|Written by Editorial|
Thursday, 13 January 2011 19:00
This year must be better. Looking resolutely forward to the next 12 months, here are some of the things Haiti needs to achieve, with the world’s help. Some are difficult, but all are possible:
A CREDIBLE NEW GOVERNMENT President René Préval has failed to provide desperately needed leadership. Many basic policy questions, such as where to build new housing, have still not been made. That leadership crisis was made even worse by November’s chaotic presidential election and charges that an electoral council, handpicked by Mr. Préval, may have cooked the results.
Observers led by the Organization of American States have just re-examined vote tallies and reported that the second-place finisher, Mr. Préval’s protégé Jude Célestin, was, in fact, out of the running, as many Haitians and observers believed. Mr. Préval and Mr. Célestin should accept that result and urge the country forward to a swift, better organized, runoff between the top two candidates: Mirlande Manigat and Michel Martelly.
ENERGIZE THE RECOVERY COMMISSION The Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, set up to unite donors and Haiti’s leaders, was also very slow off the mark. It has now approved $3 billion in projects, $1.6 billion of them financed. It needs to develop and implement more comprehensive strategies for housing, health care, government reform and agriculture. Former President Bill Clinton and Haiti’s prime minister, Jean-Max Bellerive, have provided important direction but need to push harder.
CONTAIN CHOLERA The epidemic is a horrifying reminder of why Haiti so urgently needs clean water and access to medical care — two of the yet-to-be-delivered-on promises. More than 3,000 people have been killed and thousands more are threatened.
Aid has been slow to arrive and the response — despite valiant relief efforts — has been hobbled by poor coordination and overconcentration in the capital, Port-au-Prince. The epidemic must be contained, and relief organizations need to learn from this flawed effort.
CLEAR MORE RUBBLE AND HOUSE THE DISPLACED These are inextricably linked. The country is drowning in its own rubble, and needs space to rebuild. Many main roads in the capital are now clear, and every day the government removes debris that residents gather from local streets. Even with the best coordination, this task may take another year or more.
Building homes for more than one million displaced people could take two or three years. The next president must quickly make important land-use decisions and employ all of his or her legal and persuasive powers against entrenched landowners and the bureaucratic status quo to get construction moving.
PROMOTE JOBS AND INVESTMENT Here, too, there are glimmers of progress. The Haitian government, the United States and Inter-American Development Bank have signed a deal on an industrial park in northern Haiti. A South Korean textile company will be an anchor tenant and expects to hire 20,000 people. The project includes improvements in the port of Cap Haitien and in water supply, sewage treatment and electrification.
Haiti obviously needs more than one showcase project. But this is the kind of sensible planning and long-term commitment that will help build stability and bring more investment. It recognizes that new industrial development also needs houses, roads, schools and services, so that factories do not become surrounded by shantytowns. And that as the economy is rebuilt, it must also be relocated out of badly crowded Port-au-Prince.
While Haiti remains traumatized by the worst urban disaster in history, it has a lot going for it: new structures to promote sustainable development and investment, large pledges of money and the enduring patience and energy of its people. This is no time to give up. Haiti’s political leaders, and the world, promised this time would be different. They must deliver.
From the Press
IDB hails new industrial park in northern Haiti
Monday, 22 October 2012 21:16 UTC
Manufacturing facility generates jobs, exports in less than one year since groundbreaking.
WASHINGTON, DC, U.S.A. (IDB) -- Inter-American Development Bank President Luis Alberto Moreno today joined Haitian President Michel Martelly, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former U.S. President Bill Clinton for the inauguration of the Caracol Industrial Park (CIP), a modern manufacturing facility in northern Haiti.
La BID : 50 millions de dollars pour le Parc industriel de Caracol
La Banque interaméricaine de développement (BID) a annoncé l’accord pour l’octroi d’un don pour Haïti s’élevant à 50 millions de dollars américains. Ces fonds sont destinés à la deuxième phase de construction du Parc Industriel de Caracol dans le nord d’Haïti.
On July 6, 2012, the New York Times published an article entitled: “Earthquake Relief Where Haiti Wasn’t Broken”. The piece has numerous factual errors and does not address many of the most salient points about the development of the Northern Corridor.
«Je suis impressionné», s'exclame le président Martelly - Haïti: Lundi 7 mai 2012. Il est 11 h 25 a.m. Le président Michel Joseph Martelly arrive à bord d'un hélico. Il foule le sol du parc industriel de Caracol en compagnie de l'ambassadeur américain Kenneth Merten et du ministre de l'Éducation nationale et de la Formation professionnelle, Réginald Paul. Tenue décontractée : chemise rayée, pantalon jeans bleu bottes. Il n'a pas effectué une visite surprise, car on l'attendait depuis son retour au pays après quelques jours d'absence pour des raisons de santé. Il n'y a pas eu de foule au parc industriel, mais des employés qui criaient vive Martelly!
Caracol : le rêve de 20 000 emplois prendra forme très lentement : Ceux qui avaient visité le Nord et le Nord-Est, à la fin de 2011 et au début de cette année 2012, ont constaté toute la propagande, à travers d'énormes panneaux publicitaires faite autour du parc industriel de Caracol, avant parc industriel de la région Nord. Ces messages annonçaient la création de 20 000 emplois au cours de cette année. La réalité en a décidé autrement. Quelle réalité ? --Le Nouvelliste 3 mai 2012
"We're no longer talking just about garment assembly. We are talking about a true textile industry short of planting cotton. That is what is being developed', said George Sassine, who is also responsible for implementing the US congress-approved duty-free legislation benefitting the garment industry". -- The Miami Herald, 29 March 2011