What aid would be useful for Haiti in the current situation?
This was the theme of an online conference on June 8, 2022, organized by the Coordination Europe Haiti (COEH) and the Collectif Haiti de France (CHF), to initiate a debate on the issue of international aid to Haiti. More than a hundred people and institutions from the world of NGOs, various associations, universities, international cooperation, state institutions, etc. responded to the invitation and attended the webinar that was moderated by Ms. Colette Lespinasse, who also wrote the full report (in French), which you can find here.
To launch the debate, six (6) speakers took the floor to address, each, an aspect of the theme by presenting their reflection or their experience on the subject. Mr. Ilionor Louis, Research Professor at the State University of Haiti (UEH), with supporting figures, demonstrated how the aid mobilized for Haiti after the earthquake of January 12, 2010, is back where she came from. Frédéric Thomas, researcher at CETRI (Centre Tricontinental based in Belgium) showed how Haiti evolves in a constant cycle of vulnerabilities that keep getting worse, while aid increases.
Ms. Yolette Etienne, a Haitian woman with a long experience in NGO work, drew attention to the large gap between the formal discourse on international aid and what is done in practice in Haiti. Michel Chancy, professor-researcher at Quisqueya University (UNIQ) spoke about his own experience as a senior state official in the post of Secretary of State for Animal Production at the Ministry of Agriculture.
Mr. Gorenflo, focal point “Civil Society, Human Rights and Justice” at the Delegation of the European Union (EU) in Haiti, pleads in favor of an improvement in the management of development aid that passes through NGOs . The presentations were closed with the one made by Mr. Ernst Mathurin, a member of civil society organizations who has, to his credit, publications on the presence of NGOs in the country. For him, the question posed, namely “what aid would be useful in Haiti in the current context” is political and that is why he decided to approach the question from a political angle.
Finally, several participants wanted to organize these kinds of reflections from time to time (every three months, for example) in order to offer stakeholders in the field a better frame of reference for their actions.