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Abstract: A year and a half after the Western Hemisphere’s deadliest
earthquake devastated Haiti, 650,000 victims still wait for
permanent housing in more than 1,000 unstable emergency
camps dotting Port-au-Prince. The first storms of the 2011
hurricane season have flooded 30 camps, forcing tent
dwellers to flee and killing 28 persons nationally. Michel
Martelly, who replaced René Préval as president on 14
May, faces an immediate crisis in the growing frustrations
of the victims in the camps and those with near identical
unmet basic needs who remain in the urban slums. Forced
evictions, some violent, along with the reappearance of
criminal gangs in those camps and slums, add to the volatile
mix. Adopting, communicating and setting in motion
a comprehensive resettlement strategy, with full input from
the victims and local communities, is the first critical reconstruction
challenge he must meet in order to restore
stability. It will also test the capacity for common international
action beyond emergency relief after a year of disturbing
divisions within the UN country team and among
donors over resettlement strategy.
Abstract: Child Protection in United Nations Peacekeeping: Volume I is the first
in a series illustrating the challenges and successes of protecting
children in some of the most dangerous places on earth. In the
following pages you will learn about the work of Dee, Svjetlana, James
and Julie—peacekeepers and child protection advisers who rely on their
diverse individual experience at home and in the field to introduce the
relatively new concept of child protection to missions in distinct conflict
and post-conflict situations.
The creation of this publication was initiated by Under-Secretary-General
for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy and Special Representative
of the Secretary-General for Children and Armed Conflict Radhika
Coomaraswamy on the occasion of Universal Children’s Day when the two
United Nations officials reaffirmed their commitment to protect innocent
girls and boys faced with the brutality of war.
Abstract: In proximity to the United States, and with such a chronically unstable political environment and fragile economy, Haiti has been a constant policy issue for the United States. Congress views the stability of the nation with great concern and commitment to improving conditions there. Both Congress and the international community have invested significant resources in the political, economic, and social development of Haiti, and will be closely monitoring the election process as a prelude to the next steps in Haiti's development.
This report provides an overview of the controversies surrounding the first round of voting in late 2010, and concerns related to the second and final round of the elections. In addition to ongoing issues regarding the legitimacy of the upcoming March 20 elections, other questions have raised concerns within the international community and Congress. These include the destabilizing presence of former dictator Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier, and former President Jean- Bertrand Aristide, and the newly elected government's ability to handle the complex post-earthquake reconstruction process and its relationship with the donor community.
Abstract: On January 16, 2011, former president-for-life of Haiti, Jean-Claude "Baby Doc" Duvalier,
returned to his homeland after nearly 25 years in exile. The government of Haiti responded
by re-opening a 2008 investigation into alleged financial crimes, and several victims of
serious human rights violations under the Duvalier government also came forward and filed
complaints with the prosecutor. The investigation into Duvalier’s alleged financial and
human rights crimes is currently underway.
This report provides an overview of human rights violations under Duvalier, details the
current status of the proceedings against him, including obstacles to a successful
prosecution, and analyzes applicable Haitian and international law. We conclude that
investigation and prosecution of the grave violations of human rights under Duvalier’s rule is
required by Haiti’s obligations under international law. While there are still obstacles to
overcome, the case presents an historic opportunity for Haiti.
Abstract: Across the globe today, you'll find almost three dozen raging conflicts, from the valleys of Afghanistan to the jungles of the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the streets of Kashmir. But what are the next crises that might erupt in 2011? Here are a few worrisome spots that make our list. [Captions provided by International Crisis Group]
Abstract: Nine actual or potential conflict situations around the world deteriorated and one improved in November 2010, according to the latest issue of the International Crisis Group’s monthly bulletin CrisisWatch released today.
Tensions surged on the Korean peninsula as two South Korean civilians and two marines were killed when North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells at Yeonpyeong Island, where South Korea was conducting military drills. Haiti ’s late month presidential elections ended in confusion, as several opposition candidates called for the vote to be annulled amid reports of fraud, and thousands of people took to the streets in protest. International observers from the OAS called the vote valid despite “serious irregularities”, but tensions remain high. Ivory Coast saw deadly pre-election clashes on the streets of the capital Abidjan between rival supporters of the two presidential candidates, incumbent Laurent Gbagbo and former Prime Minister Alassane Ouattara. The tightly contested 28 November run-off and delays in announcing the preliminary results has led to heightened tensions between the two camps and fears of further violence.
