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As protests ebb, Haiti faces economic hit

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — The flaming barricades are mostly gone, protests have largely dissipated and traffic is once again clogging the streets of Haiti’s capital, but hundreds of thousands of people are now suffering deep economic aftershocks after more than two months of demonstrations.

The protests that drew tens of thousands of people at a time to demand the resignation of President Jovenel Moise also squeezed incomes, shuttered businesses and disrupted the transportation of basic goods.

“We are nearing a total crash,” Haitian economist Camille Chalmers said. “The situation is unsustainable.”

Haiti’s economy was already fragile when the new round of protests began in mid-September, organized by opposition leaders and supporters angry over corruption, spiraling inflation and dwindling supplies, including fuel. More than 40 people were killed and dozens injured as protesters clashed with police. Moise insisted he would not resign and called for dialogue.

The United Nations World Food Program says a recent survey found that 1 in 3 Haitians, or 3.7 million people, need urgent food assistance and 1 million are experiencing severe hunger. The program, which says it is trying to get emergency food assistance to 700,000 people, blames rising prices, the weakening local currency and a drop in agricultural production blamed partly on the disruption of recent protests.

In the past two years, Haiti’s currency, the gourde, declined 60% against the dollar and inflation recently reached 20%, Chalmers said. The rising cost of food is especially crucial in the country of nearly 11 million people. Some 60% make less than $2 a day and 25% earn less than $1 a day.

A 110-pound bag of rice has more than doubled in price in the local currency, said Marcelin Saingiles, a store owner who sells everything from cold drinks to cookies to used tools in Port-au-Prince.

The 39-year-old father of three children said he now struggles to buy milk and vegetables.

“I feed the kids, but they’re not eating the way they’re supposed to,” he said, adding that he has drained the funds set aside for his children’s schooling to buy food.

A growing number of families across Haiti can’t even afford to do that since the protests began, with barricades preventing the flow of goods between the capital and the rest of the country.

Many of those families live in Haiti’s rural areas, which also have been hit by demonstrations that continue in some cities and towns.

Wadlande Pierre, 23, said she temporarily moved in with her aunt in the southwest town of Les Cayes to escape the protests in Port-au-Prince. However, she had to move back to the capital because there was no gas, power or water in Les Cayes, and food was becoming scarce.

“There is no access to basic items that you need,” she said.

Pierre is now helping her mother, Vanlancia Julien, sell fruits and vegetables on a sidewalk in the Delmas neighborhood in the capital.

Julien said she recently lost a couple of hundred dollars’ worth of produce because she could not go out on the street to sell while protests were going on.

“All the melon, avocado, mango, pineapple, bananas, all of them spoiled,” she said.

Last year, sales were good, but she is now making a third of what she used to earn before the protests began, even though streets have reopened.

“That doesn’t amount to anything,” she said. “The fact that people don’t go out to work, it’s less people moving around and makes it harder for me.”

Chalmers warned that economic recovery will be slow if the political instability continues, adding that the situation is the worst Haiti has faced in recent years.

“A lot of crises came together,” he said. “Not only the economic one, but the political and fiscal ones.”

A Section on 12/08/2019

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Former Haitian Ambassador visits Charlottesville – – CBS19 News

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Former Haitian Ambassador visits Charlottesville –  CBS19 News

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Bahamas Government to Liberalize Investment Process for Areas Affected by Hurricane Dorian

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Hurricane Dorian caused US$3.5 billion in damages and losses, according to IDB and ECLAC.

NASSAU, The Bahamas, Friday January
17, 2020
– The
Government is looking to simplify investment requirements and expedite
investment applications for Bahamian and international investors for Abaco, the
Abaco Cays, and East End and West End, Grand Bahama, Prime Minister Dr Hubert
Minnis has announced.

“We will
liberalize the process of investment for the affected areas,” the Prime
Minister told hundreds of local and international delegates attending the
Hurricane Dorian Pledging Conference at the Baha Mar Convention Centre this
week.

“Hard and
difficult decisions must be made if we are to rebuild, rebuild quickly, smartly
and with resilience.”

Further
details are expected to be released in the weeks ahead, said Prime Minister
Minnis.

