Haiti: ‘We’ve been forgotten’

Published on  Pambazuka, by Sokari Ekine, Oct. 28, 2010.

Nearly 11 months since Haiti was devastated by an earthquake, the country is still in ruins, with 1.5 million internally displaced people forced to live in crowded unsanitary conditions. Sokari Ekine reports from the Haitian blogosphere on the progress that hasn’t been made.

Haiti is now approaching 11 months into the post-earthquake period, yet the country is still in ruins with some 1.5 million internally displaced people (IDPs) being forced to live in crowded unsanitary conditions.  

Recently the country’s prime minister, Jean-Max Bellerive said that the ‘aid pledged by foreign governments and institutions’ would not be enough for the reconstruction of the country, especially when previous debts and monies already spent were included these pledges.

‘Clearing the rubble from the quake alone would cost an estimated US$1.2 billion, Bellerive said. He added that providing decent housing to each of the total two million quake homeless and chronically destitute could itself cost US$10 billion – nearly the total being pledged by the international community for the full-blown national recovery and development program.

Unless this funds shortfall was addressed and a major influx of investment came, ‘I will have Haiti in the same situation, without food … without nothing and without any opportunity to create development,’ Bellerive said.

There also has to be a huge shift in the cooperation between governments, institutions and NGOs involved, as well as coordination and implementation of distribution of aid and reconstruction, because from all accounts this has so far not worked. Evidence of the above is published in a recent report by the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) on the conditions in the IDP camps titled ‘We’ve Been Forgotten’, which is summarised as follows: … (full text).

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