Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Why such strong opposition to the USDA peanut plan?

On the surface, the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)’s plan to ship 500 metric tons of peanuts to malnourished Haitian children may sound great. Those familiar with Haitian agricultural and economic history, however, are strongly opposing this program because shipments of rice to Haiti in the 1980s and 1990s all but destroyed the Haitian rice market. Many, including IJDH, have written letters and made statements on the risks of the USDA plan but right now, the USDA says that it will still make the shipment before school starts in the fall. Can continued advocacy stop this plan from going through? Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text and audio. The US wants to give peanuts to malnourished Haitian kids. Why is that a problem? Amy Bracken, PRI’s The World May 11, 2016 For those unfamiliar with Haitian history […]

Six Years Post-Quake and Not Much Change – Interview with Brian Concannon

Today, January 12, marks the sixth anniversary of Haiti’s catastrophic 2010 earthquake. Despite billions pledged and spent in Haiti since then, there is not much to show for it. IJDH Executive Director Brian Concannon explains what went wrong, like not consulting Haitians on what their country needed and relying on expensive international experts. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text and audio. Anger in Haiti over misspent aid, six years after the 2010 earthquake Christopher Woolf, PRI’s The World January 12, 2016 It’s six years since an earthquake devastated Haiti, and killed at least 200,000 people. In the immediate aftermath, the world rallied and pledged enormous amounts of assistance and development aid. But in Haiti today there is anger about the promises that have fallen short. The UN estimates that about $10 billion was pledged, and about […]

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 […]

A Reconstruction Success in Haiti?

This article is about a development called Village La Difference, which was meant to provide housing for earthquake survivors but ended up with more of an assortment of residents due to amenities like reliable electricity . In this Village, a group of women and garment workers from the local industrial park support each other in hopes that the development won’t become another failure of Haiti’s reconstruction. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text and audio. ‘Women aren’t a broom to be left in the corner’ Amy Bracken, PRI’s The World January 12, 2015 After Haiti’s disastrous earthquake in 2010, foreign aid poured into the country. Much of it went to long-term efforts to get people employed and housed. But results have been disappointing. The US Agency for International Development, for example, initially pledged to construct 15,000 permanent houses; only […]

UN Peacekeepers Leave Babies in Haiti

Despite rules against forming relationships with locals, United Nations peacekeepers have left many babies behind in Haiti. The mothers are left to provide for the children with no support from the children’s fathers. Some of these mothers are now seeking support from the UN, which does have a system for these types of claims, but needs to do a better job of making it known. Haitian moms demand UN help for the babies their peacekeepers left behind Amy Bracken, PRI August 29, 2014 When the US military pulled out of Vietnam in 1973, it left something of a living legacy: Tens of thousands of pregnant Vietnamese women. But this issue is not confined to Americans in Vietnam, or even to wartime. It’s also an often overlooked side effect of United Nations peacekeeping operations. Now, the babies of UN peacekeepers are becoming an […]

Public Radio International Highlights Fight for Haitian Family Reunification

IJDH’s own Steven Forester was featured on PRI’s The World yesterday, talking about the urgent need for Haitian family reunification. Why Some Haitians Are Still Waiting on Family-based Visas to Come to the US Amy Bracken, The World September 18, 2013 After the 2010 earthquake in Haiti, the US waived visa requirements for Haitian children being adopted by Americans. More than 1,000 kids were flown to the US to live with their new moms and dads. But what about the children in Haiti whose biological parents were living and working in the US? Countless Haitian families were split between the two countries, and reunification of those families is an ongoing struggle. Such is the case for Carmine Pierre. On a recent afternoon, she sits on the couch in the bare one-bedroom she shares with her sister outside Boston, scratching away at […]

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