Thursday, February 25, 2010

HAITI: Private Contractors 'Like Vultures Coming to Grab the Loot' - IPS

HAITI: Private Contractors 'Like Vultures Coming to Grab the Loot' - IPS

Update: Duany Flat Pack Haiti Cabins

Update: Duany Flat Pack Haiti Cabins

hi tech housing on the way

(Miami Herald, February 24, 2010)
Low-cost cabins offered for post-quake housing


Efficient, inexpensive and nearly indestructible, the little blue-and-aqua hut sitting in the parking lot of a North Miami-Dade factory represents cutting-edge building technology -- and many like it could soon could be headed to Haiti.

The company that made the prototype house and the space-age composite panels it is built from announced Wednesday that it will donate 1,000 of the cabins to people left homeless by the Haiti earthquake.

At a news conference attended by some high-profile backers, including retired U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark and retired Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning, InnoVida Holdings officials also said they have lined up $15 million in investment capital to build a factory in Haiti that could produce 10,000 houses a year.

``It can do more for housing in Haiti better and faster than any other technology out there,'' said Clark, who is on InnoVida's board of directors.

It's not yet a done deal. InnoVida officials say they must still ascertain who will receive the 1,000 homes, which can serve as temporary shelter but were designed by renowned Miami architect and planner Andrés Duany as permanent housing. The company is in talks with the Haitian government and several interested volunteer organizations working on quake relief.

In attendance Wednesday was Haiti's minister of tourism, Patrick Delatour, an architect and urban planner in charge of developing the government's reconstruction strategy. He was noncommittal, though he said he liked the InnoVida material and two prototype homes at the factory, one a full-scale house designed for Miami's Little Haiti.

``The bottom line is, who will pay? And that we will know March 31'' he said, referring to an international donors conference on Haiti set for that date. ``I heard of this and I came to take a look. It's a very nice design.''

The Haitian government, the Red Cross and the United Nations have fielded dozens of proposals for shelter and housing. But the government has barely begun to sort through them. Some of the decision-makers have expressed opposition to prefabricated housing, preferring locally built homes.

But the investors, donations and expertise InnoVida has assembled could give CEO Claudio Osorio an advantage, though he and other backers stress their cabin, if successful, would be only one of a range of housing solutions for Haiti. Mourning, an investor in the company, said he would also pledge a portion of the more-than $1 million he and Heat star Dwyane Wade raised for Haiti relief to help get the 1,000 houses erected.

Osorio said thousands of Haitians would be employed as factory workers and for on-site house assembly, which can be done in a matter of hours by unskilled workers using no heavy equipment. Each house would cost between $3,000 and $4,000.

The Haitian Cabin, as it's been dubbed, is a refined version of a stripped-down house that Duany proposed a couple of weeks after the quake.

This version, which like the first would sleep eight in a bunkhouse-like arrangement, incorporates improvements Duany made based on research in Haiti and consultations with sociologists and anthropologists. Instead of the first version's open, screened-in sides, this one has solid walls all around and windows with wooden shutters.

It even has indoor plumbing -- a faucet connected to a pair of tanks on the roof, one to collect rain and the other potable water. Duany said he took as much care designing the simple hut as he does designing homes for affluent clients.

Duany also developed an elaborate plan showing how the modular houses, with variations to fit rural, suburban and urban environments and different topographies, could be easily expanded with additional rooms -- and how new rural villages, urban neighborhoods and suburbs could be erected using the cabin in various configurations.

The panels are fully insulated, lightweight and fireproof, and the assembled structures would stand up to a strong quake and has passed testing for a Category 5 hurricane, Duany said.

Foundations could be sunk in concrete or, because cement and rebar may be unavailable, screwed deep into the ground using a method developed by a European company, he said.

Because water for flushing wastes would likely be unavailable in most places and latrines impractical given the probable density of settlements, most Haitian Cabin dwellers would have to use other means of waste disposal. Duany proposes use of the Peepoo bag, a product developed in Sweden that contains chemicals that rapidly compost human waste.

- Miami Herald staff writer Jacqueline Charles contributed to this report.

UNASUR pledge to 100 million in aid

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Feb 24 (AP) -- Chilean President Michelle Bachelet says a group of South American nations has committed to providing $100 million in aid for earthquake-ravaged Haiti.

She says the money from the 12-member Union of South American Nations is meant to help Haitian President Rene Preval get his government going in the aftermath of the Jan. 12 quake.

At a news conference late Tuesday in Trinidad's capital, Bachelet told reporters that Unasur will provide nearly half of the aid in about three weeks.

Bachelet made the brief comments during a stopover in Trinidad after a conference of 32 Latin American and Caribbean countries in Mexico where the Haiti aid was agreed upon.

Missionaries' actions reveal egotism - Opinions

Missionaries' actions reveal egotism - Opinions

Aftershocks rocking the Capital

AHP News - Feb. 22, 2010 - Eng. Translation (Unofficial)
Please see the official site of AHP/Radio Solidarité at

**Haitians shaken by two aftershocks - Canadian troops start heading home, Canadian Immigration issues special family residency rules**

Port-au-Prince, Feb. 22, 2010 – (AHP)-

The two strong aftershocks felt Monday in Port-au-Prince and other parts of the country revived traumatic memories of the experience of the deadly
earthquake of January 12 that may have caused up to 300,000 deaths.

The first tremor,measuring 4.7 on the Richter scale, occurred at approximately 4:36 a.m., causing anxiety among the survivors living in makeshift shelters as well as those who had begun to return home if their dwellings were spared in the earthquake. Everyone was startled awake.

And the second tremor felt in late morning was enough to put the population already confronting all sorts of difficulties into a state of high alert.

While there was no immediate report of damage in Port-au-Prince, several students were injured, some of them seriously, in the community of Les Irois (in the South-West Department).

Gripped with fear as the tremor struck, all the students of the Saint-Matin de Porrès High School tried to flee the classrooms at the same time, which created a chaotic situation.

Some of the students fell at that moment and were trampled by their classmates. Efforts were underway to transport the injured to the Saint-Antoine Hospital in Jérémie.

How are things in Haiti 2009 .--- updated

In my blog post last year in which I posted on the Security in Haiti.. here

I spoke of the kidnappings in Haiti and the number of Americans kidnapped there

I have since been advised by a local expert--Jaqui Labrum of Voyage Lumieres

that ALL of the kidnappings in Haiti of Americans were of HAITIAN AMERICANS

the USA and Canadian governments cannot state this officially

Kidnapping in Haiti is a very very slim risk for any foreigners

We DO NOT NEED to start seeing the private security guards

armed to the teeth.. escorting NGO workers around


just call JACQUI

Más de 400 haitianos de la diáspora integrados a las labores humanitarias :: CLAVE digital

Más de 400 haitianos de la diáspora integrados a las labores humanitarias :: CLAVE digital

Last US field hospital leaves Haiti

(Wall Street Journal, February 24, 2010)
Emergency Doctors Leave Haiti


PORT-AU-PRINCE—Doctors here are bracing for another onslaught of patients, as emergency workers leave the country and thousands of surgeries done after the January 12 earthquake need to be redone.

Between 25% and 30% of postearthquake surgeries will need to be done again to avoid problems, says Dr. Jean "William" Pape, an infectious disease authority who is founder of Gheskio, an HIV/AIDS clinic next door to a field hospital set up by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. That estimate is corroborated by Haitian, U.S. and other medical officials involved in coordinating the international medical response, who say the problem is because of the massive numbers of injuries treated in poor conditions in an already weak health infrastructure.

The unusually high level of second operations, along with other mounting medical issues, comes as many emergency medical groups from around the world are returning home. On Wednesday, Feb. 24, the U.S. is pulling its crew out of the field hospital next to Gheskio—the last of a handful of temporary field hospitals that were set up by U.S. health authorities.

Gheskio officials originally expected the U.S. team to stay until mid-March, said Dr. Pape, and were surprised to learn that they had to take over this week. "It is reflective of the confusion surrounding all of this," he said.

Other nongovernment agencies are leaving as well. The USNC Comfort, a medical ship, also is phasing out patients. It has 50 patients currently, and is taking no more.

"We are moving from the immediate emergency phase responding to the direct consequences," said Dr. Ronald Waldman, the U.S. health emergency coordinator, who has been stationed in Port-au-Prince since shortly after the earthquake. Now, he said, medical aid is moving to a second stage "to make sure that people who are displaced don't suffer from indirect consequences."

The shift threatens to overwhelm the medical community here. Many health-care facilities remain unusable, and new cases of diarrhea, malaria and other diseases are picking up in tent communities crammed with tens of thousands of people who lost their homes.

"If you want to spread tuberculosis, jam a bunch of people into tents next to each other," said Warren Johnson, a Gheskio co-founder who is director of the Center for Global Health at Weill Cornell Medical College. "The second phase promises to be as cruel as the first."

In the field hospital next to Gheskio, about 50 workers tended to more than 3,000 earthquake victims. Guards from the U.S. Army's 82nd Airborne division protected the hospital. The hospital saw 150 to 200 patients a day, according to Helen Miller, the chief medical officer there.

"It is hard to see where the emergency ends and where the line to recovery begins in this situation," she said.

She said that the equipment, including big tents that made up operating rooms, a tuberculosis area and others would remain. But the Army will leave along with the medical team.

