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Catholic groups condemn reconstruction failure 10 years after Haiti’s killer quake

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Catholic organizations and their allies in Haitian civil society are condemning their own government and the international community on the 10th anniversary of the 2010 earthquake that left the country in ruins. 

After a brief spasm of sympathy a decade ago, the world has forgotten its promise to rebuild the Caribbean nation, according to Haiti’s bishops, its Jesuit priests and a coalition of Church-affiliated non-governmental organizations. 

“During this decade there has been too much collective forgetfulness…. The memory of our dead was unfortunately faced with the test of forgetting,” said a statement issued by the justice and peace commission of Haiti’s bishops’ conference along with four Haitian NGOs.

The joint letter accuses the international community and the Haitian government of failing Haitians.

“Aid co-ordination and humanitarian response was done without the Haitian authorities. The weakness of the state also made it incapable of directing and leading reconstruction efforts,” they said.

The Haitian bishops and their NGO allies however did find one glint of hope in reconstruction projects that followed a partnership model employed by Development and Peace.

“The rare successful projects identified in the post-earthquake period have almost all been supported by international solidarity co-operation. All these projects were based on a partnership marked by trust, mutual respect and built for many years between northern and local actors,” said the joint statement.

Paired with their long-standing Haitian partner, the Institute of Technology and Animation (ITECA), the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace has built 400 new, earthquake-resistant homes in Gressier, an hour’s drive west of Port Au Prince. Local community members were employed to build the houses and the community chose families most in need to live in them, said Development and Peace spokesperson Minaz Kerawal.

Over the past decade Development and Peace directed more than $31 million to humanitarian aid and development projects in Haiti. The 79 community development projects and 89 humanitarian aid projects were led and co-ordinated by 41 Development and Peace partners, eight of which are still partnered with the Canadian Catholic agency.

Haiti’s Jesuit priests are also demanding that the world remembers what happened to the Western hemisphere’s poorest nation 10 years ago.

“I was very surprised to see that it seemed that the earthquake is being forgotten,” Jesuit superior Fr. Jean-Denis Saint-Felix told The Catholic Register.

The Jan. 12, 2010 earthquake lasted 53 seconds, killed between 100,000 and 300,000 people, left 1.5 million homeless and caused more than $14 billion in damage to buildings and infrastructure. In the immediate aftermath there was a cholera outbreak and 10 years later cases are still cropping up.

Roads and sewers are still not repaired, and major public buildings from Our Lady of the Assumption Cathedral to the presidential palace are still in ruins. Saint-Felix blames politicians and the international community.

“There’s no question about it, they’re bad. They’re corrupt (Haiti’s politicians),” Saint-Felix said. 

“But also, this kind of people — they’re in power because the international community wants them to be there. The complicity of the international community, we have to look at that also.”

Saint-Felix, speaking for Haiti’s 34 Jesuit priests and brothers, issued a stinging letter of condemnation on the Jan. 12 anniversary, lashing out at Haiti’s political class and the international community for their failure to rebuild Haiti, despite more than $16 billion in aid pledged in the aftermath. The letter says “the population is living in desolation and despair,” the middle class has been “completely impoverished” and Haiti today has only the poor and the rich. 

“Little infrastructure has actually been rebuilt and most of the work that has been started is still in progress or has been stopped altogether,” the Jesuits charged. “Some public buildings have, curiously enough, remained in total oblivion.”

The letter decries the lack of a major housing program and says “people continue to build in total anarchy.”

“There are still large numbers of homeless people and new slums have sprung up in and around Port-au-Prince.”

The letter laments a “staggering” gulf between optimistic predictions of reconstruction and actual achievements over the past 10 years.

“Public funds are being squandered and misappropriated. International aid is misdirected. Suspicions and corruption scandals are killing any hope Haitians have of a better future. The permanence of the emergency and the mismanagement of the aftermath of the earthquake have led the country to other earthquakes of even greater magnitude: social, political, economic and ecological earthquakes.”

The letter ends by calling for a “societal change” based on an “ethical requirement” that sees political and other civic leaders “orient their actions towards the interests of the community.”

Haiti’s Jesuits are formally part of the Canadian province of the Catholic Church’s largest religious order of priests. The letter goes out with the full support of Canada’s Jesuits, said the Jesuit communications director José Sanchez.

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More than a dozen children killed in fire at Haitian orphanage run by US charity

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Fifteen children are dead after a fire ravaged a Haitian facility for impoverished and orphaned children.

The blaze broke out Friday at the Orphanage of the Church of Bible Understanding in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, according to CNN. About 60 children were able to escape the burning facility, which is run by a religious nonprofit organization based out of Pennsylvania.

Haitian President Jovenel Moise said he was “deeply moved” by the tragedy and directed authorities to investigate the cause of the fire. Investigators are looking into whether a burning candle may have sparked the blaze.

