23 de agosto de 2019, 14:32Port-au-Prince, Aug 23 (Prensa Latina) Haiti is on the path to experiencing an economic downturn, after five years of economic stagnation, economist Riphard Serent warned Friday.
This scenario forces some companies to close or lay off their employees, he noted.
In 2018, Haiti’s foreign investment dropped by 72%, and this year it may not reach $100 million, ‘due to the socio-political climate and related uncertainties.’
Serent noted that 2019 has been one of the worst economic years after the 2010 deadly earthquake struck the country, and also proof that progress is closely related to a stable political environment.
lrg/cg/pll / mgt / ane
Migrant parents separated from kids since 2018 return to US
Photo: Ringo H.W. Chiu, AP
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Nine parents who were deported as the Trump administration separated thousands of migrant families landed back into the U.S. late Wednesday to reunite with children they had not seen in a year and a half.
The group arrived at Los Angeles International Airport from Guatemala City in a trip arranged under the order of a federal judge who found the U.S. government had unlawfully prevented them from seeking asylum. An asylum advocate confirmed the nine parents were all aboard the flight.
Some of the children were at the airport to greet them, including David Xol’s 9-year-old son Byron.
David fell to one knee and tearfully embraced Byron for about three minutes, patting the back of his son’s head.
“He was small,” David said after rising to his feet. He looked at his attorney — who accompanied him on the flight — raised his hand about chest-high and said, “He grew a lot.”
David, Byron and his attorney, Ricardo de Anda, then embraced in a three-way hug and exchanged words in their huddle. Byron was all smiles. Father, son, attorney and family sponsor eagerly left the airport for their hotel.
The reunion was a powerful reminder of the lasting effects of Trump’s separation policy, even as attention and outrage has faded amid impeachment proceedings and tensions with Iran. But it also underscored that hundreds, potentially thousands, of other parents and children are still apart nearly two years after the zero-tolerance policy on unauthorized border crossings took effect.
“They all kind of hit the lottery,” said Linda Grimm, an attorney who represents one of the parents returning to the U.S. “There are so many people out there who have been traumatized by the family separation policy whose pain is not going to be redressed.”
More than 4,000 children are known to have been separated from their parents before and during the official start of zero tolerance in spring 2018. Under the policy, border agents charged parents en masse with illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, then placed their children in government facilities, including some “tender-age shelters” set up for infants.
The U.S. has acknowledged that agents separated families long before they enforced zero tolerance across the entire southern border, its agencies did not properly record separations, and some detention centers were overcrowded and undersupplied, with families denied food, water or medical care.
In June 2018, U.S. District Judge Dana Sabraw ordered the government to stop separating families and reunite parents and children.
At least 470 parents were deported without their children. Some of the kids were held in U.S. government facilities and ultimately placed with sponsors. Others were deported to their home countries.
Accounts emerged of many parents being told to sign paperwork they couldn’t read or understand or being denied a chance to request asylum in ways that violated federal law.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security referred a request for comment to the Justice Department, which did not respond.
The American Civil Liberties Union, which brought the original family separation lawsuit before Sabraw, asked the judge to order the return of a small group of parents whose children remained in the U.S. In September, Sabraw required the U.S. to allow 11 parents to come back and denied relief to seven others.
ACLU attorney Lee Gelernt said Sabraw made clear he would only order the return of people “who were misled or coerced into giving up their asylum rights.” That will leave other parents who fled violence, poverty and persecution to decide whether to have their children return to their home countries or remain in the U.S. without them.
“Many are going to make the decision that generations of immigrant parents have made — to leave their child in the U.S. and endure the hardship of separation, but to do it for their child’s own safety,” Gelernt said.
Xol said that after he and his then-7-year-old son, Byron, crossed the border, they were taken to a U.S. Border Patrol processing center in South Texas. Xol was charged with illegal entry on May 19, 2018.
Two days later, Xol said an officer told him to sign a document that would allow him and Byron to be deported together. If he didn’t sign, Byron would be given up for adoption and Xol would be detained for at least two years.
Xol signed the document, only to have Byron taken away and then get deported to Guatemala. Byron was placed in government facilities for 11 months.
The family’s attorney, Ricardo de Anda, persuaded a federal court to force the U.S. to let a Texas family take in Byron. Since May 2019, Byron has lived with Holly and Matthew Sewell and their two children, with regular video calls to his family.
Holly Sewell brought Byron, now 9, to meet his father at the airport. They planned to go back to Texas to pack and prepare for Byron to move in with his father once Xol is settled in California. Before the reunion, Byron kept asking Sewell, his caretaker, when his father would clear immigration authorities.
“They’re almost here, you’re doing great,” she said. “Count to 1,000.”
“999,” Byron responded.
