Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

The truth behind the numbers: Why Haiti Did Not Dodge a Bullet with Tropical Storm Isaac?

Angela Bruce Raeburn, Oxfam America August 31, 2012  The aftermath of Tropical Storm Isaac in Haiti. Photo by Stephania Musset. As Tropical Storm Isaac dumped torrential rains on Haiti this past weekend, many found a silver lining in the fact that only 24 Haitians died. True, it could have been much worse. Haiti continues to suffer from the effects of the devastating 2010 earthquake, and Isaac could have been yet another major catastrophe. But the effects of Isaac will be felt for quite some time and could result in a much higher death toll. Haiti did not dodge a bullet. Agriculture losses, a looming cholera crisis, and homelessness are the real numbers behind Isaac. And what will happen the next time a tropical storm passes through Haiti if people remain displaced without adequate housing? Agriculture provides employment for half the national workforce and makes up 28 […]

Press Release: Nigel Fisher Concedes Band-Aid Approach is ineffective

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 10, 2012 Contact: Brian Concannon, Jr., Esq., Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti,, +1-617-652-0876 (English, French, Creole) Mario Joseph, Av., Bureau des Avocats Internationaux, (in Haiti),, +509-3701-9879 (Creole, French, English) Human Rights Groups Commend UN for Acknowledging Limitations of “Band-Aid” Approach to Haiti Cholera Thursday, May 10, 2012, Port-au-Prince, Haiti and Boston, USA—Rights groups in Haiti and the United States commend last week’s acknowledgment by United Nations official Nigel Fisher that the current efforts to alleviate cholera in Haiti are “patchwork, band-aid work on a fundamental problem.”  Fisher, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator for Haiti, acknowledged in a May 3rd interview with the UN News Centre that “What we are doing in the short-term … is necessary, but we all agree that the long-term solution is investment in improved drinking water sources […]

MINUSTAH Must Take Responsibility for Causing Cholera Epidemic That’s Killed 7,000 People, CEPR Co-Director Says (CEPR)

For Immediate Release: December 19, 2011 Contact: Dan Beeton, 202-239-1460 Statements by UN Spokesman Nigel Fisher “False and Deceptive” Washington, D.C.– The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) owes it to the half-a-million cholera victims in Haiti to take responsibility for having caused the outbreak, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) Co-Director Mark Weisbrot said today. Weisbrot also called recent statements by UN’s head of Humanitarian Affairs in Haiti, Nigel Fisher, regarding the origins of the epidemic “false and deceptive.” “It is deplorable that a full 14 months after the discovery of the first cholera case, the UN continues to dodge responsibility for having reintroduced a deadly disease that has now killed a minimum of 7,000 people,” Weisbrot said. “This is a case of criminal negligence, and the UN, if it is to continue to be worthy of […]

Haiti’s Cholera Row with UN Rumbles On (BBC)

Mark Doyle, BBC December 14, 2011 Lawyers representing thousands of cholera victims in Haiti have threatened to take the United Nations to court in the United States, unless the international body responds to a petition for financial compensation. It is part of a campaign that centres on the extraordinary possibility that the UN – widely seen as a force for good around the world – may have brought cholera into Haiti and as a result may be responsible for nearly 7,000 deaths from the disease. The UN is being asked to pay $100,000 (£65,000) to the families of those who died and $50,000 (£32,500) to each of the people who fell sick but recovered. In addition there is a “class action” saying the UN should stop the cholera by rebuilding Haiti’s decrepit water and sanitation infrastructure. If met in total, the […]

As Hurricane Season Looms, Government Officers Destroy Haiti Tent Camps

By Bea Lindstrom, Huffington Post June 2, 2011 Port-au-Prince, Haiti — On a small side street away from the public eye, a woman stands amidst debris. “Leve, leve!” she screams, reenacting for me how the police woke her in the morning, yelling at her to get out before they cut down her tent. Next to her, a panicked man is twirling in circles, collecting what is left of broken tiles lining a dirt floor. They both lost their homes in the earthquake and have been living in neighboring tents with their families since January 2010. Wednesday morning, the police showed up unannounced and violently destroyed their shelters, leaving them homeless again. At least three camps housing approximately 1,000 Haitians displaced from the earthquake were destroyed by police this week in the Delmas suburb of Port-au-Prince, just two weeks after Michel […]

Nigel Fisher Can’t Seem to Get the Facts Right

By Roger Annis, Haiti Liberte September 30, 2010 As Deputy Special Representative on Haiti to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, Nigel Fisher’s inattention to the post-earthquake tragedy there is disturbing. It underscores other concerns about his prejudices against the national sovereignty of the country whose interests he is supposed to assist. Mr. Fisher gave a keynote speech to the “First Annual Neglected Diseases Conference” at the University of British Columbia on Sep. 18. His talk reviewed conditions in Haiti eight months after the earthquake. Several hundred people were in attendance, including medical students and professionals and university professors. It was a largely upbeat presentation sounding out of whack with the realities on the ground as widely reported by journalists and medical professionals (including a doctor recently returned from Haiti to whom I spoke in preparing this report). According to Mr. Fisher, […]

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