Gheskio will take over the field hospital, with help from the Caris Foundation, a Texas nonprofit that aids impoverished people, and Weill Cornell. The hospital will become a rehabilitation center and treat common diseases, as well as redoing surgeries.

Dr. Waldman said many people with amputations need to have their initial surgeries fixed so they can be fitted with prosthesis. "Because of the nature of this disaster and the nature of injuries to the survivors, that first emergency part is really not going to go away for some time," said Dr. Waldman.

Dr. Pape said that surgeries were done hastily under poor conditions. Makeshift operating rooms weren't sterile. Some wounds came in so dirty that they now have bone infections. Stefano Zannini, the chief of mission at Doctors without Borders in Port-au-Prince, said Port-au-Prince lacked operating theaters and surgeons after the earthquake and some patients refused to be operated on indoors.

Gheskio is seeing its own AIDS and tuberculosis patients while trying to care for 6,300 refugees who moved onto the clinic's property, clinic officials say. More than 1,000 children are under 5 years old.

Gheskio workers ask daily whether refugees have fever, diarrhea, cough or skin lesions, the clinic says. Meanwhile, Gheskio is making plans to try to move the entire tent city to higher ground before rainy season begins in April.

Earth quake preparedness

Don't fool yourselves...rebar is not the Quake fix-all. If the earth shakes and you can get out-do so.

If you can't get out-find a door frame or sturdy piece of furniture to get under (desks) or crawl into a bathtub and pull a matress or boxspring over you...get support around your body.

The real disaster is afterwards...when WATER and food is unavailable. NOW is the time for all those who can afford to do so, to put aside:

1) A week or so worth of food...canned or emergency type foods (not freeze-dried, use mililtary style retort packaged meals

2) 5-10 cases of WATER

3) Any personal medication you need to survive (heart, diabetes etc) 30 days worth of it. Extra pair of eye glasses etc. Dare I suggest a bail-out bag in your car or near your door with personal items you'd need in such a case?

IF a quake hits and you're lucky enough to be "somewhere else", your food and water is to be DONATED and put on a truck to be delivered to the affected area. If people would follow this simple plan, the (citizens) people could respond faster than any government can (or will)

My entire preparedness guide is now available online FREE. You many PM me for the link OR if the MODS will permit me, I'll post it on DR1. (Robert, will help our DR1 community) There are preparedness products I endorse (not profit from) on my website.

My guide endorsed by the Lt. Governor of Mississippi, approved as curriculum and reference for use in my FEMA seminars...and covers hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, terrorism....complete with checklists after every chapter.

As an aside...and with a cheshire grin...I was told yesterday by a MIami reporter for NBC that "The guide" was "the best" of the three books I've published....of course he's the "hurricane guy" for the station...

"When you live prepared, you're prepared to live!

Housing for Haiti

Here is an article and photo of a converted shipping container which has been put into use here in Santo Domingo, in Arroyo Hondo.. a very exclusive neighborhood

Note how the elevated thatched roof is used to allow the heat generated by the metal to escape.

This would therefore be a viable form of construction for Haiti.

Get those container ships moving!!!

Cost of living in Haiti

In response to questions--- the cost of living in Haiti.. at least in Port au ¨Prince can be estimated at TWICE that for the DR..

Now for EXPATS here in the DR we on the message board DR1 have estimated those cost to be $2000 a month for a very basic middle class life for one person with no car, and $3000 a month for a family with kids in private school.

I do not figure that anyone is going to be taking their kids into Haiti now.. well, if you are doing that you are obviously working for God and money is not an issue.

For the others... the main reason that the cost of living is DOUBLE what it is in the DR is that there is no infrastructure in Haiti so that any sort of private residence has to have its own generator. Plus... you must have a car for transport... AND it MUST be a 4X4

The cost of cars here in the DR can be estimated at half again as much as in the States... $10,000 will get a solid used 4X4 at the low end but you are not going to get it cheaper than that.

The rents in Haiti are HIGH... it cost about $1000 a month for a studio in a good neighborhood LAST YEAR.. ANd I am sure that the prices have no doubled with the Quake, Samson, as Richard Morse has named it...

Plus NO THANKS to the scammers at the UN who drive the housing prices up WHEEREVER they go..

Look here to see how they got SANTO DOMINGO to be RATED AT 94 TO 100 VIS A vis NYC!

when all the other tables have SD at the 65 to 70 level vis a vis NYC

SHAME on YOU guys!!

and you have the nerve to call HAITIANS corrupt!

from Dan ONeil.. director, PADF Haiti, and DR border

Tuesday, February 16, 2010 at 8:59am

I went to the Jacmel area last week and came back both very impressed with what is happening in the Southeast Department and even more worried about what is happening in Port-au-Prince. We had sponsored a two-day workshop to bring together the local authorities and the international organizations to discuss the next steps for rebuilding the Southeast. There was somesquabblingabout where to have the tent cities and what the priorities should be. However, the authorities also had a clear idea of the work that needed to be done and the reconstruction was straight forward. They knew how many houses needed to be fixed and how much support the rural areas needed to support the influx of the population. It is easy to imagine a large reconstruction program in the Southeast that succeeds in building back better.

I can't say the same for the Port-au-Prince area. Port-au-Prince was a chaotic nightmare before the earthquake hit. of the four main roads connecting Port-au-Prince and Petionville, only one is four-lane. All four are basically parking lotsduringthe morning and evening commute. Poor housing are consisted of houses frequently built on top of each other. There were no roads between the houses and frequently no sanitation or running water.

Google Earth images of a neighborhood just off of Canape Verte before and after the earthquake.

Today, I see people rebuilding their houses right where they collapsed. Some argue that it is too early to talk about longer term issues. I fear instead that the window of opportunity is closing. Yes, we need to focus on relief and temporary housing. However, if Port-au_prince is to be rebuilt better, drastic action is needed. Haiti needs strong leadership to clearly state that a new urbanization plan will be imposed on Port-au-Prince. Any houses that do not conform to that plan will be demolished. In the Southeast, people can rebuild where they lived. In Port-au-Prince, they should not. that change will require strong leadership and the order needs to come soon.

In terms of basic reorganization, I would love to see the following:

* A commitment to widen the other three main arteries connecting Petionville and Port-au-Prince: Panamerican, Canape Vert, and Route Frere. This would involve demolishing houses on either side of the road.
* Rehabilitation of the main artery through downtown (Blvd Harry Truman) including limiting access to the road.
* Completion of the bypass through Carrefour (currently blocked since the road passes through the country's fuel depot.
* Widening of the Grand Rue to allow it to take the local traffic that can no longer pass through Blvd. Harry Truman.
* Standardization of the roads through town to allow for parking on the sides of the road and for trucks to pass in Carrefour, Cite Soliel, and the other areas that have grown rapidly.

This would require relocating tens of thousands of people--not an easy or cheap decision. To make this work, neighborhoods would need to be more dense than they are today. Currently, most neighborhoods are still single-family homes (or shacks). Instead, Port-au-Prince needs low rise apartment buildings--five to eight stories. This is a far more efficient way to house city populations and is the solution in nearly every city in the world. I realize that people will not be eager to move into apartments and that it will be critical to build the apartments well. However, the two most seismically active cities in the world are Tokyo and San Fransisco. How many poor people in these cities live in single family houses?

At the same time, there should be a large program to improve the infrastructure in the other main towns in Haiti. We don't want to suck everyone back into Port-au-Prince.

It will take strong leadership to bring about these changes. I believe that it is easier to force changes through during a crisis, as President Obama did, than to wait for the dust to settle and calmly talk about it. I worry that by the time the leadership in Haiti is ready to talk about these changes, it will be too late and we will have rebuilt the chaos.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Dengue Fever

We are experiencing another outbreak of hemmoraegic dengue fever here in the DR on the north coast, Sosua, near Puerto Plata.

Formerly called break bone fever.. this can often be fatal,, especially for young children. There is no medicine for it. The mosquitoes bite during the daytime so that nets will not help.

Here is a post from a man who had his child treated here in the DR.

Please forward to any medical teams working in Haiti.. since..if we have it.. they have it too.. or soon will.

People (especially little children) have to drink lots of liquids, this is important. With fever onset drink lots and lots of Gatorade, to rehydrate.
As with any fever, your blood platelets will decrease, but the decrease with dengue is significant. With dengue, it is important to make platelets tests every 2 days The decrease may not show up until after 3-4 days after the dengue fever onset.

You can go to doctor but there is NO MEDICATION, they will prescribe observation and support therapy (rest and liquids).

If the blood platelets drop significantly the hemoragic version of dengue fever may appear. This is usually caused by dehydratation and a good percentage of hemoragic dengue fever patients go into shock, and as mentioned, stats are black for those that go into shock.

To increase blood platelets:
A blended juice (just use your blender)
- GUAYABA (guava) -- this is the primary and most important ingredient, you can do without others, but this one is the must!
- CEREZA (cherry)
- REMOLACHA (beet root)
and some water and sugar.
The effect on blood platelets increase is almost immediate.

Remember to keep drinking lots of liquids, especially Gatorade, this is even what doctors say, it helps you increase chemical balance within your blood.