She said she was thrilled Byron could see his dad again but sharply criticized the U.S. government’s treatment of asylum-seekers.
Esvin Fernando Arredondo was expected to be on the plane. The father from Guatemala was separated from one of his daughters, Andrea Arredondo — then 12 years old and now 13, after they turned themselves in on May 16, 2018, at a Texas crossing and sought asylum legally, according to Grimm, his lawyer. He failed an initial screening and agreed to go back to Guatemala.
According to Sabraw’s ruling, the government deported Arredondo even after the judge had ordered families reunited and subsequently prohibited U.S. officials from removing any parent separated from their child. He’s now being given a second chance at asylum under the court order.
Andrea was separated from all family for about a month, living in a shelter as the government struggled to connect children with their parents because they lacked adequate tracking systems. She was finally reunited with her mother, who had turned herself in at the Texas crossing with the other two daughters four days earlier than her husband, on May 12, 2018.
She and her two daughters passed the initial screening interview for asylum, unlike her husband, even though they were fleeing for the same reason. Their son Marco, 17, was shot and killed by suspected gang members in Guatemala City.
Arredondo’s wife, Cleivi Jerez, 41, arrived at LAX less than an hour before the flight landed with their three daughters in tow, ages 17, 13 and 7.
“Lots of nerves, last night I couldn’t sleep,” she said in Spanish in an interview after the flight landed.
Jerez said she planned to stay up late catching up with her husband. She planned to rest at their Los Angeles home tomorrow as well, catching up on their 17 months apart before he has to report to an ICE office Friday in San Diego. Alison Arredondo, 7, said she missed going to the park with her father and she wanted to go to one with him in LA.
While the U.S. has stopped the large-scale separations, it has implemented policies to prevent many asylum-seekers from entering the country. Under its “Remain in Mexico” policy, more than 50,000 people have been told to wait there for weeks or months for U.S. court dates. The Trump administration also is ramping up deportations of Central Americans to other countries in the region to seek asylum there.
“People want to make this a heartwarming story, but it’s not. It’s devastating,” Sewell said. “There is just no good reason why we had to do this to this child and this family. And he symbolizes thousands of others who have been put in this exact same position.”
Associated Press writer Elliot Spagat contributed to this report. Merchant reported from Houston.
iciHaiti – Politic : First Health Research Policy
iciHaiti – Politic : First Health Research Policy
January 21 in the presence of Dr. Marie Gréta Roy Clément, the Minister of Public Health, Dr. Lauré Adrien Director General of the Ministry, Aniceto Rodriguez-Ruiz, Representative of the Delegation of the European Union in Haiti, Ms. Chloé Masetti, International Project Manager SP Haiti LAB of the Mérieux Foundation was presented the first Health Research Policy in the history of Haiti.
This Research Policy document is the result of collaborative work between the Ministry of Health and its technical partners. According to Dr. Patrick Delly, Director of Epidemiology, Laboratory and Research at the Ministry, this policy defines a research framework that will allow the Ministry, using evidence, to improve the quality and equity of services and population health.
Haiti now has a framework that will serve as a reference for decision-makers, researchers, academics or any other actor and stakeholder interested in public health research.
Haiti: Ten years after earthquake, medical care is in crisis | Doctors Without Borders
“The international support that the country received or that was pledged in the wake of the earthquake is now mostly gone or never materialized,” said Sandra Lamarque, MSF head of mission. “Media attention has turned elsewhere as daily life for most Haitians becomes increasingly precarious due to raging inflation, lack of economic opportunities, and regular outbreaks of violence.”
In 2019, Haiti experienced multiple months-long countrywide shutdowns (known as “peyi lok“). Streets were blocked by barricades made of burning tires, cables, and even walls built overnight that hindered the movement of ambulances, health care workers, medical supplies, and patients.
In 2019, MSF’s emergency stabilization center in the Martissant area of Port-au-Prince received an average of 2,450 patients per month, 10 percent of whom had gunshot wounds, lacerations, or other injuries from violence. MSF’s burn treatment hospital in the Drouillard area of Port-au-Prince saw a peak in activity in September, when it admitted a total of 141 patients with severe burns, primarily caused by accidents. In Delmas where MSF runs a sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) clinic, there was a drop in the number of patients during this period of heightened violence, simply because it was too hard for patients to reach the facility.
In rural areas, such as Port-à-Piment in the South department, the effect of the crisis on the Haitian health care system is painfully visible. MSF has long supported emergency and maternal health services in the area. In severe cases, when hospitalization is necessary, MSF now struggles to find an open facility where it can refer its patients. The South department’s main hospital and blood bank both closed in October after being looted and are still not fully functional. MSF now regularly transports patients in critical condition up to five hours to find a hospital that can accept such cases. In the North department, where MSF was about to open two SGBV clinics, activities had to pause due to access issues and lack of fuel.
