Haití (Continuación)

After Hurricane Matthew, young men carry bags of rice they got from a food distribution center near Port Salut, Haiti. PATRICK FARRELL

Hurricane Matthew devastated much of Haiti. The storm killed more than 800 people and leveled entire communities. Those who have visited have described scenes reminiscent of when the earthquake hit the island in 2010. There are food shortages, and a cholera epidemic has reached an alarming level. The World Health Organization has sent 1 million doses of cholera vaccine in response. The Haitian Ministry of Health was to begin a mass vaccination program last week.

It will take time to recover from this latest disaster. Then Haitians and the international community will once again embark on a rebuilding program.

After the 2010 earthquake destroyed much of Haiti’s urban society, the international community committed more than $1 billion to a rebuilding effort that was intended to set Haiti on the path toward sustainable development.…  Seguir leyendo »

Women left destitute after Hurricane Matthew bathe and clean clothes in a river cutting through Roche-a-Bateau. Patrick Farrell Miami Herald

Haiti faces yet another humanitarian crisis, this time after Hurricane Matthew has left more than 175,000 Haitians without homes and 1.4 million in need of disaster relief assistance.

The small island-nation has had more than its share of natural disasters: Less than six years ago, it was devastated by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake.

Aid organizations providing humanitarian assistance in Haiti today should heed the lessons learned from the earthquake response in 2010. This includes addressing the critical needs of vulnerable populations, especially women, who are disproportionately affected and increasingly vulnerable after natural disasters.

Haiti was thrown into chaos in January 2010 when an earthquake struck, killing over 220,000 people and shattering infrastructure.…  Seguir leyendo »

People bathe and clean clothes in a river cutting through Roche a Bateau, Haiti, after the devastation caused by Hurricane Matthew. PATRICK FARRELL pfarrell@miamiherald.com

With the number of suspected cases of cholera in Haiti now in the hundreds, the race is on to try to prevent further death and devastation following Hurricane Matthew.

With one million doses of cholera vaccine due to arrive this week, the hope is that we can prevent a repeat of the horrific outbreak in 2010 that infected nearly 800,000 Haitians, killing more than 9,000 people. But, even if we are successful in Haiti, the fact is for a highly preventable disease like cholera, vaccine stockpiles while certainly helpful cannot be a long-term solution.

Ten million people live in Haiti alone, and yet fewer than 6 million doses of cholera vaccine are currently produced each year, to maintain a global emergency stockpile of 2.2…  Seguir leyendo »

Jaqueline and her children stand among the ruins of their home, which was destroyed in Hurricane Matthew, in Chabet in southwestern Haiti. (Hector Retamal/Agence France-Presse via Getty Images)

I’ve come to dread writing about my native Haiti. It seems that when I sit at my desk and tackle the subject, my fingers are writing about yet another disaster. This time it’s the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, with a death toll in the hundreds and tens of thousands left homeless. The United Nations is appealing for $120 million to address the devastation that has hit a poor island nation that seems to have neither the capacity nor the luck to avoid catastrophe.

In 2010, it was the devastating earthquake that took an estimated 300,000 lives; a couple of years later it was the cholera epidemic, a disease unknown in Haiti until inadvertently introduced by U.N.…  Seguir leyendo »

A hillside near Kenscoff, Haiti, showing the effects of deforestation. Hector Retamal/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Flying over the mountains into Port-au-Prince, Haiti, a few years ago, I sat next to a volunteer taking her first trip to the country. “I see trees,” she said, pointing down at the hillsides. “They told us there are no trees.”

Foreign descriptions of the country frequently claim it is almost completely deforested; people often reference a striking 1987 National Geographic photograph of the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti, forested on one side and barren on the other, as proof. In the common imagination, Haitians literally devour their forests; last week a meteorologist in Florida, describing the impact of Hurricane Matthew, said, “Even the kids there, they are so hungry they actually eat the trees.”…  Seguir leyendo »

Haiti, which is still in the midst of a slow and painful rebuilding process in the aftermath of 2010’s historic earthquake, has experienced more heartbreak this week with the arrival of Hurricane Matthew. But sadly, for the Haitian people, the initial damage wreaked by environmental disaster has traditionally become a prelude to the disappointment of promises of international aid and relief, especially those sponsored by the U.S.

