Haití necesita de urgencia USD 350 millones tras sismo (Primer ministro)
24/03/2010 – 2:30
El primer ministro de Haití, Jean-Max Bellerive, aseguró el martes en Rio de Janeiro que su país requiere 350 millones de dólares de emergencia para iniciar la reconstrucción tras el sismo de enero, que según sus cálculos demandará unos 11.500 millones de dólares.
Bellerive sostuvo, en el marco de V Forum Urbano Mundial que se celebra en Rio de Janeiro, que el próximo 31 de marzo presentará en Nueva York ante las Naciones Unidas un plan de acción de corto plazo.
"Precisamos de al menos 350 millones de dólares para que los niños vuelvan a las escuelas, para dar agua potable a la población y garantizar la seguridad del país. Estamos hablando de dinero que no tenemos. Esa es una laguna presupuestal", dijo la autoridad haitiana en su alocución.
Acotó que la reconstrucción total de Haití demandará unos 11.500 millones de dólares y en los próximos 18 meses.
"Estamos hoy en una condición de gran dependencia y reconocemos eso", subrayó.
A final de mes en Nueva York se celebrará una conferencia de donantes para Haití tras el sismo que el 12 de enero dejó más de 220.000 muertos y unos 1,3 millones de desamparados.
En ella participarán representantes de gobiernos, autoridades de diversos países y empresas comprometidas en brindar apoyo.
"Esa será una conferencia de reivindicación, donde vamos a pedir dinero, pero con la aceptación del plan haitiano. Queremos un acuerdo de confianza y transparencia para quien vaya a dar dinero", aclaró el primer ministro.
Bellerive adelantó: "vamos a crear un agente fiscal, que será el que va a administrar ese dinero, además de una agencia para la reconstrucción".
París, 23 mar (EFE).- Haití centrará mañana la actualidad en la UNESCO con un Foro en el que participarán intelectuales, expertos y políticos de diferentes Estados para reflexionar sobre la "reconstrucción" social, cultural e intelectual de ese país caribeño, tras el sismo sufrido el pasado 12 de enero.
La directora general de la UNESCO, Irina Bokova, abrirá el encuentro en presencia de la ministra de Cultura de Haití, Marie-Laurence Jocelyn-Lassègue, y del Premio Nobel de Literatura nigeriano Wole Soyinka, entre otras personalidades.
Entre los grandes temas que se debatirán está la "reconstrucción" del sistema educativo, como clave de la renovación haitiana y fuente de "fuerza intelectual".
Previamente, el Foro comenzará con la evocación del terremoto y la necesidad de "movilizar el saber y las competencias sociales para devolver la vida a Haití".
Otro asunto de la reunión es la fuerza del patrimonio, de la identidad y de la creatividad cultural de Haití.
Haitian government receives only fraction of pledged aid, urges coordination of NGOs
08:39, March 24, 2010
A Haitian government representative said on Tuesday in Washington that the government in the earthquake-devastated country has only received a fraction of pledged aid, and called for better coordination between nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), through which much of the foreign aid is channeled, and the government.
Antonio Rodrigue, Deputy Permanent Representative of Haiti to the Organization of American States (OAS), told a hearing held at the OAS headquarters in Washington that the Haitian government has received about 10 million U.S. dollars of pledged aid money after the magnitude-7 earthquake on Jan. 12, which killed an estimated 230,000 people and left about 1.3 million survivors homeless.
"The Haitian government to date has received about only one percent of pledged aid," Rodrigue said.
While thanking the international community for the outpouring of support after the earthquake, Rodrigue decried, through an interpreter, the lack of planning and coordination of parts of that effort.
He said while the government has mechanism in place to coordinate with big NGOs such as Oxfam and Doctors Without Borders, it has no control over smaller ones. He called for them to be registered with the government, so that aid work can be coordinated.
The bulk of international aid to Haiti after the earthquake was handled through NGOs, both out of necessity and long-standing practice in the Western world, as Haiti’s government was in disarray as a result of the earthquake. Rodrigue acknowledged many of the government’s office buildings were damaged in the quake.
