News Release

Haiti One Year After the Earthquake

MELINDA MILESHaiti
Founder and director of Let Haiti Live, a project of TransAfrica Forum, Miles has been doing relief and advocacy work on Haiti for more than a decade. She said today: “One year after Haiti’s devastating earthquake, there are over 1 million IDP’s [internally displaced persons], over 3,600 have died from a cholera epidemic and women and girls remain highly vulnerable to rape and violence in IDP camps. Despite all this, only 38 percent of the $1.4 billion Americans donated for relief, and only 63.6 percent of $2.01 billion pledged by 55 top donor countries, has actually been spent. Less than 20,000 transitional shelters out of the year one goal of 125,000 have been built — among all NGOs and agencies combined. The next step for Haiti’s elections, meanwhile, remains in doubt following news of conflicting analyses of vote counts: while a leaked report by the Organization of American States suggests removing the government-backed candidate from the run-off, an independent analysis of all the vote tally sheets finds that it is impossible to determine who should advance to a second round.

“People in Haiti are marking the one-year anniversary of the tragedy with various events focused on such issues as the right to housing, combating gender-based violence, and wasteful NGO’s.” See photos here

MARK WEISBROT, via Dan Beeton
Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, just co-authored a report titled “Haiti’s Fatally Flawed Election.” By analyzing the 11,181 vote tally sheets from the election, the report concluded that based on the numbers of irregularities, it is impossible to determine who should advance to a second round. If there is a second round, it will be based on arbitrary assumptions and/or exclusions — which is exactly what the OAS is proposing.

Weisbrot said today: “The amount of votes not counted or counted wrong in this election is huge – much larger than has been reported by either the Organization of American States or the Provisional Electoral Council. I don’t see how any professional observers could legitimately certify this election result.” Beeton has several contacts in Haiti.

ETANT DUPAIN
Dupain is founder and director of Bri Kouri Nouvel Gaye alternative media and community mobilization project. He said today: “With our partners we are holding events in tent cities throughout Port-au-Prince to give the victims who have survived a year under tarps and bed sheets the opportunity to share their experiences and dialogue about what we can do to bring our own vision for Haiti into reality. We are calling for an end to NGOs that waste money and push our country towards the neoliberal economic plan. Haitians are demanding their right to decent housing and education for all our children.”

MARIO JOSEPH
Director of the Bureau des Avocats Internaitonaux and a human rights attorney, Joseph said today: “The Haitian law guarantees the right to housing. The Haitian government must immediately stop all forced expulsions, verify land ownership titles and nationalize by decree all empty and idle lands in the hands of purported landowners.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020; or David Zupan, (541) 484-9167