U.S. missionaries still held in Haiti to be freed - Yahoo! News

U.S. missionaries still held in Haiti to be freed - Yahoo! News

I trust that they will see the Light and repent

Haitian official: orphans turned over to US - Yahoo! News

Haitian official: orphans turned over to US - Yahoo! News

Think about this... 380 thousand orphans before the Quake

I hope that some Friends will find room in their hearts and homes


Manno Charlemagne: The Bob Marley Of Haiti : NPR

Manno Charlemagne: The Bob Marley Of Haiti : NPR

I fear for its future - Other Views -

I fear for its future - Other Views -


If I were King

Wyclef would get ALL THE MONEY!!

tweets from RAM feb 22 nd

[Beginning at 3:55 A.M]"We're beyond the catastrophe stage - we're.. improving what we've got," Lt Col James McFadyen, an 82nd Airborne commander

Troops who for years hunted Al Qaeda suddenly made unlikely temporary alliances with Cuban Communists.

Just felt the Earth move a few minutes ago.. It caused the neighborhood dogs to start barking.

This one moved everything. It wasn't just a little vibration under my feet. The house moved

No visible damage. I'm ok. just a momentary freak out

anything you bring is good; Those iodine tablets will help people with their drinking water. If you can get them, do it. Merci d'avance

If you haven't been 2 Port au Prince since the QUAKE; It's beyond ur wildest imagination.The press, the TV, TWEETS..NOTHING CAN DESCRIBE IT

Je parle un peut francais mais pas tres bien! Mon kreyol est un peut mieux

Here's a perspective for you.. A lot of issues in Haiti..

RAM musicians r gonna start rehearsing this week (singer next week!!)

after you rebuild the wall out front i think you should start playing... moun yo ap manderrrrr! :-)

RAM musicians start rehearsing this week, Singer (Lunise) next week. Meantime we fix the walls that fell.

I can't speak for all..No one wants 2 separate from their kids. I guess sometimes they hope it's 4 the best. Times can be hard

Amerijet Cargo is in Miami. There are shipping companies too but they can take a long time

People r trying to get into a day to day routine. Don't know how many businesses destroyed. Help came from abroad & neighbors

[Ending about 5:00 P.M.]

Friday, February 19, 2010

Contractors in Haiti, Readying to Profit from Disaster? - CEPR

Contractors in Haiti, Readying to Profit from Disaster? - CEPR

A note to my goddaughter..

Chere Feuille!!!

It was amazing to talk with you last night- what a miracle to be able to call you up there in Quebec from here in Santo Domingo! To hear the sound of the baby's voice was extraordinary and gave me such energy. I had trouble going to sleep and am now up and working at 4 AM after a night of active dreams.

I am sorry about the loss of the family house in Port Au Prince but it will be good to get back to the land in Hinche. I am filled with hope... so glad to hear that you still dream of returning when you are able and the baby is old enough. We will now have our motto " NEXT YEAR IN HINCHE"!!!!

I have not been there yet but I have been to Belledare, which I adore. I will most likely remain there since it is the bigger city perhaps..??? well, who knows ... I did have dreams of a colony up there in the mountains... on the DR side, but who am I kidding? I will never be really content until I return to Haiti. Belledare, as you know, is Haiti's old front door and the town is quite large and developed, with grand old buildings.. now, alas, falling a bit to rack and ruin. But two years ago they had the binational fair there and the town's electric grid was put back on line. There is a grand old library... empty now and disintegrating... and a working hospital... and a great building for a school....

Anyway-- I am inspired again and there is much work to be done.

Since you are there in Quebec, it will be easy for you to start collecting the books. We will need the classics... The Fables of LaFontaine and the Little Prince but also the translations of the other classics. The Fables of Aesop and Alice in Wonderland (I think that we should skip the Brothers Grimm since they are truly "Grimm" and things are grim enough in Haiti already. )

So be on that job.

Yes, I agree that it will be important to send money to the family.. but not too much as what will also be needed are tools and equipment. Let me know when they have an account set up at Fonkose so that I can contribute a bit every month to secure my place in the tribe.

Did I tell you that I was to have been in Haiti during the Quake? I was invited up to Hinche to join a delegation out of NYC to visit Chavannes Jean Baptiste.

It was only because I had a visiting professor from England who needed to get up to Dajabon...and needed an escort.. so I went there with her instead. Would have filed a story on that trip but the Quake happened just upon our return. The other members of the delegation were back in Port au Prince--- as I would have been.. sleeping in the parking lot of the Oloffson!

We are going to need all the advanced farming techniques that we can find. There was an interesting article, just the other day, in the NYTimes. ..They link there to an organization which is behind it...they are Christians and I usually avoid the Christians, particularly in Haiti where the Gospel has been so deeply corrupted. But these Christians appear to speak my mind. It is not right to charge off an entire group of people for the misbehavior of a few. I wonder if you might download their directions and start the business of translating into Kreyole?

There is even a You Tube channel which I would watch if the buffering speeds were not so slow here.. as you well remember!!
Since we are both now living in apartments, there is not much else that we can do except to prepare for going back to the land. Things will be better there for all of us.I had a dream last night in which I was visited both by a beautiful Collie dog and a large Goose.. who was willing to part with feathers for comforters.

This was in response to the fact that the rainy season is now upon us. I know that it is silly to speak with anyone in Quebec about the cold here but it was cold when I awoke. Cold even here on the coast so that up in the mountains there will be a real chill. And the rains have started already. There was already one death from slides up in Santiago so I can imagine that it is going to hit the High Mountains soon.............

Be Well

and know that whatever plan God has in mind for your destiny is unfolding perfectly. We are both in the same position.. being somewhere other than where we feel called... but knowing that the time for the move is not yet.

I laugh sometimes at the sense of humor of the Great Spirit in thinking that two city women like us are thinking of becoming farming revolutionaries in the mountains!! This has to a God thing because even with my vivid imagination I would never have thought that I would be drawn to live in the high mountains of Haiti!

my deepest love to you


Facebook | Daniel O'Neil: Will we just rebuild the chaos in Haiti?

Facebook | Daniel O'Neil: Will we just rebuild the chaos in Haiti?

EU, US and UN to draft relocation plan for Haitians - Bulgaria abroad - The Sofia Echo

EU, US and UN to draft relocation plan for Haitians - Bulgaria abroad - The Sofia Echo

Thursday, February 18, 2010

YouTube - wearetheworld's Channel

YouTube - wearetheworld's Channel

University Education halted

Education Was Also Leveled by Quake in Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Christina Julme was scribbling notes in the back of a linguistics class at the State University of Haiti when, in an instant, everything went black.

“You’re in class, your professor is talking, you’re writing notes and then you’re buried alive,” said Ms. Julme, 23, recounting how her semester came to a halt on the afternoon of Jan. 12 when the earthquake turned her seven-story university into a towering pile of wreckage, with her deep inside.

Ms. Julme, ailing and slipping in and out of consciousness, was pried from her collapsed classroom after two days of having her dead professor’s leg touching her, an injured friend’s face a few inches from her own and many of her classmates’ bodies growing fetid.

Haiti’s best universities are in wreckage, their campuses now jumbles of collapsed concrete, mangled desks and chairs, and buried coursework. Hundreds of professors and students were entombed, although the exact number of dead is complicated by the fact that class lists and computer registries were also wiped out by the quake.

At St. Gerald Technical School, workers going through the wreckage with heavy machinery came across a classroom in which dead students were still at their desks. At Quisqueya University, much of the multimillion- dollar renovation work that had just been completed was shaken to bits. Joseph Chrislyn Bastien, 25, an engineering student, peered into a foot-high crevice of concrete where one could see shoes, books and flattened furniture. “This was a classroom,” he said.

The obliteration of higher education is expected to have longstanding effects on this devastated country, where even in the best of times a tiny percentage of young people went on to college.

“What the earthquake has done to us, besides breaking buildings and killing much of the population, it has wiped out many of those who were the future leaders of the country,” said Louis Herns Marcelin, a University of Miami sociologist who runs a research institute here. “The impact was huge, but we still don’t even know how huge.”

The country’s main nursing school is gone, as is the state medical college. The science building at the state university has been ripped open, and the teacher’s college teeters on its side. At the Graduate School of Technology, Jean Foubert Dorancy, 22, climbed atop the wreckage, littered with computer parts, and lamented: “This was the best computer school in Haiti. What do I do now?”

It was a troubled education system that fell. Many of its buildings were decaying, the result of decades of neglect. Classes were overflowing with students, and many had only mediocre preparation academically because students from the best high schools, the children of the elite, would often go to overseas universities and not come back.

In a country so poor, the sudden loss of educational opportunity is hard to fathom. “Most of my friends weren’t studying but were just hanging on the street,” said Jacques Gaspard, 38, who was enrolled in a trade school that collapsed. “Now I’m on the street, too. Everybody’s on the street.”

Protests, strikes and walkouts were a regular feature of Haitian university life, and hundreds of state university students had, in fact, left their classes to march around the National Palace to protest the killing of a popular sociology professor when the earthquake struck.

“That protest saved a lot of lives,” said Beneche Martial, 26, a medical student who helped arrange it. “We were blocking the streets, yelling and marching. When the earth started to shake we were running in all directions.”

Haiti’s state university was the only place to earn a degree until the end of the long rule of the Duvaliers in 1986. Since then, scores of universities have opened, many of them slipshod institutions without accreditation, but others are well-run schools open to talented students regardless of their means.