In a testimony read on her behalf, Loune Viaud of aid group Partners in Health also noted a "parallel system" of aid created by NGOs, which she said brought on an accountability problem. She also urged the international community to contribute to Haiti’s recovery effort in helping to rebuild its agricultural infrastructure, not simply pumping food aid in, which over the years has a devastating effect on local agriculture.
The hearing came ahead of a March 31 donor conference at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Haitian officials have said they will ask donors for 11.5 billion U.S. dollars in reconstruction help.
Presidents Bush, Clinton visit devastated Haiti
by Associated Press
Posted on March 23, 2010 at 7:16 PM
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton clasped hands with residents of one of Haiti’s massive tent cities Monday on a tour of its quake-devastated capital — a visit intended to remind donors of the immense needs facing the recovery effort.
The two former leaders, who were tapped by President Barack Obama to spearhead U.S. fundraising for the crisis, made their first joint visit to Haiti. They spotlighted the dramatic need for help ahead of a critical March 31 U.N. donors conference in New York where Haitian officials will ask for $11.5 billion in reconstruction help.
At a news conference with President Rene Preval on the grounds of the collapsed national palace, Bush said he was struck by the devastation caused by the Jan. 12 earthquake.
"It’s one thing to see it on TV, it’s another to see it firsthand," said Bush, who was making his first visit to Haiti. "Hopefully our visit will remind people that Haiti needs help."
Clinton and Bush later greeted quake survivors camped on the Champ de Mars, the national mall filled with 60,000 homeless people. Secret Service agents and Haitian police surrounded the men as they waded into a fenced-in section of the mall where dozens of families have pitched blue, orange and silver tarps.
While many of the homeless welcomed the visit as a sign that the U.S. would continue to supply aid, some said they were disappointed the presidents did not bring anything more tangible.
"The visit is like no visit at all. They walked inside, it’s to show off," said Rene Pierre, a 35-year-old homeless man.
About 100 protesters burned tires and an American flag outside the national palace to demand the return of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, who was flown from Haiti aboard a U.S. plane during Bush’s presidency and now lives in South African exile.
Clinton and Bush visited the country as it struggles to feed and shelter victims of the magnitude-7 quake, which killed an estimated 230,000 people. Another 1.3 million quake survivors are homeless, with many living in camps prone to dangerous flooding in the April rainy season.
The former presidents also visited the Maxima SA woodworking plant where manager Evelien Degier, a native of the Netherlands, said they can build houses for $2,000. She said she hopes the presidents help direct investment to companies like hers that employ Haitians as part of the reconstruction effort.
"It’s wonderful to have the handouts and the food," she said. "But now people need to go back to work to real life to earn real money."
The chairman of Haiti’s chamber of commerce, Reginald Boulos, said Monday that Clinton and Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive will co-chair a task force overseeing the large amounts of international aid expected to pour in next month.
Clinton said he had not been formally offered the position but was open to helping in any way. He endorsed creating an independent agency to oversee aid as well as a Web site to track money — ideas he said helped avoid corruption in Indonesia after the 2006 tsunami.
Bush left Monday afternoon. Clinton was expected to stay overnight for meetings with business leaders and officials.
Named U.N. special envoy to Haiti last year, Clinton said the former presidents hoped to get all the aid agencies and the Haitian government working together to make the most of the huge global outpouring of support.
"The most important thing in the short run is to coordinate what the NGOs do with the long-term plans that the Haitian government has. They can’t be a self-sufficient country unless we both are transparent in this aid and build the capacity of the government," he said.
Aid was already being announced on Monday.
The Inter-American Development Bank announced it had agreed to forgive its $479 million share of Haiti’s $1.2 billion in foreign debt while offering $2 billion in grants over the next 10 years. The European Union said it will donate euro1 billion ($1.36 billion) in development aid to Haiti in the years ahead.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has also announced he would cancel Haiti’s debt to his country, which the IMF had listed at more than $200 million.
