Archive for the ‘Haiti’ Category

15 Minutes to Leave: Denial of the Right to Adequate Housing in Post-Quake Haiti

March 2, 2015 Comments off

15 Minutes to Leave: Denial of the Right to Adequate Housing in Post-Quake Haiti
Source: Amnesty International

Five years on from a devastating earthquake in Haiti, tens of thousands of people remain homeless as government policy failures, forced evictions and short-term solutions have failed many who lost everything in the disaster.

The new report, “15 Minutes to Leave” – Denial of the Right to Adequate Housing in Post-Quake Haiti, documents worrying cases of people being forcibly evicted from temporary, make-shift camps. The report also explores how the influx of development aid that came in the wake of the disaster failed to be transformed into long-term, secure housing solutions.

According to the latest data, 123 camps for internally displaced people (IDPs) remain open in Haiti, housing 85,432 people. While the number of those in camps has reduced significantly since 2010, more than 22,000 households are still without adequate housing.

Conditions in many IDP camps are dire. A third of all those living in camps do not have access to a latrine. On average 82 people share one toilet.

Forced evictions from camps are a serious and ongoing problem. More than 60,000 people have been forcibly evicted from their shelters in makeshift camps since 2010. The vast majority were not offered any alternative locations where they could resettle, pushing them again into poverty and insecurity.

Select Diaspora Populations in the United States

July 24, 2014 Comments off

Select Diaspora Populations in the United States
Source: Migration Policy Institute

Diaspora populations often perform essential functions in the economic and human capital development of their countries of origin, and can continue playing a strong role in shaping these countries long after they or their forebears departed.The Rockefeller Foundation and the Aspen Institute have launched the Rockefeller-Aspen Diaspora Program (RAD), a joint venture to better understand diaspora members’ financial and human capital investments and to design an approach to foster further growth in these areas. The Migration Policy Institute has partnered with RAD to produce profiles of 15 diaspora communities in the United States, which is home to nearly 60 million first- or second-generation immigrants.

These profiles address 15 different diaspora populations in the United States, gathering in one place key data and analysis on diasporas from Bangladesh, Colombia, El Salvador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, India, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Vietnam. Each profile explores the demographic characteristics of first- and second-generation immigrants in a particular diaspora, their educational attainment, household income, employment patterns, geographic distribution, and remittance volume.

Five longer profiles, focusing on Colombia, Egypt, India, Kenya, and the Philippines, also detail historical immigration pathways and contemporary entry trends, poverty status, active diaspora organizations, and country-of-origin policies and institutions related to interaction with emigrants and their descendants abroad.

The U.S. Military Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake: Considerations for Army Leaders

October 30, 2013 Comments off

The U.S. Military Response to the 2010 Haiti Earthquake: Considerations for Army Leaders
Source: RAND Corporation

The earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010 collapsed 100,000 structures, damaged 200,000 more, killed more than 316,000 people, injured 300,000 others, and displaced more than 1 million people. It virtually decapitated the Haitian government, destroying the presidential palace and 14 of 16 government ministries and claiming the lives of numerous government officials and employees and the head of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti and his principal deputy. Shortly after the earthquake, surviving Haitian government officials made an urgent request for U.S. assistance. In reply, President Barack Obama promised U.S. support, directing a whole-of-government response led by the U.S. Agency for International Development with significant support from the U.S. Department of Defense through U.S. Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). Selected U.S. military elements began mobilizing immediately, and SOUTHCOM established Joint Task Force-Haiti (JTF-Haiti) to provide U.S. military support to the international response and relief effort through Operation Unified Response (OUR). U.S. Army forces constituted a principal component of JTF-Haiti. Researchers assessed the effectiveness of JTF-Haiti, with the goal of informing the U.S. Army on how to best prepare for and support future humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HA/DR) operations. This report examines how JTF-Haiti supported the HA/DR effort in Haiti. It focuses on how JTF-Haiti was organized, how it conducted OUR, and how the Army supported that effort. The analysis includes a review of existing authorities and organizations and explains how JTF-Haiti fit into the U.S. whole-of-government approach, as well as the international response.

