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Courier (English)
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e orierr
The magazine of Africa - Caribbean - Pacific & European Union cooperation and relations


Editorial Board
Mohamed Ibn Chambas, Secretary General
Secretariat of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States

Fokion Fotiadis, Director General, EuropeAid
European Commission

Core staff
Hegel Goutier

Marie-Martine Buckens (Deputy Editor-in-chief)
Debra Percival

Editorial and Production Assistant
Anna Bates

Production Assistant
Telm Borras

Contributed to this issue
Clarens Renois, Haiti Press Network, www.hpnhaiti.com

Project Manager
Gerda Van Biervliet

Artistic Coordination
Gregorie Desmons

Graphic Conception
Ldic Gaume

Public Relations
Andrea Marchesini Reggiani

Viva Xpress Logistics - ww.vxlnet.be

Photo Agency
Reporters - ww.reporters.be

Port-au-Prince. Iron market, reopened
in just 12 months, 12th January 2011
d � Hegel Goutier


Satisfaction on the humanitarian front

Reconstruction anxieties

President Rene Pr&val: Gratitude and word of advice

to the international community

How NGOs operate

Lessons from Haiti by the EU Commissioners

Andris Piebalgs and Kristalina Georgieva

Interview with the EU Ambassador,

Ms Lut Fabert-Goossens

NGOs: Allies and critics of the institutions

Knowledge, culture, freedom... and in praise of rigour

Diplomatic prospects

Outside Port-au-Prince: Jacmel and L0ogane

Reconstruction of Port-au-Prince

Haitian Civil Protection

The Haitian Diaspora: Michaelle Jean

An Earthquake in the Haitian soul

The Courier
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Published every two months in English, French, Spanish and Portuguese

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Go to our website www.acp-eucourier.info or contact info@acp-eucourier.info

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Gopa-Cartermill -Grand Angle Lai-momo

"The views expressed are those of the authors and do not represent the official view of
the European Commission or of the ACP countries. Neither the European Commission
nor the ACP countries, or any person acting on their behalf, may be held responsible for
the use to which information contained in this publication may be put, or for any errors,
which, despite careful preparation and checking, may appear".


Table of Contents

Natural disaster, human disaster

Our special issue tracks the man-
agement in Haiti of a major cri-
sis caused by the earthquake a
year ago, and the lessons the
international community can draw from
it. These lessons came all too quickly for
the international community when, on 11
March, the earthquake/tsunami combi-
nation causing catastrophic devastation
hit Japan, one of the most well-protected
and well-prepared countries in the world.

In the Japanese cities of Sendai and
Fukushima, the houses and nuclear plant
might well have survived the earthquake
but not the 12-metre high tsunami in its
wake which overwhelmed the protective
barriers in place. Port-au-Prince would
have had twenty or thirty times fewer
deaths in the early 50's when its popula-
tion numbered just 200,000, instead of
three million today. A disaster therefore
can have many contributory factors.

In The Courier's last issue, Patricia Danzi
of the International Committee of the Red
Cross, whose teams were in Haiti from
12 January 2010, warned of the fragility
of any country when faced with major
disasters'. In peacetime, a nation may
now be faced with having to deal with as
many as 250,000 deaths in a single city.
Many seismologists had warned about
construction, the implementation of
building standards and Port-au Prince's
precarious location. Recommendations
have been tabled to establish a well-pre-
pared and experienced International Red
Helmets corps, as pushed for by Haitian
President Rene Preval, who was still in
office during our visit, or another system
of coordination between public bodies and
associations involved in disaster response,
as mooted by Kristalina Georgieva, EU
Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid,
International Cooperation and Crisis

Together with Haiti, the EU has modified
some of its funding priorities to strengthen
the country's capacity to absorb aid,
including in this case the forecasting of
natural disasters. EU Commissioner for

Development, Andris Piebalgs, has also
stressed the need for improved political
governance in Haiti.

One of the lessons to be learnt, or at least
reflected upon in the aftermath of the
quake, is the role of NGOs and their per-
formance according to the means at their
disposal. Nation states do not only have
the obligation to reach targets but also
perform in relation to resources used.
NGOs have long played the role of guard-
ians of the temple of governance. To their
credit, in Haiti, there has been self-scru-
tiny of their performance. They have car-
ried out outstanding humanitarian work,
but at what cost? Does the country really
need more than 10,000 foreign organisa-
tions on the ground? Why not increase the
budget for the reconstruction of assembly
plants for agricultural machinery in a pre-
dominantly rural country? The UK-based
NGO, OXFAM, tackles these issues in
a well-publicised report. Haitian NGOs
have echoed their concerns too but firstly
call on Haitians and their government to
look at how they and the authorities are
dealing with the problems ahead.

With regard to reconstruction, what is
currently most visible is the population's
impatience. Relatively few of the available
funds have been spent. Is this a sign of a
lack of absorption capacity, or of meticu-
lous preparation being carried out by the
body in charge of reconstruction? Plans
are on the table and there is criticism
of the delays. There are no rumours of
any embezzlement. The reconstruction
of Haiti has perhaps already begun.

Hegel Goutier
Editor in chief

later. 1426. 0. html?&L=qyplrcoeuto


Hegel Goutier

n Haiti, a year after the earthquake,
rightly or wrongly reconstruction is
the issue on which most criticism
and apprehension is focused. On the
humanitarian front, there is no discussion.
There is general satisfaction.

Port-au-Prince, February 2011
Shelters, mostly tents, host all those
affected by the earthquake. Paradoxically,
there are fewer beggars in the city than
before because everyone has access to
the amenities of the camps - the food
rations, drinking water, sanitation and
other medical support available since the
disaster. Yet the successful humanitarian
operation has had to face a cholera epide-
mic which has killed about 4,500 people.

