Clinton Interim Commission DisappearsLa commission intérimaire de Clinton disparaît

 

Absent Haiti quake panel slows reconstruction

By Trenton Daniel
AP via SF Gate

English | French

Editorial Comment. Clinton’s “reconstruction” panel is illegal and corrupt. It came into being after the U.S., together with Préval, forced the Haitian Parliament to dissolve itself so as to give rich foreigners a free hand in the country. Instead of disappearing quietly, this commission that never accomplished much of anything in over a year, and even tried to credit itself for projects it had not done, had the temerity to try to get renewed by the Senate. For a candid background about how and why the CIRH (IHRC) was formed, and how poorly it has handled its projects, read the following articles and then compare them to this offering from AP that worries ever so much about the departure of the “donors.”

Dady Chery, Editor
Haiti Chery

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Almost two years after an earthquake devastated Haiti, less than half of the $4.6 billion in pledged aid has been disbursed and political squabbling is threatening to bring coordinated reconstruction efforts to an abrupt halt.

An ambitious panel tasked with overseeing efforts to rebuild Haiti, co-chaired by former U.S. President Bill Clinton, was created three months after the January 2010 quake destroyed much of its capital, toppling hundreds of thousands of homes and throwing more than a million homeless into squalid camps.

But the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, or IHRC, disappeared in October after Haitian officials failed to renew its mandate or to create a Haitian-run agency to assume its role of coordinating reconstruction efforts.

Haitian officials say that 120 projects submitted to the disbanded panel remain on hold and experts fear that without the IHRC or a version of it, new donations will stop or dwindle and already pledged money won’t come in because donors fear that the money will be squandered.

“Without the IHRC, the donors will renege on their promises — I’m afraid of that,”

said Raoul Pierre-Louis, an engineer who represented municipal authorities as a board member of the IHRC.

Former board members on the panel also fear that reconstruction efforts will go adrift.

Laura Graham, COO of the William J. Clinton Foundation and chief of staff to the former leader, said Clinton would continue to ask donors to fulfill their pledges.

“If you don’t have the IHRC or a similar platform we worry if the donors will come to the table,”

Graham said by telephone.

“That is President Clinton’s main concern — that donors don’t walk away from Haiti.”

Creating a new commission won’t be easy for the same reason the original one’s 18-month mandate died: A proposal must go before Parliament for approval. And lawmakers routinely spar with Haitian President Michel Martelly, a pop star-turned-president whose old onstage antics as “Sweet Micky” sometimes make a cameo in his new role.

International donors say the need for a new commission is urgent.

“We call on President Martelly and Prime Minister (Garry) Conille to take the necessary steps to address this issue in a timely and effective manner,”

Justin Broekema, a spokesman for Canada’s Ministry of International Cooperation, said in a statement.

Modeled after a commission for post-tsunami Indonesia, the reconstruction panel sought to shy away from the haphazard practice of bilateral negotiations in an effort to rebuild the nation from scratch. It also wanted countries including the United States, France and Venezuela to sit literally at the same table with Haitian leaders and avoid a duplication of projects.

“We had France knowing what Spain is doing in Haiti,”

Jean-Max Bellerive, former prime minister and former co-chair, told The Associated Press.

“We had (the U.S. Agency for International Development) knowing what the (Inter-American Development Bank) was doing in Haiti. We had the World Bank knowing what the IMF was doing.”

Board members met every two months or so, the bulk of the meetings taking place at high-end hotels away from the piles of rubble and the hundreds of thousands people still holed up in precarious settlements vulnerable to flooding and stormy weather long after the quake.

Despite the efforts, the panel drew heaps of criticism. It was sluggish. It was bureaucratic. It had too many foreigners involved.

Sen. Jean William Jeanty and other critics blasted the IHRC for showing too few results and excluding too many Haitians from the planning. Aid groups say hundreds of the quake camps have closed, through a combination of forced removal and payments, but the mountainside shanties ringing Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, seem to be swelling with blue and orange tarp-covered structures.

