Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti
Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti
Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti
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Forum Haiti : Des Idées et des Débats sur l'Avenir d'Haiti

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 Haiti's foreign helpers.

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Sasaye
Super Star
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MessageSujet: Haiti's foreign helpers.    Haiti's foreign helpers.  EmptyLun 5 Déc 2011 - 19:38


Mezanmi, pran tan pou li, analize e pran sans diskou saa.

Si nou te konn fè devwa nou, se nou ki pou ta mete pwen sayo deyô.
Kounyea se lôt moun ki fè sa pou nou.
Reginald Dumas konn Ayiti byen paske li te reprezantan Kofi Annan lan peyi an.


Haiti's foreign helpers
By Reginald Dumas

Story Created: Dec 5, 2011 at 12:38 AM ECT

(Story Updated: Dec 5, 2011 at 12:38 AM ECT )

Part 1 of an abridged version of Mr Dumas's keynote address at the Annual Conference of the Haitian Studies Association at UWI's Mona, Jamaica campus on November 11. Theme of the conference was, "Haiti at the intersection of the Caribbean: tracing the past, mapping the future".

Let me indicate at the outset that I shall not be talking about Haiti being the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere; or about what we have come to call "Haiti's glorious past"; or about elections; or about geo-politics or about Haiti's internal politics either; I shall not be talking about NGOs or about corruption or about organised crime; or about reparations or restitution to Haiti. Neither shall I be talking about calls for Haiti to be made a protectorate. Even if I've omitted areas many may consider "sexy", there's still a lot to talk about. First, the international community in general.

Aid

We know that most of the pledges of aid to Haiti made last year following the January earthquake have not been converted into actual payments. How can you logically speak about the effectiveness of aid if there is no aid, or insufficient aid, to begin with? And with the traditional aid-providing countries facing economic trauma, what aid are we talking about, anyway?

Perceptions of Haiti, including race
Aid or no aid, there are the perceptions of Haiti held by the international community. These perceptions are overwhelmingly negative. One perception is either pity for or condescension to "the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere." A second is Haiti fatigue, an attitude common in the United Nations. A third is the awe, even fear, to a large extent inspired by Hollywood, of what is called "voodoo", the so-called black magic of Haiti.

Haiti is a black country, and blacks are not universally respected, even in Africa, as I can testify from my years there.

The International Year for People of African Descent has come and nearly gone, virtually unnoticed, as has the 10th anniversary of the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action which emerged from the 2001 World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. Did anyone this year, and black people in particular, try consistently to highlight the rôle and example of the world's first black republic?


Culture

The international community seeks with embarrassment to evade the subject of race, but there is another subject that it generally doesn't even think about. That subject is national culture. By "culture" I don't mean song and dance. I mean what Frantz Fanon in The Wretched of the Earth calls "the whole body of efforts made by a people in the sphere of thought to describe, justify and praise the action through which that people has created itself and keeps itself in existence".

The Commission for Africa defined culture in its 2005 report as being "about shared patterns of identity, symbolic meaning, aspiration…the relationships between individuals and groups within that society (and) about the relationships between ideas and perspectives…self-respect and a sense of security, about how individuals are socialised and values are formed and transmitted.

The international community has no time for such subtleties. Rather, it is a case of one size being tailored and trumpeted to fit all: Sierra Leone is Afghanistan is East Timor is Iraq is South Sudan is Haiti. The identical themes recur: democracy, institution-building, marketplace magic, liberalised foreign investment, and so on. Particular emphasis is placed on what are called "free and fair elections".

MINUSTAH
(United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti)

But if many in the international community are suffering from Haiti fatigue, we know that many in Haiti are weary of the international community, especially the presence of MINUSTAH.

Much displeasure has focused on MINUSTAH. Its approach is perceived as insensitive, interfering, colonialist and over-militarised. It is viewed as an interloper guzzling money that could go towards socio-economic development. Its members are seen as beach- and bar-loving, and as only too willing to exploit misery for sex. Add to that the recent incident of alleged sexual assault involving Uruguayan elements, called "peacekeepers", and the continuing deadly effects of the pathogenic cholera strain introduced almost certainly by so-called peacekeepers from Nepal.

But what rôle should MINUSTAH be playing in Haiti? In late December last year the OAS Representative in Haiti was dismissed from his post, apparently because he had dared to say publicly that Haiti was not an international threat but a country whose problems were primarily socio-economic. In April of this year the Cuban Foreign Minister said much the same thing to the UN Security Council.

I don't like to play the game of "I told you so", but I must quote a passage from my final report of September 2004, seven years ago, to then UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan. I said: "(The) focus of MINUSTAH should be on assisting Haiti's development…I continue to be firmly of the view that the concept of MINUSTAH as it now exists is unsound, and largely irrelevant to the people of Haiti, whose welfare has to be of paramount importance. The civilian side of MINUSTAH must, if it is to be at all valid, overwhelmingly comprise developmental aspects (which) would supplement, not replace, the work of agencies and indigenous organisations already operating in Haiti…"

IHRC
Another focus of great displeasure is the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC). What former Jamaican prime minister, PJ Patterson, the Caricom representative on the IHRC, and others have been saying is that the projects approved by the IHRC have not been reflecting the critical priorities of the Haitian government. There has been great unhappiness with procedure, but alarm over content is far more worrying. The US Government Accountability Office agrees. In its report of May this year it notes that "funding for approved projects is uneven across sectors and not necessarily aligned with Haitian priorities." (My emphasis). Continues tomorrow.

• Reginald Dumas is a former head of the Public Service.

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Haiti's foreign helpers.  Empty
MessageSujet: Re: Haiti's foreign helpers.    Haiti's foreign helpers.  EmptyLun 5 Déc 2011 - 22:26

President Carter said a few weeks ago he doesn't see any houses being built for the poors.One would think building houses should be the first priorities of the Government.Some people like to praise Bellerive I don't really know why.I don't even want to mention Rene Preval.
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