Addressing Haiti's major

Impatience with reconstruction is evident
everywhere. The Interim Commission
is this Committee or Commission for
the Reconstruction of Haiti (HRIC), led

by Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive,
and former U.S. President Bill Clinton
is responsible for the management of the
sums allocated for this purpose. At the
HRIC briefing of 15 February to which
both candidates in the second round of
presidential elections, Michel Martelly
and Mirlande Manigat were invited they
both criticized delays and urged the HRIC
to act more quickly.

Several participants at the meeting stres-
sed the need to help Haiti remove the
critical handicaps that regularly restrain
civil society. The fragility of the country's
institutional framework beyond the gover-
nment in place was highlighted as well as
the unjust nature of Haitian society with
its huge disparities between social classes
and between regions. Another obstacle
is the absence of decentralization. Local
authorities on the front line lack the resou-
rces necessary to enable them to reduce
the risk of disaster.

Yet the reconstruction

The regularisation of land tenure and
registry is vitally needed. The country

and its donors could well do without
the current situation where construction
of a rubbish dump, with over US$2M
already spent, has been halted by the
supposed owners of the land arguing
for their rights after months of silence.
The case is under judicial review but
what independence does the judiciary
have? The Haitian state is struggling
to expropriate land for public use from
private owners even when their titles and
deeds are in question.

And yet, the reconstruction moves on.
HRIC has announced, for example, that
70,000 people - or roughly 50% of the
victims - have left the camps to return
to safe houses or other structures; 90% of
students have returned to school and plans
for the reconstruction of Port- au-Prince
are on the table. In total, projects worth a
combined total of US$3bn have already
been launched, including an industrial
estate with the potential for 60,000 full-
time jobs. Before the end of the year over
400,000 people will be housed in solid
houses, 10 hospitals and clinics will be
built and 50% of the population will have
access to safe water and sanitation.


Grattd an g godo avc
to the international community)

President Rene Pr&val took stock
of the last year of his second con-
secutive term, which was marked
by the most tragic of natural dis-
asters. He commends the generosity of
the international community towards
Haiti while calling for more modesty on
its behalf. He also expressed relatively
pessimistic opinions about the future of
developing countries.

HG - Has the worst passed for Haiti?
RP - We must differentiate between
the time when we had many dead and
wounded on our hands. That time is past
thanks to the support of the international
community which mobilized in an extraor-
dinary fashion to help Haiti. We must
remember the lessons learned from this
time of great mobilization but also of great
confusion due to a lack of coordination.
In that sense, I support the former French
Minister Nicole Guedj's proposal, (Ed.
President of the Red Helmet Foundation)
calling for the creation of an international
humanitarian task force, managed by the
United Nations - the Red Helmets - to
prepare humanitarian interventions, like
the peace-keeping Blue Helmets.
The post-emergency medical and sani-
tation period followed, which was well
controlled. Now we are in the phase of
reconstruction. Why can an earthquake
kill so many in Haiti compared to another
of the same magnitude in Chile or China?
This is because the provinces have been
abandoned by people who came seeking to
make their livelihood in Port-au-Prince.
They live in illegally occupied land and in
places with unfit building standards. We
must decentralize the country. Political
will is not enough. We should identify
the potential and needs of each area and

Port-au-Prince. National Palace � Hegel Goutier



. /
Outgoing President, Rene Pr6val
� Hegel Goutier

attract suitable investments in terms of
infrastructure and job creation. This
takes time.

HG-In terms of human resources, has
there been an evaluation of the loss of
capacity of the Haitian government
after the earthquake?

RP - From the physical point of view, all
the ministry buildings fell as well as the

Legislative Palace, the Palace of Justice,
the National Palace, ports and partially
the airport. It took some time to relo-
cate services into makeshift buildings
and restart the administrative machinery.
Many state officials are dead. We lost
US$10bn, equivalent to 40% of our GDP.

HG - In practical terms what must be
done to rebuild?

We had forgotten that Haiti was on fault
lines. Other earthquakes will inevitably
take place. In short, we must take appro-
priate steps, including geotechnical sur-
veys, adopt anti-earthquake standards
and decentralize the capital. For all this
to happen, we must strengthen our insti-
tutions, and this requires political stabil-
ity. We need to empower political parties
that had previously been destroyed by the

HG- How do youfeel about the future
of Haiti?

RP - The conditions for governance in
Haiti are difficult. People are excluded
socially, politically and economically. This
gap must be reduced; otherwise there
will always be political problems. The
average Haitian earns an average US$2.5
per day. But what makes me pessimistic

is the development model that persists in
the world today. China has just become
the world's second strongest economic
power. Like other emerging countries,
it needs resources. These resources are
limited and in demand by the United
States and Europe. The ability for devel-
oping countries to access these resources
compared to developed countries is tiny.

HG - Finally, what is your message to
the international community, to the
Haitian people and the two candidates
in the second round?

RP -To the international community,
I would advise it to be more modest in
its assessments, to work more with the
Haitians and to listen more effectively.
There can be a certain arrogance on its
part at times. For both candidates, whom
I will receive tomorrow morning [Ed.
interview Feb. 15], I also advise them to
be modest, and to avoid making empty
promises likely to create problems. I would
advise them to take account of the weak-
ness of our institutions and avoid start-
ing from scratch with an administration
that needs to retain scarce skills. The
Haitians do not need special advice. They
need work. These are reasonable people,
and they are smarter than you think. H.G.

Price Paddy, National Authorising Officer (NAO) of the European Development Fund (EDF)

How NGOs operate

Interview: Hegel Goutier visited Haiti for
this Special Edition. He met with Price
Paddy, National Authorising Officer (NAO)
of the European Development Fund (EDF).