The nonprofit Clinton Bush Haiti Fund has raised $37 million from 220,000 individuals including Hollywood actor Leonardo DiCaprio, who gave $1 million, and Obama, who among other donations gave $200,000 of his Nobel Peace Prize.
About $4 million has gone to such organizations as Habitat for Humanity, the University of Miami/Project Medishare mobile hospital in Port-au-Prince and the U.S. branch of the Irish charity Concern Worldwide. The rest has yet to be allocated.
UK helping Haiti to restore quake-damaged jails
Wed Mar 24, 2010 5:29am IST
PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Britain is helping Haiti to rebuild and improve its prisons damaged in the Jan. 12 earthquake as part of overall British assistance to the disaster-struck nation that has reached 150 million pounds ($224 million dollars), a junior UK minister said on Tuesday.
International Development Minister Mike Foster said during a visit to Port-au-Prince that the figure for Britain’s contribution to the international relief effort for Haiti included 91 million pounds donated by the British public.
Britain’s government had provided 20 million pounds of direct emergency aid and the rest of the 150 million pounds total had been channeled through multilateral institutions like the World Bank, the European Union and the Inter-American Development Bank, Foster told a news conference.
The UK had set up a post-disaster stabilization unit in the quake-wrecked Haitian capital and its personnel included British prison experts who would advise Haiti on rebuilding its network of jails, several of which were damaged in the quake.
More than 5,000 prisoners escaped, most from the main national penitentiary. Most of them are still on the run.
"We will work with the authorities here to create a better correctional system," Foster said.
He added that apart from helping to rebuild the damaged facilities, Britain would be advising on such areas as human rights and treatment of juvenile offenders.
The British experts seconded to help restore Haiti’s prison network had carried out similar work in Kosovo, Iraq, Afghanistan and the Palestinian territories.
Foster said Britain would also attend a March 31 donors’ conference for Haiti in New York, and would deliver its additional support for the country’s long-term reconstruction through the multilateral organizations to which it belonged, such as the EU and the World Bank.
Haitian NGOs Decry Total Exclusion from
Donors’ Conferences on Haitian Reconstruction"
Written by Press Release Tuesday, 23 March 2010 18:20
by Center for Economic and Policy Research
More than 26 organizations and social movements in Haiti reported that the process established for formulating the “Plan for Reconstruction of Haiti” at the donors’ conference that concluded yesterday in Santo Domingo has been characterized by an almost total exclusion of Haitian social actors and civil society, and very limited participation by uncoordinated representatives of the Haitian State.
The path set for the reconstruction of Haiti in the National Plan of Post-Disaster Assessment may not meet the expectations of the Haitian people as it fails to address sustainable development needs, and instead focuses on restoring old development plans, rather than complete reorientation of the Haitian development model.
“We regret that this document, produced by a group of 300 technocrats, is presented to donors first, without first having exhausted a broad process of consultation with Haitian civil society.
We believe that the meeting scheduled for March 19 with some organizations of civil society in Port au Prince is no substitute for the actual mechanisms of participation of the various components of Haitian society in defining their collective future.
47 local and international NGOs and civil society groups held a meeting last week to comment on the upcoming donor conference in New York. Afterwards 26 groups signed a statement that decried the absense of local input in the reconstruction plans that are being put forward. The statement is available online here (in Spanish).
The full text of their statement follows:
Haitian NGOs Decry Total Exclusion from Donors’ Conferences on Haitian Reconstruction
The crisis generated by the earthquake challenges us to initiate an alternative process aimed at defining a new national project, envisaging serious strategies to overcome exclusion, and economic and political dependence. Through this new orientation it is possible to move toward a new era of prosperity. We need to part with the old paradigms that have been followed up until now and develop an inclusive process of mobilization of social actors. To achieve this it is necessary to do the following:
1. Break with exclusion. Breaking this dynamic is an essential condition for true integration, based on social justice and for the strengthening of national cohesion. This involves the participation and mobilization of social forces traditionally excluded such as women, peasants, youth, artisans and so on. It also means targeted investment on the part of official institutions associated with current exclusion, and the reinvention of the Haitian state, whose practice should be geared towards transparency, institutional integrity, social justice, respect for diversity, and human rights.