Martelly was a critic of the panel when he ran for office, and the first of his three picks for prime minister, Daniel-Gerard Rouzier, summed up its performance in a view shared by many Haitians. He called it “dysfunctional.”

In the end, Martelly changed his mind. He announced at the IHRC’s seventh meeting in July that he wanted to see the mandate renewed for another 12 months while a Haitian entity was created to take over. Bellerive named six people to serve as board members from the executive branch. He also named a new interim executive director, a position that had been vacant since her predecessor resigned in April.

According to Interim Executive Director Ann-Valerie Milfort and Dep. A. Rodon Bien-Aime, Martelly submitted a request to parliament before it expired.

Lawmakers took no action. The panel dissolved.

“It all happened so unceremoniously,”

said Priscilla Phelps, a post-disaster housing expert whose consulting firm TCG International was hired by USAID to help map out a housing plan.

“Right until the end people thought there was a good chance it would be extended.”

The shape of a successor is still being figured out by a transition team and Conille, a former chief of staff to Clinton who brought his experience as a U.N. development expert to the original IHRC.

Some reconstruction work is taking place.

This month, Martelly and international partners finished clearing out a town square that relief agencies say once housed as many as 11,000 people. It was one of the last projects the IHRC approved before it disbanded. And on Monday, the president and Clinton are scheduled to tour the construction site of a $225 million industrial park in northern Haiti that’s supposed to create 20,000 jobs, another IHRC project.

But effective reconstruction is unlikely to happen without the grand master plan as championed by Clinton and the panel.

“Donors will give money but they may revert to the same old practices where they unilaterally decide what to do,”

said Pierre-Louis, the former board member.

“There will be reconstruction but it will take us 20 years instead of 10.”

The biggest obstacle facing the new reconstruction panel is Haiti’s Parliament.

Martelly and lawmakers have routinely lashed out at each other since the first-time politician took office in May. The legislature has viewed Martelly and his inner circle as haughty and rejected Martelly’s first two picks for prime minister before finally agreeing upon Conille, paralyzing his government for months and doing little to put donors at ease.

The already uneasy relations plunged south in October when police locked up Dep. Arnel Belizaire because, according to a spokesman, the deputy had escaped from prison on the day of the Jan. 12, magnitude-7 earthquake.

Senators and deputies were livid. Criminal investigators hadn’t formally requested that the immunity Belizaire enjoys as an elected official be lifted and lawmakers called for the dismissal of officials they believed ordered the detention. One of them, Haiti’s justice minister, resigned on Tuesday.

How will the Belizaire case affect Parliament’s vote on approving the mandate of a reconstruction panel?

“For certain it’s going to cause problems,”

said Bien-Aime, a member of the Unity opposition party that controls the 30-member Senate and has 36 seats in the 99-member Chamber of Deputies. Whether the mandate is approved

“depends on how the president is going to handle the Belizaire matter.”

Just before midnight Wednesday, Martelly posted a video on his Facebook page. He fell short of issuing an apology but said the executive, legislative and judicial branches need to work together.

“One completes the other,” he said.

“In this sense, we can’t be fighting among one another.”

Source:  AP via SF Gate
 

Absent Haiti quake panel slows reconstruction

By Trenton Daniel
AP via SF Gate

English | French

Editorial Comment. Clinton’s “reconstruction” panel is illegal and corrupt. It came into being after the U.S., together with Préval, forced the Haitian Parliament to dissolve itself so as to give rich foreigners a free hand in the country. Instead of disappearing quietly, this commission that never accomplished much of anything in over a year, and even tried to credit itself for projects it had not done, had the temerity to try to get renewed by the Senate. For a candid background about how and why the CIRH (IHRC) was formed, and how poorly it has handled its projects, read the following articles and then compare them to this offering from AP that worries ever so much about the departure of the “donors.”