"Some European NGOs operating in
Haiti have their own resources. Others
answered calls from the EU for projects
financed by the EDF, all of which have
been approved by the Haitian govern-
ment. On top of the EDF, the EU has
'budget lines' for projects. These do not
require our validation.
When problems do arise, the issue is
not with project approval but follow-up.
This is partially because of our lack of

institutional capacity, but also because truction or infrastructure rehabilitation

the annual reports that are supposed
to be submitted annually by all NGOs
to Ministries; are not required to be sent
to the NAO.

Moreover, after the earthquake, countless
NGOs arrived and didn't register. Others,
including many religious missionaries,
registered illegally as NGOs.
The NGOs have significant financial re-
sources but this money is aside from the
$US11.3bn pledged for the reconstruction
of Haiti by the international community.
The EU's participation in the fund includes
EDF funds which had been committed
but not disbursed prior to the earthquake
(for example, funds earmarked for cons-

projects) in addition to funds outside the
EDF such as the 'Stand by Facility' or
'budget lines'. H.G.

EDF National Authorising Officer, Price Paddy
� Hegel Goutier


School children � Hegel Goutier

This was the conclusion of European Commissioner for Development Andris Piebalgs speaking
at the conference, 'Haiti. One Year After the earthquake' held in Brussels on 23 February. It was
jointly organised by the Canadian Government, the European Commission and the Egmont Institute
in collaboration with the Haitian Embassy.

European Commissioner for
International Cooperation,
Humanitarian Aid and Crisis
Response, drew the same conclusions.
In her own words, she noted that "there
is a growing need to improve synergies
between aid and development policies...
we need to sharpen our tools so that we
are better equipped when a disaster
strikes like in Haiti".

Civil society involvement
and disaster risk reduction

Before drawing lessons from the Haitian
crisis, Commissioner Georgieva recalled
the rapidity with which the EU responded
in the wake of the 12 January 2010


earthquake, especially in mobilising the
European civil protection mechanism,
which set up operational multidiscipli-
nary teams from 32 countries within
hours. It was its largest mobilisation of
this scale since the creation of the body
in 2001. It was indeed a baptism of fire.
A team from the European Commission's
Humanitarian Aid Department (ECHO)
was deployed on-the-spot the day after
the earthquake and funds were allocated
within hours. "In total, Member States
and the Commission provided �320M
for humanitarian aid only - 120M
(�130M if cholera is included) from the
Commission", said the Commissioner.
The sum amounted to over one-third of
the total humanitarian aid received by
the country.

The disaster also triggered the deploy-
ment of a huge number of humanitarian
workers. "We need to coordinate our
assistance even better ... we have also
learned lessons about the importance of
dialogue with affected communities and
the involvement of civil society. We need
to talk more systematically to the people
affected to improve our understanding of
their specific needs and vulnerabilities,"
said Commissioner Georgieva.

The EC has also promoted and supported
disaster risk reduction in its response to
the crisis by supporting the strengthening
of the civil protection mechanism and
by mainstreaming risk reduction in its
humanitarian operations.

Linking relief, rehabilitation
and development through
good governance and

For European Commissioner for
Development, Andris Piebalgs, it is
imperative to make this link water-
tight, a task even more difficult in Haiti
today, as he underlined to the Brussels
conference given "the triple impact of
Hurricane Tomas, the cholera epidemic
and political instability." Despite this,
he says, the EU is making full use of the
�1.2bn- 430M of which will come from
the European Commission - pledged at
the March 2011 'Donors' Conference
Towards a New Future for Haiti' held in
New York. Half of the sum has already
been committed.

The funds are going to both new pro-
grammes and to other EU programmes
which were already underway in the coun-
try before the quake hit but now adapted
to the changed circumstances. One such
programme is aiming at improving the
quality of education in Haiti, by meet-
ing the school fees of 150,000 children
and training 3,000 teachers. New pro-
grammes have been designed to meet
urgent needs such as the relocation of
some government departments and sup-
port to other departments to cope with

the influx of migrants, and also, inter
alia, to strengthen civil protection struc-
tures, Commissioner Piebalgs explained.

"I am aware of the criticism about aid
delivery," Piebalgs said but "it is impor-
tant to bear in mind that, with medium
to long-term reconstruction, projects are
spread over three to five years along with
the payments". He added that it was vital
to know just how much is spent, where,
by whom and for whom.

Hence the reason why the EU
Commissioner for Development is
committed to promoting good govern-
ance and decentralization, to which the
Haitian government has committed in its
Action Plan for National Recovery and
Development presented to the interna-
tional community in New York in March.

Andris Piebalgs concluded that, "politi-
cal stability and democratic accountabil-
ity are prerequisites for reconstruction,
growth, and poverty reduction in Haiti"
and reaffirmed the lesson learned by the
international community and the EU
from Haiti's motto - 'Unity is Strength'.
"We will also be showing that we have the
right ingredients in place to take effec-
tive action together and signalling our
determination to act wherever our help
is needed", said the Commissioner. H.G.

quake, the EU was providing
substantial aid to Haiti in many
areas, in particular road infra-
structure. The Head of the European
Union delegation, Ambassador Lut Fabert-
Goossens, details the changes made to
cooperation by both sides since then. She
also shares with the Courier her analysis of
what is essential to rebuild Haiti.

LFG - The European Union has been
active in Haiti for more than 20 years
and, with the European Commission and
Member States combined, is, in absolute
terms, the country's main backer. The
Commission has focused on infrastruc-
ture, education (especially since the 9th
EDF) and governance, including decen-


After the earthquake, the Haitian gov-
ernment drew up an action plan, the
main aim of which was to rebuild Haiti
with a different focus, with poles of eco-
nomic development and job creation in
the different regions of the North, the
Centre, Port-au-Prince and the South,
so that the people who migrated to the
provinces can stay there. The govern-
ment asked for assistance to be initially
concentrated on the departmentn"
(administrative region) of the North.
We are involved in discussions with
other backers, like the Inter-American
Development Bank and USAID, to coor-
dinate our resources. Infrastructure will
be a priority for the EU.

