All Articles Tagged "Haiti recovery"
House Republicans aren’t very pleased with how the U.S. Agency for International Development has overseen relief efforts in Haiti since the Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake that killed some 230,000 people.
According to the Associated Press, Rajiv Shah, administrator of AID, was told during a recent subcommittee hearing that recovery efforts have been a failure. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said only 5 percent of the rubble has been removed and only 22 percent of the needed transitional shelters have been built.
Shah countered that newer figures show that between 10 and 20 percent of the rubble has been removed. He also reported that major progress has been made in providing safe drinking water and medical care, and that a new industrial park will create 5,000 jobs.
“The initial response was tremendous,” said Shah. “We would have had more success with rubble removal and housing if we had more specific support from our partners and the government of Haiti. We’re not in charge of Haiti. We’re in a bilateral partnership with Government of Haiti.”
Despite Shah’s progress report, House members remained firm about more needing to be done for the distressed country. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, told Shah, ‘”you would be fired” if the recovery efforts showed the same results in the United States.’
Still, Shah emphasized that time and patience would be essential to helping Haiti overcome their hurdles.
“You can’t judge the effort in Haiti in one or two years,” he said. “Haiti has been a very poor country for a long time.”
While Shah has a point that reconstruction efforts do not happen overnight, the House should certainly continue to keep AID on a reasonable timeline so that results are made and Haiti does not become a passing thought.
(The Grio) — The white gleaming palace remains knocked to one side. The Canado High School, one of the country’s most prestigious, has been knocked out, replaced with makeshift classroom. And the Sacred Heart Church, the parish of some of Haiti’s most prominent citizens, is no longer standing as parishioners attend Sunday masses under a tent outside. While the earthquake crippled most of Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s largest and most important city, it seemed to have saved its fury for three cherished institutions in the mountainous Caribbean nation of roughly nine million people: L’etat, L’eglise, L’ecole or the three Ls as people in Haiti have referred to The State, The Church and The School.
The number of death from the earthquake is a mind numbing 250,000 people. Many of them perished inside churches, schools and government buildings.
by Anthony Cain
It’s been nearly a year since the great Haitian earthquake, which ravaged the country and caused the world to take notice. Since then, many countries have continued to promise aid to the fledgling country as Haiti struggles to improve conditions for its citizens.
The United States remains the largest foreign source of aid to Haiti from the 2010 Haiti earthquake, donating more than $712 million in aid. While the aid and the arrival of foreign help was aimed to help speed up the recovery process for Haiti, as reported through the Los Angeles Times, this foreign involvement has caused many unforeseen problems for the country.
The Haitian government estimates that over 4,000 foreign aid groups are currently within the country. With many of these foreign aid groups coming into the country and setting up camps to help Haitian nationals, they have produced excess run-off in many small towns in Haiti and have become the blame for the recent choleric outbreak that has stricken 100,000 and killed an additional 2,000 people.
Haitians near the Artibonite River had a recent cholera outbreak and accused U.N. troops of dumping waste in the nearby river causing the outbreak. Upon further examination by the United States Center for Disease and Control, the results showed the U.N. troops were to blame for the outbreak. Many within the country aren’t directly experiencing aid relief efforts and would just prefer for all the blans (term for whites or foreigners) to leave the country.
Foreign influence also affected the political stability of the country by pushing for elections soon after the earthquake. With $6 billion dollars of aid promised to the country until the end of 2011, many donors wanted to see a more stable government in place before continuing their efforts. This caused a very rushed Nov. 28th election where many still-displaced Haitians weren’t able to vote because they were unable to register.
Wyclef Jean, the former hip-hop artist now political figure, described his voting experience in a recent Huffington Post article: “On Election Day, I voted myself — after great difficulty. And I know other Haitian citizens who weren’t able to vote because they couldn’t find their name on the lists of registered voters — even though these people were registered residents of the country. The people need to be able to trust their government, but the Haitian government has proven time and again that it hasn’t earned that trust.” Political riots have erupted from the frustration of many Haitians feeling their voices aren’t being heard.
Lastly, the economy has also taken a hit as many of the displaced Haitians haven’t been able to return to their homes facing higher prices than ever before. The influx of foreigners has caused significant increases in housing as many wealthy Haitians sell housing to foreigners rather than Haitian nationals. The only group that has truly profited from the disaster is the Haitian elite, the ones who own apartment buildings, office buildings, car dealerships, and any other higher end products, who are now able to use the foreign presence to drive housing prices up while millions are still forced to live in tents waiting to go back to their prospective homes.
For many, the problems of Haiti have become a forgotten cause. However, the problems of Haiti are still mounting as foreign influence and aid have brought its own set of results. Haiti remains a country in turmoil and trying to recover from the disaster that happened nearly 11 months ago.
(The Grio) – It was after midnight in a remote annex of this isolated tent camp on a windswept gravel plain. Marjorie Saint Hilaire’s three boys were fast asleep, but her mind was racing.
The camp leader had proposed writing letters to the nongovernment authorities, and she had so much to say. She lighted a candle and summoned a gracious sentiment with which to begin.
“To all the members of concerned organizations, I thank you first for feeling our pain,” she wrote slowly in pencil on what became an eraser-smudged page. “I note that you have taken on almost all our problems and some of our greatest needs.”
(AOL Black Voices) — Relief organizations in the United States raised more than $1.3 billion for earthquake-ravaged Haiti, according to fundraising experts. What is also interesting is that most of this money has not yet been spent.
“That’s potentially worrisome with the hurricane season about to begin,” said Stacy Palmer, editor of the Chronicle of Philanthropy. “The kind of shelters that people are in right now are tarps and things that would not necessarily be able to withstand a hurricane. The goal is to get sturdier kinds of housing.”