Governance

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Robert Maguire: The Way Forward for Haiti

  • Posted on: 6 October 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

 

Robert Maguire, with Trinity University and the United States Institute for Peace (USIP), recently wrote a well thought out report (attached and below) on obstacles to stability and growth in Haiti.  Maguire highlights important issues such as the neglect of rural Haiti, where most Haitians live, and the need to bolster Haiti's Health and Education Ministries. Throughout, he states success depends not just on securing resources, but on allocating them in a way that is accountable, effective, and demonstrates the committment of the government to reform.  Something to keep mind if investment picks up in Haiti. 

Building the Rule of Law in Haiti: New Laws for a New Era

  • Posted on: 29 August 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) has been working with the Haitian Government to reform its sorely outdated criminal laws, more suited to the needs of 19th Century France than Haiti at present.  For this reason, Haiti's justice system has not been able to address moden crimes which include trafficking in persons, drug trafficking, and violations of human rights.  President Preval has initiated a comprehensive reform process with the participation of civil society, the United Nations, and think tanks such as USIP.  This process could help bring about a new chapter in Haitian history where criminal laws protect rights instead of violating them, and serve all the people of Haiti, including the poor and vulnerable.

Haiti Food Security Update (8/25/2009)

  • Posted on: 25 August 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Here's the good news - the first hurricane of 2009 passed on by.  The bad news is that we've got a long way to go until hurricane season is over.  The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts that there will be seven to eleven named storms in the Atlantic before the end of November, with the potential for three to six hurricanes.  As we saw last year, tropical storms can wreck havoc on both crops and infrastructure.  Humanitarian responders are gearing up. 

Haiti Food Security Update (7/12/2009)

  • Posted on: 12 July 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The past month has been important for Haiti.  The World Bank, IMF, and the IDB forgave $1.2 billion of Haiti’s debt.  Deals were reached with members of the Paris Club to cancel an additional $152 million in debt.  Bill Clinton made his first trip to Haiti as UN Special Envoy.  Plus, discussions at the G8 Summit indicated we may be on the verge of a historic shift in how food assistance is delivered, to the benefit of Haiti and other food insecure countries.

Not Such a Surprise at All: Good News from Haiti on HIV/AIDS

  • Posted on: 6 July 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Associated Press Writer Jonathan Katz recently wrote an article entitled "From Haiti, a Suprise:  Good News about AIDS."  In reality, it is far from a suprise.  We've long known that Haiti has been, despite numerous challenges, one of only a handfull of countries to reverse its epidemic.  Treatment models pioneered here are being applied in Sub-Saharan Africa.  Haiti shows us what an engaged civil society and sustained political will, backed by international support, can accomplish in even the most difficult circumstances.  I am proud and hope you are as well.

Second Annual Congress of the Haitian Diaspora (August 6-9, 2009)

  • Posted on: 3 July 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

The second annual International Congress of the Haitian Diaspora will take place August 6-9, 2009 at Trump International Beach Resorts in Miami Beach, Florida.  The purpose of the event is to capitalize on the resources that the Diaspora can bring to help build Haiti’s economy.  The agenda includes a variety of issues such as boosting tourism, stimulating agricultural production, restoring forests and ecology, managing water supplies, preparing for disasters, achieving literacy, and job creation.  A schedule of events is copied below.  If you would like to participate, you can register here. Contact information is listed below if you want to volunteer.

IMF, IDB, World Bank Forgive $1.2 Billion of Haiti's Debt

  • Posted on: 30 June 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Jonathan Katz reported that the World Bank, IMF, and IDB canceled $1.2 billion of Haiti's debt Tuesday, freeing up millions of dollars for much needed poverty reduction programs.  Needless to say, this is excellent news.  Given the scope of Haiti's needs, it never made sense its citizens should have to pay $1.6 million in debt per month, most of which was acquired under dictators that they never voted for.  This represents a measure of confidence in the Preval Administration, which now has a bit more economic flexibility than it had before.  More info below.   

The Prime Minister's New Paradigm For Haiti

  • Posted on: 22 June 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Copied below is a strategy paper that Prime Minister Pierre Louis recently released on how the Haitian government intends to meet its short term goals.  I was pleased to see the attention devoted to agriculture, the private sector, and infrastructure development.  Unfortunately, the Haitian government has yet to receive one gourde from the Haiti Donors' Conference.  Hopefully, Special Envoy Clinton has not lost his touch and will be able to encourage Friends of Haiti to honor their pledges.  The paper is brief but balanced and well thought out.  Please feel free to post your thoughts about it in the comments section. 

Paving the Way for Economic Recovery in Haiti

  • Posted on: 6 June 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

Dialogue concerning Haiti's development is changing.  First, there is more discussion than ever before about Haiti's private sector, and a sense that trade will do more for Haiti in the long run than aid.  Second, there is a growing emphasis on integrating Haiti economically and socially with the rest of the Caribbean and Latin America.  Finally, donors are increasingly helping the Haitian government to address its own priorities.  There are many challenges but also many possibilities.  As Haitian say, little by little birds make their nests...

Haiti Food Security Update (4/24/2009)

  • Posted on: 24 April 2009
  • By: Bryan Schaaf

It has been a busy month for Haiti.  The Donors Conference turned out reasonably well.  At the Summit of the Americas meeting, members of the Organisation of American States (OAS) expressed their willingness to offer long-term support to Haiti.  OAS Secretary General José Miguel welcomed the focus on Haiti, noted that the Haitian government drafted a plan on how the international community can help.  As he put it, 'Now you know exactly what you have to support…I think things are really going to begin to happen for Haiti.''  We hope so as well.

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