An evaluation of post-disaster needs
was carried out. For the department of
the North, the focus was essentially on
farming, tourism and investment in the
textile industry. The US will play a role
in all three sectors, while the EU will
take care of the huge task of providing
the missing links in terms of road and
other infrastructure.

Within the EU, a degree of re-schedul-
ing took place between the Commission
and Member States. The Commission is
no longer involved with education, and
Member States like France and Spain
have now taken this sector in hand.

HG - Have uncertainties over the
elections given rise to tension that is
harming reconstruction?

LFG - Some say that the international
community has interfered too much. The
results of initial voting in the first round
did not express the will of the Haitian
people, and President Pr&val himself
asked for the views of an Organisation of
American States' (OAS) mission, which
found cases of fraud and irregularities.
The proclamation of the final results
was accompanied by cries of joy in the

Mirebalais. Hospital funded by Spanish NGOs.

whole of Port-au-Prince, just like after a
football game.

HG - There has been some contro-
versy over dispersion and duplication
ofNGO activities. What is the current
degree of coordination between the
NGOs and with the government?

LFG - I think there is a problem. There
are some 10,000 NGOs, and they don't
coordinate among themselves, so how
can they be expected to do so with the
government? There is no one platform
for all the NGOs and for them and the
State. We had hoped that the Interim
Commission for the Reconstruction of
Haiti (ICRH) would take on this role,
but to date, this hasn't happened. Certain
health-related NGOs, like Medecins sans
Frontieres (Doctors without Borders), for
example, have a bigger budget for this
than the Haitian state.

As regards the big international NGOs,
coordination does take place, but the
snag is that there is little coordination
with Haitian NGOs. We should stress
that the EU NGOs do work well together,
which provides added value. Civil protec-
tion and humanitarian organizations, for
example, are used to working together.

One of the criteria for an NGO to ben-
efit from the Commission budget is
how it works with local NGOs, like the
Haitian Platform Plea for Alternative
Development (PAPDA). Another prob-
lem is that in Haiti there is a lack of civil
society structures, which is why we want
to help create them.

There is little coordination between the big international NGOs and Haitian

NGOs � Hegel Goutier

Main lessons

LFG - In Haiti, there must be more
emphasis on strengthening institutional
capacity. It has been said that 80% of
the administration's senior management
disappeared after the earthquake. When
IHRC was set up, the EU made much
of this.

It is also clear that coordination between
backers and NGOs must be improved, so
as to avoid gaps and duplication. That is
why we need to set up forums for dialogue
in each sector, in Haiti as elsewhere.

As reconstruction has been delayed by the
uncertainties after the first round of elec-
tions, we have to make up for lost time,
which is why it is important to complete
the electoral process. I would like to stress
the role of institutional capacity so that
Haiti can take aid into its own hands.
This is fundamental for the EU. H.G.

For details on EU aid for the reconstruction
of Haiti, see : http://www.acp-eucourier.info/
&tx ttnews[tt news]=1806&cHash=750768e8

.html?&L=bgidvhevyuvuz&tx ttnews[tt new

Haiti � Hegel Goutier


Non Governmental

Organizations (NGOs):

Allies and critics

of the institutions

Elke Leidel, CONCERN � Hegel Goutier

One year after the earthquake,
most NGOs operating in Haiti
are making an appraisal of the
international community's
action. The findings are decidedly mixed.
Some are highly critical, such as OXFAM'
whose programmes have supported
500,000 people in the past year. Others
are more discreet in their indictment, but
the message is often the same. Such as
the Irish organisation CONCERN whose
choice to work with the poorest of the poor,
coupled with the slogan 'Unheard Voices',
says much about its commitment. In Haiti
it is active in health, water and sanitation,
construction and providing the means of
subsistence. One of its most original pro-
grammes, 'F6n koz&' (we need to talk), is
financed by the EU.


We should have thought first.
Roland Van Hauwermeiren, director
of OXFAM United Kingdom (based in
Haiti since 1978)

"On the one hand, indictments are inher-
ent to our role, given our three pillars:
human rights, development and humani-
tarian action. But on the other hand, we
receive aid from the European institu-
tions which of course includes ECHO2
and cooperation from various British
organizations. After the earthquake,

control was quickly established. But the
58 institutional donors, 28 UN agencies,
MINUSTAH3, the thousands of associa-
tions and NGOs failed to deliver the suc-
cess that should have been possible. After
the humanitarian response we failed on the
development and rehabilitation aspects.
Our aid was not coordinated. There was
no real strategy. There was too much hesi-
tation. It was a question of save lives and
think later. We should have thought first."

"Engineering offices from all over the
world have been here recently. But did
anyone ask the population for their opin-
ion? We are still busy with provisional
constructions. We must place the emphasis
quickly on agriculture and getting cheap
local products to market. Why not use the
reconstruction budget to build factories to
assemble agricultural machines?"

Conflict management.
The Irish heritage.

Elke Leidel, director of CONCERN,
(NGO present in Haiti since 1996)

"Many NGOS are doing tremendous
work. It is coordination that poses the
challenge. This has improved thanks to
MINUSTAH. Any good NGO must in
principle try to involve the government
of the country in question. We need its
approval. We are not members of the
'Republic of NGOs'."

"F6n Koze, financed by the EU, is work-
ing in a violent neighbourhood in the
Port-au-Prince suburbs, Martissan-St
Martin. We approached certain war-
ring gangs with the request that they sit
down and talk to each other. We were
inspired by Glencree (Centre for Peace
and Reconciliation) at the time of the
sectarian troubles in Ireland. The think-
ing behind this approach was to show
them that they had more in common
with their enemy than with anyone else,
facing the same problems and the same
suffering. We renewed relations with pri-
vate sector actors that we had contacted
before the earthquake to encourage them
to set up in this area. Hopefully it will
be possible to open Internet cafes that
will employ young people after training
them in the new technologies. We are
not only promoting dialogue between
the big shots but also within the popu-
lation to see how we can maintain the
peace and benefit from investments." H.G.

