubble removal and housing in earthquake-shattered Haiti, as well as help rebuild the state university hospital in Port-au-Prince, an aide to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday. Cheryl Mills, who was on a conference call of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission in Port-au-Prince, said the funds will be placed in a trust fund managed by the World Bank. The United States has been among the donor nations that have been criticized for their slow response to provide more than $5.3 billion in promised aid to help Haiti rebuild following the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake. The quake left an estimated 300,000 dead and 1.5 million people homeless. During the […]

US and France Scold Displaced Haitians and Other Whiners for Being ‘Impatient’ and ‘Unrealistic’

Speaking alongside a meeting with Haitian Prime Minister Jean Max Bellerive, Hillary Clinton and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner addressed the “growing impatience in the Caribbean nation over the slow pace of recovery,” reports AFP. Hillary Clinton said, “Those who expect progress immediately are unrealistic and doing a disservice to the many people who are working so hard.” While for his part, Kouchner said that “It’s because they have no idea of the immensity of the disaster.” These statements echo those that were made against people speaking out against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; that to criticize was to undermine or be “unpatriotic” in some way. Yet, it may be the foreign ministers who are unaware of the immensity of the disaster on the ground for the millions of Haitians still homeless nearly 9 months after the earthquake. A scathing […]

Unrealistic to expect immediate quake recovery in Haiti: US

By Christophe Schmidt (AFP) NEW YORK — Nine months after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, the United States and France warned Monday against the growing impatience in the Caribbean nation over the slow pace of recovery. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner made the remarks during a meeting with Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive, on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York. “Those who expect progress immediately are unrealistic and doing a disservice to the many people who are working so hard,” the chief US diplomat said. “But to expect less than concerted effort every day that produces results would be a great tragedy,” Clinton said. The three signed two memoranda of understanding: one to set up an industrial zone to create 10,000 jobs and the other to finance the rebuilding […]

Frustration sets in

The Economist The presidential election is a chance to rebuild ties between Haiti’s struggling government and its discouraged donors ONE of the many differences between Haiti and the Dominican Republic, its closest neighbour, muses Jean-Max Bellerive, the stricken country’s prime minister, is that it has seen just two democratic handovers of power compared with a dozen next door. He is being tactful, since some of the Dominican Republic’s elections were far from fair. But his point is that organising a presidential election in Haiti this year will eventually be as important as giving food, shelter and jobs to the 1.5m people made homeless by January’s earthquake. Haiti needs an effective and legitimate government if it is to rebuild itself—and if the outside world is to part with the cash it has promised the country. After a rousing show of unity […]

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