In Guinea, preliminary results declaring opposition leader Alpha Condé winner of the 7 November second round presidential election sparked three days of violence resulting in at least four deaths and dozens injured. CrisisWatch also noted deteriorated situations in Burundi, Central African Republic, Madagascar, Egypt and Western Sahara.
In Niger, the situation improved as results from the 31 October referendum showed 90 per cent of voters in favour of the new constitution, paving the way for January 2011 elections and a return to civilian rule.
Once again this month CrisisWatch describes violence against civilians in North and South Kivu provinces in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Abstract: Thank you for the opportunity to speak today about natural disasters and human rights with a particular focus on international responses to Haiti and Pakistan. I’d like to begin with 4 general statements about natural disasters and human rights, then give a brief overview comparing the response to the two disasters but spend most of my time talking about some of the larger issues – ethical issues if you will – raised by the comparison between these two responses.
1. Disasters aren’t so natural. I’m using the term natural disasters as a sort of short-hand for the more accurate but more awkward phrase ‘disasters resulting from natural hazards.’ In reality, disasters are almost always the result of both natural phenomena and human action. For example, mudslides increase in Nepal as a result of both glacier runoff (a natural cause) and deforestation (a man-made cause). We could take this a step further and ask to what extent was the breaching of the levees in New Orleans the result of Hurricane Katrina or the failure of US authorities to take preventive actions to protect its citizens?
2. There have always been natural disasters of course, but they are increasing in severity and intensity as a result of climate change. And yet the reality is that the international humanitarian system is not prepared to cope with more than one large-scale disaster a year.
3. Disasters always hurt the poor and marginalized more than others. The poor tend to live in less sturdy housing and on marginal land. Similarly while disasters in developed countries tend to have high economic costs, they generally result in lower casualties than those taking place in developing societies. For example, in August 2010, New Zealand had an earthquake measuring over 7.0 on the Richter scale which destroyed 100,000 homes. No one was killed. Recovery is faster in wealthier countries. Access to assistance is often more readily available and the delivery of that assistance is easier with paved roads and multiple communication networks. The spread of disease is less likely when medicine is on hand, sanitation can be addressed, and functioning hospitals are nearby.
4. Assistance is not neutral. In fact, sometimes the response itself can exacerbate inequities. The way in which a government responds to natural disasters is often politically motivated and almost always has political consequences. If aid is not distributed in an impartial fashion, ethnic, class or religious resentments and conflicts can intensify.
Abstract: Lack of local ownership is seen as a central explanation for why peacebuilding efforts often fail to yield sustainable peace dividends. But how is local ownership understood and acted upon by those who are engaged in peacebuilding efforts at the country level? Based on research in four countries – Afghanistan, Haiti, Liberia and Sudan – this study finds that the way ownership is operationalized by external actors at the country level is quite different from how it is defined in policy documents. The most prevalent operationalization is ownership as a conditional right with external actors seeing ownership as theirs to give to local actors when certain conditions (such as capacity or responsibility) are met. The result is often that reform efforts are unsustainable. This report suggests some concrete steps that can be taken to render ownership an operational principle.
Abstract: Ten years ago, on 31 October 2000, the United Nations Security Council took
an important and unprecedented step into new territory. Recognizing the vulnerability
of women and girls to violence during and after armed conflict, and the
absence or low level of women’s representation in efforts to prevent war, build
peace and restore devastated societies, the Council passed resolution 1325. The
resolution sought formally for the first time in the Security Council to end this neglect and actively to promote and draw
on the untapped potential of women everywhere
on issues of peace and security.
The release of the 2010 edition of The
State of World Population report coincides
with the 10th anniversary of that historic
resolution. The report highlights how women
in conflict and post-conflict situations—as
well as in emergencies or protracted crises—
are faring a decade later.
The 2010 report is different from previous
editions, which took an academic
approach to topics related to the mandate
and work of UNFPA, the United Nations
Population Fund. The current report takes
a more journalistic approach, drawing on
the experiences of women and girls, men
and boys, living in the wake of conflict and
other catastrophic disruptions. This report is constructed around
interviews and reporting in Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Haiti, Jordan, Liberia, the
Occupied Palestinian Territory (West Bank),
Timor-Leste and Uganda.