In response to the deepening economic and political crisis, MSF has launched new initiatives to care for patients when the Haitian medical system cannot cope. In November, MSF reopened a 50-bed trauma center in the Tabarre neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. In its first five weeks, the trauma center received an overwhelming 574 patients. One-hundred fifty people suffering from life-threatening injuries were admitted—57 percent of whom had gunshot wounds.
MSF has also reinforced its assistance to the Ministry of Public Health and Population by organizing donations of medical equipment and material, rehabilitating facilities, and training staff at Port-au-Prince’s main public hospital, as well as supporting a hospital in Port Salut in the South department and 10 health centers throughout the country.
“We knew we were meeting a need here in terms of serious and urgent cases, but obviously the situation is even worse than we imagined,” Issa said. “We now need others to pay attention to the current medical needs in Haiti.”
Haiti earthquake victims honored | Caribbean Life
The United Nations on Friday honored more than 200,000 Haitians who perished in the devastating earthquake that struck the French-speaking Caribbean country 10 years ago.
In a solemn ceremony of remembrance, at UN headquarters in New York, the global organization also honored 102 staffers who died in the earthquake on Jan. 12, 2010.
The UN said the death of its staffers was “the single greatest loss of life in its history.
At the wreath-laying on Friday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said Haitians had been starting a new year with optimism, but “in a few seconds, their hopes turned to dust.”
“I will never forget the shock and sadness across the world and throughout the United Nations as the scale of the tragedy became clear”, he said.
Guterres said although Jan. 12, 2010 was “one of the darkest days in its history,” Haiti “drew on the courage and determination of its people and the assistance of its many friends.
“Roads were cleared, homes were rebuilt, schools were reopened, businesses got back to work,” he said.
The UN chief took a moment in his speech to reflect on several aspects of the UN’s effort in Haiti that had caused more harm than good, recalling the cholera epidemic that began in 2010, widely believed to have been imported by peacekeepers.
“Among the many challenges, the United Nations deeply regrets the loss of life and suffering caused by the cholera epidemic,” he said. “I welcome the significant progress that has been made towards eliminating the disease.
“We are also committed to resolving pending cases of sexual exploitation and abuse”, Guterres added.
He also noted the lack of progress in terms of Haiti’s economic, political and social development, stating that “a crisis of leadership” in recent months has thrown the nation into turmoil.
“Today, insecurity and slow economic growth are contributing to rising social tensions and a deteriorating humanitarian situation,” Guterres said. “I urge Haitians to resolve their differences through dialogue and to resist any escalation that could reverse the gains of the past decade.”
He said the new Integrated Office in Haiti (BINUH), which replaced the 15-year peacekeeping operation. and the 19 agencies, funds and programs present in the country, “will continue to work in partnership with the Haitian people on their path to recovery and prosperity.”
Before the ceremony, the UN chief visited what he described as “the moving new memorial”, entitled, “A Breath”, which now sits within UN headquarters in midtown Manhattan, having arrived from Port-au-Prince.
“I thank the sculptor, Davide Dormino, and everyone who helped to transport it,” he said. “I was particularly impressed by the inclusion of rubble from the Hotel Christopher, where so many of our colleagues perished.”
Guterres said the UN staff who died had been in Haiti “to help build stability and prosperity and consolidate peace and security, with international, national and local partners.
“Among them were policy advisers, political officers, humanitarians, development specialists, security officers, soldiers, lawyers, drivers and doctors,” he said. “When the quake hit, many United Nations personnel took part in search and rescue operations and carried injured people into the United Nations compound.
“Some had the heartbreaking duty of accompanying the body of a colleague home to their loved ones for burial or cremation,” he added, stating that the tragedy brought Haiti and the UN together.
“And we will never forget,” Guterres said, stating that the best way to honor the memory of the dead would be by “working alongside the people and Government of Haiti, and with the country’s friends and supporters throughout the international community.
“Together, we will safeguard Haiti’s future and build lives of peace, prosperity and dignity for all Haitians,” he added.
Speaking on behalf of the Haitian Government, Patrick Saint-Hilaire of the UN Mission, said that 10 years on, the signs of the earthquake were “still evident everywhere”.
He said the courageous people of Haiti were still “paying deeply” for the “adversity that has befallen Haiti” since then.
Thanking the UN and all who rallied around Haiti after the disaster in solidarity, he said that now, “it is up to us Haitians, first and foremost, to take responsibility for our current challenges and to take the necessary initiative to improve the state of our nation.
“Today, however, more than ever, our country needs to continue to forge solidarity, national and international, concrete and consistent with the aspirations of the Haitian people,” Saint-Hilaire said.
