Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Paul Farmer visits Haiti after Hurricane Matthew

After working as a physician in Haiti for 30 years, Paul Farmer is “terrified” by the spread of UN-cholera. However, Dr. Farmer states unequivocally that Haiti has shown progress. For example, he recounts the story of a 12-year old who may have been paralyzed by Zika or a number of things. The boy’s mother took him to the emergency room at University Hospital, a half-hour from the capital. The emergency room specialist “thought he would be asphyxiated if the paralysis hit the diaphragm, so she [the doctor] put him on a breathing machine and did a tracheotomy, which saved his life.” Haiti has shown progress in that the Emergency Room was open 24/7 and maintains an Intensive Care Unit. While Dr. Farmer is “humbled” by his Haitian colleagues, he responds to the notion that Haitians are more resilient than other peoples: […]

Senator’s Investigation Reveals Problematic Spending of Haiti Earthquake Donations

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley has lead an investigation into the American Red Cross use of donations in the 2010 Haiti earthquake campaign. Receiving little to no feedback or answers to his questions, Senator Grassley has had a hard time finding information about the internal spending even though American Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern has claimed to work with the investigation. Though met with subpar communication, Grassley found that the organization has spent around 25 percent of the Haiti donations on internal expenses with ambiguous and unfounded titles such as ‘program expenses,’ a discovery that stands in direct violation of McGovern’s claim that all but 9 percent of donations go to humanitarian aid. The lack of support for internal policing mechanisms by the organization may hold a piece of the blame. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full article. … Report: Red Cross […]

USDA’s Plan to Ship Peanuts to Haiti Benefits U.S., Not Haiti

The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced a plan to ship 500 metric tons of peanuts to Haiti to help with the current hunger crisis resulting from a drought in the country. The problem? Haitians already grow plenty of their own peanuts, which also are a drought-resistant plant. Many nonprofits and aid organizations, including IJDH, have stood up against this plan that would likely devastate Haiti’s economy. As one nonprofit leader says in this article: “When other crops fail, peanuts are what [Haitians are] literally relying on to survive.” Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. U.S. To Ship Peanuts To Feed Haitian Kids; Aid Groups Say ‘This Is Wrong’ Clare Leschin-Hoar, NPR May 5, 2016 On paper, sending surplus U.S. peanuts to feed 140,000 malnourished Haitian schoolchildren for a full year sounds like a heroic plan. […]

Mounting Pressure for Accountability for UN Cholera Epidemic

Since October 2010, Haitians have been dying from a cholera epidemic brought to the island by United Nations peacekeepers. Victims have been calling for justice since then, and some recent developments provide signs of hope: On March 1, IJDH Staff Attorney Beatrice Lindstrom argued on behalf of cholera victims before a panel of three judges who indicated some concern about how the victims could access justice if UN immunity continues to be upheld in this case. On March 15, a letter from five UN experts was presented to the Human Rights Council, arguing that UN immunity in this case challenges its credibility in promoting human rights. In more concerning news, a recent study by Doctors Without Borders shows that the death toll from cholera could be at least three times higher than official figures say. Many hope that this revelation will […]

Scheduled First Round of Elections Raise Concerns

Haiti’s long-overdue elections have the potential to initiate the country’s progress towards political stability. Many view this first round as a crucial test of Haiti’s ability to hold its own elections: the last elections in 2010 were orchestrated by third parties, including the United States. Despite Haiti’s indisputable progress since these last elections in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake, doubts still linger about voter turnout, police intimidation and violence, among other concerns. An excerpt from the transcript is posted below. Click HERE for the original story. Haiti Elections Seen As A Test Of Stability NPR August 8, 2015 LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST: Haitians are set to vote tomorrow, a big step for the troubled country. These are legislative elections, and they’re more than three years overdue. And they are seen as a test for Haiti to prove it’s capable of […]

People facing deportation from DR flee to settlement camps

In anticipation of formal deportations from the Dominican Republic after being stripped of citizenship, many have fled to settlement camps along the Haiti-DR border. Leaving behind families, livelihoods, and homes for the tents of the camps, most are forced to rely on small amounts of savings as they wait for the government to step in and help. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full article. Fleeing to Haiti, They Put Their Faith in ‘God and Government’ Peter Granitz, NPR 27 July 2015 Marie Etyse left two of her children behind. She’s 29, a widow and has five kids. She has lived in a town in the Dominican Republic for the past nine years. Like many Haitian migrants, she faces deportation after a law stripped her of her citizenship. Formal deportation could start as early as Aug. 1, […]

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