Abstract: It has long been recognized that the arts hold the power to expose wounds of conflict, soothe tormented spirits and teach lessons about war and peace. Children in refugee camps draw stick figures of men with guns and houses aflame. In countries as vastly different as Uganda and Afghanistan, informal or more professional drama groups give audiences a chance to laugh or cry or just say, Yes, that's the way it was—or is. Young Sri Lankans have turned to fiction to explore a violent era of civil war and a tsunami of epic pro-portions. Cambodians in refugee camps a generation ago kept alive classical Khmer dancing as a precious link to their ruined country's heritage. Almost everywhere today, creative responses to tragedy go on in many forms.
Abstract: The Security Council today authorized the deployment of additional police officers to serve with the United Nations peacekeeping force in Haiti as part of efforts to help boost the capacity of the country’s national police to deal with the myriad challenges in the wake of January’s catastrophic earthquake.
The deployment of 680 further officers as a result of today’s Council resolution will bring the total number of UN Police (UNPOL) serving with the UN mission, which is known as MINUSTAH, to 4,391.
Just one week after the devastating quake struck Haiti on 12 January, the Council backed Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s call for additional troops, adding 2,000 military personnel and 15,000 UNPOL.
More than 200,000 people were killed in the magnitude-7.0 earthquake, which left 1.3 million more homeless and destroyed countless buildings, including Government facilities, hospitals and schools.
In today’s resolution, the Council said it recognized “the need for MINUSTAH to assist the Government of Haiti in providing adequate protection of the population, with particular attention to the needs of internally displaced persons (IDPs) and other vulnerable groups, especially women in children.”
Abstract: This research was undertaken in eight countries that were experiencing or had experienced armed conflict or other situations of armed violence. These were: Afghanistan; Colombia; Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC); Georgia; Haiti; Lebanon; Liberia; and the Philippines. The aim was to develop a better understanding of people’s needs and expectations, to gather views and opinions, and to give a voice to those who had been adversely affected by armed conflict and other situations of armed violence. This research was commissioned by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) within the framework of the Our world. Your move. campaign. Launched in 2009, the campaign’s goal was to draw public attention to the vulnerability and ongoing suffering of people around the world. The intention was to emphasize the importance of humanitarian action and to convince individuals that they had the ability to make a difference and reduce suffering. This report encompasses two types of research: an opinion survey and in-depth research.
Abstract: On January 12, 2010, Haiti experienced a magnitude-seven earthquake that leveled
much of the capital, Port-au-Prince, and left more than 200,000 people dead. The
natural disaster was a cruel and devastating blow not only because of the immediate
suffering that it caused, but because Haiti had seemed to turn a corner in political,
economic and security terms. Even the 2009 hurricane season did not have an overly
harsh impact on Haiti. The country did experience regular flooding in the peri-urban
zones of the capital and slums surrounding medium size cities, but not the large-scale
damage wrought by the 2008 hurricane season. The 2008 hurricane season coincided with a new prime minister taking office, who after one year had stabilized the office and facilitated renewed international interest and support (Staboek News, 2009). This boost in interest and investment can also be attributed to the appointment of former US president Bill Clinton as UN special envoy for Haiti. The efficiency of the process by which Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive was
selected, the coherence of the government’s political plan (Déclaration de Politique
Générale) and the endorsement of the ministerial cabinet demonstrates that the
President had anticipated and prepared for the political shift (Roc, 2009). The
high profile of President Préval’s prime ministerial choice, a man who piloted
the DSNCRP1 for several years and who has served all administrations over the past 15, made the acceptance of his nomination easy.
Tensions between former Prime Minister Pierre-Louis and
President Préval were well known and the subject of many
rumors. Nonetheless, the swift replacement of the Prime
Minister created political waves to which the international
community had to adapt quickly.
