Haiti: after the earthquake

Written by  //  January 13, 2013  //  Aid & Development, Americas  //  Comments Off on Haiti: after the earthquake

KANPE means “Stand Up” in Haitian Creole, and, as the name suggests, the bulk of the organisation’s initiatives and activities, developed in tandem with its local partners Partners in Health (PIH, or Zanmi Lasante in Creole) and micro-credit specialists Fonkoze, are geared towards seeing Haiti’s most vulnerable citizens achieve self-sufficiency. The organisation’s recognition of the long-term nature of its mandate is reflected in its slogan, “Haïti rebuilds, one village at a time”.
Médecins sans frontières — Haiti: One year after (.pdf)
Haiti on Wednesday-Night.com; CIA World Factbook: Haiti;
NYT Times Topics: Haiti;
The fault line in Haiti runs straight to France: The earthquake’s destruction [was] aggravated not by a pact with the Devil, but by the crippling legacy of imperialism
Vanity Fair: Hunkered Down in Haiti with Sean Penn, Humanitarian
Fonkoze – Haiti’s Alternative Bank for the Organized Poor. We are the largest micro-finance institution offering a full range of financial services to the rural-based poor in Haiti. ; KANPE ;


Why Charity Hasn’t Done Much for Haiti
Three years after the earthquake, it is 183rd in the world in ease of starting a business.
(WSJ) Handouts from the U.S. and Canada—which now seem to be largely channeled through foreign nongovernmental organizations—have helped the country earn the moniker of “the republic of NGOs.” Yet blanketed as it is with charity, Haiti remains a basket case. Haiti-based writer Tate Watkins has observed that many NGO workers “are disconnected from the people they are here to help,” don’t learn Creole, “work on shorter timelines” and experience high turnover.
To add insult to poverty, foreign aid—whether it goes through the governments or NGOs—distorts both politics and commerce, undermining the evolution of market economics. Free resources reduce the pressure on politicians to make the reforms necessary to attract capital. When food and services are given away, entrepreneurs who might serve those markets are shut out.
Where does Haiti stand three years after its 7.0 earthquake?
(CSM) On Jan. 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake hit already deeply impoverished Haiti, killing more than 200,000 and leaving another 1.5 million in makeshift camps. It was one of the worst humanitarian disasters in years, and though the response was rapid and generous, three years and billions of dollars in aid later, hundreds of thousands are still without homes. How has aid money been spent and can Haiti ‘build back better?’
Haitians still await rebuilding after 2010 quake
Authors Amy Wilentz and Jonathan Katz on the slow progress in Haiti
11 January
Haiti quake: Why isn’t aid money going to Haitians?
(BBC) Three years on from Haiti’s devastating earthquake, the country’s UN special envoy has revealed little official aid money has gone to the country’s government and organisations. Why is the funding bypassing Haitians? …
Some $9bn (£5.6bn) of international assistance was given – $3bn from private individuals and companies and $6bn from governments and global institutions (known as bilateral and multilateral donors), according to the Office of the Special Envoy for Haiti (OSE). But what the OSE and others have been asking is why less than 10% of the $6bn from public donors has gone to the Haitian government and why less than 1% was given to local organisations.
In Haiti, Aid Dollars Corroded Social Fabric
(Haiti Grassroots Watch) – A World Bank-funded community development project in Haiti appears to have inadvertantly harmed or even dissolved some of the grassroots organisations it was designed to strengthen.
As World Bank economists Ghazali Mansuri and Vijayendra Rao note in their work (important to read sidebars), the people and organisations that tend to benefit the most from “community driven development” or CDD projects in poor countries are those who already enjoy privilege and power at the local level.
“A few wealthy, and often politically connected, men – who are not necessarily more educated than other participants – tend to make decisions at community meetings,” the researchers write in their June 2012 paper “Can Participation Be Induced?”
This phenomenon is known as “elite capture” and was listed as a risk in early PRODEP documents. While Haiti Grassroots Watch (HGW) could not conduct a complete survey of the Southeast department projects, anecdotal evidence and many interviews suggest ample “elite capture”.
