Recent Feature Articles

By Isabeau Doucet.
An earlier version of this article was published in The Nation. This version is published in the weekly Haiti Liberté, issue dated March 27, 2013.

I contracted cholera two years ago by the breezy beaches of Port Salut, while attempting to escape burnout, a broken heart, and the lingering pangs of Dengue fever in Port-au-Prince, Haiti's capital.

Cholera's not a whole lot different from food poisoning and is no big deal if you have a clean toilet, potable water, know how to treat it, and aren't malnourished.

UN human rights expert: Haiti and international community should "throw light" on cause of cholera outbreak

By Haiti Relief and Reconstruction Watch (CEPR), March 21, 2013

According to reports on Twitter yesterday, the United Nations independent expert on the human rights situation in Haiti, Michel Forst has resigned for “personal reasons,” even though his mandate was supposed to continue for another year. In one of his last acts, Forst’s report for the U.N. Human Rights Council was presented yesterday, recommending to Haiti and the international community that they “throw light” on the cause of the cholera outbreak and “respond to any compensation requests”. The cholera outbreak has killed at least 8,050 and sickened over 650,000 more.

On Second Anniversary of Illegal Election: Martelly and Washington push for another “electoral hold-up”

By Kim Ives, Haiti Liberté, March 20, 2013

March 20, 2013 marks the second anniversary of a patently illegal and exclusionary election that brought President Michel Martelly to power.

The first round of that election, held on Nov. 28, 2010, was a complete fiasco, marred by disorganization, voter fraud, and disenfranchisement. Furthermore, months earlier, Haiti’s largest party, the Lavalas Family of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, had been illegally and arbitrarily excluded from fielding a candidate.

UN News Center, March 11, 2013

See also these recent stories:
Urgent Action: Displaced face arbitrary arrest (Grace Village camp)
By Amnesty International, March 6, 2013
UN expert urges World Bank to increase protection and promotion of the right to adequate housing
Press release, Office of the High Commissioner for Humn Rights (UN), March 6, 2013, and re-posted to the Under Tents campaign website, March 7, 2013
FRAKKA denounces arson attacks on displaced persons camps
Press release, Feb. 28, 2013

11 March 2013 – The top United Nations humanitarian official in Haiti has expressed grave concern about recent incidents of forced evictions of internally displaced persons (IDPs), following his visit to a site in the capital, Port-au-Prince, from which thousands of people were forced to leave.

By CEPR Haiti Relief and Reconstruction Watch, February 27, 2013

865 days after Haiti’s cholera epidemic first began, with over 8,000 dead and some 650,000 sickened, the government of Haiti, with international support, officially launched a ten-year cholera eradication plan today after months of delays. The plan calls for an investment of $2.2 billion in clean water and sanitation infrastructure, with some $485.9 million needed for the next two years. Currently 31 percent of the population does not have access to potable water, while 83 percent lack access to adequate sanitation. By 2022, the plan aims to deliver potable water and improved sanitation services to 85 and 90 percent of the population, respectively.

Three years after the earthquake, major changes needed to avoid an aid legacy of deeper poverty for Haitians

Statement by the Canada Haiti Action Network, January 7, 2013

Billions of dollars of aid to Haiti have been pledged or spent following the devastating earthquake on January 12, 2010.[1] Yet three years later, life remains very harsh for many of the country’s ten million people. By every social, economic and environmental measure, Haiti’s prospects for post-earthquake progress remain exceptionally challenging. The U.S., Canada and other wealthy countries need to end the destructive cycle of interference in Haiti’s sovereign affairs. They have a duty to provide meaningful assistance not only for obvious humanitarian reasons but also in recognition of the harm committed against the Haitian people over the decades by big power interference.

By Roger Annis, first published on Rabble.ca, Nov 11, 2012

Hurricane Sandy struck another heavy blow to Haiti on October 23, 24. At least 54 people died and several dozen more are missing. Several tens of thousands of people were flooded out of their homes or camps. There are some 370,000 people stuck in appalling conditions in earthquake survivor camps while hundreds of thousands more have gone back to damaged homes or whatever ramshackle shelter they can find.

Unlike earthquake or hurricane, Haiti's cholera outbreak is a manmade disaster – by the very agency supposed to protect it

By Mark Weisbrot, The Guardian (UK), Nov 12, 2012

Before Hurricane Sandy slammed into the east coast of the United States, it killed 54 people in Haiti and left tens of thousands more homeless. Haiti is especially vulnerable because of its poor infrastructure and environmental destruction, so people die there – as they did during the earthquake in January 2010 – in greater numbers than they would in other countries subject to the same natural disasters.

The NGO Republic of Haiti

By Kathie Klarreich and Linda Polman, The Nation, October 31, 2012
 
The wire fence that surrounds Haiti’s National Palace in the heart of the country’s capital has been covered, recently, with a green mesh. Inside, the multi-domed structure has been reduced to rubble, finally knocked down after it was all but destroyed by the country’s deadly 7.0-magnitude earthquake on January 12, 2010. The worst national disaster in the history of the Western Hemisphere, the temblor killed an estimated 200,000 people in just thirty-five seconds.
 

The following two articles are published in the October 2012 issue of Haiti Briefing, published by the Haiti Support Group in London, UK. The pdf of the issue (three pages) is attached.

Haiti's hunger games: Disastrous food policy bites hands that feed

Haiti Briefing, No.72, Oct 2012. Main Contributor: Phillip Wearne

One mamit (5.75lb tin) of rice? 150 Haitian Gourdes (about £2.24 or $3.57), up 50% since July. Corn meal? At 100 Gourdes per mamit, that has doubled in the past year. Beans? Well, they are only 210 Gourdes, a mere 40% increase.

It is a measure of the scale of the food price crisis that Haitians are now using the word goudougoudou - their imitation of the sound of ground rumbling in the 2010 earthquake - to denote hunger pains. Soaring food prices mean the hungriest country in the Americas is getting hungrier.