Founded in the UK in 1942 as the Oxford
Committee for Famine Relief

The Humanitarian Aid department of the
European Commission (ECHO) was estab-
lished in 1992

United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti


et Liberty)' is a Haitian organiza-
tion active in a number of fields
and running several develop-
ment programmes. It is renowned for its
rigorous demands for strict observance of
the rules by both state and citizens.

FOKAL is active in a wide range of fields:
health, water supply, legal cases for the
defence, publishing, education, culture,
human rights, environmental protection,
and managing cultural institutions like
libraries, theatres, cinemas and exhi-
bitions by Haitian and foreign artists.
Particular attention is paid to the most
marginal or vulnerable groups women,
the young and people from disadvantaged,
often rural, areas.

The Foundation was able to give shelter
to more than 600 people in its property
which remained intact as Ms Michele
Pierre-Louis, one of the founders and
former directors (and also former Prime
Minister of Haiti), had taken steps to
ensure that the building was genuinely
earthquake-resistant. That is what the
director, Lorraine Mangones was very
keen to say as a preamble to her interview
with The Courier. She adds:

"The period allowed was set at four weeks,
at the end of which everyone left. We were
quite clear with people: they weren't prom-
ised anything that they couldn't have."
Rigour is demanded from the State, too.
"With many earthquakes, Port-au-Prince
has also been subject to tsunamis and

flooding. After the earthquake, agreement
should have been reached quickly to set up
an authority that specifies how to live in
this land, how to build, which stipulates
a construction code and makes sure it is
respected. These steps were not taken."

One of FOKAL's projects is "Spaces to
Speak Out", and the tough suburb of
Martissant was first to take on this ini-
tiative. The Foundation manages a very
beautiful 160-hectare park which links
two estates built for the State by the heirs
of the great Haitian intellectual, Albert
Mangonese and the American choreog-
rapher, Catherine Dunham.

Cecile Marotte, the French manager of the
park and of "Spaces to Speak Out", has this
to say. "First we invited the members of

The experience of EFACAP* - a network
of teacher training centres to which seve-
ral primary schools are linked - is indica-
tive of the ebb and flow of the Haitian po-
pulation after the earthquake. The Courier
visited two training centers - Mirebalais
and Lascahobas.

The Lascahobas centre's director, Hope
Saintil, remembers how "many fami-
lies flocked here. In our school alone,
we received 76 new students. Most

Fokal : Education, Culture, Nature � Hegel Goutier

160 organizations real ones, false ones,
gangs -to come to meet us. From the
moment the "Spaces to Speak Out" were
set up, with groups of 12 meeting for five
weeks, everything was done according
to our rules. No weapons, for example.
No one robbed, attacked, or took aim
at anyone."

Various projects have grown out of this
collaboration. A group of locals work to
look after the park, and FOKALhas allo-
cated 45 study grants for young people.
Two projects, one to do with the right to
health and another on handling second
hand items, have recently been launched,
and more are in the pipeline. H.G.

1 Foundation for knowledge and freedom

families have since returned to the ca-
pital after several months. Of that ini-
tial group, only 18 students remain."

"The reason for the return to an already
congested Port-au-Prince is undoubtedly
the lack of jobs and the ability to earn a
decent livelihood", explains the director of
elementary education, Francis Compere.

* Ecole Fondamentale d'Application -
Centre d'Appui Pedagogique


The Mirebalais and Lascahobas Training Centres
Ebb and flow of population

comments of two European
ambassadors, Didier Le Bret
of France and Jens Peter Voss
of Germany, who shared with The Courier
their analysis of the situation of Haiti a year
after the earthquake. With some subtle
differences of opinion. .

For France, with its long shared history
with Haiti, the 2010 earthquake was an
opportunity to strengthen links with the
country. "France's first response was that
the Haitian Government had to be given
the means to pursue its policy, in particular
through budgetary aid. The second was
that other areas lying outside the emer-
gency zone should not be neglected. The
third was the need to lend new impetus to
exchanges between persons, by welcoming
exchange students for example. Young
men and women must meet and our coun-
tries must get to know one another better."

The French diplomat believes that what
Haiti lacks most of all is not decentralisa-
tion but deconcentration. "Government
must return to all the provinces and ensure
they benefit from the major investments
made." He also makes the point that the
concentration of humanitarian aid in Port-
au-Prince is attracting too many people
and adding to this imbalance.

As to rebuilding the country, le Bret
believes that, given the strategic politi-
cal choices involved, this cannot be done
quickly, especially against the background
of the elections. What is more, the IHRC
(Interim Haiti Recovery Commission)
must still find its feet. "The need for an
administration that offers security for
donors must not be a reason for rendering
fragile Haitian structures and demobilising
those that will remain after we have left.

The Haitian authorities must be placed
at the heart of the reconstruction device."

To sum up his vision of the situation in
Haiti, German diplomat Jan Peter Voss
explained his repeated contacts with the
customs authorities since June last year in
seeking to take delivery of medical devices
donated by a German company. "This is
in danger of calling into question Haiti's
ability to absorb the assistance received."

The diplomat also explained that Germany
is in general reluctant to grant budgetary
support to places where the government is
not subject to strict parliamentary control.
"In the case of Haiti, and much to my
surprise, my government accepted the EU
proposal, due to the earthquake."