2. Break with economic dependence. Build an economic model that encourages domestic production, with emphasis on agriculture and agro-industry turned first to the satisfaction of our food needs (cereals, tubers, milk, fruits and fish, meat etc.).
This new model should not be dominated by the logic of excessive accumulation of wealth or speculation, but oriented towards the welfare of the people, appreciation of national culture and the recovery of our national forests. It should also reduce dependence on fossil fuels by promoting a shift towards the use of the vast reserves of renewable energy available in our country.
3. Break with the excessive centralization of power and utilities. Develop a governance plan based on decentralization of decisions, services and resources and strengthening the capacities of local governments and the establishment of mechanisms to ensure the direct participation of actors of civil society in Haiti.
4. Break with the current destructive land ownership policies. Implement a process of reorganizing the physical space in rural areas and cities, allowing the development of public spaces and social institutions and resources, such as public schools, public parks, housing, etc.. This involves conducting comprehensive agrarian reform and urban reform which would enable solutions for the hundreds of thousands of people who are homeless. To meet these challenges it is necessary to redefine the role of the state and its functioning.
Building a new model of development requires a comprehensive, consistent and widespread mobilization of popular sectors with an interest in decentralization and greater access to public resources and services (health, education, clean water, sanitation, communication, power and housing). Those who were traditionally exploited and excluded should be the main protagonists in this process.
This national project that we foresee for the sustainable development of Haiti, must allow a new system of public education that facilitates access to quality education for all children, without discrimination, valuing the Creole language spoken by all people, raising awareness in favor of strong environmental protection, focusing on the preventing further vulnerability to natural disasters.
It is necessary to reorganize the health system with hospitals in various departments, valuation of traditional medicine, and particular attention to women’s health.
Reorganization of the justice system will facilitate access to justice for all and will fight against corruption. We want a state that has the ability to manage and direct the country, a state capable of taking the lead and coordinating international aid efforts.
In terms of international relations, the country must develop new relationships with friendly countries, strengthening our ability to defend our interests and fostering friendship among states and peoples. With the Dominican Republic we must formalize relationships around various issues, including trade, binational markets, and migrants rights.
We request the cancellation of all of Haiti’s debts. The tragedy of the earthquake should not cause Haiti to spiral into greater indebtedness.
The social institutions and NGOs that have signed this statement call for mobilization and soon will undertake to organize an Assembly for the Haitian People to address the challenges and to define strategies for the alternative and sustainable reconstruction of our country.
PAPDA, JURISHA, ENFOFANM, GAAR, Fondation TOYA, AFASDA, Gammit Timoun, GIDH Group entevansyon, MPP, CROSE, KSIL, KONAREPA, PADAD, MOREPLA, SOFA, Mouvement scolaire Foi et Joie, Media Alternative, Comission Episcopale Nationale Justice et Paix, CHANDEL, ICPJLDH,REBA, TKL, Cellule Réflexions et d’Actions Sj, Confédération des Haïtiens pour la Réconciliation, VEDEK, CODHA
Saturday, Mar 20, 2010
Departure of Canadian Forces hampers Jacmel’s reconstruction
Canadian Forces ended their two-month-long relief mission last week. The flow of aid through the seaport has slowed with the departure of navy personnel. Peter Power/The Globe and Mail
The troops have gone and taken their heavy equipment with them; now the airport is closed to international traffic and the flow of aid has slowed through the seaport
Jacmel, Haiti — From Wednesday’s Globe and Mail Published on Tuesday, Mar. 23, 2010 10:17PM EDT
It was the darkest times, when people were still digging themselves out from beneath the rubble, that Bassan Lumumba Pierre will remember as the highlight of his managerial career.
Canada’s Air Force had just swooped into town, transforming his sleepy regional airfield into a buzzing international airport equipped with a real control tower. Hundreds of aircraft were landing each week – small charters, helicopters and massive military planes. One day, Angelina Jolie touched down.
