Many papers, books, and presentations have covered in great detail how Haiti came to be deforested. Fewer have focused on what Haitian government and civil society should do, with the support of the international community, to reverse the environmental destruction. Doing so is neccesary for food security, disaster prevention, nutrition and public health, social/economic stability, and ultimately security. The attached report by the International Crisis Group lists concrete actions that could be taken in the short and long term to promote security through rehabilitating the environment.
Below are remarks made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Haiti Donors' Conference today. While the United States provides in kind contributions of food, she notes that this is not the answer to Haiti's hunger. She instead emphasizes the importance of environmental rehabilitation, agriculture, livelihoods, and infrastructure. She also highlights the potential of alternative energy. After the conclusion of the conference, Secretary Clinton will visit Haiti en route to the Summit of the Americas.
Most would agree increasing trade is important for Haiti's long term development. Where people disagree concerns what kind, how much, and where. Haiti has never been an easy place to invest, but it has enormous potential due to its large multinational Diaspora, proximity to the United States, vast labor pool, and now the passage of Hope II. Given these advantages, is Haiti open for business?
Usually when you read an article about peacekeepers in Haiti, it concerns how many are on the ground. In a bit of a role reversal, the Miami Herald reported that the United Nations will deploy a group of Haitian police as peacekeepers to Chad. The yearlong assignment involves monitoring Chadian police responsible for refugees from the war in neighboring Darfur.
Those who know Haiti understand its potential. The Miami Herald recently described a report by Paul Collier, author of "The Bottom Billion", on why Haiti can indeed succeed over the long term. Regional engagement, job creation, and empowerment of the Diaspora will be key. Do you agree with his findings? Please post your feedback in the comments section.
In 2006, Haiti Innovation called for the Haitian Government to start subsidizing propane, if only on a pilot basis. There has been no movement on the part of the Haitian government to do so, either in practice or in strategic planning documents like the Haiti Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper. However, help may be on the way from its closest neighbor, the Dominican Republic.
The past year has been hard for Haiti. As usual, an emergency occurred that galvanized the attention of the international community temporarily. Humanitarian responders ramped up operations to deal with the crisis at hand. Commitments were made from donors, some of which were even kept. But other emergencies happened around the world in other countries, and the political will to help Haiti make it from emergency to development mode fades. Below is a Miami Herald article by Jacqueline Charles, touching on the issue of "Haiti Fatigue." Has the world grown tired of Haiti?
Is the third time the charm? Prime Ministerial Candidate number three Michèle Duvivier Pierre-Louis was approved in a 61-1 vote in Haiti’s lower legislative chamber. Sexism, homophobia, and power politics could yet derail this nomination. Haiti needs a Prime Minister in order to have a functional government that can tackle developmental challenges, chief among them food insecurity.