Haiti's uncertain future

Robert Benodin - December 16 2008, 4:35 PM

The director of the University of Chile's International Studies Center, Juan Emilio Cheyre, expressed his concerns about the situation in Haiti in an op-ed contribution to Listin Diario on Friday, 12 December.

He says he was involved with the peace-making process and recently returned to Haiti, which motivated him to write the piece.

Cheyre calls on members of the international community to take a new approach towards Haiti.

He says that Haiti currently survives on international aid funding, and there is an absolute stagnation in the country's institutions.

"I think that in this case the conventional concept of sovereignty should evolve given the existence of a failed state," he comments.

He suggests that different options should be evaluated for a transitory administration - de facto trust or shared sovereignty.

While he says this is a drastic option, he says that there is an urgent need to generate governance with institutions that do
away with the status quo.

Cheyre believes that the international community that is funding Haiti has the right to ask the Preval government for greater efficiency and accountability.

He estimates the aid Haiti receives at around US$500 million, and in addition there is about US$134 million in international loans for services and Haitians living abroad send back US$1.3 billion in remittances.

Nevertheless, he comments that all the development indexes show that there is no progress.

He says that while Haiti posted a growth of 3.21% in 2007, it had 0% private investment, the GDP per capita is only US$1,840, working population is only 49.6%, university graduates 1.1%, and the literacy rate is very low. Most people earn around US$2 a day, life expectancy is 51.5 years and malnutrition affects 47% of the
population.

"This scenario presents a serious migration problem for the Dominican Republic.

A thousand Haitians cross the border every day and add to the two million Haitians who already live there," he writes.

He explains: "The reason for migration is clear: they are looking for opportunities and the consequences are unpredictable, given the impact on a neighbor that although better off cannot satisfy its own needs."

Cheyre observes that Chile has been contributing to the peacekeeping process since 2005, and as a result Chilean private and public institutions have the right and the duty to demand that the country needs to move on from the current rhetoric to an urgent phase of recovery of the capacity to create institutions, concrete plan and empower responsible players.

posted on DR1 Daily News - Monday, 15 December 2008

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Comments

Linda says...

Robert, thanks for the article. It is so sad how Haiti has now become everybody's charity case since the Gutter Rat... more »

Rft says...

Mr. Benodin Posting all this statistical knowledge about Haiti is fine but where does the Haitian people go from here... more »

Linda says...

OK, RFT; you've been asking everyone what their plans are. What are your plans? more »

Rft says...

hi, my plans have been in motion since the early 80's : manage to convince most teenages in the neighborhood to finish... more »

Linda says...

Rft, I did not mean to imply that you had no plan. My question stemmed from a place of real curiosity, not criticism... more »

Ralph Darbouze says...

I totally agree with you RFT, I slowly but sadly realize that a lot of our people with some knowledge and education... more »

Tiba says...

Ralph I was in that same boat when I went to Haiti in 1995 to offer my help to my hometown. The people who would... more »

Ralph Darbouze says...

Tibia I carefully read what your said I must admit the true reality behind your words, but I notice couple things that... more »

Tba says...

Ralph I want you to know that I was not pointing finger directly at you. I was talking for most part in a general... more »

Ralph Darbouze says...

Although words and ideals can be miss understood even miss use but let pictures determine clearly what I meant buy... more »