[News] Haiti, 17 Months After the Quake

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Thu Jun 23 11:41:12 EDT 2011


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June 23, 2011


Still Displaced by Disaster


Haiti, 17 Months After the Quake

By BILL QUIGLEY

Haiti experienced a major earthquake January 12, 
2010. Tens of thousands died, estimates range 
from 65,000 to 230,000 people killed. About 2 
million more people were displaced. Haiti was 
already the poorest country in the Western 
Hemisphere with a per capita income of about $2 a 
day. Seventeen months later, Haiti remains deeply 
wounded. The numbers below give an indication of 
some of the challenges that remain for the Haitian people.

Housing

570,000 people in Haiti have moved back into 
84,000 buildings which are heavily damaged and 
marked by engineers as "yellow" because they may 
collapse in foul weather or in the event of 
another tremor. USAID Draft Report 2011. "I see 
little children sleeping next to the heavily 
cracked walls every day," said one of the experts quoted in the USAID report.

465,000 people have moved back into 73,000 
buildings that are so terribly damaged they are 
designated for demolition and are categorized as 
"red" because they may fall at any moment. USAID Draft Report 2011.

Homeless

250,000 to 800,000 people in and around Port au 
Prince Haiti are still living under flimsy tents 
or tarps where water and electricity are scarce, 
security is poor and people are exposed to 
diseases. UN Report – January 2011 and USAID Draft Report 2011.

166,000 people living in tents have been 
threatened with evictions, nearly one in four of 
the people living under tarps and tents. 
International Organization for Migration, April 2011.

1000 people were illegally evicted at gunpoint 
from three tent camps in the Delmas suburb of 
Port au Prince during one week in May 2011. They 
are part of a series of illegal evictions of over 
50,000 homeless people in Haiti in the last 
several months. June 16, 2011 human rights 
complaint filed with the Inter American 
Commission on Human Rights by IJDH, CCR, BAI and Trans Africa.

Health

320,000 cases of cholera have been reported in 
the epidemic in Haiti since the earthquake. 
Center for Economic Policy and Research (CEPR) Haiti Reconstruction Watch.

170,000 people with cholera have been seen at hospitals. CEPR.

5335 people have died from cholera since the epidemic started. CEPR.

172 temporary toilets serve the approximately 
30,000 people living in tents in downtown Port au 
Prince around the National Palace. That is one 
toilet for every 174 people. Haiti Grassroots Watch June 9 2011 report.

0 Zero is the number of people who died of 
cholera in Haiti before the earthquake. The 
epidemic originated with UN troops brought into 
Haiti whose waste was inadequately treated and 
discharged by UN subcontractors into rivers used 
by people for washing, cooking and bathing.

US Funds for Reconstruction of Haiti

$918 million is the amount allocated by Congress 
for US reconstruction development in Haiti in 
July 2010. May 2011 GAO Report on Haiti Reconstruction.

$184 million was actually obligated as of March 
2011. May 2011 GAO Report on Haiti Reconstruction.

Another $63 million was allocated to emergency 
services. May 2011 GAO Report on Haiti 
Reconstruction. (Another $1 billion was allocated 
for relief funds to reimburse US emergency and humanitarian activities).

Human Rights

In 1998, the United Nation Commission on Human 
Rights received the Guiding Principles on 
Internal Displacement which guarantee human 
dignity and human rights to many groups of people 
including all people displaced by natural 
disasters. On a visit to Haiti, the UN expert on 
internal displacement said, "Haiti is living 
through a profound humanitarian crisis that 
affects the human rights of those displaced by the disaster."

The people of Haiti are our sisters and brothers. 
The systematic violation of their human rights is 
a violation that must push us to greater 
solidarity and action. Do what you can.

Bill Quigley teaches at Loyola University New 
Orleans College of Law and is Associate Director 
of the Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR). He 
volunteers with the Institute for Justice and 
Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) and the Bureau de 
Avocats Internationaux (BAI) in Port au Prince. 
You can reach Bill at <mailto:quigley77 at gmail.com>quigley77 at gmail.com




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