World Bank “Success” Came at High Cost in Haiti
(Haiti Grassroots Watch via IPS) – A 61-million-dollar, eight-year community development project funded by the World Bank and executed by the Haitian government and two international development agencies has raised questions of waste and corruption, and even carried out what could be called “social and political re-engineering”.
The Project for Participatory Community Development (Projet de développement communautaire participatif or PRODEP) enabled the construction of roads and schoolrooms, and the funding of agricultural and other projects.
But a lengthy investigation by Haiti Grassroots Watch (HGW) found that PRODEP and its millions of dollars appear to have done real harm to Haiti’s fragile democracy and have likely contributed to the country’s growing status as a so-called “NGO Republic”. These findings are largely corroborated by a new study of hundreds of similar “community driven development” or CDD projects by two economists working for the very institution which funded PRODEP, the World Bank.
10 January
Des miettes pour Haïti
(La Presse) Ce n’est pas à Port-au-Prince que le ministre Julian Fantino doit aller pour constater les progrès des programmes de l’ACDI. Pour cela, il doit savoir que l’aide humanitaire représente avant tout des occasions d’affaires pour les entreprises des pays donateurs. Elle est donc dépensée au Canada.
L’ACDI exige que les programmes qu’elle finance aient un contenu canadien. Pour l’ACDI, la participation d’entreprises, d’organisations et de citoyens canadiens à des projets dans des pays en développement aide à projeter une image positive du Canada. Cette approche permet de garder près de 90% de l’aide dans l’économie d’ici. Haïti: les États-Unis et l’ONU déçus par les propos de Fantino
4 January
Haïti: Les fonds pour les nouveaux projets sont gelés
L’Agence canadienne de développement international (ACDI) a mis les fonds destinés aux nouveaux projets en Haïti sur la glace, en attendant de déterminer une approche plus «efficace» qui permettrait aux Haïtiens «de se prendre en main». … Le ministre a tenu un discours sévère à l’égard d’Haïti et de la nécessité pour le pays de prendre son propre destin en charge. «Depuis 2006, le Canada a versé environ 1 milliard de dollars à Haïti», a dit le ministre qui, il y a quelques semaines, a visité pour la première fois le pays ravagé par un tremblement de terre en 2010.
Global Montreal | Canada to freeze funding for new foreign-aid projects in Haiti: Fantino
Fantino indicated that Canada has funnelled $1 billion in development cash to Haiti since 2006 — making it one of the largest foreign donors to the island nation. The former head of the Ontario Provincial Police said his department will continue to fund programs in Haiti that are already underway.


15 August
After 6 years at Fonkoze, Katleen Felix will now serve Haiti and its Diaspora as executive director of Kanpe Foundation
Katleen Felix, M.Sc, begins a new position at Kanpe on October 15 of this year. The Board of Directors and staff of the entire Fonkoze Family join together with friends and supporters to congratulate Ms. Felix for the extraordinary body of work she provided the Fonkoze Family.
Ms. Felix served various roles at both Fonkoze and Fonkoze USA in the past five years, but she is best known for her impactful presence within the Haitian Diaspora. Not only did Ms. Felix create and maintain the Haitian Hometown Association Database and contribute much to the research on remittances and development of new remittance products or initiatives, she rolled out financial literacy programs for new immigrants and training for Haitian Hometown Associations (HHTAs). She was a founding force behind Fonkoze’s program Zafèn. She is, and will remain, a strong voice for Diaspora engagement with not only Fonkoze, but organizations throughout Haiti.
13 February
(Washington Post) Haiti PM: US State Dept to send legal team to help strengthen Haiti’s judiciary … one of its aims would be to look at a much-criticized ruling in the high-profile case of former strongman Jean-Claude Duvalier.
Almost exactly a year since it was reported that Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier’s lawyers argued the statute of limitations for prosecution for human rights abuses has expired, a Haitian magistrate has ruled in their favour, despite the ruling of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights that statutes of limitations are inadmissible in connection with gross human-rights violations proscribed in international law.
