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Haiti’s current drought: An opportunity to build climate change resilience?

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By Marc Cohen, Oxfam America, 22 April, 2014

A new Oxfam research report highlights how Haiti can build resilience to climate change. 

If the devastating 2010 earthquake , a series of hurricanes, and the world’s worst cholera crisis  weren’t enough, Haiti now faces a serious food emergency  as a result of a punishing drought. It leaves one wondering this Earth Day : Is climate change worsening the cycle of storms, floods, and droughts that regularly batter the country? 

Researchers raise alarm about air pollution levels in Haiti

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By Gail Bambrick, Phys.org,  23 April, 2014

Air pollution in the island nation of Haiti can reach levels considered hazardous by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to recent findings by Tufts researchers. 

The researchers—associate professor Mary Davis and Ann Rappaport in the Department of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning—say that air pollution levels put people at higher risk for respiratory illnesses, including lung cancer and heart disease.

Children of Haitian descent in Dominican Republic being barred from school, forced into labor: report

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A new report analyzed the impact of 2013 court ruling that could let the government retroactively strip citizenship from people of Haitian descent born in the Dominican Republic. Researchers say families with school-aged children are being turned away or harassed, leading some children to drop out of school while others are forced into underage labor.

Amnesty: Haiti human rights activist threatened

By Trenton Daniels, Associated Press, 15 April, 2014. 

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- A leading human rights activist in Haiti has been threatened for his work, Amnesty International said Tuesday, marking the latest documented case of attacks or threats against watchdog groups in the Caribbean nation. 

Human Rights Organizations: Widespread Abuse and Police Brutality in Haiti’s Ile a Vache

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By Dady Chery, News Junkie Post, 8 April, 2014 

The struggle between Haiti’s peasants in Ile a Vache and the country’s executive branch is not a simple misunderstanding. The peasants have cared for and forested the offshore island to the extent that it has caught the world’s attention as being the most pristine island in the Caribbean. By contrast, Haiti’s governments have made no effort to provide services as basic as electricity and municipal water to the country’s offshore islands. Nevertheless, the current executive branch presumes that it can merely declare itself to own the island, and this will be so. The peasants say no. This is a very old struggle between a group of people who expect democratic governance and an administration that labels itself democratic because it holds an occasional election but actually rules by decree. 

Harkening back to dark days in Haiti

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By Nathalie Baptist, finalcall.com, Mar 31, 2014

 Oct. 16, 1993, Alerte Belance was abducted from her home and taken to Titanyen, a small seaside village used by Haiti’s rulers as a mass grave for political opponents. There she received machete chops to her face, neck, and extremities. Despite her grave injuries, Ms. Belance was able to save herself by dragging her mutilated body onto the street and asking for help. 

Ms. Belance’s survival was extraordinary, but not all were so lucky. 

U.S. housing effort in Haiti criticized — again

By Jacqueline Charles, The Miami Herald, April 16, 2014

The U.S. Agency for International Development says it will continue to work with Haitians displaced by the country’s devastating Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake to get them into permanent homes — just not by building the houses itself.

The announcement comes as yet another audit — this one by USAID’s inspector general — highlights the shortfalls of the agency’s ambitious housing program in northern Haiti.