Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Faith-based Groups Put Pressure on UN for Cholera Deaths

In response to the UN-introduced cholera outbreak in Haiti, IJDH and Mennonite Central Committee collaborated in the Face Justice campaign for the past year to bring attention to the victims’ and survivors’ stories. This article highlights faith-based groups who joined the effort, including the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and Church World Service. IJDH director Brian Concannon notes the network of support includes lawyers, scientists, and doctors, who separately work to benefit the UN’s victims. “This collaborative, network-based strategy,” Concannon said, “is exciting and a template for how you can do broad social change.” Below is part of the article from Christian Century. Read the full article HERE. Faith-based groups, others put pressure on UN for its role in Haiti cholera deaths by Celeste Kennel-Shank, Christian Century Nov 03, 2016 Every family in Joseph Dade Guiwil’s community has been harmed by the cholera epidemic […]

History of Interventions & Exploitation Against Haiti

Hurricane Matthew’s devastation in Haiti is amplified by several remnants of colonial relations, military interventions by Woodrow Wilson and Roosevelt, and now today by “poorly implemented aid projects.” Law Street Media traces the history of economic exploitation of Haiti by France and Spain, and demonstrates the progression of “disappointments” by the United States and the United Nations: the U.S. continuing economic exploitation, and the UN continuing to deny responsibility for the increasing spread of cholera. Law Street cites IJDH’s Beatrice Lindstrom: “The need for a new UN response that both controls and eliminates cholera and compensates the victims who have suffered so much is now more dire than ever.” Using history and recent examples of exploitation, the article concludes: “Haiti will continue to be plagued with problems if the impoverished country is unable to properly recover from disease outbreaks like this, as well […]

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, […]

American Red Cross donations and local organizations

After the 2010 earthquake, many donors were pained to learn how little of their contributions actually went to Haiti. The American Red Cross was a prime example, according to an investigation by ProPublica and NPR. “The reputation of the Red Cross in Haiti is very negative,” Nicole Phillips of IJDH said. In the same way consumers “shop local,” the solution is to give local. Rather than donating to foreign NGOs with high overhead costs to help Haitians after Hurricane Matthew, Edwidge Danticat and others advocate for organizations based in Haiti. Nicole Phillips, who lives in Haiti, said, “By giving money directly to the Haitian network, you’re cutting out a huge sum of cost that otherwise would have to pay for the middleman, for plane tickets, accommodations, et cetera  — it’s going directly to Haitians.” Local organizations, and NGOs with a proven track record, are […]

Were hurricane deaths in Haiti preventable?

Hurricane Matthew killed more people in Haiti than anywhere else nearby and cholera cases have spiked in the south. The World Socialist Web Site makes the case that many deaths were caused by other factors: United Nations peacekeepers’ pollution and introduction of cholera, neglect by neighboring U.S. administrations, and Haiti’s lack of infrastructure. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full article. Hundreds of preventable deaths caused by Hurricane Matthew in Haiti by John Marion, World Socialist Web Site October 10th, 2016 The scope of the disaster left in Haiti by Hurricane Matthew is becoming clearer, with hundreds of people dead, tens of thousands without shelter, and many areas still unable to communicate with the outside world nearly a week after the storm made landfall at the town of Les Anglais in the Sud Department. The storm’s winds […]

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