We are dismayed that the Globe & Mail cannot find a more forceful adjective
Regrettable that human rights cases against Duvalier will not proceed We would have been inclined to a term like disgusting.
31 January 2012
Baby Doc avoids human rights abuse charges in Haiti
Former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier will only be charged with corruption despite allegations of murders, disappearances and torture (HuffPost) While the ruling is a setback for human rights victims and advocates, it also marks a victory for those seeking punishment for Duvalier’s alleged crimes who had feared that the judge would drop all charges. It would also appear to squash any hopes of a political comeback by the former dictator – at least for the time being – as his lawyers battle with the legal challenge.
One of his lawyers said Duvalier would appeal the decision to send him to trial. Duvalier is alleged to have embezzled between $300 million and $800 million of assets during his presidency.


6 May
Foie gras et champagne pour les expatriés en Haïti
(La Presse) … Une véritable vie nocturne qui ne cesse de se développer depuis le séisme du 12 janvier 2010, portée par les contingents de travailleurs humanitaires et d’employés de l’ONU venus au secours de l’État le plus pauvre des Amériques. Mille, dix mille? Personne ne sait combien d’ONG sont présentes dans le pays. Mais une chose est sûre: une véritable «bulle économique» a été créée.
HRW urges Duvalier prosecution
There is enough evidence to launch a trial against former Haitian leader Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier for his role in abuses including torture and murder, Human Rights Watch counsel Reed Brody said Thursday. A Haitian judge ordered an investigation into Duvalier’s case shortly after the leader returned in January, but his lawyers have argued the statute of limitations for prosecution has expired. Google/The Canadian Press/The Associated Press (4/4
Report: Martelly wins Haiti election
Preliminary results from the recent presidential election runoff in Haiti show that Michel “Sweet Micky” Martelly has defeated Mirlande Manigat by a 2-to-1 margin. News of the victory was met with fireworks and parading in the streets, not violence, as Manigat’s campaign accused electoral officials of influencing the results. The Miami Herald (free registration) (4/4)
15 March
The Haitian Lazarus
The Haitians one meets on the street or in their little shops or in the market or on the byways of the countryside and in the shantytowns of the provincial capitals are for the most part pleased at the prospect of former President Aristide’s return this week from seven years’ exile in South Africa. But when members of Haiti’s tiny elite, small middle class and growing international community here discuss Mr. Aristide, they look over their shoulders, shake their heads, raise their eyebrows. They speak in whispers or in great gulps of nervousness.
Is Haiti well served by its many NGOs?
The unprecedented humanitarian response to last year’s devastating earthquake in Haiti has called into question the effectiveness of the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of nongovernmental organizations that have been providing emergency services. Haitian leaders — as well as NGOs, themselves — say that aid often is poorly coordinated, and the groups often suffer from high turnover and a lack of transparency. The Washington Post (2/1)
Switzerland blocks funds of Haiti ex-leader Duvalier
(BBC) The funds of some $6m (£3.7m) were frozen in 1986 after Mr Duvalier was ousted as Haitian president.
Last year, a Swiss court ruled that the money be returned to him but the Bern government sought a new law covering the restitution of the money to Haiti.
20 January
(Gazette editorial) Baby Doc’s arrest: what took them so long?
It is something of a mystery just why former Haitian dictator Jean-Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier was moved to make a surprise return this week to the homeland he fled in abject disgrace for refuge in France a quarter of a century ago.
Among theories advanced by observers is that he was induced to come by the country’s currently embattled president, Rene Preval, as a diversion from Preval’s own problems in the hope that it would aid his chances of clinging to power after last November’s inconclusive and by all accounts illegitimate election. Another is that it was engineered by French and U.S. authorities for the purpose of undermining Preval. Least plausible is Duvalier’s own assertion in a radio interview shortly after his arrival that he was there to be helpful in the reconstruction of the country, ravaged by natural disaster, disease and misgovernance.