Representatives
of governments, multilateral agencies and financial institutions attended the
Pledging Conference, which was geared towards mobilizing recovering financing
for Hurricane Dorian. It was held under the theme ‘Rebuilding a Stronger and
More Resilient Bahamas’ and US$1.5 billion was pledged in recovery funding and
in-kind services, which was just under half the estimated losses and damage the
Category 5 hurricane caused when it made landfall in the archipelago in
September 2019.

Abaco and
Grand Bahama reconstruction and recovery efforts are expected to get a boost
from the event which was organized by the Government of The Bahamas in
partnership with the United National Development Programme (UNDP).

The Prime
Minister said the Conference and other such efforts are an essential part of
the rebuilding process.

The
Government has already prepared specific reconstruction delivery plans, which
have been cross-referenced with the US$3.4 billion damage and loss assessment
by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the United Nations Economic
Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC).

The plans
focus on housing, the environment and debris clean up, education, health,
infrastructure and the economy. From the reconstruction delivery plans,
specific project concepts have been identified.

“Let me
re-emphasize that private sector, NGO and international contributions must be
aligned with the priority areas of the Government of The Bahamas,” said Prime
Minister Minnis.

He noted
that progress is being made on the ground on Abaco, the Abaco Cays and Grand
Bahama, including the removal of debris and the restoration of various
services.

“Despite the progress, someone visiting, especially Abaco and the Abaco Cays, these four months later, will be shocked by the scope and scale of the devastation and the enormous, complex and many challenges of rebuilding,” he added, stressing that there is still a “very long road ahead”.

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Haïti – Actualité : Zapping…

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Haïti – Actualité : Zapping…
17/01/2020 10:29:20

Haïti - Actualité : Zapping...

7 ex-sénateurs portent plainte au CEP :

ALOMON (OPL), Dieupie Chérubin (KID), Ronald Lareche (VERITE), Nenel Cassy (FANMI LAVALAS) et Youri Latortue (AAA), portent plainte auprès du Conseil Électoral Provisoire, contestant la décision du Président Jovenel Moïse de mettre fin à leur mandat. Une démarche qui n’est pas supporté par les Sénateurs toujours en poste à la Chambre haute. Lire aussi : https://www.haitilibre.com/article-29760-haiti-flash-les-senateurs-reagissent.html

Croix-des-Bouquets : arrestation de 4 hommes armés :

Jeudi la Police Nationale d’Haïti (PNH) affectés au Commissariat de la Croix-des-bouquets a procédé à l’arrestation de 4 individus. Le premier a été arrêté avec en sa possession une arme illégale, les 3 autres ont été arrêté dans la zone de jumecourt (Tremblay 1). Au total 2 armes illégles ont été saisies.

Inauguration de la route Mombin Crochu/Vallières :

Ce vendredi 17 janvier aura lieu l’inauguration du tronçon de route Mombin Crochu / Vallières (Nord-Est) en présence du Président de la République Jovenel Moïse dans le cadre du programme baptisé « Louvri wout wo nòdès ».

« Les Haïtiens méritent un gouvernement réactif » :

« Les Haïtiens méritent un gouvernement réactif qui répond aux besoins économiques et sécuritaires. Le Chancelier Bocchit Edmond et moi avons discuté de la coopération, des questions régionales et de la nécessité d’un accord politique sur la formation du Gouvernement et d’un calendrier électoral en Haïti » a déclaré Michael G. Kozak, Secrétaire adjoint a.i. du Bureau des affaires de l’hémisphère occidental du Département d’État américain Lire aussi : https://www.haitilibre.com/article-29747-haiti-politique-jovenel-moise-n-abusera-pas-des-decrets-affirme-le-chancelier-edmond.html

L’opposition contre la dictature… :

Les signataires de l’opposition de l’accord de Marriott https://www.haitilibre.com/article-29254-haiti-politique-entente-politique-de-transition-texte-de-l-accord-de-l-opposition.html promettent d’utiliser tous les moyens pacifiques nécessaires afin d’empêcher le rétablissement par Jovenel Moise de la dictature dans le pays, annonçant la mise en place d’un mécanisme de concertation permanente permettant de mettre en application l’accord de Marriott.

Le Parti Fusion face au vide institutionnel :

Le Parti Fusion des sociaux démocrates haïtiens souligne la nécessité pour l’Exécutif d’adopter des dispositions pour combler le vide institutionnel au Parlement soutenant que les 10 sénateurs siégeant au grand corps ne peuvent pas poser d’actions constitutionnelles.

HL/ HaïtiLibre

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