News Release

Haiti Six Months After the Earthquake


Director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, Concannon lived in Haiti for eight years. He said today: “The international community promised to change the trade, aid and governance policies that helped make Haiti so poor and extremely vulnerable to earthquakes and other natural disasters. But six months after the earthquake, too many of those harmful policies survive. Aid is overly centralized and bureaucratized and distributed with inadequate input from or accountability to the poor Haitians it is supposed to help. Multinational corporations and foreign consultants are reaping huge windfalls from aid generously donated to help poor Haitians. The international community is preparing to stand behind another flawed election designed to exclude the majority Lavalas party.”

Fletcher is editorial board member of The Black Commentator and former president of TransAfrica Forum. He said today: “Haiti remains largely abandoned by the international community and semi-colonized by the USA. Both France and the USA should be footing the bill for the reconstruction of Haiti. These two countries have, more than any other foreign power, restrained Haiti from its right to free and sovereign development. None of that will change until and unless movements in France and the USA compel their respective governments to repair the damage done over the course of hundreds of years.”

Professor at the University of California at Irvine, Wilentz is author of The Rainy Season: Haiti Since Duvalier. She said today: “Stall is the word I think of when I look at the attempts to move Haiti into a new phase in coping with the destruction wrought by the earthquake, six months after it happened. It’s time not just for the Haitian government to go into emergency and efficiency mode, but also for the donor nations who pledged billions to start making good on their promises. As hurricane season begins, Haitian families living under tarps held up by sticks don’t have the leisure to wait for people in Brussels and New York and Paris and Montreal to get serious. Thousands of decent and sturdy shelters must go up now, new and good seed for next year’s crop must be provided, along with fertilizer, and a concerted effort must be made to remove dangerous rubble from Port-au-Prince and the other stricken cities. At a minimum, this is what’s needed.”

For more information, contact at the Institute for Public Accuracy:
Sam Husseini, (202) 347-0020