Jan Peter Voss also regrets the cooling of
relations between the international com-
munity and the Haitian authorities fol-
lowing the irregularities in the first round
of the elections. He fears that the tension
generated on this occasion between the
authorities and the opposition will lead
to changes of staff in the administration
after the new government takes office,
which would be damaging for the rate of

German ambassador, Jens Peter Voss. The US with 20,000
troops enabled humanitarian aid to arrive...
The coordination was perfect between EU countries
� Hegel Goutier

"When an unprecedented event such as
this earthquake occurs in a state that is
already weak, strong action is needed
by the international community. The
Americans understood this in arriving
with 20,000 troops. They quickly had the
airport operational again, enabling the
humanitarian aid to arrive. At the same
time, they kept a low profile. Regarding
the Europeans, the coordination was per-
fect between the EU countries present
on the spot, rendering any action very
effective. H.G.


Jacmel and Leogane: Satisfactory

results, at least in humanitarian terms

Jonel Juste and Hegel Goutier

Leogane - 29 km to the west of
Port-au-Prince. First impres-
sions are that nothing's changed
since last year. Tents, sheet-
metal and wooden huts are still an eyesore
in the birthplace ofAnacaona, the Arawak
queen famed for both her beauty and
political insight and who was head of the
Xaragua, one of the country's five chief-
doms before the arrival of Christopher
Columbus. It's the same story in Jacmel,
capital of the south-east department and
which was Haiti's best-kept city prior to
the earthquake. A number of Spanish
and German NGOs won the hearts of
the population for the way in which they
delivered humanitarian aid, but there are
worries here about reconstruction, as there
are throughout the country.

Eighty per cent of Leogane, at the epi-
centre of the 12 January earthquake,
was destroyed, according to the United
Nations (UN). Worrying cracks have
appeared in the structure of the town
hall, the immaculately white symbol of
the city that is still standing.

The city council, the symbol of the State,
is functioning, but the city is dependent on

a number of NGOs. "The State is strug-
gling to take control again in the city. It
has been a year since the city has pro-
duced any electricity, although the NGO
Electricity sans Frontieres (Electricity
without Borders) has installed some light-
ing in the camps and in the streets", says
council inspector, Joseph Andre Ernest.

The Mayor, Santos Alexis, is holding a
meeting. He says he's satisfied with the
work of the organizations that are help-
ing the council to clean-up and clear
watercourses, which has also provided
local work. He praises the effectiveness
of NGOs like Medecins sans Frontieres

(Doctors without Borders), particularly
with regard to keeping cholera at bay
and constructing a hospital for the city's
250,000 inhabitants. "As far as medical
issues are concerned, there is no cause
for complaint", he adds, though says he's
disappointed with the performance of cer-
tain organizations as far as reconstruction
goes as well as their lack of consultation
and coordination with local authorities.

Despite the odds, reconstruction
is happening

On the plain around Leogane, reconstruc-
tion is slowly but surely taking place. The


Leogane, shelters � Haiti Press Network

victims of the disaster in the city are still
living in tents, but plans have been agreed
for their rehousing.

On one side, there are the shelters with
roofs that open, provided by the German
group GTZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft ffir
International Zusammenarbeit), one of
the most active organizations. Those with
green roofs come from CARE (US), and
then there are others made of tarpaulins
and covered with sheet metal.

The beneficiaries are divided. According
to one inhabitant there's a feeling of impa-
tience, a dream of "more solid houses
made of better materials". But 70-year
old Celim&ne, says she's satisfied with her
little wooden house which gives protection
from both the rain and sun even if it is
"like a bird cage".

CARE is the biggest supplier of shelters
in L&ogane. The distribution of shelters
has been its priority. It has provided over
a thousand, each of which provides cover
for a family of five. GTZ, which has been
working in Haiti since January 2011, has
also been involved in rehousing.

MSF is everywhere, including

A mention of MSF is greeted with enthu-
siasm. "Without MSF and its centres for
treating cholera, we would not have sur-
vived the disease", says Andris Riche,
Jacmel's deputy mayor. According to
Raphael Gorgeu, leader of the mission,
the Swiss branch of MSF built the hospital
in L&ogane in just three months.

"We receive almost 4,800 patients every
month, with 800 hospitalizations and

600 surgical interventions, in particular
deliveries of babies., MSF has treated
nearly 30,000 cholera cases in L&ogane
and Cap-Haitien", Mr Gorgeu tells us.

Rehousing is taking longer

In Jacmel, classified by the United Nations
Educational and Scientific Research
Organization (UNESCO) as a World
Heritage Site, the greenish tents provided
by the Venezuelan army are still swarm-
ing with people. There's a long history
between Venezuela and this city where
the Venezuelan flag was first fashioned,
when Bolivar found refuge, soldiers, arms
and finance in the young Haitian repub-
lic. It was from Jacmel that the first ship
flying the flag of the future Venezuelan
nation set sail.

At the Mayard camp in Jacmel, Medair
(Emergency Aid and Rehabilitation) has
built close to 2,000 temporary shelters.
"The victims of the disaster complain
about a lack of will by the local authorities
to rehouse them. "The State does little,
but the city council is asking the NGOs
to build better-quality shelters on higher
ground which is available", explains Mr.
Riche, deputy mayor ofJacmel, who com-
plains of the absence of the State and the
fact that it is the NGOs who are in control,
while praising the work of organizations
like MSF Spain for their speedy response
to the cholera and the rehabilitation of the
St. Michel Hospital.

John Vea Dieudonne, in charge of the
German Agro-Action project, points
to its achievements: the rehabilitation
of 176 houses in the city, the reopening
of the training college, road repairs,
and the supply of drinking water, irriga-

tion and support for income-generating

Diakonie, another well-respected NGO
which has been working since 2003 to
help provide greater food security and
boost agricultural production, turned
its attention on the day following the 12
January 2010 to immediate relief, and
subsequently to the distribution of per-
manent shelters for the victims, explains
Astrid Nissen, its national director.

"As we didn't have the logistics to provide
temporary shelters, we used part of our
funds (�16M) to construct more durable
ones", continues Mrs Nissen. The German
organization has built or rehabilitated
nearly 300 houses and three schools in
Jacmel and its surroundings.

