Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Where Did $33 Million Spent on Haiti’s Elections Go?

Haiti’s recent elections that were marred by fraud cost more than $100 million to finance. Most of this funding came from international donors, and the United States contributed $33 million to the process. Now, US officials are balking to finance yet another election in the fall — but it’s important to note where that $33 million actually went. For one, US money did not go to electoral authorities, but rather to US programs in support of elections. Money was given to the DC-based Consortium for Elections and Political Processes, the International Foundation for Electoral Systems, and the National Democratic Institute. Over $19 million was given to different United Nations agencies rather than to financing the actual election itself ($9.7 million to UNDP, $7.57 million on UNOPS, and an additional $1.77 million when they threatened to pull out). So while the United States […]

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. […]

An Open Letter to the USDA and USAID on planned peanut shipment to Haiti

(Lèt sa-a an kreyòl anba vèzyon anglè-a.) To: Tom Vilsack, US Secretary of Agriculture, United States Department of Agriculture and Gayle Smith, Administrator, United States Agency for International Development cc: to Kenneth Merten, Haiti Special Coordinator for State Dept We, the undersigned, represent a broad range of social movements, human rights and development organizations, food sovereignty and agriculture organizations, foundations, and community groups in both Haiti and the United States. We stand together in calling for an immediate cancellation of the USDA’s planned shipment of 500 metric tons of peanuts to Haitian schools as part of its “Stocks for Food” program. While the gesture may be well-intentioned, this program stands to become the latest in a long history of U.S-sponsored programs that have destabilized Haiti’s agricultural sector, driving the nation further into poverty while increasing its dependence on foreign aid. […]

USDA Peanut Plan Could be a Disaster for Haiti’s Economy

When the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced its plan to ship 500 metric tons of peanuts to Haiti, a peanut-producing country, there was an immediate backlash. Although the 500 tons only represent 2% of Haiti’s current peanut production, there are other issues: The plan targets Haitian schoolchildren, though they are not the ones most affected by malnutrition. The plan paves the way for foreign peanuts to be sold in Haiti, which would undermine Haitian peanut farmers, leaving them unable to sell their crops and feed their families. Finally, the plan doesn’t address the underlying problem of a massive surplus of peanuts being produced in the United States. Haitian peanut farmers don’t need this kind of outside help. The hunger crisis would be better addressed by buying Haitian crops to feed the people. Part of the article is below. Click […]

What will the US role be in Haiti’s fraudulent elections?

Many blame Haiti’s turbulent history, including the misuse of post-earthquake aid and the coups against former President Aristide, on Haitian corruption but fail to acknowledge the US role in these events. Now, as Haiti gears up for the third round of elections that are already marred by fraud, many wonder what the US role will be this time. Will the US accept any candidate that matches their interests or can activists force the US to stand for fair and democratic elections? Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Weisbrot: U.S. needs strict Haitian pledge before sending any aid. Mark Weisbrot, My Statesman November 5, 2015 When a devastating earthquake struck Haiti in January 2010, killing more than 200,000 people, former President Bill Clinton said that the reconstruction would provide an opportunity to “build back better.” Some […]

Pres. Martelly Supporters Received Contribution from US Government

Amid new claims about US influence in Haiti’s fraudulent 2010 elections, Al Jazeera has obtained evidence that documents the US’ substantial financial support for a political movement closely aligned with current President Michel Martelly. The US government contributed approximately $100,000 to Mouvement Tét Kale (MTK) through a branch of USAID. Although USAID defines MTK as a “network of community-based organizations,” former and current MTK members clarify that it is, in fact, a political movement and was integral in putting Martelly in power. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full article. Revealed: USAID funded group supporting Haitian president in 2010 Jake Johnston, Al Jazeera July 15, 2015 PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — The U.S. Agency for International Development gave nearly $100,000 to a Haitian political movement with close ties to President Michel Martelly in the country’s 2010 elections, documents obtained by […]

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Institute for Justice & Democracy In Haiti
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