New From the GAO

October 17, 2013 Comments off

New GAO Reports and Testimony
Source: Government Accountability Office


1. Managing Critical Isotopes: Stewardship of Lithium-7 Is Needed to Ensure a Stable Supply. GAO-13-716, September 19.
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2. Nuclear Power: Analysis of Regional Differences and Improved Access to Information Could Strengthen NRC Oversight. GAO-13-743, September 27.
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3. Medicare Information Technology: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Needs to Pursue a Solution for Removing Social Security Numbers from Cards. GAO-13-761, September 10.
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4. Farm Programs: Changes Are Needed to Eligibility Requirements for Being Actively Involved in Farming. GAO-13-781, September 26.
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1. Haiti Reconstruction: USAID Infrastructure Projects Have Had Mixed Results and Face Sustainability Challenges, by David Gootnick, director, international affairs and trade, before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. GAO-14-47T, October 9.
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Press Release

1. GAO Executive Wins Service to America Medal, October 17.

New From the GAO

June 25, 2013 Comments off

New GAO Reports and Testimony

Source: Government Accountability Office


1. Haiti Reconstruction: USAID Infrastructure Projects Have Had Mixed Results and Face Sustainability Challenges. GAO-13-558, June 18.
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2. Antidumping and Countervailing Duties: Key Challenges to Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises’ Pursuit of the Imposition of Trade Remedies. GAO-13-575, June 25.
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3. Video Marketplace: Competition Is Evolving, and Government Reporting Should Be Reevaluated. GAO-13-576, June 25.
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1. National Preparedness: FEMA Has Made Progress, but Additional Steps Are Needed to Improve Grant Management and Assess Capabilities, by David C. Maurer, director, homeland security and justice, before the Subcommittee on Emergency Management, Intergovernmental Relations, and the District of Columbia, Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Government Affairs. GAO-13-637T, June 25.
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CRS — Haiti Under President Martelly: Current Conditions and Congressional Concerns

May 29, 2013 Comments off

Haiti Under President Martelly: Current Conditions and Congressional Concerns (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Haiti shares the island of Hispaniola with the Dominican Republic. Since the fall of the Duvalier dictatorship in 1986, Haiti has struggled to overcome its centuries-long legacy of authoritarianism, extreme poverty, and underdevelopment. During that time, economic and social stability improved considerably, and many analysts believed Haiti was turning a corner toward sustainable development. Unfortunately, Haiti’s development was set back by a massive earthquake in January 2010 that devastated much of the capital of Port-au-Prince and other parts of the country. Poverty remains massive and deep, and economic disparity is wide: Haiti remains the poorest country in the western hemisphere.

Haiti is the Obama Administration’s top foreign assistance priority for Latin American and Caribbean countries. Haiti’s developmental needs and priorities are many. The Haitian government and the international donor community are implementing a 10-year recovery plan focusing on territorial, economic, social, and institutional rebuilding. An outbreak of cholera that began in late 2010 has swept across most of the country and further complicated assistance efforts. While some progress has been made in developing democratic institutions, they remain weak. In May 2011, following yet another controversial election, President René Préval was succeeded by Michel Martelly, a popular musician without any previous political experience. President Martelly’s difficulty in forming a government and political gridlock, especially the lengthy and contentious delays in beginning a long overdue elections process, are hampering reconstruction efforts and frustrating international donors. Some steps toward elections have been made, including naming an electoral council and passing a political parties law.

The United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) has been in Haiti to help restore order since the collapse of former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s government in 2004. It currently has 9,464 troops. The mission has helped facilitate elections, conducted campaigns to combat gangs and drug trafficking with the Haitian National Police, and played a key role in emergency responses to natural disasters, especially after the earthquake. Nonetheless, popular protests have called for MINUSTAH’s withdrawal because of sexual abuse by some of its forces and scientific findings that its troops apparently introduced cholera to the country. In February 2013 the U.N. said it would not compensate cholera victims, citing diplomatic immunity.

The main priorities for U.S. policy regarding Haiti are to strengthen fragile democratic processes, continue to improve security, and promote econom ic development. Other concerns include the cost and effectiveness of U.S. aid; protecting human rights; combating narcotics, arms, and human trafficking; and alleviating poverty. The Obama Administration granted Temporary Protected Status to Haitians living in the United States at the time of the earthquake. Congressional concerns include the pace and effectiveness of reconstruction, respect for human rights, security issues, counternarcotics efforts and trade issues. Congress is also concerned that overdue Senate and local elections be scheduled quickly and be free, fair, and peaceful.

Current legislation related to Haiti includes P.L. 112-74, P.L. 111-171, P.L. 110-246 , P.L. 109- 432 , H.R. 651, H.R. 1525, H.R. 1749, H.Res. 31, H.Res. 61, and S.Res. 12.

New From the GAO

December 17, 2012 Comments off

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