Presentation on theme: "HAITI TODAY THE WORLD TOMORROW PANEL DISCUSSION Haitian people are very religious. Many Haitians claim that the January 2010 earthquake was a God’s punishment."— Presentation transcript:
HAITI TODAY THE WORLD TOMORROW PANEL DISCUSSION Haitian people are very religious. Many Haitians claim that the January 2010 earthquake was a God’s punishment. To align myself to the belief of those who didn’t consider that earthquake as a natural phenomenon that can be scientifically explained, I would prefer to say that the January 2010 earthquake was a God’s wakeup call so that the Haitian people become aware of the importance of the environment and stop destroying it. The earthquake also created for the government and the people an opportunity to rebuild the country in a way that takes into account the set of sustainable development goals designed by the United Nations.
The most important SDG for Haiti is the eradication of extreme poverty, and to parody ICGC, in all its forms, for all the Haitian people living in the 10 departments, 140 communes and the 570 communal sections of the country, by 2030. This goal is consistent with the Strategic Plan for National Recovery and Development of Haiti (PSDH) that aims to make Haiti an emerging country by 2030 through 4 major projects for the country’s recovery: territorial reconstruction, economic reconstruction, social reconstruction and institutional reconstruction.
To open a parenthesis, let say that unless there is a radical change in the behavior of the international community towards Haiti and that extraordinary measures are taken in its support of the country, this goal will not be reached. An underdeveloped country with the highest rate of extreme poverty in the western hemisphere, can’t be transformed in an emerging country in 16 years, with an annual growth of its economy stagnant between 4.3 (2013) and 4.6 (projected growth for 2014). To become an emerging country by 2030, Haiti needs, between other factors, a double digit annual rate of growth.
All of us here, know how the earthquake has been used by many ONGs and other foreign institutions to mobilize funds and what percentage of these funds went to the Haitian people. In an article: “The failures of the system of international aid in controlling the epidemic of cholera”, the president of Doctors without borders estimated to 12,000 the number of ONGs operating in Haiti. On January 3, 2012, Bill Quigley, Associate Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights and a law professor at Loyola University, New Orleans, and Amber Ramanauskas, a lawyer and human rights researcher published the article: “Haiti: Seven Places where Earthquaque Money Did and Did Not Go”, in which they say:
The UN estimated international donors gave Haiti over 1.6 billion in relief aid since the earthquake and over 2 billion in recovery aid over the last two years. It turns out that none of the money that the general public thought was going to Haiti actually did not go directly to Haiti. The international community choose to bypass the Haitian people, Haitian non-governmental organizations and the government of Haiti. Funds were instead diverted to other governments, international NGOs and private companies.
Here are seven places where the earthquake money did and did not go One. The largest single recipient of US earthquake money was the US government. The same holds true for donations by other countries. The US allocated $379 million in aid and sent 5000 troops. The Associated Press discovered that of the $379 million in initial money promised for Haiti, most was not really money going directly, or in some cases, even indirectly, to Haiti.
They documented that 33 cents of each of these UD dollars was given back to the US to reimburse for sending their military. 42 cents of each US dollar went to private and public non-governmental organizations like Save the Children, the UN World Food Program and the Pan American Health Organization. Hardly any went directly to Haitians or their government. The overall 1.6 billion allocated for relief by the US was spent much the same way.
According to an August 2010 report by the US Congressional Research Office: $655 million was reimbursed to the Department of Defense $220 million to Department of Health and Human Services to provide grants to individual US states to cover services for Haitian evacuees $350 million to US Disaster Assistance $150 million to the US Department of Agriculture for emergency food assistance $15 million to the Department of Homeland Security for immigration fees, and so on.
International assistance followed the same pattern. The UN Special Envoy for Haiti reported that of the $2.4 billion funding, 34% was provided back to the donor’s own civil and military entities for disaster response 28% was given to UN agencies an NGOs for specific UN projects 26% was given to private contractors and other NGOs 6% was provided as in-kind services to recipients 5% to the international and national Red Cross societies 1% was provided to the government of Haiti Four tenths of 1% of the funds went to Haitian NGOs
Let’s remark that only 1 percent of the money went to the Haitian Government A large amount of the pledge money has never been put up. In March 2010, UN countries pledged a total of 9.9 billion over 3 years. By july 2010, only 10% of the pledges had been given to the IHRC that was co- chaired by Bill Clinton and the Prime Minister of Haiti. In an article : “Haiti, 4 years after the earthquake, Al Jazeera America News reported in January 2014, that the United States is the largest contributor of aid to Haiti, pledging more than 3.6 billion toward relief, recovery and reconstruction, but that report released in June by the Government Accountability Office found that the USAID which is in charge of some of the biggest projects in Haiti had only spent 31% of the funds allocated and that doesn’t include money the report couldn’t track.