There is “much work left to be done” he added, stating that, as the mark the 10th anniversary, it is “not too late to take up the challenge of the complete reconstruction of Haiti.”
The UN said remarks were also made by the President of the UN Staff Union, Patricia Nemeth, with some family members of those who perished attending the ceremony.
Ambassadors from the 30 UN-Member States, who lost UN personnel in the tragedy, were invited to lay flowers in front of the flag, the UN said.
Afterwards, it said some participants and guests walked over to the memorial site, which initially lay on the grounds of peacekeeping mission MINUSTAH’s headquarters in Port-au-Prince, the Haitian capital.
Posted 5:01 pm, January 22, 2020
Oxfam to cut staff after Haiti scandal leaves £16m shortfall | News
Oxfam will lay off scores of staff as it tries to fill a £16 million shortfall in its budget, The Times has learnt.
It is the second big cutback in the two years since employees were accused of sexual misconduct in Haiti.
In a leaked memo to staff, Danny Sriskandarajah, the chief executive, warned of a “difficult time” and said “the [budget] gap must be filled primarily by reducing our core costs”.
Oxfam had income of £434 million in the year 2018-19 but the memo says it faces a deficit of £7 million for 2019-20 and a further deficit of £9 million in 2020-21 unless action is taken.
Mr Sriskandarajah said he would be bringing forward plans to “review the size and shape of Oxfam…
Haiti pushes foster homes to counter problems in orphanages
Port-au-Prince (AFP) – Rose Boncoeur brought two emaciated little girls to live in her modest home in Haiti as part of a reform drive aimed at keeping children out of orphanages.
“People often asked me if I am crazy,” said Boncoeur, whose name means “good heart.”
The government of the Americas’ poorest country is pushing to deinstitutionalize children so as to avoid the darkest sides of orphanage life — trafficking of kids or even worse abuse.
So far, 120 homes in Haiti have opened their doors to children with nowhere else to go.
Boncoeur gets no financial help to feed or clothe her two charges, and is forced to ask people for used clothing for her foster children — sisters, aged eight months and three years.
“Some people do not understand that I spend money on children who are not mine,” said Boncoeur, who is proud that her biological daughter treats those girls like siblings.
Much of the problem goes back to the devastating earthquake that hit Haiti in 2010, which left more than 250,000 people dead and largely demolished the capital city, Port-au-Prince.
The number of orphanages and other care facilities for children more than doubled.
Of the 754 that now exist in Haiti, only around 50 are licensed or in the process of getting a license from IBESR, the government’s child social welfare agency.
The government has now barred any more such institutions from opening.
-Pedophilia, organ trafficking –
The government has also finally signed an international convention designed to safeguard inter-country adoptions.
Before, a foreigner could just go to an orphanage in Haiti, strike a deal with the director, and adopt a child, with IBESR only involved at the end of the process to act as a type of registrar of the match, said its director, Arielle Jeanty Villedrouin.
IBESR now heads the process, deciding who the children will go with, “which averts some excesses because there has been talk of pedophilia and organ trafficking,” she said.
State intervention in matching children with people who want to adopt is also seen as a critical to avoiding heartbreak for parents who give up their kids to orphanages.
“People would entrust their children to an orphanage and maybe sign a document without even knowing how to read,” said Villedrouin.
She said the child welfare agency often had to deal with weeping mothers who came looking for children who had been adopted and taken out of the country.
Eighty percent of the estimated 27,000 children living in orphanages in Haiti have at least one parent alive.
– Orphanages with money –
Child welfare advocates here say it is a shame that abject poverty can destroy families and strip children from their parents when some orphanages actually have a lot of money.
In 2017, Lumos, an NGO founded by the writer JK Rowling of Harry Potter fame to reunite orphanage kids with their parents, reported that at least 70 million dollars are received yearly by just a third of the orphanages in Haiti.
“Seventy million dollars: imagine how this money could have helped children stay with their parents,” said Villedrouin, whose agency has an annual budget of just $1 million.
UNICEF is also pushing for governments to change their way of thinking and spend money to keep families together.
“Studies have shown that for each year that a child spends in an orphanage, he or she loses three to four months of psycho-cognitive development,” said Maria Luisa Fornara, director of the UNICEF office in Haiti.
While the killer 2010 earthquake caused international aid to be channeled toward orphanages, it prompted the Cledion family in Haiti to become foster parents.
They had already become empty-nesters.
Now, they are raising two girls — Jesly, 10, and Fedjiana, 11.
“After making it through that terrible experience alive, you understand that you owe other people,” said Solon Cledion.
“They are little. It is not their fault that they are poor,” said Cledion, who considers these girls to be his daughters.
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