The Orphanage of the Church of Bible Understanding stands with blackened walls the morning after a fire broke out in Kenscoff, which is on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Friday. A fire swept through this orphanage run by a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit group, killing over a dozen children, according to healthcare workers.
The Orphanage of the Church of Bible Understanding stands with blackened walls the morning after a fire broke out in Kenscoff, which is on the outskirts of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on Friday. A fire swept through this orphanage run by a Pennsylvania-based nonprofit group, killing over a dozen children, according to healthcare workers.

(Dieu Nalio Chery/AP)

Jennifer Melton, Haiti’s chief of child protection for UNICEF, said about 80% of the children being housed in the facility still have at least one living parent who can’t provide financial support.

The Church of Bible Understanding, which runs the facility, has been working with children in the poverty-stricken country since 1977 and supports about 150 children in Haiti.

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New Movie Explores Haitian Zombi Folklore/ Island Origins

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The French writer and director Bertrand Bonello’s new film Zombi Child offers its viewers a new appreciation of ancient Haitian Voodoo folklore, conveying issues of racism, colonialism and the strained relationship between France and Haiti. The story is a fictional depiction of a real historical figure, enslaved Haitian Clarvius Narcisse. Since its release it has been creating lots of online buzz. 

Zombi folklore is a Voodoo/Vodou/Vodun practice that originated in early 17th century Haiti and claims to bring the dead back to life through performed rituals and holistic medicine. The idea is that these reanimated corpses or ‘zombis’ are then sent to work in the sugarcane fields, without complaint. This is a slave’s worst nightmare: that after they die, they remain enslaved rather than gaining freedom and returning to the African homeland.

The film begins by depicting the inverse relationship between Clarvius, a Haitian man who is said to have been zombified in 1962, and his granddaughter Mélissa living in present day France. Mélissa retells the story of her grandfather’s demise to her friends, explaining how he died and came back to life as a Zombi to work in the hell of Haiti’s sugar cane plantations.

Bertrand illustrates Haitian Zombi folklore as distinct from that of George Romero’s zombie in Dawn of the Dead, where the dead come from hell to terrorize the living. A Haitian Zombi is simply stuck between life and death. The film was released in the United States on Jan 24, 2020 and stars Wislanda Louimat as Mélissa, Louise Labeque as Fanny, and Mackenson Bijou as Clarvius Narcisse. Zombi Child is available on the Vudu platform in the U.S.


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Haiti – Health : The Caribbean and Latin America trained in the detection of COVID-19

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Haiti – Health : The Caribbean and Latin America trained in the detection of COVID-19
16/02/2020 08:51:24

Haiti - Health : The Caribbean and Latin America trained in the detection of COVID-19

Efforts to ensure that Latin American and Caribbean countries are ready for laboratory diagnosis of the new coronavirus (COVID-19) continued this week with training in Mexico City, organized by the Pan American Organization for Health (OPS) and the Institute of Epidemiological Diagnosis and Reference of the Mexican Ministry of Health (InDRE) for the benefit of virologists from 6 Central American countries : Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala and Nicaragua, as well than Cuba and the Dominican Republic.

During the training, which was held at the InDRE National Influenza Center (NIC) and led by experts from PAHO, participants were trained in the main tests and protocols to detect and diagnose COVID-19 using molecular technology. The training was also attended by virologists from Baja California public health laboratories, Jalisco and Quintana Roo to increase and expand Mexico’s response capacity. Participants also received diagnostic equipment necessary to test the disease, including primers, probes and positive controls.

“Preparing laboratories to perform early diagnosis of SARS-CoV-2 in a safe environment is essential to ensuring that countries can respond quickly and effectively,” said Cristian Morales, PAHO/WHO Representative in Mexico.

The training organized in Mexico is the latest in a series of sessions which will guarantee that 29 laboratories (including the National Public Health Laboratory (LNSP) of Haiti) will be ready to detect COVID-19 in the Region by 21 February 2020, the American Atlanta CDC serving as a regional reference laboratory.

Last week, PAHO conducted training in Brazil for 9 South American countries (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay), as well as in Venezuela.

Training has also taken place in the Caribbean, including Suriname, Barbados, Haiti https://www.icihaiti.com/en/news-30015-icihaiti-health-haiti-now-has-the-means-to-detect-the-new-coronavirus-covid-19.html , to Jamaica and Dominica. This will continue in the sub-region next week with laboratory training in the Bahamas and Guyana. The Caribbean Public Health Agency (CARPHA) has also informed that its laboratory is ready to respond to the new coronavirus, and the Institut Pasteur in Guyana is also operational to support surveillance in the French Caribbean territories.

COVID-19 Global assessment February 15 :

Sunday February 16, 2020, the number of people infected worldwide with the Coronavirus COVID-19 (laboratory and clinical confirmed cases) amounted to 69,261, an increase of 2,170 cases, however less than the previous day https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-30034-haiti-news-zapping.html ; 1,669 deaths (+ 9.3%), 142 more than the day before (1,527); 9,687 people healed, i.e. 1,190 people (+ 14%) more than the day before (5.8 times more healing than death compared to 5.5 times the day before).