The Category 4 hurricane touched down on Haiti’s southern shore on Tuesday, leaving hundreds dead in its wake and decimating the country’s already fragile communications infrastructure. The damage to Haiti’s southern peninsula is the latest setback in a series of environmental disasters that have gripped the country recently.…  Seguir leyendo »

Cholera patients received treatment at the St. Nicholas Hospital in St.-Marc, in 2010. Dieu Nalio Chery/Associated Press

Marseille, France In late 2010, the Haitian government asked me to investigate a cholera outbreak that struck that autumn following the arrival of a United Nations peacekeeping unit. It quickly became evident that some of the peacekeepers, who had been rotating through Haiti as part of a mission started in 2004 to provide security and stability, had introduced cholera from Nepal, where the disease had been flourishing.

By scrutinizing the most affected areas and using maps to trace the disease, I demonstrated how the epidemic originated with the peacekeepers. I published my findings in a July 2011 article, and an independent scientific team confirmed my conclusions within a few months.…  Seguir leyendo »

Dice Juan Bosch que por su posición geográfica, el mar Caribe fue desde siempre la frontera de los imperios y que ninguno faltó a la cita a lo largo de 500 años. Solo así puede entenderse lo que ocurre en La Española, aquella isla a la que llegó Colón en su primer viaje y cuyo territorio hoy ocupan dos repúblicas independientes. La Dominicana, con 48.000 kilómetros cuadrados de territorio, y Haití, con 27.000. Ambos con población parecida, alrededor de 10 millones cada una. Su historia, sin embargo, ha sido tan distinta que unos hablan francés y otros, castellano; de un lado predomina la raza negra y, del otro, el mestizaje; hasta en la práctica religiosa media la profunda diferencia de que sobre la matriz católica de ambos en Haití se superpone el vudú, un culto mágico y animista de origen africano.…  Seguir leyendo »

A human rights crisis is unfolding on the island of Hispaniola, which is shared by the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

The Dominican Republic is threatening to drive out hundreds of thousands of Haitians who live and work in the Dominican Republic. Many of them came to work in the sugar, construction and tourism industries.

Recently, the Dominican Republic demanded that they come forward and register for legal residency or be forced to return to Haiti. Of an estimated 450,000 Haitian migrants in the country, some 290,000 filed by the deadline to register, June 17 (which reportedly has been extended). But so far, less than 2 percent of them have been granted legal status.…  Seguir leyendo »

Hay un antes y un después para la comunidad humanitaria internacional tras el terremoto que sufrió Haití hace hoy 5 años.

El 12 de enero de 2010 un terremoto de 7.3 grados en la escala de Richter golpeó severamente Haití y su capital, Puerto Príncipe, ocasionando más de 230.000 muertos, 300.000 heridos, dos millones de desplazados y una enorme destrucción, comparable por su impacto socioeconómico al que ocasionó el huracán Mitch en Centroamérica en 1998.

Los desastres de esta magnitud constituyen un punto de inflexión en la memoria colectiva de las sociedades que los padecen, generan un dolor, un trauma y un vacío que permanecen por siempre entre los que lo perdieron todo e hipotecan el futuro y las oportunidades de las generaciones venideras.…  Seguir leyendo »

Five years is an eternity in the news cycle of natural disasters. It’s been that long since the 2010 Haiti earthquake killed hundreds of thousands of people (no one really knows how many died) and triggered an influx of international aid (an exact accounting remains elusive). Haiti’s trauma has been eclipsed by Oklahoma tornadoes, Pacific typhoons and New York hurricanes. The world moves on.

Over the last five years, working as an architect here on reconstruction projects, I’ve witnessed some physical and social recovery. But the disheartening reality is that Haiti’s post-quake economy is identical to its pre-disaster model: Haitians remain dependent on foreign donations to maintain their subsistence existence.…  Seguir leyendo »

Almost five years since the devastating earthquake that rocked Haiti, the country remains adrift, and in recent weeks, even more than usual. In town after town, as well as in the capital, Port-au-Prince, large, angry crowds have gathered regularly to express their dissatisfaction with Haiti’s president, Michel Martelly. United Nations peacekeeping forces have fired on these crowds.

Confronted with the unrest, Martelly did what officials often do in such situations: He appointed a commission, stuffed with ancient politicians and apple-polishers, to recommend actions. In Haiti, not unlike other places, such commissions generally have one purpose: to advise officials to do exactly what they wanted to do all along.…  Seguir leyendo »

Depuis quelques mois, le virus Ebola a retenu l’attention des médias du monde entier. Il est tout à fait compréhensible qu’un nombre important d’articles de presse et de reportages qualifient l’épidémie en Afrique de l’Ouest de l’une des urgences les plus graves des temps modernes.