In September 2010, the Spanish Red
Cross had rehoused 4,500 families from
Leogane, and by December 2012 it will
have constructed nine schools in the city,
and seven schools as well as a health centre
in Jacmel. The majority of the projects'
beneficiaries are also employed in their

Will the municipal authorities be able
to take over once the NGOs have left?
"We hope so," says mayor of Leogane,
Alexis Santos, but this is by no means a
certainty. For his counterpart in Jacmel,
Andris Riche, people's confidence in
the authorities firstly has to be restored.

* Haiti Press Network

Jacmel. Art installation 'Haiti will not perish'
� Haiti Press Network


rthely on tl

� Hegel Goutier

Clarens Renois* and Hegel Goutier


Port-au-Prince. Roman catholic cathedral CHegel Goutier

had promised to dedicate
US$11bn to the reconstruc-
tion of Haiti. A little over a
year later, about US$lbn has been paid
out, of which US$359M went into the
Haiti Reconstruction Fund (HRF), under
the authority of the Interim Commission
for the Reconstruction of Haiti (ICRH).
The first projects for the construction
of houses for the homeless have been
announced, and three of these, with a
value of US$88M, were approved at the
ICRH meeting on the 15th of February,
2011. "The reconstruction process will
speed up in the next few months", prom-
ised Bill Clinton, who heads the institu-
tion along with the Prime Minister, John
Max Bellerive.

The construction projects for social hous-
ing affect more than 1.2 million people. "I
don't know whether one day I'll have the
pleasure of living with my family in a real
house", complains Jean Albert, who has
spent over a year living in the Tabarre Issa
camp, and who has become the head of a
protest movement. "I lived in an area near
the centre of Port-au-Prince, and we have
been asked to come here, about twenty
kilometres from my children's school. I
am living in exile in my own country",
he laments.

The two candidates on the lists for the sec-
ond round of the presidential elections are
critical, too. "I will ensure quick results
to reinforce the legally-constituted state

and to relieve poverty in Haiti", declared
Michel Martelly, while Mirlande Manigat
expressed her wish that the engagement of
the international community is "...for the
long term and not only a fit of generosity
in a moment of emotion".

An overall plan for the reconstruction
of Port-au-Prince was entrusted by
the government to the Prince Charles'
Foundation for the Built Environment,
which in February 2011 presented its first
draft sketch of the riverside, in particular
the business district. The Port-au-Prince
city council has launched its own plan in
parallel. Specific local projects are also
being studied, like the setting-up of a
major research and congress centre at the
Central Bank of Haiti, or the new campus
at Haiti State University.

As for the heart of the capital as a whole,
the government speaks of the need for
patience, following the example of the
Minister of Finance, Ronald Beaudin.
"Maybe in ten years we will start to see
the first new buildings springing up in
the city centre".


The Iron Market

The iron market- a part of architectural
heritage from the 19th century - is the first
public building to be renovated since the
events of 12 January 2010 (see photo
on front page).


^5 rw w^ - I * B

Programme for the strengthening of Haiti's disaster and emergency
services signed by Haiti's Home Minister, Paul-Antoine Bien-Aim6 and EU
Ambassador, Lut Fabert-Goossens / � Haiti Press Network

in Haiti concerning the
lack of promised construc-
tion standards. With the
approach of the hurricane season,
serious concerns are being expressed.
The Haitian authorities are redou-
bling their efforts to create the founda-
tions for true emergency preparedness.

Awaiting Standards

The slight tremor that occurred on 1
March in Haiti reminded everyone of
the ever present danger of aftershocks.
Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of
people still live in tents and temporary

"This is not a replica of the earthquake
of the 12th of January, 2010," reassured
French seismologist, Eric Calais. But at
3.8 degrees on the Richter scale, it was
felt strongly in several neighborhoods
of Port-au-Prince and with a radius of
15-20 kilometres, it threw hundreds of
panicked people into the street.

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111'- , .. 1 u [I . l - ., - l. u L.l.!,, , !- ' ll ,u l.

However, the government has since
announced the creation of an Office of
Soil Analysis in the Ministry of Public
Works, as well as the formation of a team
of engineers and construction supervi-

Emergency Preparedness.
Accelerated implementation

The office of Emergency Preparedness
existed only on paper during the earth-
quake. Without any real means and with a
small untrained staff also affected by the
earthquake, it was completely helpless.

Today, it's a different story. Dr.
Yolanda Surena, coordinator of the
new Emergency and Disaster Risk
Management Programme in Haiti
(PUGRD), is full of energy, and is in
the process of building a civil defence
worthy of the name. "The earthquake
was a catalyst for action to enable us to
move forward," she said.

Today, Haiti's civil protection is deployed
throughout the country and is equipped
with adequate facilities. 133 committees
are established in the country's munici-
palities, and only fifty remain to be cov-
ered. Dr. Surena regrets, however, the
lack to date of an institution in charge
of disaster assessment.

Port-au-Prince. Roman Catholic cathedral � Hegel Goutier

The Interim Commission for the
Reconstruction of Haiti, for its part,
recently approved a US$14M prevention
plan to seismic prone Northern Haiti,
with which they will be able to mobi-
lise 200 engineers and train 400 local

EU aid to the tune of l17M will give a
big boost to civil protection, says Alain
Damit from the European Programme
for building the national system of risk
management and disaster. The money
will go towards the hiring and training
of 3,500 rescue workers and volunteers
and the provision of 250 containers of
rescue equipment to regional communi-
ties before the arrival of the 2011 hur-
ricane season. It will also help reinforce
the national system of risk and disas-
ter management and provide better
equipment to the fire brigade service.

