August 4, 2020         
COVID-19 putting millions of girls at risk of never returning to school   •   NIH Awards $2.3 Million to The Lundquist Institute to Study the Impact of Vaping While Pregnant   •   GSBA And Comcast Washington Launch Ready for Business Fund to Support Small Businesses   •   Two Original European Crime-Solving Drama TV Series Premiere This Summer On Ultra Macho   •   Newman's Own Gives $1 Million to Virtual Camp for Children with Serious Illnesses   •   Canada Goose Announces First Quarter 2021 Earnings Release Date, Conference Call and Webcast   •   Ramsey Press Begins Presale of Book Know Yourself, Know Your Money by Two-time #1 National Best-selling Author Rachel Cruze   •   Nextt Launches Healthcare Supplies Division to Provide Medical Grade PPE Products During Pandemic   •   NewRez Senior Vice President, Debbie Knotts, Receives HousingWire’s Women of Influence Award   •   Citizens Bank Announces Grant Program for Minority-Owned Small Businesses   •   Coalition Continues to Grow in Opposition to California's Proposed Menthol Cigarette Ban   •   Marler Clark, the Salmonella Lawyers, file the first Red Onion Salmonella Lawsuit against Thomson International   •   Eye Level Literary Award 2020 for Aspiring Young Authors Goes Online   •   The Home Depot to Host Second Quarter 2020 Earnings Conference Call on August 18   •   Superior HealthPlan Encourages Early Childhood Vaccinations During National Immunization Awareness Month   •   TeamDynamix Receives Three Top Rankings from Comparably 2020 Awards: Best CEO for Women, Best Leadership Team and Best Professio   •   Stellar Cyber’s Aimei Wei Named One of the Top 100 Women in Cybersecurity for 2020   •   Southern California Non-Profit Mourns The Death Of Two Beloved Board Members, Peter Devereaux and Bryan Stockton   •   RTW Retailwinds, Inc. Announces Execution of Asset Purchase Agreement with Sunrise Brands, LLC for the Sale of its e-Commerce Bu   •   Joni Wolfswinkel, CEO of Houston's Real Property Management Preferred Awarded as One of HousingWire Magazine's 2020 Women of Inf
Bookmark and Share

Give Haiti Control Over Its Recovery



By Monika Kalra Varma and Loune Viaud

SINCE JANUARY’S devastating earthquake in Haiti, well-meaning experts have proposed an abundance of short-term and long-term recovery solutions. They ask why aid delivery has been so slow, why previous development plans for Haiti have rarely been successful, and why billions of dollars in funding over decades have not improved conditions for the most impoverished people in our hemisphere.

Some blame the government of Haiti, while others, including the organizations we represent, often point fingers at the international community. The simple answer is that those who have the greatest stake in rebuilding Haiti, Haitians themselves, don’t now and never have had a real seat at the table.

While Haitian resilience has been duly recognized around the world, few appear to be interested in talking to Haitians about how to rebuild their communities and how the billions likely to be pledged to their country will be used. And no one is talking about what recourse Haitians will have if promised projects are never completed, or worse, pledged money never arrives. Unfortunately, past failures can be found in every community across Haiti - water projects that were promised but never built, resulting in water-borne illness and death; food aid that was delivered, but spoiled or sold in markets below the prices asked by local farmers; non-government organizations that started educational programs, but then shifted priorities, leaving children without access to schools.

From our perspectives as a Haitian-American and an international human rights advocate, both working to protect the most basic of human rights, including the rights to health, water, and food, we know the people of Haiti not only deserve, but are entitled to better lives.

The solution is simple, practical, and driven by human rights. Representatives of donor states, government agencies, NGOs, and international organizations should meet with Haitians to discuss their communities’ needs, be it a water source, a school, a road or health center, and then determine specifics like where it should be constructed, how it will be maintained and when it will be completed so communities know what to expect before breaking ground. If it is behind schedule, poorly maintained, or never built, community members should be able to report back to an independent body that is partnered with the Haitian government and can track all such complaints.

In the short-term, the international community and the Haitian government could create a traveling body to help community members track any problems with current projects. Information gathered through this body would be accessible to the Haitian people, a critical first step toward ensuring that the principles of participation, transparency, and accountability are more than mere slogans. In the future, community members could work with their government to develop a more permanent monitoring infrastructure across the country.

This month, all concerned eyes will be on the United Nations-hosted donors conference convening in New York. Experts will gather to discuss development strategies and donor countries will make public pledges of support to Haiti. In addition to the few elected leaders and a handful of NGO representatives who will speak to the donor states, representatives of the people we know and work with should be present and heard. These are people who, after suffering untold loss, still live in the streets of Port-au-Prince, starving nearly two months after the earthquake, or live in rural areas dealing with skyrocketing food prices because of the influx of earthquake survivors into their communities, or are among the millions who suffered without access to clean water long before the earthquake hit.

Those who have worked in Haiti and other places around the world and have suffered large-scale death and destruction know that successful long-term recovery needs to be driven by the people most intimately affected. Beyond the enormous funding and international experts needed to rebuild Haiti, it is time to make a new pledge - to heed and support the experts who can truly rebuild Haiti, the Haitian people.

Loune Viaud is the director of strategic planning and operations at Zanmi Lasante/Partners in Health in Haiti. Monika Kalra Varma is the director of the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Human Rights.  

http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/03/08/give_haiti_control_over_its_recovery?mode=PF

Please see the op-ed below from today’s Boston Globe, co-authored by Loune Viaud, the director of strategic planning and operations at Partners In Health/Zanmi Lasante in Haiti.  



Back to top
| Back to home page
Video

White House Live Stream
LIVE VIDEO EVERY SATURDAY
alsharpton Rev. Al Sharpton
9 to 11 am EST
jjackson Rev. Jesse Jackson
10 to noon CST


Video

LIVE BROADCASTS
Sounds Make the News ®
WAOK-Urban
Atlanta - WAOK-Urban
KPFA-Progressive
Berkley / San Francisco - KPFA-Progressive
WVON-Urban
Chicago - WVON-Urban
KJLH - Urban
Los Angeles - KJLH - Urban
WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
New York - WKDM-Mandarin Chinese
WADO-Spanish
New York - WADO-Spanish
WBAI - Progressive
New York - WBAI - Progressive
WOL-Urban
Washington - WOL-Urban

Listen to United Natiosns News