19 January
Why ‘Baby Doc’ Jean-Claude Duvalier returned to Haiti: 5 theories
Did ‘Baby Doc’ Jean-Claude Duvalier unexpectedly return to merely ‘see his family,’ as his lawyer maintains? Or was it a maneuver to finagle $6.2 million from his frozen Swiss account?
What could have motivated Mr. Duvalier to walk into a hornet’s nest? While no one outside Duvalier and his circle know for sure, observers speculate that it could be anything from his ailing finances to health problems or that he is a pawn being used to divert attention from Haiti’s protracted political situation.
(ABC News) With Baby Doc Back in Haiti, Aristide Calls Next; says he is ready now
“As far as I am concerned, I am ready,” he wrote in an e-mail distributed by supporters and posted online. “The purpose is very clear: To contribute to serving my Haitian sisters and brothers as a simple citizen in the field of education.” The New York Times (1/19) , TIME/The Associated Press (1/19)
18 January
Police Escort Duvalier From Hotel
(WSJ) Haitian police took Jean Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier from his hotel under heavy police guard after the former dictator met with the country’s top prosecutor and a judge Tuesday.
It wasn’t clear whether Mr. Duvalier, 59 years old, had been arrested. Mr. Duvalier’s unexpected arrival Sunday after nearly 25 years of exile stunned the nation, and appeared to further enmesh Haiti in a political crisis [CBC Update: Duvalier faces corruption, other charges]
17 January
A Former Dictator Reappears in Haiti
(NYT) Haiti’s political crisis took a stunning turn on Sunday when Jean-Claude Duvalier, the dictator known as Baby Doc who was overthrown in 1986 (see Jean-Claude Duvalier’s last days in Haiti) , arrived unexpectedly in the capital from exile in France.
The sudden appearance of Mr. Duvalier, 59, who ruled Haiti with brutality and corruption for nearly 15 years, threatened to further convulse a country struggling to recover from the earthquake and a lingering cholera epidemic.
12 January
Sean Penn on 1st Anniversary of Quake: ‘Haiti Cannot Wait Any Longer’
(Politics Daily) A prominent group of humanitarian activists gathered on Monday at The Brookings Institution, the Washington think tank, for a discussion on recovery efforts in Haiti one year after a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake decimated the small island nation and its capital city, Port-au-Prince. The speakers addressed many of Haiti’s most pressing crises, which now include a deadly epidemic of cholera, routine sexual violence against women and girls living in refugee camps, and a national infrastructure that remains largely in shambles.
Sean Penn, the Academy Award-winning actor who runs a 55,000-person tent camp outside Port-au-Prince, opened the event, taking aim in his remarks at gridlock among nations distributing aid money to earthquake relief efforts. In March, the United States, along with 47 other nations and international partnerships, pledged $9.9 billion to help rebuild Haiti, $2.1 billion of which was designated for use in 2010. According to the U.N., however, only $1.2 billion in pledge money was dispensed this past year.
Jean blasts Haiti aid delays
Canada’s former GG expresses frustration over slow pace of progress
Michaëlle Jean, Canada’s former governor general and now a special UN envoy to Haiti, voiced her anger Tuesday at the slow rate of aid delivery, blasting the international community for abandoning its commitments.
In a public letter co-authored with Irina Bokova, the head of UNESCO, Jean expressed frustration at the slow pace of progress in rebuilding the country of her birth.
Canadian businesses banking on Haiti’s recovery
(Globe & Mail) Bank of Nova Scotia has reopened its four branches in the country and has introduced a pilot mobile-phone banking project to help make financial services available to Haiti’s devastated population. Desjardins Group is bolstering the country’s credit union network. And Toronto-based MasterCard Foundation is financing Haiti’s largest microfinance institution in a project that should reach 70,000 people. … While much of Haiti’s economy is stuck, some programs are starting again. Fonkoze, the country’s largest microlender, is getting $4.5-million from the MasterCard Foundation, along with help from Waterloo, Ont.-based Mennonite Economic Development Associates, to restore some businesses that were wiped out, and help start new ones.