To date, there have been 756 confirmed infected people outside China, or 161 more than the previous day (+ 27%), including 67 new cases aboard the cruise ship “Diamond Princess” in quarantine off Japan.

Number of deaths abroad (4): 1 in the Philippines, 1 in Hong Kong, 1 in Japan and 1 in France.

See also :
https://www.icihaiti.com/en/news-30015-icihaiti-health-haiti-now-has-the-means-to-detect-the-new-coronavirus-covid-19.html
https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-30010-haiti-flash-coronavirus-the-number-of-infected-and-deaths-explodes-in-24-hours.html
https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29955-haiti-health-surveillance-measures-are-deployed-in-the-country-s-ports-and-airports.html
https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29950-haiti-flash-the-ministry-asks-the-hospitals-of-the-country-to-prepare-for-the-coronavirus.html
https://www.icihaiti.com/en/news-29947-icihaiti-dr-towards-the-establishment-of-a-sanitary-cordon-at-the-border.html
https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29926-haiti-news-zapping.html
https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29923-haiti-coronavirus-emergency-meeting-of-caribbean-health-ministers.html
https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29919-haiti-flash-chinese-banned-to-go-out-of-a-plane-to-port-au-prince.html
https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29879-haiti-health-chinese-coronavirus-the-ministry-of-health-is-reassuring.html
https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29858-haiti-flash-chinese-coronavirus-haiti-is-preparing-and-activating-its-alert-system.html

HL/ HaitiLibre

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Haiti – Politic : President Moïse visits the Vallée-de-Jacmel

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Haiti – Politic : President Moïse visits the Vallée-de-Jacmel
16/02/2020 08:18:02

Haiti - Politic : President Moïse visits the Vallée-de-Jacmel

On Saturday, President Jovenel Moïse accompanied by the Prime Minister a.i., Jean Michel Lapin and other representatives of the State went to the commune of Vallée-de-Jacmel (Dept. of South-East).

The Head of State came to inspect the electrification works, which were completed in less than a month, with a view to supplying more electricity to Vallée-de-Jacmel, such as the installation of a group of 300 kilowatts, extension of the distribution network by 1.5 kilometers (wire and post), to arrive up to 4.5 kilometers, while installing prepaid meters and other infrastructure as part of the implementation of the project 24 hour power supply.

Taking advantage of his trip, the Head of State met with the Mayor of the city on several important projects such as the completion of the Vallée-de-Jacmel road, access to drinking water and the opening of the Professional Training Center…

HL/ HaitiLibre

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Haiti – U-20W World Cup : D-7, Last eliminatory phase for our Grenadières

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Haiti – U-20W World Cup : D-7, Last eliminatory phase for our Grenadières
16/02/2020 07:51:38

Haiti - U-20W World Cup : D-7, Last eliminatory phase for our Grenadières

Saturday 24 Grenadières left the country for the Dominican Republic to carry out a mini preparation course to better tackle the last phase of the qualifiers for the Women’s U-20 World Cup (February 22 to March 8, 2020) which will take place in Dominican territory with the objective of leaving with one of the 2 qualifying tickets.

With this preparation course which begins this Sunday, February 16, under the leadership of coach Laurent Mortel, while waiting for the arrival of Midfielder Danielle Monique Étienne who will complete the list, our Grenadières will be able to benefit from the best working conditions to refine their preparation before the competition. This is a team full of talents who dream of offering Haiti a second consecutive participation in a World Cup after France 2018.

LIST of the 25 players selected :

Goalkeepers (3) : Madelina Fleuriot, Edjenie Joseph, Nahomie Ambroise.

Defender (8) : Tabita Joseph, Ruthny Mathurin, Esthericove Joseph, Méghane Saint-Cyr, Kerlidade Damour, Buernengy Adrien, Rose Pierreline France, Maudeline Moryl.

Midfielders (8) : Melchie Daelle Dumornay, Gaelle Dumas, Mirlène Dorcé, Danielle Monique Étienne, Dayana Pierre-Louis, Withmila Alcide Pierre, Dieunika Jean-Baptiste, Elisabeth Brivil.

Attackers (6) : Abaina Louis, Darlina Joseph, Bethina Petit-Frère, Mariline Guerrier, Valentina Ornis, Flero Dina Surpris.

CALENDAR of eliminatory matches (Group F) :

All of our Grenadières matches will be played at 4:00 p.m. (Haiti time) in San Cristobal. in the Dominican Republic)

Sunday February 23, 2020 :

Haiti vs Cayman Islands

Tuesday February 25, 2020 :

Haiti vs St. Kitts & Nevis

Thursday February 27, 2020 :

Haiti vs Trinidad and Tobago

See also :
https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-29982-haiti-women-s-foot-world-cup-qualifying-u-20-pre-list-of-the-grenadieres-convened.html

BF/ HaitiLibre

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