This proves that even though Haiti cannot do without the assistance of the international community, the Haitians should solve themselves their problems and take charge of their own destiny. Haiti must change and will change, but Haiti cannot change without the contribution of all her children living abroad. No change is possible in Haiti without the HLA, which means: the Haitians Living Abroad.
In this context, the Institute for Conscious Global Change in collaboration with its partners: Hibiscus, Eco City Builders, etc, has offered a very efficient model of different initiatives that the HLAs can take to help change their country.
To say the truth. The 300,000 victims of the earthquake, didn’t die because of the earthquake. They died because our cities and villages have been constructed according to any standards. We do not have zoning rules. We do not have modern building codes. At the Ministry of Public Works, Transport and Communications (MTPTC) there is a Technical Evaluation of Building Office (BTEB), but this bureau is deprived of the skilled human resources and adequate material. No computers, no computerized registrars, no Global positioning satellite (GPS) equipment and personnel. The problem is the same at the level of the City Halls. When they try to put in application what they have as regulations they face the wrath of the workers in the construction sites who want to fight for their jobs.
In the aftermath of the earthquake some NGOs like Build Change, in partnership with Degenkolb Engineers and UNOPS completed the first ever training on retrofitting in Haiti, for 58 MTPTC engineers, on retrofitting solutions for low rise buildings. Build Change also contributed to the production and revision of the MTPTC Retrofit Guide, the “Guide de Renforcement Parasismique et Paracyclonique de Batiments.”
The city model proposed by ICGC, using St Raphael as a case study comes in a timely manner. It can be easily integrated to the PSDH, in accordance with the standards provided by the “Plan d’Action pour le Relevement et le Developpement d’Haiti” (PARDH) which has identified the 12 poles of regional development of the country: 2 major poles: Cap-Haitian in the north and Les Cayes in the south 10 other poles: Port-de-Paix, the axis Fort-Liberte/Ouanaminthe, Gonaives, Hinche, Saint-Marc, Mirebalais, Jeremie, Miragoane and Jacmel.
The PARDH has also identified 42 poles of local development all of them “Chefs-lieux d’arrondissement” or chief towns of district. Saint-Raphael, being the chief town of the Saint-Raphael district, is one of the local pole of development. Saint-Raphael is located at 118 km driving distance from Cap-Haitien (33.44 km straight line). It is an integral part of the greatest regional pole of development.
The project concept: “GEO-DESIGNING SAINT-RAPHAEL, HAITI” shall be of interest for the Haitian government because it is in line with the goals set by the PSDH and the PARDH in selecting the local poles of development to structure the local development and the regional planning. Moreover, in its effort to reduce the extreme poverty in the rural areas, the government has created special plans for several cities, while there isn’t yet any global plan for the development of these cities. Geo-Design Saint-Raphael might serve as model of overall plan into which all the specific projects would be integrated.
The concept is excellent. The multisectoral involvement approach is the best method and a guarantee of success. For the next phase of the development of GEO- DESIGNING SAINT-RAPHAEL, I would advise its designers to go deeper into the PSDH and the PARDH, to take into accounts the actions and projects that have already been selected for Saint-Raphael in the Haiti territorial rebuilding Plan.
We have identified the following actions: The protection and enhancement of special interest projects such as the cave of Saint-Raphael. The inventory (including geolocation, qualification and quantification) of natural areas to be restored and/or regulated and the integration of information into a database. The inventory of current carrier practices (including their geolocation, qualification and quantification) and the integration of information into a database.
The development of technologies that provide alternative sources of energy to wood and charcoal. The renovation of the regional and local development poles. The urban renovation for tourism. The elaboration and implementation of an urban master plan for 59 cities including Saint-Raphael.
We have also identified the following projects: Drainage, street rehabilitation and residential developments in Saint- Raphael Identification and study of other priority works to realize. Rehabilitation of the road section connecting Marchand Dessalines, Saint Michel de l’Attalaye and Saint-Raphael. Construction of a bypass in Saint-Raphael. Construction of an electrical network between Hinche, Pignon, Saint- Raphael and Saint Michel de l’Attalaye. Rehabilitation and extension of the road network of Saint-Raphael.
Congratulations to Ms. Etta Jackson, founder and CEO of the Institute for Conscious Global Change, Ms. Magali Regis, Architect and President of HIBISCUS, Mr. Mehmet Killic, Executive Director of Peace Islands Institute and Friend of Haiti, Mr. Scott Allen, Executive Director of the Millennium Earth Project at the Institute for Conscious Global Change, Mr. Manfred Saint Julien, and Mr. Gregg Lemaire and to all those who have contributed to the design of this project. Congratulations to Mrs. Fidelia who introduced the “Reclaiming Haiti” video I wish that this project be adopted by the government and be retained as a model for the renovation of the 42 poles of local development and the design of the urban master plan for the PARDH selected 59 cities. I also wish that the Group will work in good partnership with the government of Haiti, to achieve the SDGs and create a better environment for the Haitian people.