A year after quake, so much undone in Haiti
(USATODAY) It took only a half-minute for the earthquake to shatter this island. A year later, the optimism that followed an international outpouring of sympathy, volunteers and money has given way to reality: The problems here are too great to solve in a year’s time. Too much of the skilled labor force perished in the quake; concerns about corruption and the need for planning have slowed the delivery of funds; and bickering over how and where to rebuild to avoid re-creating slums has hampered reconstruction.
… Rubble is one reason that reconstruction has been slow. A RAND Corp. report published six months after the quake said rubble clearance is the “single most important step” to reconstruction. Yet much remains.
The removal process has been hampered by a lack of heavy equipment and difficulty maneuvering within the narrow confines of cramped neighborhoods. Much of the debris is being removed by hand — bucket by bucket, says Namy Registre, 42, a resident of Fort National who is being paid by the government to remove debris.
“The amount of debris in this city will take years” to clear, says Michele Montas, a former spokeswoman for the U.N. Secretary-General who is a special representative in Haiti. “No one has really devised a strategy to do it better. It costs too much.”
Canada to boost Haiti health, education and farming
(AFP) Canada has allocated 93 million dollars to support eight new health, education and farming initiatives in Haiti, International Development Minister Bev Oda announced Tuesday.
Most of the projects will be funded from Canada’s previous 400 million dollar commitment for the recovery and reconstruction of Haiti.
An OAS report offers a way past Haiti’s political paralysis
(WaPost editorial) GIVEN HAITI’S ARRAY of problems – first and foremost, rebuilding from the earthquake that broke the country’s back a year ago – the last thing it needs is prolonged political paralysis. But that’s exactly what it’s suffered since Nov. 28, when chaotic national elections resulted in credible reports of government-backed fraud and a disputed result in the vote for president. If Haiti doesn’t get beyond this, and quickly, the impasse threatens to cripple a reconstruction process whose slow pace has already disappointed.
A report by the Organization of American States offers a glimmer of hope. The report, obtained this week by the Associated Press, concludes that the government-backed candidate finished third in the November results – not second, as showed in the discredited official results. If President Rene Preval and the electoral commission accept the findings, they would eliminate Mr. Preval’s anointed successor from runoff elections in favor of a popular singer who mounted a credible campaign.
10 January
Malgré une aide massive, des besoins importants persistent un an après le séisme
MSF dresse un bilan de ses opérations d’urgence et constate de nombreuses lacunes dans le secteur des soins médicaux, des abris, de l’eau et de l’assainissement.
Un an après le séisme dévastateur qui fait près de 222 000 morts et 1,5 million de sans-abri, les Haïtiens continuent de vivre dans des conditions précaires, alors qu’une épidémie de choléra s’est répandue à travers tout le pays, et ce, en dépit du déploiement de la plus importante aide humanitaire jamais menée, déclare l’organisation médicale humanitaire internationale, Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF).
8 January
U.N. reports aid to Haiti
The international community supplied just 63.6 percent of the aid it pledged to Haiti in 2010 after a devastating earthquake nearly one year ago, according to the office of the United Nations’s special envoy to Haiti on Friday.
A celebrated donors conference in March netted Haiti 5 billion dollars for its recovery over the coming years, including a promise of 2.1 billion dollars for 2010. The UN said only 1.28 billion dollars was dispersed during the year.
The World Bank corroborated the numbers, in its own count estimating 1.2 billion dollars were handed out by donors over the course of the year.
5 January
Haiti suffers after ‘year of indecision’: Oxfam
Oxfam’s report, released Wednesday, criticized donor countries and aid agencies for failing to co-ordinate between themselves and with the government, and called for the Haitian government to take on responsibility for reconstruction.
It also accused a major agency set up after the quake — the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission co-led by former U.S. president Bill Clinton — for failing in its mandate to co-ordinate efforts.

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