In the days after the earthquake, the director general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, Irina Bokova, called on universities outside Haiti to help shoulder the burden. “Universities in the region and beyond should make every effort to take in Haitian students,” she said in a statement, calling the damage to Haiti’s education system “a catastrophic setback for a country already hit by other disasters.”

Among the universities that have offered to help displaced students and faculty members is Dillard University in New Orleans, which suffered significant damage during Hurricane Katrina. A delegation of university deans from the Dominican Republic also recently visited President René Préval of Haiti to offer to help displaced Haitian college students. One proposal would allow Haitians to cross the border to attend some Dominican universities on weekends.

There are already plans to revive Haiti’s universities using tents or temporary structures until more permanent structures can be built. And some early signs have emerged that Haiti’s damaged university system may be rebuilt better. At Quisqueya, Evenson Calixte, the assistant dean of engineering, said all students would be required to study geology from now on so that they understood earthquakes. There will be a particular focus in the curriculum on building codes, he said.

It was arguably a shortage of educated professionals in Haiti that ensured so much of Haiti would collapse. “There’s a total lack of qualified architects, urban planners, builders and zoning experts,” said Conor Bohan, an American who founded the Haitian Education and Leadership Program, a scholarship program for students with top grades but few resources. “People were living in substandard housing in places where they shouldn’t have been.”

With classes canceled for the foreseeable future, many students are using their free time to help with the recovery effort. Future doctors are pitching in at field hospitals and helping arrange a major vaccination campaign. Psychology students are talking with displaced people about how they are holding up. Ms. Julme, who studied communications, managed to get a job at the United Nations radio station, although she focuses on music, not news, to get her mind, and the minds of her listeners, off of all the awful things that have occurred.

“The dean is dead,” she said of her destroyed linguistics college. “The vice dean is dead. I don’t see how the university can go on.”

Haiti’s educators hope that international rebuilding efforts ensure that universities are able to bounce back. “How are you going to have a critical mass of people to run the country if you don’t invest in the next generation?” asked Mr. Marcelin, the sociologist, who is also the founder of the Interuniversity Institute for Research and Development, a consortium of universities that operate in Haiti. “If the international community overlooks this, we will spend our lives dependant on experts from the outside.”

Deborah Sontag contributed reporting.

No support for farmers

Haiti Faces Major Food Crisis as Planting Season Nears, UN Says

By Bill Varner

Feb. 12 (Bloomberg) -- Haiti faces a major food crisis due to a lack of
support for farmers who begin planting in March for a harvest that
usually produces 60 percent of the nation’s grains, fruits and
vegetables, the United Nations said.

“We are alarmed at the lack of support,” Jacques Diouf, director
general of the Food and Agricultural Organization said after meeting
today in Rome with Haitian Agriculture Minister Joanas Gue and heads of
the World Food Program and International Fund for Agricultural

The FAO has received only 8 percent of $23 million sought for seeds,
fertilizer and tools to enable farmers to plant their crops next month,
the agency said. At the same time, the UN has pledges for 95 percent of
the $575 million in aid requested after the Jan. 12 earthquake that
killed more than 200,000 people and left 1 million homeless.

Haitians consume about 1 million tons of cereals a year, 37 percent of
which are grown locally, the FAO said.

“The economic and social reconstruction of Haiti requires a revival of
food production and massive investment in rural areas,” Diouf said.

Margareta Wahlstrom, who is UN Secretary-General Ban Ki- moon’s special
representative for disaster risk reduction, expressed concern for
long-term reconstruction priorities. It will take at least a decade to
rebuild damaged schools, hospitals and infrastructure, she said.

“Haiti is in a vulnerable situation due to the upcoming rainy and
hurricane seasons,” Wahlstrom said. “There is great urgency now to give
particular attention to structural safety for temporary schools,
hospitals and camp settlements. Camps must be built in safe locations
with resistant materials and adequate drainage systems to be able to
withstand the next hurricane season.’

Wahlstrom said 10 percent of the estimated $10 billion reconstruction
effort should focus on reducing Haiti’s vulnerability to disasters,
including hurricanes.

Report from UNPAO

Special Report: Update on the Health Response to the Earthquake in
Haiti 16 February 2010
Source: Pan American Health Organization (PAHO); World Health
Organization (WHO)

Date: 16 Feb 2010

According to official statistics from Haiti's Civil Protection, the 12
January earthquake killed more than 200,000 people, caused
approximately 300,000 injuries and displaced more than one million
Haitians. At one point, more than 600 organizations were providing
humanitarian aid to Haiti, and currently, 274 organizations are
conducting health activities in at least 15 communities. Immediately
following the quake, the most pressing need was to rescue people buried
in the rubble and provide immediate emergency care for trauma patients.
Needs have now changed and focus is on post-operative care and
follow-up of patients who have already had surgery as well as basic
primary health care services, such as maternal child health,
rehabilitation services, and chronic diseases including diabetes, heart
disease, HIV, and tuberculosis, among others. The Health Cluster
liaises with other clusters, as many specialties have implications on
the health of the population. Some of the major issues are as follows:

- The World Food Programme (WFP) reports that 16 food distribution
sites have been activated across metropolitan Port reached 2 million
people in and around Port-au-Prince since the earthquake struck. In a
surge operation that began on 31 January, 1.4 million people received
two weeks work of rice. The target population is two million.

- According to the CCCM Cluster, there are now ten organized
settlements that are being managed by cluster partners with a total of
42,569 people. A list of all spontaneous temporary settlements contains
315 sites occupied by 468,075 people (91,112 families). Sanitation is
becoming a major concern at many of the temporary sites

- The WASH Cluster continues to provide safe drinking water (5 litres
per person per day) to over 780,000 people through 300 sites across
Port au Prince, Leogane, and Jacmel. In Jacmel, over 260 temporary
settlement sites are receiving water through the distribution efforts
of cluster partners. The highest priority for the cluster remains
sanitation and the strengthening of monitoring systems for sanitation

- IOM is working with some 40 partners to provide mental health and
psychosocial support to tens of thousands of earthquake survivors
living in spontaneous settlements in Haiti; = provide comprehensive
psychosocial first aid to some 150,000 individuals and follow-up
counselling for up to 10,000 distressed individuals over the coming
months. Six psychosocial mobile teams consisting of Haitian
psychologists, social workers, educators, art therapists and cultural
animators will deploy in settlements where needs have been identified

- Some 87 community outpatient care centers/mobile units for the
treatment of severely acute malnutrition are open or have re-opened
throughout Haiti. Nutrition Cluster partners have indicated plans to
open 52 additional sites within the next 2-3 weeks. Within the 2 most
affected Departments, OUEST and SUD'EST, there are an estimated 577,246
infants, children and pregnant and lactating women have been affected.
Women in the informal settlements are also being trained as
breastfeeding counselors.

- UNICEF says some 23 large-sized tents have been installed in
Port-au-Prince to give children a place to seek refuge and play.
Families are wary of sending children to school because they fear that
another earthquake could strike. UNICEF is working with the Government
to distribute messages to Haitians encouraging them to send their
children back to school. Schools in unaffected regions opened on 1
February, while the Government of Haiti says the remaining will open by
1 March. Forty-percent of the population of Haiti is under 14 years of
age and child protection is also an area of grave concern.

US Troops scaling down

US forces reduce Haiti numbers, scale back role in relief effort


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Feb 14 (AP) — The biggest U.S. military surge since Iraq
and Afghanistan is scaling back a month after the troops arrived in
haste to aid victims of Haiti's catastrophic quake.

Great gray ships have been leaving behind Haiti's battered shores as
thousands of American troops pack up their tents. The mission, however,
is far from over.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the U.S. will be in Haiti for the
long haul, although troop strength is down to 13,000 from a Feb. 1 peak
of 20,000. Those who remain will accompany Haitians in an arduous
struggle toward recovery.

Within a broad international relief effort, U.S. forces have provided
some of the most visible support to a nation whose government and
infrastructure were nearly wiped out in less than a minute on Jan. 12.

They have shored up the capital's quake-damaged port to operate at
several times its pre-quake tonnage, while acting as a security and
logistics mainstay for U.N. food distributions. Military choppers have
delivered life-sustaining relief to isolated villages.

The flow of injured quake victims to the USNS Comfort hospital ship has
eased, but the need for medical facilities remains overwhelming in

"We're pretty saturated. This is the chokepoint," said Air Force Maj.
John Mansuy of St. Clairsville, Ohio, the operating room nurse in a
tented, full-service unit with zipper doors and a positive air flow to
keep out choking dust that blankets a landfill in the teeming Cite
Soleil slum.

His medical team takes in people strapped to stretchers — with
fractures, open wounds and other life-threatening maladies — before
rushing them offshore to the Comfort.

The Haiti aid operation, costing the Pentagon $234 million and
counting, has added a new strain to an already overtaxed military.
About seven in 10 members of the Cite Soleil's modern-day MASH unit are
veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — and many are scheduled
to return there.

U.S. Southern Command chief Gen. Douglas Fraser would not specify
during a weekend visit what U.S. troop levels would be in the coming

"Remember that the capability and the capacity the United States
military brought in was for immediate relief," he told reporters.