The flurry gave Mr. Pierre, Jacmel’s airport manager, a vision of how an international airport could brighten the future of his city. But that dream evaporated last week when the Canadian Forces dismantled their camps and pulled out of Jacmel at the end of a two-month relief mission.
In their wake, Canada’s soldiers left an unintended vacuum that seems to be sucking parts of the city they worked so hard to rebuild not forward, but back. That includes the airport, now a shell of what it had become under the Canadians, with an average of less than one plane a day setting down on its deserted landing strip. The Canadian pullout has also hampered the flow of aid through the city’s seaport.
Many of the aid groups that remain in Jacmel blame Canada’s military withdrawal for hampering their efforts – and by extension, the pace of the city’s reconstruction.
“I love team Canada. … But you came to stabilize and you created more destabilization by taking things away,” said Justin Baker, founder of Conscious Alliance, a U.S.-based aid group that has been on the ground solving logistical problems for a network of small non-governmental organizations.
Canada’s soldiers took with them the fleet of heavy lift machinery delivered to Jacmel after the earthquake, even though aid groups were hoping some of it would remain. That would have allowed them to receive large shipments at the port, which is hampered by its utter lack of cranes and unloading equipment.
A 100-tonne barge loaded with shipping containers for aid groups is due to arrive in Jacmel any day now. Without the Canadians to help unload it, no one knows if they’ll be able to get the material off the barge and into the city.
At the airport, operations have been all but abandoned. The open-air office that served as the control tower – set up by Canadian soldiers with portable communications equipment when they arrived and dismantled before they left – has been evacuated. The main terminal, which is empty save for a few folding metal chairs, was also stripped. Without a control tower, immigration office or soldiers to provide security, Mr. Pierre was forced to close the airport to international traffic.
“I will not continue operating without proper equipment,” Mr. Pierre said. “There is a lot of demand. … But for me security is the main concern.”
Jacmel is no longer authorized to receive international flights directly, regardless of whether they’re carrying much-needed aid or volunteers.
Instead, flights are diverted to Port-au-Prince, where they must land and clear customs before proceeding to Jacmel. Before leaving Haiti, the planes must return to Port-au-Prince to clear customs and pay the third landing fee of the trip. The change is costly and time-consuming for scores of volunteer pilots upon whom aid groups have been relying. Many pilots have ceased making runs to Jacmel altogether.
In a written statement, Dana Cryderman, a spokesperson for Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs in Ottawa, noted that Canadian soldiers were deployed in the aftermath of the disaster with a mandate to provide immediate relief in the form of medical support, producing potable water and facilitating logistics to ensure aid reached Haiti quickly.
“But as Haiti moves from the relief to the recovery phase, civilian agencies are often better suited for the mid- to long-term tasks,” she wrote. “The decision to withdraw the Canadian Forces from Haiti … reflects the growing ability of the Government of Haiti, the United Nations and other humanitarian actors … to lead in the delivery of emergency relief.”
Ms. Cryderman added that Canadian officials in Haiti worked closely with humanitarian organizations and Haitian officials before their withdrawal “to ensure an effective handover of Canadian Forces’ tasks to other humanitarian actors.”
The limited capacity of Jacmel’s air and sea ports is creating concern among aid groups over the viability of their long-term development projects, including a free medical rehabilitation clinic in the city’s core. With rainy season looming, the only other route into the city – a winding mountain road – is likely to become unreliable as well.
“When rainy season comes the roads here are going to be impassable. Jacmel is going to be cut off,” said Gerhard Nagel, an organizer with a South African aid group, Gift of the Givers.
“We need to let the world know there’s still a state of emergency and it should remain one … until hurricane season is over,” Mr. Nagel said, adding, “The only way of moving cargo is by the sea.”
Reopening that channel, though, is not going to be easy. Jacmel’s rundown seaport has long been deemed nearly unusable by aid groups. The World Food Program has had a long-term presence in the city, but until last week avoided using the port for deliveries. Thieves regularly make off with a portion of the goods being unloaded from small ships at the dock, which has fallen into disrepair. There is no electricity or even a buoyage system to mark the channel into the bay. Last week a WFP ship ran aground on its way into the harbour, to the dismay of a dozen aid representatives gathered at the port.
