Globe, Latin America

The Haiti disaster: two years on

A conference analysing the country’s current situation following the earthquake which left more than 300,000 dead and untold devastation, will take place on the 11th of October.

At 4.30pm on the 12th of January 2010, the streets and the citizens of Haiti were going about their daily lives. The country, one which even then was considered one of the poorest in the world, couldn’t even begin to imagine what awaited them a few minutes later.

At 4.53pm, Haiti’s reality darkened even further. The strongest earthquake on record in two hundred years – with Port-au-Prince at its epicentre – destroyed the land and left more than 300,000 dead and nearly 1 million injured.

The history of Haiti, which had hitherto combined the corruption of its governments, organized violence and profiteering first world powers at the citizens’ expense, was again hit by this natural disaster. Since then, a profound humanitarian crisis has taken root in the country. of the earthquake’s thousands of victims have survived until now without shelter because of a small number of houses that have been rebuilt. Nearly 5000 million dollars that had been promised by the international community to help rebuild the country has yet to arrive; the funds so far don’t cover even half of what was promised.

However, the international community has introduced a cholera epidemic to Haiti, brought over by the UN soldiers in 2010. This has affected nearly half a million people, killing 7000.

Further to this, the government has failed to properly manage and breathe new life into Haiti’s reconstruction project and the UN mission has no end in sight.

Thousands of factors result in desperation for millions of people.

In order to analyse the nation’s current situation, and the challenges and realities which can help Haiti begin to rebuild after the earthquake, the Institute for the Study of the Americas has organized a conference, entitled “Daunting challenges still facing post-earthquake Haiti”.

Participants in the conference include: Bill Bowring, professor of Law at Birkbeck College, University of London; Roger Annis, coordinator of Canada Haiti Action Network; and Andy Taylor, of the Haiti Support Group (UK).

The conference will take place on the 11th of October at 6.15pm in the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Charles Clore House, 17 Russell Square, London, WC1B 5DR.

Visit the website for more information:

(Translated by Marie-Thérèse Slorach)

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