Dady Chery, Editor
Haiti Chery

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Almost two years after an earthquake devastated Haiti, less than half of the $4.6 billion in pledged aid has been disbursed and political squabbling is threatening to bring coordinated reconstruction efforts to an abrupt halt.

An ambitious panel tasked with overseeing efforts to rebuild Haiti, co-chaired by former U.S. President Bill Clinton, was created three months after the January 2010 quake destroyed much of its capital, toppling hundreds of thousands of homes and throwing more than a million homeless into squalid camps.

But the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission, or IHRC, disappeared in October after Haitian officials failed to renew its mandate or to create a Haitian-run agency to assume its role of coordinating reconstruction efforts.

Haitian officials say that 120 projects submitted to the disbanded panel remain on hold and experts fear that without the IHRC or a version of it, new donations will stop or dwindle and already pledged money won’t come in because donors fear that the money will be squandered.

“Without the IHRC, the donors will renege on their promises — I’m afraid of that,”

said Raoul Pierre-Louis, an engineer who represented municipal authorities as a board member of the IHRC.

Former board members on the panel also fear that reconstruction efforts will go adrift.

Laura Graham, COO of the William J. Clinton Foundation and chief of staff to the former leader, said Clinton would continue to ask donors to fulfill their pledges.

“If you don’t have the IHRC or a similar platform we worry if the donors will come to the table,”

Graham said by telephone.

“That is President Clinton’s main concern — that donors don’t walk away from Haiti.”

Creating a new commission won’t be easy for the same reason the original one’s 18-month mandate died: A proposal must go before Parliament for approval. And lawmakers routinely spar with Haitian President Michel Martelly, a pop star-turned-president whose old onstage antics as “Sweet Micky” sometimes make a cameo in his new role.

International donors say the need for a new commission is urgent.

“We call on President Martelly and Prime Minister (Garry) Conille to take the necessary steps to address this issue in a timely and effective manner,”

Justin Broekema, a spokesman for Canada’s Ministry of International Cooperation, said in a statement.

Modeled after a commission for post-tsunami Indonesia, the reconstruction panel sought to shy away from the haphazard practice of bilateral negotiations in an effort to rebuild the nation from scratch. It also wanted countries including the United States, France and Venezuela to sit literally at the same table with Haitian leaders and avoid a duplication of projects.

“We had France knowing what Spain is doing in Haiti,”

Jean-Max Bellerive, former prime minister and former co-chair, told The Associated Press.

“We had (the U.S. Agency for International Development) knowing what the (Inter-American Development Bank) was doing in Haiti. We had the World Bank knowing what the IMF was doing.”

Board members met every two months or so, the bulk of the meetings taking place at high-end hotels away from the piles of rubble and the hundreds of thousands people still holed up in precarious settlements vulnerable to flooding and stormy weather long after the quake.

Despite the efforts, the panel drew heaps of criticism. It was sluggish. It was bureaucratic. It had too many foreigners involved.

Sen. Jean William Jeanty and other critics blasted the IHRC for showing too few results and excluding too many Haitians from the planning. Aid groups say hundreds of the quake camps have closed, through a combination of forced removal and payments, but the mountainside shanties ringing Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, seem to be swelling with blue and orange tarp-covered structures.

Martelly was a critic of the panel when he ran for office, and the first of his three picks for prime minister, Daniel-Gerard Rouzier, summed up its performance in a view shared by many Haitians. He called it “dysfunctional.”

In the end, Martelly changed his mind. He announced at the IHRC’s seventh meeting in July that he wanted to see the mandate renewed for another 12 months while a Haitian entity was created to take over. Bellerive named six people to serve as board members from the executive branch. He also named a new interim executive director, a position that had been vacant since her predecessor resigned in April.

According to Interim Executive Director Ann-Valerie Milfort and Dep. A. Rodon Bien-Aime, Martelly submitted a request to parliament before it expired.

