Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Haiti Elections Vote Count Now Underway

After many delays and even a cancellation, Haitians finally went to the polls on November 20 to vote for a president and members of Parliament. The voting was orderly, despite the fact that Haiti is still recovering from the effects of Hurricane Matthew. The official results are expected in eight days, with a runoff scheduled for January 29. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Vote Count Begins in Haiti Presidential Poll Aline Barros, VOA November 20, 2016 Vote counting has begun in Haiti’s repeatedly derailed presidential election. The vote went off relatively smoothly Sunday after an annulled election in October and Hurricane Matthew’s serious damage in the Caribbean nation last month. No official results were expected to be issued for eight days, and Provisional Electoral Council executive director Uder Antoine has said it might take […]

Haiti’s Cholera Victims Seek Justice in Court

This article briefly describes the latest news on the cholera epidemic in Haiti, including the October 23 oral arguments on UN immunity. It includes quotes from Ban Ki-moon, Mario Joseph (BAI Managing Attorney), and Beatrice Lindstrom (IJDH Staff Attorney who argued on behalf of the plaintiffs). Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Haiti Cholera Victims Seek Damages from UN in US Court Margaret Besheer, Voice of America October 23, 2014 A U.S. District Court judge heard oral arguments Thursday in a lawsuit brought by victims of Haiti’s cholera outbreak, who are seeking compensation from the United Nations. The plaintiffs blame a contingent of Nepalese peacekeepers for bringing the disease to their nation after the 2010 earthquake. The suit was filed on behalf of five Haitians and Haitian-Americans whose family members died of the water-borne disease […]

UN Claims Immunity in Haitian Cholera Compensation Case

Margaret Besheer, Voice of America February 21, 2013 The United Nations has rejected a claim for compensation filed on behalf of 5,000 Haitian victims of a cholera outbreak, saying the world body is protected by immunity. The claim, filed in 2011, sought millions of dollars from the United Nations, saying its peacekeepers brought the deadly disease to Haiti. The water-borne disease had not been documented in Haiti for decades when it appeared several months after the January 2010 earthquake that left thousands of people homeless and living in makeshift camps. Newly arrived U.N. peacekeepers from Nepal were suspected of bringing the disease into the country and spreading it into the water supply through poor sanitation at their camp. Cholera is endemic in Nepal, and the strain responsible for Haiti’s epidemic is one that is prevalent throughout South Asia. U.N. Spokesman Martin […]

UN Official: Haiti Humanitarian Crisis Remains

Voice of America A U.N. expert on the rights of displaced persons says a profound humanitarian crisis remains in Haiti and the reconstruction process needs to be accelerated. The U.N. top representative on Human Rights for Internally Displaced Persons, Walter Kaelin, says there is an urgent need for health care, water, sanitation and education not just in camps for the displaced, but also for other Haitians who remain in their homes. Kaelin also expressed concerns about high levels of rape and other violence against women and children in the camps. The U.N. says 1.3 million people are in the camps, nine months after a massive earthquake devastated Haiti. Kaelin is calling on the Haitian government to come up with a development plan and to enforce the rule of law in the camps. The U.N. representative also called on international donors […]

Agriculture Short-Changed in Haiti’s Post-Quake Recovery

By Steve Baragona, Voice of America Lack of rural jobs threatens reconstruction effort After a powerful earthquake struck Haiti in January, boosting agricultural production was seen as one of the keys to the nation’s recovery. Six months later, the U.N. Food and Agriculture organization (FAO) says only half the funding pledged for agriculture has been delivered. Experts say short-changing food production is a common problem in many humanitarian crises and, in Haiti, it threatens to undermine the nation’s already-troubled recovery. Rural help wanted When the earthquake ravaged Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, an estimated 600,000 people fled for the countryside. The flood of people put tremendous strain on their hosts. Experts believe one of the best ways for the rural areas to cope with the new arrivals would be to create jobs boosting food production. In a country where more than half […]

Hungry Haitian Farmers Urged to Burn Donated US Seeds

By Steve Baragona, Voice of America Peasant group resists ties to multinational corporation Haiti’s farmers are being urged to burn seeds donated by U.S. agriculture giant Monsanto. The American company donated $4 million worth of seeds to Haiti to help the country rebuild after January’s devastating earthquake. The seeds promise to help farmers in the hungry nation increase the amount of food they can grow. But the powerful Haitian peasant group that’s telling farmers to burn the donations says the seeds will change the way most Haitian peasants farm, tying them to multinational corporations and threatening the environment. It’s the latest example of the worldwide ideological struggle over how to feed a hungry planet. Even before the earthquake, more than half Haiti’s population was undernourished. The earthquake forced hundreds of thousands of people out of the capital, Port-au-Prince, and into […]

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