Over 50 Dead in Haiti from Hurricane; Nearly 400,000 in Tents — Why?

November 1, 2012

Cross-posted from the Institute for Public Accuracy

by Brian Concannon [email], via Nicole Phillips [email], and our own Alexis Erkert, [in Haiti] [email]

Brian Concannon [email], via Nicole Phillips [email]
Director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, Concannon said today: “Hurricane Sandy will kill many times more people in Haiti than everywhere else combined, despite barely touching the country with tropical storm-strength winds. Sandy shows that Haiti’s real disaster is decades of policies by Haitian governments and the international community that leave the government unable to provide the basic services necessary to reduce its citizens’ vulnerability to natural stress.”

ALEXIS ERKERT, [in Haiti] [email] [speaks English, French, Kreyol], @aerkert
Erkert works with the women-driven collaborative Other Worlds and is also involved in the Under Tents international campaign.

She said today: “In Haiti, entire cities flooded in the south, homes and crops were damaged, bridges and roads washed out, and 65 people lost their lives. In Port-au-Prince, the 370,000 in displacement camps — still living under shredding tents and tarps almost three years after the Haiti earthquake — spent four consecutive days trying to salvage belongings (and stay dry) as 20 inches of rain poured in.

“The government has stated that they will prioritize clearing camps. Indeed, forced evictions are already on the rise, but still with no plan in place that assures Haiti’s homeless long-term access to safe, permanent and affordable housing.

“The lack of any housing plan — one that also ensures access to basic services — while the government is at the same time promoting opportunities for large-scale foreign investment is tragically indicative of the Haitian government and international community’s priorities for Haiti.

“International solidarity with the organized movements in Haiti that are calling for a social housing plan is more urgent now than ever.”