Lawmakers took no action. The panel dissolved.

“It all happened so unceremoniously,”

said Priscilla Phelps, a post-disaster housing expert whose consulting firm TCG International was hired by USAID to help map out a housing plan.

“Right until the end people thought there was a good chance it would be extended.”

The shape of a successor is still being figured out by a transition team and Conille, a former chief of staff to Clinton who brought his experience as a U.N. development expert to the original IHRC.

Some reconstruction work is taking place.

This month, Martelly and international partners finished clearing out a town square that relief agencies say once housed as many as 11,000 people. It was one of the last projects the IHRC approved before it disbanded. And on Monday, the president and Clinton are scheduled to tour the construction site of a $225 million industrial park in northern Haiti that’s supposed to create 20,000 jobs, another IHRC project.

But effective reconstruction is unlikely to happen without the grand master plan as championed by Clinton and the panel.

“Donors will give money but they may revert to the same old practices where they unilaterally decide what to do,”

said Pierre-Louis, the former board member.

“There will be reconstruction but it will take us 20 years instead of 10.”

The biggest obstacle facing the new reconstruction panel is Haiti’s Parliament.

Martelly and lawmakers have routinely lashed out at each other since the first-time politician took office in May. The legislature has viewed Martelly and his inner circle as haughty and rejected Martelly’s first two picks for prime minister before finally agreeing upon Conille, paralyzing his government for months and doing little to put donors at ease.

The already uneasy relations plunged south in October when police locked up Dep. Arnel Belizaire because, according to a spokesman, the deputy had escaped from prison on the day of the Jan. 12, magnitude-7 earthquake.

Senators and deputies were livid. Criminal investigators hadn’t formally requested that the immunity Belizaire enjoys as an elected official be lifted and lawmakers called for the dismissal of officials they believed ordered the detention. One of them, Haiti’s justice minister, resigned on Tuesday.

How will the Belizaire case affect Parliament’s vote on approving the mandate of a reconstruction panel?

“For certain it’s going to cause problems,”

said Bien-Aime, a member of the Unity opposition party that controls the 30-member Senate and has 36 seats in the 99-member Chamber of Deputies. Whether the mandate is approved

“depends on how the president is going to handle the Belizaire matter.”

Just before midnight Wednesday, Martelly posted a video on his Facebook page. He fell short of issuing an apology but said the executive, legislative and judicial branches need to work together.

“One completes the other,” he said.

“In this sense, we can’t be fighting among one another.”

 

Source:  AP via SF Gate

 

La reconstruction d’Haïti menacée de paralysie

By Trenton Daniel
AP via SF Gate

English | French

Commentaire. La CIRH de Clinton est illégalle et corrompue. Est est entrée en vigueur après que les Etats-Unis, en collaboration avec René Préval, avaient forcé le Parlement haïtien de se dissoudre pour donner aux riches occidentaux la main libre sur le pays. Au lieu de disparaître tranquillement, cette commission qui n’a rien accompli pendant plus d’un an, et même tenté de prendre de la gloire pour des projets qu’elle n’avait pas fait, a eu la témérité d’essayer de se faire renouveler par le Sénat. Pour une examination candide sur comment et pourquoi la CIRH (CIRH) a été formé, et comment elle a traité ses projets, lisez les articles suivants, puis comparez les à celui de l’AP qui s’inquièteencore au sujet du départ des “bailleurs” de fonds.

Dady Chery, Editor
Haiti Chery

 Près de deux ans après le puissant séisme qui a frappé Haïti, moins de la moitié des 4,6 milliards $US d’aide promise a été déboursée et les querelles politiques menacent d’interrompre brutalement la coordination des efforts de reconstruction.

Un comité chargé de superviser la reconstruction, co-dirigé par l’ancien président américain Bill Clinton, a été créé trois mois après le tremblement de terre de janvier 2010 qui a détruit une bonne partie de la capitale et fait un million de sans-abris.

