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Haiti - Reconstruction : IHRC, disorders and disputes generalized
15/12/2010 14:47:05

Haiti - Reconstruction : IHRC, disorders and disputes generalized
The fourth meeting of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC), held yesterday in Santo Domingo, attended by about 70 officials and technicians from Haiti and the Dominican Republic, the delegations of 26 member countries, representatives of the Organization of American States (OAS) and representatives of Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs). This meeting was to begin at 14:00 began with several hours late, it lasted nearly seven hours and ended late at night, and was the occasion of violent verbal confrontations, critics, club questions, complaint, misunderstanding and serious frustrations. A meeting where the discharge of responsibilities seemed more important than the reconstruction of Haiti.

President Leonel Fernandez, after the usual greetings and congratulations to former U.S. president for his role in helping to rebuild Haiti, stressed the importance of having a democratic and political stability in Haiti. "It is imperative that the election results of that nation either legitimate for both, they must also have the support of the international community, but also the Haitian people. President Leonel Fernandez said that the three major challenges facing Haiti are: politics, cholera and economic development.

Jean Max Bellerive, who could not make the trip, tried to ensure his co-chaired by video-conference despite the many technical problems of transmission.

The IHRC has approved $430 million on $490 million submitted. $60 million to train teachers have not been approved, because France refused to support this project, not being convinced of the viability of the project presented. The priority raised at the meeting concerned the removal of 40% of rubble and construction of housing for 400,000 people homeless.

Former U.S. president Bill Clinton strongly criticized the slow pace of reconstruction, laying the blame on the Haitian authorities, he also urged them to accept the plans to speed things up. He considers "totally unacceptable" that only 40% of the debris should be removed by August 2011, 19 months following the earthquake. "More money or different methods are necessary", he said. Speaking to the delegates of Haiti, he asked whether it would be possible for projects over $ 10 million, fully financed, and corresponding to the reconstruction plan be approved by e-mail in order to accelerate the process . "We could have worked on these housing projects, fully funded, and there could be today many Haitians at work for two months, which is not the case today", lamented former President Clinton. He demanded an answer from the representatives of Haiti at the meeting next month and threatened to call each member individually, if it helps move things forward. He further stressed that in the context of contested elections, it is clear that patience in some quarters, began to wane with Haitian President Rene Preval and his administration. Several times during the meeting of nearly 7 hours, Bill Clinton also seemed to lose patience ...

He presented a strategic plan that neither the former Minister of Jamaica Percival James Patterson, representative of the CARICOM on IHRC nor other officials have been able to read in detail.

The strategic plan includes initiatives to improve infrastructure, housing construction, improved procedures for the creation of a mortgage market, the construction of 250 temporary schools, 5.000 teachers training, improving services and reconstruction of 40 hospitals. Increase access to drinking water from 7% to 50% and 10 to 20% access to sanitation and latrines in conformity with international standards. The report mentions two dates in 2011 to complete the work, June and October.

Percival James Patterson has made strong criticism for the lack of results of the IHRC. Recalling that seven months after the formation of this institution, members of the international community and himself are disappointed that the promises made were not kept and there is no specific plan for signing contracts in the reconstruction of Haiti. He has raised objections and doubts about the plan and deadlines for Bill Clinton, attended by President Leonel Fernández.He also complained of funds available, which are blocked without being spent or invested for the benefit of the Haitian people and the lack of transparency in the procedures for selection of projects promoted by the Commission. Visibly frustrated, Percival James Patterson left the meeting before the end, where late after midnight the commission always discussed situation of the cholera in Haiti...

Felippin Suze Percy, Executive Representative of Haiti, read a paper on behalf of 11 other representatives of the Haitian government, in which he denounced the discriminatory treatment and lack of communication on projects, plans and other measures. Expressing a feeling of total exclusion and disconnection on what is happening exactly. He says that the members of the Haitian government sitting on the HRIC, are excluded from decisions and they are misinformed. The reality he said is that we are taken into account only to ratify decisions of the Commission. Questioning the operation of the institution and on how decisions, representatives of donor governments and multilateral agencies, are taken.

Jean Marie Bourjelly, another member of the executive, blamed the co-chairman of the committee, Bill Clinton, the lack of answer to email requesting for information , emails coming from the Haitian delegates. Adding that members of the IHRC, which are not in Haiti, must have access to information, which is not the case. He also criticizes the Executive Director, Gabriel Verret to not answer to his emails.

Gabriel Verret, acknowledged the existence of flaws in the process of IHRC, while Prime Haitian Jean-Max Bellerive, noted the high level of frustration in the group warning that things could not go on ...

The next meeting of the HRIC is scheduled for late January, in the quiet hopefully ...

HL/ HaitiLibre

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