Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Africa Solidarity with Haiti

AfricaFocus Bulletin Reports:

Feb 2, 2010 (100202)
(Reposted from sources cited below)

Editor's Note

"Despite $402 million pledged to support the Haitian government's
Economic Recovery Program [in April 2009] ... as of yesterday we
estimate that 85% of the pledges made last year remain undisbursed.
... [we don't need more pledges] We need a reconstruction fund
that is large, managed transparently, creates jobs for Haitians,
and grows the Haitian economy. We need a reconstruction plan that
uses a pro-poor, rights-based approach far different from the
charity and failed development approaches that have marred
interactions between Haiti and much of the rest of the world for
the better part of two centuries." - Dr. Paul Farmer, U.N. Deputy
Special Envoy for Haiti January 27, 2010

As international attention to Haiti begins to fade (see
http://www.google.com/trends?q=haiti&date=2010-1), relief efforts
continue, but reconstruction has hardly begun. Both African
governments and African non-governmental leaders have launched
fund-raising efforts for these long-term needs. But, as veteran
Partners in Health physician and other commentators note, the
danger is that past dysfunctional patterns of international
intervention will be repeated.

As Yash Tandon and other analysts warned in last week's issue of
Pambazuka News (http://www.pambazuka.org/en/issue/467), what has
happened and may happen in Haiti is "a microcosm of the crisis of
development." It will be a test of capacity to respond not just to
natural disaster, but to the man-made disasters that set the
context and the capacity to respond to natural disasters.

This AfricaFocus Bulletin contains an appeal from the new "Africa
for Haiti" coalition, excerpts from Dr. Farmer's testimony to the
U.S. Senate, and a commentary by Monika Kalra Varma and Kerry
Kennedy, of the RFK Center for Human Rights.

Another AfricaFocus Bulletin sent out today focuses on the urgent
need to cancel Haiti's debt, as well as the role that debt has
played in keeping Haiti in poverty for over two centuries.

Among other commentaries and background on Haitian reconstruction:

Amy Wilentz, "The Haiti Haters"

Letter to PJ Patterson, Caricom's representative to the Montreal
Conference on Haiti, by Norman Girvan

Note by Jocelyn McCalla, Senior Advisor, Bureau of Haiti's Special
Envoy to the UN, former Executive Director, National Coalition for
Haitian Rights
http://jmcstrategies.com / direct URL: http://tinyurl.com/ya9dgo8

Official Website of Montreal Ministerial Conference on Haiti,
January 25, 2010
http://www.international.gc.ca /
direct URL: http://tinyurl.com/ycxwkgw

Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

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