Mais la Commission intérimaire pour la reconstruction d’Haïti (CIRH) est disparue en octobre après que les autorités haïtiennes eurent échoué à renouveler son mandat ou à créer une nouvelle agence pour coordonner les efforts de reconstruction.

Des responsables haïtiens affirment que 120 projets soumis à la CIRH restent en suspens. Les experts craignent que sans une commission pour superviser la reconstruction, les dons internationaux cessent ou que l’argent déjà promis ne soit pas versé parce que les donateurs craindront qu’il soit dilapidé.

«Sans la CIRH, les donateurs vont revenir sur leur parole, j’en ai peur», a dit Raoul Pierre-Louis, un ingénieur qui représentait les autorités municipales au sein du conseil d’administration de la CIRH.

Une responsable la Fondation William J. Clinton, Laura Graham, a indiqué que l’ancien président américain continuerait de demander aux donateurs d’honorer leurs engagements.

«Sans la CIRH ou une plateforme similaire, nous craignons que les donateurs ne soient plus présents», a dit Mme Graham lors d’une entrevue téléphonique. «C’est la principale préoccupation de M. Clinton: que les donateurs ne se détournent pas d’Haïti.»

Créer une nouvelle commission ne sera pas facile, pour les mêmes raisons qui ont mené à la mort de la CIRH. La proposition doit d’abord être acceptée par le Parlement, et les députés s’opposent régulièrement au président Michel Martelly sur plusieurs dossiers.

Mais les donateurs internationaux estiment qu’il est urgent de mettre sur pied une nouvelle commission.

«Nous appelons le président Martelly et le premier ministre (Gary) Conille à prendre les mesures nécessaires pour résoudre cette question rapidement et de façon efficace», a écrit Justin Broekema, porte-parole du ministère canadien de la Coopération internationale, dans un communiqué.

Le président Martelly a critiqué la commission lors de sa campagne électorale, mais il a ensuite changé d’idée. En juillet, lors de la septième réunion de la CIRH, il a annoncé qu’il voulait que son mandat soit renouvelé pour 12 autres mois en attendant qu’une entité haïtienne soit mise sur pied pour prendre la relève.

Selon la directrice exécutive intérimaire de la CIRH, Ann-Valerie Milfort, et le député haïtien A. Rodon Bien-Aimé, le président a soumis la demande au Parlement avant l’expiration du mandat de la commission. Mais les députés n’ont pas agi et la commission a été dissoute.

«Tout s’est passé sans cérémonie», a dit Priscilla Phelps, une experte du logement post-désastre dont l’entreprise a été recrutée par l’agence américaine de développement international (USAID) pour contribuer aux efforts de reconstruction en Haïti. «Jusqu’à la toute fin, les gens pensaient qu’il y avait une bonne chance pour que le mandat soit prolongé.»

La future commission qui devrait succéder à la CIRH est en cours d’élaboration par une équipe de transition et le premier ministre Gary Conille. Et certains travaux de reconstruction se poursuivent sur le terrain. Ce mois-ci, le président Martelly et les partenaires internationaux d’Haïti ont terminé l’évacuation d’un camp qui a logé jusqu’à 11 000 sinistrés. Il s’agissait de l’un des derniers projets approuvés par la CIRH avant sa dissolution.

Mais une reconstruction efficace sera difficile à mener sans un plan d’ensemble tel que celui promu par Bill Clinton et la CIRH.

«Les donateurs vont envoyer de l’argent, mais ils pourraient revenir aux mêmes anciennes pratiques dans lesquelles ils décidaient unilatéralement de ce qu’ils devaient faire», a estimé Raoul Pierre-Louis, ancien membre de la CIRH. «Il y aura de la reconstruction, mais ça nous prendra 20 ans plutôt que 10.»

 

Source: AP via Radio Television Caraibes

 

 

 

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