Haiti's elite -- a small, politically connected group as comfortable lobbying President René Préval as lawmakers in Washington -- is positioning itself for business opportunities emerging from their country's reconstruction.
“At a time when Haiti is facing a major food crisis we are alarmed at the lack of support to the agricultural component of the Flash Appeal,”
"Everyone was trying to survive, because they were looking for food and water, " the Washington-based correspondent said. "If there was more empathy in news reporting, the perspective would be different." Liu also lashed out at peacekeeping troops in Haiti. He said the troops told Taiwan's second rescue team not to go outside because it was not safe, but what the reporter saw were people who were staring over airport walls at the relief goods they hoped to receive as soon as possible.
[T]he Haitian government has only received 49,198 of the 200,000 tents it has requested from the international community, and only 15,000 of these tents are available in Haiti as of today.
"...a noisy, early morning protest by several hundred Haitians at the U.N. mission headquarters brought into sharp focus simmering anger over the dire need for shelter..."
Heavy rain drenched earthquake survivors in the tent camps of the Haitian capital on Thursday, bringing a warning of fresh misery to come for the 1 million people living on the streets.
Well, he’s mystified by that. You know, there’s been several calls for him to return. His party still—the Lavalas is still the largest party, that’s not participating, that’s not active in the electoral process. And yet, he’s dismayed by that, the fact that both—it seems as if the South African government and the United States are complicit in his not returning to the hemisphere.
“If new camps are set-up then people should be not be forced to go. The camps should be safe to reduce criminality and protect vulnerable groups such as women and children. They should also be seen as temporary solutions not end up as long term slums outside the city limits.”
A must-read article from the Washington Post today surveys the aid and relief efforts, noting there is still a dire need for more food, shelter, sanitation, medical supplies and equipment, crutches for amputees, post-operative care and rehabilitation, and much more.
“Every day, tens of thousands of Haitians face a grueling quest to find food, any food. A nutritious diet is out of the question,” as “…Overwhelmed doctors and nurses are now facing converging streams of need, from untended wounds and the illnesses born of poor sanitation to the ailments of a population that had inferior health care long before Jan. 12.”
It's unclear at this point who will be awarding the cleanup contracts, but there is big money to be made in the rubble of some 225,000 collapsed homes and at least 25,000 government and office buildings.
Elaine Zuckerman, President of Gender Action and the former Inter-American Development Bank Programs Officer for Haiti, writes about what needs to be done to make sure that aid to Haiti does not repeat the mistakes of the past:
To Help Haiti, Upend Aid Habits, and Focus on its Women
By Elaine Zuckerman
The growing discourse around solving Haiti's many tragedies has, for the most part, ignored the unique plight of that nation's women, and their equally essential role in recovery. Even before the earthquake, Haiti's women suffered disproportionately, and recently announced aid may already be headed in the same wrong direction as in decades past. This article highlights pre-earthquake Haiti’s poverty and gender discrimination, and discusses how external assistance can end bad practices, especially by targeting women.
Tim Schwartz writes from the Haiti-D.R. border:
There are some things that should be known about DR dealing with Haiti.
On the one hand, the Dominicans have made commendable efforts to help. The government send mobile food kitchens that are making 60,000 hot meals per day. It was the earliest food distribution on the ground--day after the quake--and is the most efficient I have seen...
But Tim also notes:
But there is regretable profiteering as well.
Less than 20 years ago, the country was nearly self-sufficient when it came to rice production. But in 1995, when the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund pressured Haiti to cut import tariffs on rice from 50 percent to 3 percent, cheap subsidized rice from the US began to flood into the country. Urban consumers benefited for a while from the low-cost imports, but they caused national rice production to plummet. Today, Haiti is now importing 80 percent of the rice it consumes.