Mais nous ne devons pas oublier qu’une autre épidémie se poursuit de l’autre côté de l’Atlantique. Le choléra continue de créer une situation de crise en Haïti et la récente attention portée à l’épidémie d’Ebola devrait nous rappeler qu’il ne faut pas baisser la garde. Contrairement à Ebola, le choléra n’est pas un tueur systématique et peut être traité efficacement grâce à l’accès aux soins, mais il se déplace rapidement, transmis par les aliments ou l’eau contaminés.…  Seguir leyendo »

Durante una visita reciente que realicé a una comunidad rural de Los Palmas, Haití, tuve la oportunidad de conversar con familias afectadas directamente por la epidemia del cólera, que aqueja al país desde el terremoto de 2010. Un hombre me explicó que la enfermedad no solo había causado la muerte de su hermana, sino que su suegra también había fallecido durante su intento de llegar al hospital más cercano durante el cual caminó varias horas. Él y su esposa se hacen cargo ahora de cinco sobrinas y sobrinos que quedaron huérfanos.

Actualmente en Haití historias como esta no son raras. En efecto, miles de personas en todo el país han padecido pruebas y tragedias similares.…  Seguir leyendo »

In a classroom in Port-au-Prince, Chantou, 9, sits silently at her desk. Nervously watching the teacher, she hopes to be invisible. Like most of her 60 classmates, she understands little of the French from the lecture. But if her memorized lesson is not recited with perfect pronunciation and grammar, she may be ridiculed or punished by her teacher.

In a classroom on La Gonâve island, two 9-year-olds, Kelson and Dieuricame, hover over a computer, excitedly playing a math game. Chatting away in their native Haitian Creole (spelled Kreyòl in Haiti), they experiment together and solve problems. When the teacher announces the end of class, they ask, “May we come back later for more?”…  Seguir leyendo »

Hace unos días, el presidente de Haití, Michel Martelly, anunció que las esperadas elecciones del país se celebrarán por fin, despues de numerosos aplazamientos, el 26 de octubre de este año. Dada la controversia producida por los repetidos retrasos de la convocatoria, se trata de un paso importante y positivo, si bien sigue existiendo cierta preocupación, sobre todo por la decisión del presidente Martelly de no involucrar al Consejo Electoral Provisional (CEP) para que supervise el proceso.

Hace cuatro años Haití sufrió un terremoto que arrasó gran parte de las infraestructuras del país y dejó al gobierno en una pésima situación para afrontar las consecuencias.…  Seguir leyendo »

Over the course of the past two years, I have had the honor of serving as Haiti’s prime minister. During this period, apart from helping President Michel Martelly launch the most ambitious social policy programs in the history of our country, our principal objective has been to move Haiti’s democracy toward firmer footing and away from the instability that has characterized our political system since the mid 1980s.

A stable and democratic Haiti is the only way that our country will be able to achieve the common goals of reducing poverty, reducing inequality and creating employment.

The results of our efforts have received high praise from institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.…  Seguir leyendo »

En 2014 se cumplen dos aniversarios que pocos recordarán: hace 10 años que se constituyó la misión de paz de las Naciones Unidas en Haití y cuatro del devastador terremoto que acentuó aún más la fragilidad de este país, el más pobre de Latinoamérica. Las crisis políticas y económicas y las catástrofes naturales pueden catapultar a un país a los titulares del mundo, captando durante un tiempo la atención de la prensa internacional y de los dirigentes del planeta. Pero después, sobre todo si el país afectado es pobre y periférico, y carece de peso geopolítico mundial, los focos se apagan, las informaciones se tornan cada vez más infrecuentes, las llamadas a la solidaridad se esfuman y gran parte de las promesas de apoyo se olvidan.…  Seguir leyendo »

It was sunny as usual in Little Haiti, a small Haitian enclave in Miami where the predominant language is Haitian Creole.

I was there that day in May 2012 to celebrate Haitian Flag Day, and my invitation from the Office for Haitian Cultural Affairs said speakers could lecture in English, French or Haitian Creole.

My talk was about what the Haiti Lab — a center for research and Haitian studies at my school, Duke University — was doing to help people understand what Haiti has accomplished for the world in terms of equality for all. To my surprise, when I started speaking in Haitian Creole, the celebration’s cultural affairs representative interrupted to say I was not allowed to give my presentation in Creole.…  Seguir leyendo »

This month marks the fourth anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti and the one-year anniversary of the most important written work to emerge from the rubble thus far — Jonathan Katz’s The Big Truck That Went By.

Katz, a veteran journalist who lived in Haiti before, during and after the temblor, dispelled with his book the myth that Haitians misappropriated or profited from billions of dollars in post-quake foreign aid. While it is true that billions were pledged for Haiti at the International Donors’ Conference held on March 31, 2010, the majority of the funding that actually materialized has supported a vast infrastructure of international relief organizations.…  Seguir leyendo »