The U.S. military already is turning certain tasks back over to the
Haitians, such as daytime air-traffic control at Port-au-Prince's
damaged international airport, where commercial flights are expected to
resume by Friday.

The Haitians have generally greeted the Americans with warmth and
appreciation, despite language barriers in the Creole- and
French-speaking Caribbean nation.

One day at the gates of the collapsed Hotel Montana, a group of Haitian
children greeted soldiers with the 82nd Airborne with a rendition of
Michael Jackson's moonwalk. The soldiers replied with a moonwalk of
their own. "Hey, you're good!" one of the kids shouted.

"No one is scared of them. They aren't aggressive, they wave hello.
They have a peaceful attitude," said Jacques Michilet, 31, who lost his
home and is raising two daughters in roadside shack.

Like many impoverished Haitians, Michilet doesn't just want the
soldiers to stay: He said he wants his country taken out of the hands
of its current business and political leaders and annexed by the United

U.S. forces have not always been so welcome in their long history of
intervention in Haiti.

A Marine-led occupation from 1915 to 1934 is widely seen among Haitians
as a high water mark of U.S. imperialism. Troops returned repeatedly,
paving the way in 1994 for President Jean-Bertrand Aristide's return to
power — and then quelling widespread violence in 2004 after Aristide
flew into exile aboard a U.S. plane.

Critics say American perception of Haiti as an innately violent place
drove the troops to focus unduly on security, at the expense of some
humanitarian aid.

Patrick Elie, a former Haitian defense minister now helping restructure
the country's dismantled security forces, said the U.S. troops have
done good but were too focused on security initially.

"The foreign countries that came to our aid fell victim to their own
propaganda," Elie said. "They were afraid of a monster that never
existed except in their own fantasies ... that Haitians are
bloodthirsty savages."

After the disaster, there were isolated street fights and killings of
looters by security guards, and some gang violence in slums driven by
leaders who escaped from prison. But the capital has been largely calm
and orderly as Haitians organize themselves from the ground up.

On Sunday, volunteers with whistles directed traffic around fallen
buildings and rubble in the hard-hit Bel Air slum. Uniformed scouts
routed cars around singing church parades — a toned-down substitute for
this year's missed Carnival season.

Still, U.S. military analyst Loren Thompson of the Lexington Institute
said the security precautions were warranted.

"Desperate people do desperate things," he said. "It would be dangerous
and probably counterproductive to put U.S. civilians on the ground
there without military forces to ensure order."

A 9,000-strong Brazilian-led U.N. peacekeeping force has been in place
since 2004 to help Haiti contain gang violence and maintain basic order.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive defended the size
of the American military presence when confronted by wary Haitian
senators. He said the government's acceptance of the U.S. military
force boiled down to "a reality of capacity, of power, of proximity, of

Half of the 13,000 current U.S. troops in Haiti are on the ground, with
the others offshore on hospital boats or handling deliveries and

Many Haitians said they are most grateful for the U.S. troops providing
security during food distributions, a life-and-death matter for most of
the 1.2 million made homeless by the quake. The U.S. said it has helped
deliver food to 160,000 people a day, but meals remain scarce and food
has been diverted or stolen because of inadequate protection.

Far smaller contingents of Canadian, French, Italian, South Korean and
Japanese troops are also in Haiti, and European Union engineering units
are expected in coming weeks to help build temporary shelters.

But the American contingent is the one that Haitians worry about losing
in their greatest time of need. Told that some U.S. troops are leaving,
29-year-old rooster trainer Watson Geranson grew worried.

"Haiti needs help, we had a catastrophe," he said as a U.S. Humvee
rumbled by a new shantytown of quake refugees, where signs were posted
pleading for food. "I don't see why they should go."

| F

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Haiti Reconstruction Cost May Near $14 Billion - IADB -

Haiti Reconstruction Cost May Near $14 Billion - IADB -

WFP distribution sites$File/map.pdf?OpenElement

Jean Poincy on Disscussion on Assembly industry

This article posted on the list prompts me to resend a series of discussions held on this list in march of last year. I am very concerned by how proponents of the "assembly industry" like to intentionnaly confuse the "assembly sector" within the "textile industry" with the "textile industry" itself and predict that thousands of jobs will be created soon. It is not wrong to think that the country's economy has a new opportunity to take off as a result of 01/12, but when they make the "assembly sector" the level to pull, I get worried..

Instead of saying the same things in different words, I take the liberty (if Bob allows it of course) to resend my replies to some comments made in favor of the the textile assembly. For the sake of not making the post too too long, I confine it just to my comments and the number assign to the posts with their respective dates.

However, I find it necessary to give the bacground of the discussion which was about the visit of Bankimoun and Clinton in Ayiti in that period. The former engaged an economist, Paul Collier, to determine what should Ayiti do to get itself out of this mess. His proposition was the assembly industry (textile industry) which was well received by Ayitian authorities, the textile assembly, and by some members on the list.

Re : 34135: Durban (comment): re. 34131 Arthur (UN Chief Promotes Sweatshops) (fwd)
Durban asked :
" The big question is why has Haiti never joined this band wagon? "
34140: Poincy (comment) Re : 34135: Durban (comment) (Monday 03/23/2009)

1st. Comment

Ayiti has already joined the band wagon in the 70s. One can recall when it was called the "Taiwan of the Caribbean". Success was not in the rendez-vous, because the focus was solely on the assembly sector and not on the development of the "transformation industries".

1) The assembly sector is the last link in the chain of the textile industry.
2) The final product is for the international market.
3) There are no textile products made for local consumption.
4) Second hand clothing (Pepe) is what the majority of Ayitian people consume.

For these reasons, this sector has never been and can never be a way to alleviate poverty in Ayiti.

I am for a full textile industry whose chain contains at least four main links and other derivative ones :

1) cotton plantation (agriculture)
2) making the thread with cotton (manufacture)
3) making fabric/cloth with the thread (manufacture)
4) making clothes and everything that one can use to wipe, cover etc.(manufacture)
5) making the dye to color the thread.(pharmaceutical industry)
6) making the cooking oil with the cotton's grain.(oil industry)
7) making animal food with the residue of the cotton's grain..(cattle breeding from which can develop the following industries:

1) shoe/tannery
2) milk (can contribute better to health than starchy food like rice, corn and others)
3) meat (can contribute better to health than starchy food like rice, corn and others)

Most of the products are to be renewed constantly to keep alive different links of the chain. All the links are labor intensive where many people would be employed and earn an income as small as it might be.

Being made by the Ayitian people and consumed by the Ayitian people, the textile products are sufficient to propel the economy.

Let's take the first four links and assume that 100 people are employed in each, the country would have 400 hundred people working.

If the focus is only on the assembly sector, the country will lose the opportunity to employ 300 people. The country will still be in the bottom pit with only 100 people making products they will have a chance to use after they are used by the first world.

The solution proposed for export via such an industry is poisoned.

If they were other sectors that have as many linkages as that of the textile industry and the shoe industry, I would have no problem with the promotion of the clothing assembly sector as a supplementary source of employment.

As far as the minimum salary goes, the increase will have no consequences at all. It would be so only if the country were producing for the local economy, and not sufficiently enough. The debate not to increase it is a false economic one.

34147: Poincy (comment) Re : 34142: Lucien (comment) re : 34141: Knowles (reply) Re: 34140: Poincy (comment) Re : 34135: Durban (comment): re. 34131 (Wednesday 03/25/2009)

2nd. Comment : my response to replies to my first comment

I’ll try to kill two birds with one stone :

On Knowles’ comment :

On the contrary, I advocate free trade. However, how to engage in free trade is a different ball game. A fare trade is when a country produces its own good for local consumption first. Once the point of satisfaction is reached, the surplus can be exported to import what is not produced.

I don’t have food crops in mind, because they are worthless on the international market for the country that produces them, unless it produces massively quality products at low costs. Since there are so much of them on the international market, their price tend to drop at the expense of the local producers.

For the assembly sector, Ayiti does not create the goods. It only assembles parts received to make final goods to be exported afterwards. This type of activity does not have any impact on the engine of the economy. Not only, it does not leave room for linkages between different sectors where many jobs would be created, but also local consumption which is the main nerve of an economy is totally absent. The final products are not sold on the Ayitian market.

> From that perspective, Ayiti does not export what it creates. The economic transaction is just subcontracting and nothing else. Ayiti sends back what it receives as an order. It’s erroneous to speak of export in the assembly sector case.

Ayiti must rethink the whole business of the textile industry if it ought to gain from it. It must determine what it does best with the least cost of production as possible to specialize itself in, then import what it could produce at a very high cost. If food production (mainly cash crops like mangoes, coffee etc.) for trade should not be an economic priority, the government should have an economic plan that would take into account both foreign and local investors.

On (Lucien) Patrick’s comment:

We have to bear in mind that the assembly sector is not direct investments. Ayitian investors are only subcontractors. Foreign investors don’t have any stake in those activities besides getting their products back. This is why it is easy for them to switch subcontractors from one country to another when the security of their products is in jeopardy.

Nonetheless, I agree that we have to start somewhere, but in a well conceived economic plan where on the time line Ayiti can go backward to produce the inputs that are necessary to establish the preceding links in the industry.

