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Survey of key news coverage of the fourth anniversary of the Haiti earthquake

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Eight articles and video stories enclosed. To read each of the full articles, go to the web links provided.

1. Outsourcing Haiti: How disaster relief became a disaster of it

​​Terrific article by Jake Johnston, published in Boston Review, January 16, 2014 

Across the country from Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital, miles of decrepit pot-holed streets give way to a smooth roadway leading up to the gates of the Caracol Industrial Park, but no further. The fishing hamlet of Caracol, from which the park gets its name, lies around the bend down a bumpy dirt road. Four years after the earthquake that destroyed the country on January 12, 2010, the Caracol Industrial Park is the flagship reconstruction project of the international community in Haiti. Signs adorn nearby roads, mostly in English, declaring the region “Open for Business.” In a dusty field, hundreds of empty, brightly colored houses are under construction in neat rows. If all goes as hoped for by the enthusiastic backers of the industrial park, this area could be home to as many as 300,000 additional residents over the next decade.

The plan for the Caracol Industrial Park project actually predates the 2010 earthquake. In 2009, Oxford University economist Paul Collier...

2. Four Years after earthquake, housing, sanitation and health care are still pressing needs in Haiti

By Center for Economic Policy Research (CEPR), Jan 9, 2014

Washington, D.C. – Four years after an earthquake devastated Haiti and killed some 220,000 people and displaced 1.5 million, housing, sanitation and health care remain woefully inadequate, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR) Co-Director Mark Weisbrot said today. Weisbrot noted that while some 200,000 people are still stuck in internally displaced person (IDP) camps, and many others have been forcibly evicted onto the streets – and while under-funded sanitation and health care allow a cholera epidemic to continue to ravage the country -- many of the urgently-needed funds meant to assist the people of Haiti have gone instead into the pockets of contractors, or have been used to fund projects that benefit foreign corporations far more than they do Haitians...

3. Too sweet, too bitter: Three lives taken in Haiti camp fire one day before quake anniversary

By Mark Schuller, Haitian Times, Jan 12, 2014

Today marks four years since the earthquake that left Port-au-Prince, and its surrounding areas, in shambles. Aside from the construction of stands around Champs-de-Mars, noticeably absent the National Palace, from which pastors proclaim the gospel over loudspeakers, there is little sign of today’s significance. Unlike the first anniversary — indeed, first six months, of the earthquake, there is little organized fanfare…

4. Haitians blame UN soldiers for cholera crisis in wake of earthquake disaster

PBS Newshour broadcast an informative, nine-minute report on Jan 12, 2014 on the fourth anniversary of the earthquake. The report focuses on news of the cholera epidemic and the lawsuit launched on behalf of it victims. The report interviews several of the plaintiffs in the suit as well as the lawyer pursuing the case on their behalf, Mario Joseph.

Watch the PBS Newshour video here:
http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/globalhealth/jan-june14/haiti_01-13.html

5. Survey of beneficiaries of '16/6' rental subsidies shows housing of earthquake victims remains dire

One of the legal agencies spearheading the cholera lawsuit against the UN is the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. Just prior to the earthquake, the IJDH released a survey of former residents of displaced persons camps who had accepted the one-year rental subsidies that Canada, among other countries, financed. The two page report on the results of the survey can be read at this web link: http://www.canadahaitiaction.ca/content/survey-beneficiaries-166-rental-subsidies-shows-housing-earthquake-victims-remains-dire

6. Tens of thousands living in uncertainty in post-earthquake, Canaan settlement

Several other articles and reports on the housing situation in Haiti were published on the four year anniversary of the earthquake including this one from the Miami Herald about the vast, unofficial district Canaan which sprung up north of the existing limits of Port au Prince following the earthquake.

By Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald, Jan 11, 2014

7. Impunity for the former dictators of Haiti

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch issued a joint statement on Jan. 12, 2014 condemning the delays and lack of political will to prosecute former dictator Jean Claude Duvalier. It reads, “To add insult to injury, Duvalier continues to take part in public events, often at the invitation of the Haitian government”. Former dictators Duvalier and Prosper Avril were invited by the Martelly government to take part in the official Independence Day ceremony in Gonaives on January 1 marking 210 years since Haiti declared its independence.

Read the joint statement here:
http://www.ijdh.org/2014/01/topics/law-justice/haiti-lack-of-political-will-allows-ex-dictator-duvalier-to-escape-justice/#.UtguGbRUrq0

8. Haiti, unfinished and forsaken

Editorial, New York Times, Jan 10, 2014

Four years after the earthquake, Haiti is a fragile, largely forgotten country. It’s possible that some natural or man-made crisis this year could push it back into the headlines. But sustained attention, with the kind of support from outside that Haiti still needs to rebuild and become more self-sufficient, is mostly gone...

See also in the New York Times:

* An article on the SOPUDEP School, Dec 2013:
http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/08/opinion/sunday/kristof-can-foreign-aid-help-this-girl.html
* and, 'Haiti: Where did the money go?'  (an informative chart on aid money to Haiti from 2010 to 2012):
http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/12/24/world/americas/haitigraphic.html?ref=haiti

 

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