Still in Ruins But We Don’t Need People to Think for Us

Six months since the earthquake in Haiti.  Isabel Macdonald, described as a “freelance writer from Montreal” lays out some statistics with one being the claim that “less than 2% of funds pledged” have been collected.  The less than 2% is actually 1.9%.  (She was correct, all right).

  • Amount pledged for Haiti’s reconstruction over the following 18 months at the March 31 UN conference: $5,300,000,000
  • Percentage of this amount that has been paid: 1.9

That percentage, 1.9%, of the 5.3 billion pledged equates to $100, 700, 000.

One hundred million, seven hundred thousand dollars.

One hundred MILLION dollars!

Where has it gone?

Is the infrastructure being rebuilt?  Housing – is housing being built? Job creation – moving rubble, construction projects, etc.

This week Democracy Now’s Amy Goodman is in Haiti all week for the 6-month mark of the Haitian earthquake.

Yesterday’s  ‘Democracy Now’ focused entirely on the plight of Haiti and the aftermath of the devastating earthquake as well as the status of Haiti’s people stranded following the earthquake.  It’s well worth watching or at the very least, listening.  Amy Goodman interviews Beverly Bell who “runs the economic justice group Other Worlds.”  She says there are no plans for permanent housing.

Now, six months later, in the middle of earthquake season, the government’s response, that is, the Haitian government and the U.S. government as well as the United Nations, has been this—has been to move people from one set of temporary housing, plastic tarps that are damaged in the wind and the rains, to another set of temporary housing. And there is absolutely no plan anywhere in the country for permanent housing for the 1.9 million people who are left victims

Patrick Elie gives a history lesson ‘in case Americans don’t know the history of Haiti.’  Mr. Elie was the Secretary of State for Public Security and begins his history lesson this way:

As you know, maybe a lot of the American public don’t know, Haiti has had a very difficult history, having emerged from slavery and colonialism through a war against the most powerful countries at the time. And since then, for a lot of its history, Haiti has been almost blockaded, or at least isolated and faced the hostility of the powerful countries of the time.

Today’s  program is dedicated solely to Sean Penn’s efforts there.  I like Sean Penn – mostly ‘cuz I’m not married to him – and I like him even more since he’s been in Haiti and is intent on keeping the focus on Haitian and all those still displaced. He absolutely pulls no punches.

It’s just fucking unbelievable.

A reminder of what it looked like then and apparently hasn’t much improved since.


2 Responses

  1. It’s the same story with the BP oil gusher in the gulf. At least President Obama promises to stay on that one long after the press leaves.

  2. That’s exactly what I was thinking about and thought about tying it in but didn’t want to cloud the issue.

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