A scenario showing the backward motion would be:

Period 1 : assembly sector

(All inputs would come from somewhere else as HOPE allows it now)
The first period would last 2 to 5 years just enough time to learn how to make the fabrics from imported threads.

Period 2: assembly sector + production of fabrics (weaving mill)

(This input made locally would be used in the final product. Then the country would have a great opportunity to employ more people.) The second period would last 2 to 5 years just enough time to learn how to make the threads from imported cotton and the dyes.

Period 3: assembly sector + weaving mill + (production of thread (spinning mill) + pharmaceutical industry)

(This input made locally would be used to make the fabrics. This would propel the pharmaceutical industry to produce the dyes. Then the country would have a great opportunity to employ more people.) The third period would last 2 to 5 years just enough time to prepare the land to cultivate cotton.

Period 4: assembly sector + weaving mill + (spinning mill + pharmaceutical industry) + agriculture (cotton plantation).

The country would have 8 to 20 years to set up its industrial base and revamp the economy. For that matter, proper economic organization is required where investors would be encouraged to enter the project to make big profits while creating many jobs. That’s the only way for them to be interested in investing in the country provided that security is there.

One must note however that things don’t have to be done in that exact time frame. For instance the activity during Period 4 can be started earlier.

The benefits:

Those employed have the hope of getting a regular income as small as it might be. They could live with it as they would carefully budget their spending. The government on its part would enlarge its fiscal base as it would be able to take at least a very small percentage on everyone’s income. Then, it would cease to be the main employer and free up its public revenue to provide the services as it ought to.

I only take one activity to show the possibility of making Ayiti economically independent. The same exercise can be made with the shoe industry as I pointed it out before. Then, Ayiti would cease to be on the assistantship list of all kind of organizations to become a real economic partner that has a say in things and engage in the export business with no fear of being crushed.

34164 Poincy (comment) : Re : 34157: Lucien (comment); Re: 34155:(Durban); Re: 34154 (Durandis) (fwd) (Friday 03/27/2009)

3rd. comment : my response to reply to my second comment

My proposition is about Ayiti’s structural economic development and not opportunities to earn hard (foreign) currencies on the international market. By structural development one must understand the development of the domestic market where production is made for domestic consumption first. Satisfaction must be reached before engaging in competitive trade on the international market.

Such a development will place a call on many different sectors through forward and backward linkages. The significance of it is many jobs creation which in turn will create purchasing power to make consumption effective and improve living conditions.

One must bare in mind that real economic development takes time and a 20 years span would be a great success story. At any rate, my time line is between 8 to 20 years. All will depend on the investment rate the private and public sectors will agree to assume.

Economic development is not about making big profit from private investments. It’s about responding to the population needs. A country that is capable of producing to satisfy the main basic needs of its population is on the development track. How long it will take will depend on the kind of economic policies that will accompany the economic development plan?

To begin with any kind of industry, one must know that all infant industries need to be protected and avoid competition at any cost. At this period production cost can be very high and quality might not be there. Hence, there is a learning process before venturing itself on the international market and it takes a long time, half a century maybe. That does not mean trade would be banished.

There must be some kind of control (trade policies) on what to import or export.
1- Big YES for importing inputs for goods to be made locally
2- Big NO for importing products of the same kind that the infant industry produces.
3- Big YES for exporting final goods made locally (in due time after quality is in check)
4- Big NO for exporting inputs produced locally to make the final goods.
5- The first and main market is the domestic one for both production and consumption.

If it were the case to enable private investors to just make profit for themselves, I would rest my case. For all the counter arguments put forth are correct. These arguments are for stiff competition on the international market. I regret that is not the case. Otherwise, I would advocate transforming Ayiti into mangoes’ plantation, coffee and alternative agriculture. Then, Ayiti would simply produce for the first world while its people would still be begging for second hand clothes and shoes.

The perspective has to be global and choose something that Ayiti is quite capable of doing. That may not be done easily and successfully. All the climatic conditions for growing cotton in Ayiti are met, Ayiti has people just waiting to engage in mass production, again for peanuts. A meaningless income is OK at the start, because the benefits will be greater later in terms of better living conditions and future greater income. That’s a sacrifice to be made. The interesting point is any reluctant private investor would also make greater profit than before.

Isn’t it true that Ayiti used to produce one of the best cotton in the world?

Isn’t it true that Ayiti used to raise cattle?

Why can’t Ayiti do it now?

Fast big money is not economic development. For structural economic development one must look in the inner Ayiti.

34180: Poincy (reply) Re : 34169: Kriegsman (reply) Re: 34164 Poincy (comment) : Re : 34157: Lucien (comment); Re: 34155:(Durban); Re: 34154 (Durandis) (fwd) (Tuesday 03/31/2009)

4th. Comment : my response to reply to my 3rd. comment

I need to dissect Kriegman’s post.

K: ‘A very ambitious plan but it would have worked 100 years ago…’

P: Yes! it would. However, it can today and always will centuries to come. That will be so until mankind finds an equivalent substitute. This fiber is one product of nature that has no substitute. Man has tried the synthetic fabrics, but is disappointed. We are talking of a product that millions of people will use and renew again and again, and time after time, generation after generation until they cease to be human.

K: ‘… Haiti ’s soil is no longer healthy enough to support a cotton industry…’

P: Yes! I agree but will not be so forever. Nature can never be destroyed forever. Leave it alone for a number of years it will reconstitute itself, even after a cataclysm. If we have a government that will take matter in hands, all we need is careful planning to rework the land. Maybe, it’s one of the project during the first three periods of the motion backward that I suggested earlier.

K: ‘…Cotton is globally traded commodity like oil, sugar, and coffee…’

P: Yes! However, if Ayiti is taking the punches in the coffee business why can it does so in the cotton business which offers a greater opportunity to create jobs via those linkages mentioned previously. Again, it’s a matter of careful planning.

K : ‘…The idea is to bring the world to Haiti ’s door,…’

P: Yes! We will bring the world to Haiti ’s door by producing goods for ourselves first which the rest of world might find useful. Japan makes its cars first for its people. It makes them so good that the rest of the world wants them. The only sure way to bring the world to your door is by making something for yourself that it wants also, and not by making something that you don’t want or can’t afford to acquire that it asks you to assemble for its pleasure.

K: ‘…not isolate Haiti from the world.’

P: In no way Ayiti will isolate itself. It might take time to build all this and become competitive, but it must go through all the difficulties. Only patience is required. This plan is for Ayitian’s future generation and not for the actual one that is in a rush for gain.

K: ‘Haiti has already proven it can do finishing work and ship goods…Perhaps even set up another base in the Cap.’

P: I am sorry! Ayiti has not proven anything in terms of ‘finishing work and ship goods’. It has proven itself in sewing already designed parts to be assembled. For that matter and at any level in any kind of work Ayiti presents deficiencies in ‘finishing work’. This is to say the ability to finished goods is not there yet and must be acquired with experience in doing things.

Don’t even mention anything about shipping goods. To respect the time frame for shipment, the factories have to be by the airport. To set up another assembly in the Cap, Ayiti must build another international airport. Don’t forget that was the original plan in the 70s when Ayiti was called the Taiwan of the Caribbean . The idea was to have a plant in different region of the country. When the problem of transport and distribution was identified, they confined all the assembly projects nearby the international airport in Port-o-Prince to make sure that orders are delivered on time.

The ‘Made in Haiti ’ should be instead : ‘Assembled in Ayiti.” It will be ‘Made in Ayiti’ when it’s about a product that is conceived/made in Ayiti, for Ayiti first, and sold afterwards on the international market.

Don’t get me wrong. I am not against the assembly industry. It is a supplementary source of employment only. It can not be the main source of employment. My proposition is to create such a main source and I believe going through industries that produce goods every body will use and renew all the time is the way to go. The level of difficulties does not matter. All good things take time, energy and resources. After all, it’s all about creating jobs for sustainable development.

Ayiti has lived, lives and will live

Friday, February 12, 2010

The DR helping Haiti

Tensions Put on Hold as Dominican Republic Reaches Out

Elizabeth Eames Roebling

SANTO DOMINGO, Feb 11 (IPS) - Despite a history of often tense relations, the first nation to render assistance to Haiti after last month's devastating earthquake was its island neighbour, the Dominican Republic.
In addition to canned goods, food, water and medical teams, the DR sent to Haiti 10 of the mobile kitchens in buses which the government here uses to cook and distribute food in the poorest sections of the country.

These kitchens have now served almost two million meals both in the capital Port-au-Prince and in Jimani, the main border crossing into the Dominican Republic. The meals, along with the bags of water which are given out with them, have cost this country about 2.1 million dollars. But this is only a small portion of the aid that has been given.

Much of the aid is being coordinated by FUNGLODE (Fundacion Global Democracia y Desarollo) , the not-for-profit established by President Leonel Fernandez.

Human rights violations against Haitians and their descendants, including lynchings and mass deportations of migrants, have been longstanding problems in the Dominican Republic, which shares the island of Hispaniola and a 380-km border with Haiti, the poorest country in the western hemisphere.

At the same time, the Dominican Republic is heavily dependent on Haitian workers, who perform an estimated 60 percent of the agricultural labour and much of the construction work.

Since the earthquake, though, average Dominicans, and their government, have turned toward Haiti with a tremendous outpouring of aid and sympathy.

