Today is the six-month anniversary of the Haiti earthquake and, even though the world’s attention is fading, there’s been a lot of newsandblogcoverage about the work that lies ahead. Most of the focus has been on Port-au-Prince and, while the earthquake took its major toll on an urban center, we can’t forget about the devastating impact it had on rural communities, agriculture, and Haitian farmers.
A fantastic article from Agence France Presse about Haiti’s food security echoes many of theconcerns we’ve raised before about aid distribution and food aid policy. The article emphasizes a need for “technical culture” and “training of farmers.” Which begs the question: what sort of training do Haitian farmers need the most? Irrigation? Tilling?
Meanwhile, our friends over at ActionAid wrote about Haiti’s housing crisis and reconstruction plans. Jean-Claude Fignolé, ActionAid’s Haiti Country Director, said:
“The Haitian people must be included in the reconstructions plans. At the moment the plan is more reflective of donor country interests and that is wrong. It is imperative that Haitian people be directly involved in their own recovery and lead the reconstruction process.”
We couldn’t agree more. Haiti’s future should not be determined by the international community, but by Haitian people themselves who can inform decision-makers about what they need most.
In recognition of the six-month anniversary of the earthquake, we’re asking our readers to support the Haiti Empowerment, Assistance and Rebuilding (HEAR) Act, which aims to create a transparent reporting and accountability system for the $2 billion in U.S. aid that has been committed to Haiti.
And, as part of AJWS’s commitment to transparency and responsible grantmaking, we invite you to review our three-phase, four-year strategy for working in Haiti, which includes our work to revitalize Haitian agriculture and ensure that the Haitian economy can thrive by enabling local production and procurement of goods.
AJWS stands by the people of Haiti as they continue to recover and rebuild. Their resilience and courage inspires and motivates us in our work around the globe to confront disasters with tenacity and challenge adversity with hope.