* www.hpnhaiti.com


Ms Michaelle Jean, special
envoy of UNESCO, former
Governor General of Canada
(Head of State, Acting
Vicereine) and Commander-in-Chief of
the Canadian armed forces, is a symbol
of the Haitian diaspora. She has recently
taken part in a meeting of the ICRH in
Port-au-Prince - on 15 February 2011 - and
the conference on the same theme organ-
ized in Brussels on 23 February 2011 by
Canada and the European Union, with
the collaboration of the Haitian Embassy.


MJ When I decided to work with
UNESCO as its special envoy to Haiti,
it was because of its skills base, which
responds to the immediate need for rebuild-
ing in Haiti, and because it could offer
both immediate action and long-term sup-
port. It is an organization that has worked
alongside Haiti for a long time, and which
is willing to support the country as it sets
up its own system for quality public and
universal education.

Haiti, we must also remember, is above all
a land of culture and this culture is vital
for its re-foundation. As I am of Haitian
origin, I know to what extent education
has always been at the heart of Haitian
men and women's priorities, even before
the revolution, in the terrible days of the
plantations. Men and women who had been
dispossessed of everything and reduced to
slavery still knew that it was the final guar-
antee of emancipation and freedom. And in
every family today there is still an absolutely
fundamental desire that children obtain
quality education. Some seem to think that
Haiti is starting from scratch, but there was
a working group on education and training
that was working flat out well before the
earthquake, and from this emerged a plan
that has become a national pact which it is
the duty of all of us to support.

HG - You seem to be rather apprehen-
sive that the promises made to Haiti
have not been entirely kept, or else they
were not made advisedly or in tune with
the wishes of the Haitian people?

MJ We are in Brussels, capital of the
European Union, the solidarity of which
has been exemplary. As former Governor-

Canada/EU conference on Haiti, Brussels, 23 February 2011. Michaelle Jean and Thomas Adams, US Special

General of Canada, I have also seen the
unbelievable generosity shown by Canada.
Many African countries whose people are
still grateful for the support provided by
Haitian professionals at the time of inde-
pendence showed great willingness to offer
a great deal of help too as did the countries
of the Americas.

All these partners are important. Haiti can-
not get back on its feet alone: it needs to
have its own perspectives genuinely taken
into account and its initiatives supported.
But not with this charity mind-set that has
prevailed for decades and which leave it

coordinator for Haiti, US State Department � Hegel Goutier

mired in internalized dependency. Charity
on its own has turned Haiti into an extreme
example of how to produce incomplete
strategies which in the long run do not
produce anything lasting. What we need is
an investment strategy, and not necessarily
solely capital, even though it is necessary to
strengthen the national economy. I am not
only thinking about human or institutional
skills, but also initiatives from civil society.
We have to encourage inclusive governance
that allows every Haitian man and woman
to set to work and to be seen as forming
part of the solution. H.G.

Choir of St.Trinity (Anglican) cathedral. Small group rehearses � Hegel Goutier


An Earthquake

in the Haitian

� nepuli UIb

age, the earthquake has caused
serious disasters in the psyche of
the Haitian people. This is the
opinion of the eminent Haitian scholar,
Laennec Hurbon, current research
director at CNRS (National Centre for
Scientific Research, France). He is a doc-
tor of theology and sociology, an anthro-
pologist, a philosopher, an epistemologist
and a social scientist. Hurbon specializes
in the inter-relationships between culture,
religion, philosophy and politics, and also
in voodoo culture. His many publications
include reference works such as 'God in
Haitian voodoo', 'Understanding Haiti,
Essay on the State', 'The Nation's Culture',
'The Imaginary Barbarian' and 'Ernst
Bloch, Utopia or Hope'.

For Hurbon, Haiti has experienced a pro-
found shock that has been misunderstood
by the ruling class and partly taken over by
religious movements. But religions cannot
plug the breach in the Haitian psyche.
The biggest problem comes from burial,
or lack thereof - the unburied dead who
remained under the rubble and in decom-
posing became indistinguishable as well
as those who are missing no one knows
where, in places where the earthquake
took them by surprise.

"In Haitian culture, the relationship with
the dead is absolutely crucial. When you
cannot honour the dead with the neces-
sary rituals, it's a real shock. It goes back
to the condition of slavery, when this vital
relationship helped to maintain the whole
chain of life. It links in with both semantic
and symbolic ancestors and deities, and
this helped to maintain the continuity
of life. When people disappear without
commemoration or burial this chain is
broken. The way we formally organised a
hurried memorial to victims of the earth-

quake, without having named all of the
dead is both troubling and unsettling for
Haitians. You do not exist if your name
is not mentioned. When the name of the
deceased is not invoked, they remain in
the world of the living. They become the
wandering dead. And in the voodoo tradi-
tion this lack of ritual has consequences
for the living; they will experience severe
problems, ones that can manifest in the
form of cholera for example. "

The second identified problem is the
lack of clear guidelines from the State
with regard to dealing with this disor-
der. "The State decided to embark on
a Presidential electoral campaign and
create a flawed interim committee sys-
tem of acting departments in charge of
reconstruction, with foreigners, essentially
strangers, directing the reconstruction
effort; this without any real participation
of the Haitian population, apart from the
few token Haitian members of NGOs."

Many have benefited from the lack of
guidelines to advance their personal agen-
das. Some have moved into camps even
though their homes were not destroyed.
It is a situation of collective and general-
ized begging and victimhood, which acts
as a form of palliative delay of a traumatic
response that is likely to be violent. "There
was a profound cultural and psychologi-
cal trauma coupled with a severe sense of
abandonment." For Professor Hurbon, the
people and their will for change should
have been followed and listened to. "The
country should have been in a state of
general mobilization." This is said without
questioning the crucial role of the inter-
national community and its generosity.
Hurbon recalls the words of the writer
Rene Depestre that evoke the "univer-
sal sympathy" and "the tenderness of the
world to Haiti." H.G.


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