"The people of the DR have made a great effort to help the people of Haiti," said Jhoselyn Ruiz, assistant to FUNGLODE's executive director. "We are receiving donations of water, canned goods, tarpaulins and clothes in many collection centres of in all part of the country. All these donations that are received, we are coordinating taking them over by boat and truck. We try to give the most help to those who need it."

The Dominican Republic has put six of its naval vessels at the disposal of the rescue efforts in order to help get aid to the outlying affected areas, such as Jacmel on the southern coast. The ships arrived in Jacmel carrying 100 tonnes of food, water and medical supplies, including volunteers from the Dominican Red Cross. It was the first aid the devastated southern city had received.

It has also placed its southern airport at Barahon at the disposal of rescue operations. Since the main port in Port-au-Prince has been completely inoperable, much of relief supplies and volunteers must come into Haiti along the one border road, which snakes between Lago Azui and a cliff and has been subject to flooding.

At the border in Jimani, the Dominican hospitals performed over 1,500 surgeries on wounded Haitians.

The office of the first lady has announced that 15 portable classrooms will be sent to assist in getting some Haitian children back to school. As many as 5,000 schools were destroyed in the Jan. 12 earthquake, and an estimated 1.5 million children are without classrooms.

"The helicopters are leaving continuously from the airport of Higuero," Ruiz told IPS. "The helicopters are going to Jimani where they are coordinating the aid. Other centres are sending their own trucks. Universities, for instance, are sending their own trucks. So there is no way for us to know how much aid has come from the Dominican Republic."

The assistance that the Dominican government alone has given is estimated at 83,000 dollars per day.

In addition, President Fernandez has become an advocate for Haiti before the international community. Following a proposal by the director of the Inter-American Development Bank, Luis Alverto Moreno, that there be a "Marshall Plan" established for the development of Haiti, Fernandez has stated that such a fund should be for 10 billion dollars and the reconstruction plans for 10 years.

Fernandez sat in a round table here with President Rene Preval at his side, before the ministers of 76 governments.

His first proposal was that all the debts of Haiti be forgiven. Then he recommended that this fund be established with the principal and interest payments owed to the Paris Club of Paris of Western donor nations. Fernandez proposed that both the interest and capital payments of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean for the next 10 years be diverted into the fund for Haiti.

At Centro Bono, the main collection centre operated by the Jesuits, Anna Coronado has been on duty every day since the earthquake.

"We have emptied this room about three to four times a day to go in the big trucks to the warehouse for organising and shipping, so that is more than 20 trucks that we have filled every day," Coronado told IPS.

"We have had at least 20 volunteers every day, sometimes as many as 40. We have altered the list of our requested donations a bit since the beginning. We are still asking for water and canned food, but we are also now asking for sleeping bags, mattresses, sheets, tarps, large plastic bags to collect the garbage, and also the dead. I have been working every day from nine to nine but I got off early, at six pm on Sunday," she said.

The list at the entrance to the centre now has, in addition to canned food and water, black garbage bags, body bags, detergents, antiseptics, gloves and masks, tents, mattresses, mosquito netting, plastic plates, cups and utensils.

In the lobby, six young Haitian men surrounded a compatriot slumped in a chair who had recently arrived from Port Au Prince.

"I lost my mother. I lost my father," said Jean Daniel from Grande Goave. "I have no home and nowhere to go. I sent my younger sisters to the countryside and came over here. I was lucky to have a passport and visa."

Asked if they thought that the outpouring of aid from the Dominican Republic would forever change the normally tense relationship between these two countries, all of them nodded.

Guillame St. Pierre said: "It is incredible what this country has done. No country could have done more. They have completely opened their hearts to us. I think that this will forever change our relationship. We will not forget their generosity to us."

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

women in Danger

Haitian women become crime targets after quake


PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti, Feb 7 (AP) — Bernice Chamblain keeps a machete under her frayed mattress to ward off sexual predators and one leg wrapped around a bag of rice to stop nighttime thieves from stealing her daughters' food.

She's barely slept since Haiti's catastrophic earthquake Jan. 12 forced her and other homeless women and children into tent camps, where they are easy targets for gangs of men.

Women have always had it bad in Haiti. Now things are worse.

"I try not to sleep," says Chamblain, 22, who lost her father and now lives in a squalid camp with her mother and aunts near the Port-au-Prince airport. "Some of the men who escaped from prison are coming around to the camps and causing problems for the women. We're all scared but what can we do? Many of our husbands, boyfriends and fathers are dead."

Reports of attacks are increasing: Women are robbed of coupons needed to obtain food at distribution points. Others relay rumors of rape and sexual intimidation at the outdoor camps, now home to more than a half million earthquake victims.

A curtain of darkness drops on most of the encampments at night. Only flickering candles or the glow of cell phones provide light. Families huddle under plastic tarps because there aren't enough tents. With no showers and scant sanitation, men often lurk around places where women or young girls bathe out of buckets. Clusters of teenage girls sleep in the open streets while others wander the camps alone.

The government's communications minister, Marie-Laurence Jocelyn Lassegue, recently acknowledged the vulnerability of women and children but said the government was pressed to prioritize food, shelter and debris removal.

Aid groups offer special shelters for women and provide women-only food distribution points to deter men from bullying them. But challenges are rife more than three weeks after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake killed an estimated 200,000 people and left as many as 3 million in need of food, shelter and medicine.

Women who lined up for food before dawn Saturday said they were attacked by knife-wielding men who stole their coupons.

"At 4 a.m. we were coming and a group of men came out from an alley," said Paquet Marly, 28, who was waiting for rice to feed her two daughters, mother and extended family. "They came out with knives and said, 'Give me your coupons.' We were obliged to give them. Now we have nothing _ no coupons and no food."

Aid organizations set up women-only distribution schemes because they trust the primary caregivers to get that food to extended family, not resell it.

"We've targeted the women because we think it's the best way to get to families," said Jacques Montouroy, a Catholic Relief Services worker helping out Saturday. "In other distributions when we've opened it up to men, we found that only half of the men would do what they were supposed to with the food."

Soldiers from the U.S. 82nd Airborne Division out of Fort Bragg, North Carolina, guard many of the streets around the distribution points, but they can't be everywhere all the time.

Aid workers say they've been staging elaborate decoy operations to draw men to one area while food coupons are given to women in another. Each of the 16 daily distributions throughout Port-au-Prince presents its own security challenges, Montouroy said.

"The coupon distribution has been hellish," he said, explaining how crowds of men swarm around the women.

Even if the women successfully make it back to the camps with their 55-pound (25-kilogram) bags of rice, that doesn't mean their worries are over. Some camps are even providing special protection for women, with tents where they can receive trauma counseling or be alone to breast-feed and care for young children.

"My sister died in the earthquake, so now I have to take care of my three daughters and my sister's two," said Magda Cayo, 42. "I try to keep them close but I see lots of hoodlums looking at them. We're all nervous. It's no good."

Women have long been second-class citizens in Haiti.

According to the United Nations, the Haitian Constitution does not specifically prohibit sexual discrimination. Under Haitian law, the minimum legal age for marriage is 15 years for women and 18 years for men, and early marriage is common. A 2004 U.N. report estimated 19 percent of girls between the ages of 15 and 19 were married, divorced or widowed.

Rape was only made a criminal offense in Haiti in 2005.

In the months after a violent uprising ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004, thousands of women were raped or sexually abused, the British medical journal Lancet reported. The coup set off a bloody wave of clashes among Haiti's national police, pro- and anti-Aristide gangs, U.N. peacekeepers and rebels.

Because so many police stations and government offices were destroyed in the earthquake, some women may have no place to go to report assaults, according to Melanie Brooks of CARE, which is working to protect women while providing disaster relief.

She said women recovering from quake-related injuries are even more vulnerable because many are not mobile. An additional threat is HIV; Haiti has the highest infection rate in the Caribbean.

"The women whom we've talked to tell stories of rape, assaults or men following them around when they're bathing," Brooks said. "These stories are becoming the new bogeymen now. Everyone is looking over their shoulder."

Before the earthquake, the government set up a panel to look at ways of empowering Haitian women. But the Women's Ministry was among the government buildings destroyed.

Three Haitian women working on important judiciary reforms to protect women against sexual violence _ Myriam Merlet, Anne Marie Coriolan and Magalie Marcelin _ died in the earthquake. Many view their deaths as setbacks for all Haitian women.

As women lined up for food at the National Palace on Saturday, U.S. soldiers kept the men behind a cordon.

"It's discrimination!" said Thomas Louis, 40. "We've all lost mothers, sisters, wives. Without women we can't get coupons. They're treating men like we are animals."

Joseph Alfred on future

The reply does address the accountability, the 200 years practice was over since Jan 12, 2010. The Haitian government used to be a way to get rich quick, but not anymore and make no mistake about it.
Secondly, Haiti is an independent country. It is truth that most of Haiti past leaders cannot explain their fortune but if we implement the constitution as it is writing and not selectively; we should not have this problem.  Also, the constitution called for decentralization; again, if we implement it, we will not be in this mess today. The constitution has called for a Permanent Electoral Council and all Departments shall be represented; again, if we implement the constitution, we will not be in this mess today. The constitution called for a Professional military force; again, if it was implemented, we will not be in this mess today. (Oops! we do not need a military force, but what I see right now is the U.S. military controlling the airport and the streets)
When talking about corruption with the past and current Haitian leaders, you should remove the name of these three outstanding Haitian leaders: President Dumarsais Estime, Nissage Saget and Madame Pascal Ertha Trouillot. Remember, the first woman President, Madame Ertha Pascal Trouillot had organized a free, a fair and an impartial election. She remained neutral from start to finish.

