Originally: Refocusing On Haiti
In a world of competing demands, there?s a flurry of actions to refocus attention on Haiti only seven months from elections intended to bring some normalcy in a country so close to the shores of America.
This weekend, a mini summit on
Earlier in the day yesterday, four Haitian cabinet ministers and the chief of staff of the Haitian president flew to
?What could they still be discussing that hasn?t been discussed over the past year,? asked Jacques Adolphe, a savvy Haitian lawyer in Florida, who added, ?it?s long past due for the international community to release the funds promised to Haiti last July.? He continued, ?Without jobs to occupy people?s time between now and October, I?m afraid the elections will be compromised.?
Indeed, job creation and security are top priorities for a successful transition, according to a high fact finding delegation to
A key paragraph of the executive summary of the findings, posted on the organization?s web page, https://haitipolicy.org, states that ?lively debate centers on whether job or security are most urgent.? The delegation concluded, ?Long term investment and the permanent employment it generates demand much-improved security in terms of both competent policing and a favorable legal code and improved judiciary.? But there is an urgency to create jobs now, as the interim government has proposed from its inception. Says Democracy Project: ?More urgent is immediate employment generation through expanded public works projects that put young men to work earning money and that address important deficiencies in urban sanitation and in inadequate roads around larger towns. Jobs can give young men a stake in the system and some hope that a genuine democratic process will provide for the future.?
The focus on job creation was the purpose of a visit to
HERO, the bipartisan effort of former Senator Graham (D. Fla.) and Senator DeWine (R. Ohio) was overwhelmingly approved in a voice vote by the Senate last year. But HERO has been bogged down in the House. A rare bipartisan entente between the two heavyweights of the House?s Ways and Means Committee, Congressman Rangel (D. NY) for the minority and Congressman Thomas (R. Calif.), gives HOPE a chance. But there?s concern that the White House and the State Department, engrossed in problems elsewhere, seem detached from what?s happening in
Meanwhile, the Congressional Black Caucus, that has been somewhat dormant about
Interestingly, among the ?invited guests? at the symposium is Marc Bazin, the rival presidential candidate to Mr. Aristide in 1990, who is trying to become the standard bearer for a fragmented Lavalas Family party. He will have to contend with Father Gerard Jean-Juste, a catholic priest who has remained an Aristide loyalist. Alix Baptiste, the minister for Haitians living abroad, is the sole ?invited guest? who is a member of the interim government. He also held a sub-cabinet post in the Aristide government.
In this atmosphere, the announcement by the Inter-American Development Bank of approval of $270 million for urgent projects of high intensity labor couldn?t be more welcome by the authorities in