Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Small-business owners feel left out of Haiti’s rebuilding plan

By Jessica Leeder, Project Jacmel The narrow consumer market here for dried flower arrangements, greeting cards, wrapping paper and electrified fish bowls that double as children’s bedside lamps disappeared on the afternoon of January 12. That wasn’t an initial concern, however, for Molver Desire, the owner of Nini’s Fleurs and Baby Gifts, a quaint, one-storey shop on the outer fringe of Jacmel’s heritage district. After the 7.3-magnitude earthquake, the shop with its half-caved roof and grit-coated inventory was in no shape for receiving customers. Neither was Ms. Desire. The earthquake had shaken her, sending her to her knees, where “we were praying for God, asking God to pardon our sins.” Then she begged a motor-taxi to shuttle her across town to her home, where she was relieved to find her family alive, including her diabetic husband, whose health has been […]

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