My friends Haiti has serious and responsible people; when they are in charge, you will like what you see. Key posts will be allocated to those who can and not on friendship. The new Haiti is coming and it will be faster than you can imagine.

An Earthquake of proportion had just destroyed 2 Departments. The remaining 8 departments are still vulnerable to any other natural disaster, men-made disaster and as well as accidents.
As I’m writing this note, we still have people who have not received any assistance. The focus should be right now to provide them food and shelters. We lost score of professors and students, the focus should be: finding teachers to go teach our kids and children and our youths in camp that will be erected around Port-au-Prince and other affected area.

There is a time for everything; now, it is the time to put on your boots, your gloves and get to work. This is not the time for any literature my friends. Shelters need to be built, camps need to be built, relocate score of people throughout the country and provide them assistance.

Most of you are from somewhere in Haiti. May be your hometown or parents hometown has electricity. Last Christmas I was in my hometown Ouanaminthe to say a final goodbye to my mother who left this world two days shy of her birthday. As I went up to the roof of a heavy concrete house, I contemplate the city, I saw lights everywhere and house nested to each other. The houses are built so close that two people may not be able to walk side by side; now, imagine of an accidental fire.

How come a town with electricity does not have a fire station with trained firefighters? I do not believe that you have one in your hometown either.

Therefore, we who are living in the Diaspora shall team-up with the people in your region to build a fire station, buy at least a fire truck and provide training to the fire fighters. This shall be done now.

Each time there is a fire, we heard three hundred houses burned and people trying to extinguish fire with bucket of water. A major fire with a high wind may destroy the whole city and this can be avoided.

I do not address the Haitian Government or the International community, I address you. You need to team-up with the people from your hometown who are living in the U.S. and Canada and other places and join with those who are living back home and put in place an emergency response unit which will include: A fire station, at least one fire truck, trained firefighters, common disaster medicine and staff it at least with one LPN.
Where the fund will come from? Your pocket, your wallet. Regional collection and do it.

The people of Ouanaminthe, the people of Fort-liberté, Hinche, Pestel, and throughout the country; you need a fire truck and an emergency response unit.
The American people organized a nationwide telethon for Haiti; if we were organized, we could have done a similar one in the U.S.

Concerned Haitian Nationals can use the Civism Conference that will be taking place in Atlanta, GA this summer (July 10, 2010) to put in place a skeleton committee in the Leadership segment.

My Question to you: should the United States and the International Community put a fire station in every town in Haiti or should you be the one doing it?

Should you organize yourselves in the U.S. like the Jews, the Cubans or should a different nationality invite you to do it?
Organizing the Haitian Diaspora in the U.S.!

If the State Department has a desire to communicate important information to the Haitian Diaspora: Whom they will call?

If these states, such as New Jersey, NY, Florida, Georgia, California, Illinois, Massachusetts, Louisiana, Arizona  and so on, want to communicate pertinent information to the Haitian Diaspora within their own state: Whom they will call?

If the state of Haiti requested the presence of an official Delegation of the Haitian Diaspora in the U.S to attend an important function: who are going to be part of that official Delegation?

When the Haitian Parliament decides to amend the 1987 Constitution, it will create a constitutional amending commission. It will be great to include a member of the Haitian Diaspora in the U.S., Canada and so on. Whom will be invited?

Today, no one in this room can answer these legitimate questions. If I ask the same questions to the Jews and the Cubans in the U.S., they will provide an answer.  (The Jews and the Cubans do influence the U.S. policy toward their country.)

Ladies and Gentlemen: Organization is the key of creating a structural Haitian Diaspora in the U.S.

If we organize ourselves and put structure in place, we will be able to influence the U.S. policy toward Haiti and most significantly we will receive respect from the new Haitian generation who has been complaining tremendously …

How to organize the Haitian Diaspora in the U.S.?

A long time ago, NY and Miami used to be the strong hold of the Haitian Diaspora but during the last 20 years we have seen score of emerging Haitian communities throughout the continental of the United States and the territories.

It is neither by chance nor accident that we convene today in Chicago, a city that was founded by a Haitian National in 1772. It is neither by chance nor accident that many of our ancestors who freed Haiti were involved in the Battle of Savannah in 1779. There is always some precedence and the Haitian people are known for their creativity and their heroine.

We have done great thing in the past and we had a great past. During our independence war, we had various groups that were fighting the French independently like we have today score of Haitian Based organizations that are assisting Haiti independently. They were winning many battles but it was impossible to win the war. The Haitian Based organizations are doing a great job in assisting the Haitian people but they were powerless in meeting all their needs and two months ago, that hunger strike can be a decisive moment to change course. On May 18, 1803 our ancestors had finally convened at Arcahais and created a Union and six months later Haiti became the second independent country after the U.S. in the new world. If all these Haitian based Organizations and willing Haitian Nationals and friends of Haiti can link themselves together, I strongly believe that they will be in a better position to assist the country effectively and efficiently.

The time to organize the Haitian Diaspora in the U. S. was yesterday and we can do it. The United States is looking forward to speak to a legitimate Haitian Representative in the Diaspora. The elected Haitian officials who are here today cannot wait to speak to a legitimate Haitian representative in the Diaspora. Today, they are talking to this group or that group and sometimes within the same city or the same state.

Two years ago, I was invited to the Atlanta Regional Commission for a snapshot. I saw the representative member of the Somalis Community, the Mexican, the Nicaraguan, the Brazilian, the Jamaican, the Congolese, and the Ethiopian and so on and I wish that the Haitians in Atlanta could have had one as well.

Many of you today are coming from various states and Haitian communities; I wish that you could have represented the Haitian communities of New Jersey, NY, Miami, Chicago, Boston, and Atlanta and so on instead of a group or your group.

Here are my suggestions:
We can create a temporary Representative Team of 11 members with willing people from various states such as Florida, NY, Illinois, New Hampshire, MA, California, and New Jersey and so on. The required criterions: they have to be involved and actually do some thing and diverse and it shall be open to all.

And at the same time, we have to organize ourselves within our individual state and also our needs are different from state to state.
1) A city Link (One representative)        2) A county Link  (One representative)
3) A metro Link  (One representative)    4) a District Link  (One representative)
5) A State Link  (One representative)

Then divide the U.S. into 4 to 5 regions

Western Region (One representative)        Northern Region (One representative)
Eastern Region (One representative)        Southern Region (One representative)
Midwest Region (One representative)

Each Region will then select a Regional Delegate and These five Regional Delegates are ipso facto the legitimate elected leaders of the Haitian Diaspora in the U.S.

Among them they will vote for a president (for protocol only) but all five shall have the same power and everything must be decided by an open vote.
If we arrive to put this in place, we will be in our way to assist Haiti more efficiently, influence the U.S. policy toward Haiti and Haitian Nationals and also play a political role in the U.S. and as well as in Haiti.

It is doable and it can be done. Can we use the power of the net to link every willing Haitian Community throughout the United States? Yes, we can.

If we organize ourselves, we can be soon doing the same thing the Jews and the Cubans are doing in influencing the U.S. policy toward their respective country. Most Haitian nationals who are coming here have to struggle like we did; again, if we organize ourselves, we can make their transition a little better and we can assist Haiti effectively and efficiently.

It is my hope that one day like today when the U.S. government wants to contact the Haitian Diaspora; it will meet with a legitimate Representative member of the Haitian Diaspora in the U.S. and not a group. Also, it is my hope that when a Delegation of the Haitian Diaspora visiting Haiti, it will speak for the Diaspora and not for a group.
We have to learn from our ancestors; back then, they knew that they had to unify to win the war; today, if you want to win the economic war, if you want to assist the Haitian people back home, we have no other choice but to unify our force.

On Saturday, May 31, 2008 the Democratic Party and the two remaining candidates had sent a clear message to all of us. They invited you to Compromise. It cannot be your way or no way.  You can say whatever you want but they have voted with a show of hand live on TV to uphold the rules of law. The supporters of Senator Clinton wanted to count all and she lost; the same supporter asked to support the 50/50 split and life goes on.

My fellow Haitian people, we are living in a country of opportunity and a country that has always used the language of compromise to resolve its problems. We are also the product of a compromise and a Union.

La promotion de l’homme Haïtien aux Etats-Unis; La fierté de l’Haïtien; Sa capacité de travail; Ensemble on peut tout, seul on ne peut rien, il faut l’Union. Maintenant, concrétisons cette devise qui n’a jamais été appliquée en Haïti. Prenons cette devise, unissons-nous, “mettez-nous” ensemble, unissons pour être plus fort.

Joseph Alfred, MA in Foreign Language Education (USF, Tampa, FL)
Doctoral Candidate in Educational Leadership (Argosy University, Atlanta, GA)
World Language Dept Chair at Avondale High School
P.O. BOX 1022
Douglasville, GA 30133-1022
Phone: 770-262-6621