Other concerns include the fact that United Nations soldiers stationed at the gates to the port rarely ask to see credentials, and Haitian customs agents routinely tax aid shipments or confiscate supplies for their own use.
“The port is not secure at all,” Mr. Baker said. “If you have a shirt on that says you work for a shipping company, you’re in,” he said. In the frenzy of offloading at the dock – a process done mainly by hand – it can become impossible to distinguish dock workers from thieves, he said. “They take their shirts off when they get hot,” Mr. Baker added. “For bandits, it’s just free rein.”
The larger issue, though, is that the port will remain largely ineffective unless aid groups can persuade someone to donate heavy lifting equipment. Some aid groups are holding out hope that with some creative negotiating, Haitian officials will allow the airport to once again become the city’s primary port of entry.
“Here’s how it’s going to become an international airport again,” said Steve Heicklen, a New Jersey firefighter whose NGO, America’s Disaster Reaction Team, ran a $3.5-million multipurpose medical clinic outside Jacmel that was one of the area’s most successful and productive clinics throughout the two months after the earthquake.
“You pay off the right guy and he makes it an international airport again.”
Conférence reconstruction Haïti : « J’ai cherché le maire de Port-au-Prince, je ne le trouvais pas »
Cécile Everard franceantilles.fr 24.03.2010
Après les traditionnelles allocutions d’ouverture, la conférence sur la reconstruction d’Haïti a débuté par une plénière portant la décentralisation et la déconcentration.
Seulement, les élus locaux ont aujourd’hui peu de pouvoir et peu de moyens. « Après le séisme, j’ai aidé les gens dans la rue. Puis j’ai cherché le maire de Port-au-Prince et je ne le trouvais pas, car c’est une fonction à construire en Haïti ». Témoignage de Jean-Yves Jason, le maire de Port-au-Prince lui-même! « Les villes ont un rôle majeur à jouer », a insisté Pierre Shapira, adjoint au maire de Paris.
Les ministres passent, les élus locaux restent. L’Association des maires du Brésil, par exemple, a identifié 100 villes prêtes à signer un accord de jumelage avec des communes haïtiennes, afin de leur apporter leur assistance.
« Pourquoi ne pas créer un bureau mixte en Haïti capable d’alimenter et de coordonner la coopération décentralisée? », a proposé Yvon Jérôme, le maire de Carrefour. « La vraie pierre de la reconstruction ne peut pas être posée sans nous », a asséné Salvador Guillet, maire de Port-de-Paix.
Si les élus haïtiens craignent d’être ignorés dans la reconstruction, c’est aussi le cas des collectivités internationales représentées lors de la conférence, quelques jours avant New-York. « A la conférence de Copenhague sur le climat, les élus locaux n’étaient mentionnés nulle part », a raconté Elisabeth Gateau, de Cités et gouvernements locaux unis. Cette fois-ci, il existe un volet significatif « gouvernance locale » dès la conception du plan de reconstruction.
Les élus français et étrangers, déjà engagés dans des actions de coopération, ont aussi, lors de cette plénière, appuyé sur la nécessaire « traçabilité » des circuits d’utilisation de l’argent. « Nous avons des exigences comme les Haïtiens ont des exigences », a appuyé Octave Cestor, de la ville de Nantes. « 60 communes des Pays-Bas ont permis d’élaborer des plans d’aide concret », a précisé un représentant de l’association des communes néerlandaises. Cet argent a été retiré des budgets municipaux. Il doit être utilisé de manière efficace. Les ponts sont jetés entre les collectivités haïtiennes et le reste du monde.
Alain Joyandet, secrétaire d’État à la Coopération et à a Francophonie : « Dans un peu plus d’une semaine, Haïti a rendez-vous avec le monde »
Claire Lydie Parent, mairesse de Pétionville : « Nous sommes venus vous demander si vous êtes prêts à faire le chemin avec nous pour que cette conférence ne soit pas inscrite dans le lot des conférences sans suite ».