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, […]

The UN’s Cover Up in Haiti’s Cholera Crisis

The Takeaway Magazine spoke with Jonathan Katz, the first journalist to document the U.N’s role in Haiti’s cholera crisis. The disease initially killed 5,000 people and has since claimed up to 30,000 lives. Despite Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s claims that the UN has a moral responsibility to help end the outbreak, they have denied responsibility for starting the outbreak despite almost indisputable scientific research. The Haiti Aid fund that the United Nations pledged has also been vastly underfunded, reaching only 18%. After the initial outbreak, the UN actively tried to cover-up their involvement, destroying evidence and putting out press releases disclaiming their responsibility.  Even after an independent UN-appointed panel found the organization responsible for causing epidemic, the UN still refused to acknowledge the findings of the report. The repercussion of the UN’s lack of moral responsibility is particularly damaging because moral authority is the United […]

How the Post-Quake Response Could’ve Improved…But Didn’t

As part of the investigation and public release of Hillary Clinton’s personal emails by the State Department, a telling memo from Chelsea Clinton has also become public. The memo, inspired by a visit to Haiti soon after the 2010 earthquake, reveals the incompetence and lack of accountability of many of the organizations on the ground who were supposed to help Haiti with relief and recovery. While her mother seemed more focused on preserving the US image of “success” in Haiti, Chelsea was very frank about the need to include Haitians in the recovery effort and the unwillingness of the aid organizations to do so. Unfortunately, her recommendations showed a similar disconnect to that of her parents when she recommended increasing their power over the relief efforts in order to improve them–something which did happen later but made no improvement in the […]

How the Clintons “Govern” Haiti

Hillary and Bill Clinton often discuss their love for Haiti ever since they traveled there for their honeymoon. However, their track record of unfulfilled promises to Haiti, especially after the 2010 earthquake, leaves more questions than answers. This article delves into the Clintons’ influence in Haiti and why some say that “after everything is in place…you see the Clintons at every level” of goings-on in the small country. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. The King and Queen of Haiti Jonathan Katz, Politico Magazine May 4, 2015 Sunday, January 30, 2011. Two hundred thousand people occupied Egypt’s Tahrir Square, defying a military curfew to demand the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak. Tunisia’s authoritarian leader had just been overthrown, unleashing a wave of anti-government protests from Yemen to Syria to Morocco. South Sudan’s provisional president […]

Lessons from Haiti to Nepal: What Not to Do

There were many missteps made in the immediate aftermath of Haiti’s 2010 earthquake that led to the well-known failures of the relief and reconstruction efforts, even to this day. Jonathan Katz, who wrote an entire books on those efforts, is now speaking out to make sure the same missteps aren’t made in Nepal after their devastating quake. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text and audio. Five things the international community shouldn’t do after a disaster Shirin Jaafari, PRI’s TheWorld April 30, 2015 Jonathan Katz was a reporter for the Associated Press in Haiti in 2010, the year a powerful earthquake there killed more than 100,000 people. He was able to see how outside help flowed into the stricken country — and how many outsiders, himself included, messed up in the aftermath of the disaster. Katz wrote about those experiences in […]

Lessons From Haiti’s Earthquake to Nepal’s

In the wake of a devastating earthquake in Nepal, many are waiting to see whether aid organizations have learned anything from the botched response to Haiti’s 2010 quake. After a disaster, decisions made within the first 72 hours are crucial to the future direction of the response. This article describes lessons that should be learned from the response to Haiti’s earthquake, both by aid organizations and by journalists reporting on the situation. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. How Not to Report on an Earthquake Jonathan M. Katz, The New York Times Magazine April 28, 2015 As of Tuesday morning, exactly three days have passed since a 7.8-magnitude earthquake shook Nepal, killing thousands and leaving millions in need of help. In disaster response, the end of the first 72 hours is often considered an inflection […]

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