Abstract: As the Obama Administration continues its efforts to broker a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, this report looks beyond the issues of the day and focuses on what an international peacekeeping force to defend a two-state solution might look like. Though no individual case study can replicate the challenges of the Middle East, the authors extract lessons learned from other peacekeeping operations - including military and political lessons -that could be applicable. Editor and contributing author Andrew Exum writes, “There should be no doubt that peacekeeping in a future Palestinian state would be fraught with difficulties, not simply because of the unique history and circumstances of the region but also because the international record of such operations is mixed. As this project makes clear, policymakers should tread cautiously when considering such an option. Any initiative to broker peace in the Middle East carries risk, but the more risks policymakers and leaders understand beforehand, the better prepared they will be to mitigate and manage them.” Security for Peace takes an “end-around” approach to the problems of the Levant, imagining the goal – the establishment of a future Palestinian state – and asking what kind of security arrangement would be necessary to serve as a facilitator for such a state.
Abstract: The Humanitarian Action Report is UNICEF's only publication dealing specifically with the needs of children and women in emergencies. It spotlights crises that require exceptional support, and additional funding, to save lives and protect children from harm in an increasingly challenging humanitarian environment.
This year's report – subtitled 'Partnering for children in emergencies' – says the world is seeing crises exacerbated by larger trends, such as climate change and the international financial downturn, that are beyond the capacity of any one agency to address.
The report appeals for nearly $1.2 billion in international donor funding for emergency-response efforts in 28 countries covering six regions – from Eastern Europe to Africa to Asia to Latin America. The funding will be used to support a greater emphasis on emergency preparedness, early warning, disaster risk reduction and rapid recovery.
Abstract: Haiti has had a very complex and dynamic history,
from its role as the “Pearl of the Antilles” in the 18th
century, to its label as the poorest country in the western
hemisphere in the 21st century. In the last 60 years or
so – despite gross violations of human rights, lack of
security and poor or no delivery of basic services to the
population – Haiti remained out of the United Nations
(UN) security agenda because of its political inclusion under the United States (US) zone of influence. It was
only after the end of the Cold War that the UN Security
Council (UNSC) was involved with Haiti for the first time.
From 1993 to 2004, six UN missions were approved and
deployed to Haiti (the first one being a joint mission
with the Organisation of American States). The last
and current mission, deployed in June 2004 and still
on the ground, is the UN Stabilisation Mission in
Haiti (MINUSTAH), and is the only one that has a truly multidimensional mandate. This seems to render it
more able to provide stability, and (eventually) promote
sustainable peace in Haiti. This article aims to provide
an overall and introductory discussion of the UN’s recent
involvement in Haiti, with special attention to MINUSTAH
and its multidimensional nature, highlighting some of its
features and main challenges.
Abstract: The authors explore the definition of SSR as it has emerged in the international community. The makeup of the security sector is examined, emergent principles are identified for implementing SSR in the community of practice, and the outcomes that SSR is designed to produce are specified. The supporting case studies of Haiti, Liberia, and Kosovo assess the impact of SSR programs on host nation security sectors. The authors conclude that those conducting SSR programs must understand and continually revisit the policy goals of SSR programs so as to develop concepts that support a transitional process that moves forward over time. Intermediate objectives required in support of this transition also articulate what is good enough and fair enough at various stages in the transformational process. State actors must acknowledge and often accommodate nonstate security actors more effectively in SSR planning and implementation, while recognizing both the advantages and the risks of collaborating with such actors. The authors also identify a need for rebalancing resources committed to SSR, especially given that justice and civil law enforcement typically are badly under-resourced as elements of SSR programs. Finally, the authors note the need for more flexible and better integrated funding processes to support SSR activities within the U.S. Government.
Abstract: Some complex issues, both highly sensitive and political, sit at the nexus of security and
development. In post-conflict contexts, peacebuilding programs generally prioritize
activities that fall under the rubric of security governance to achieve stability, such as
the development of the capacity of the security forces and the strengthening of national
governance and the rule of law. Many observers and institutions are now recognizing
the innate linkages between security sector reform (SSR) and other important facets
of stabilization, such as disarmament, demobilization and reintegration (DDR), small
arms control, gender equality and human rights promotion. Although many would
argue that Haiti is not a post-conflict setting, few would contest that the current
polarized nature of Haitian politics and society makes such issues essential elements
of the security equation.
In 1994, upon his return from exile, President Jean-Bertrand Aristide demobilized
the Haitian army and created a new non-military security force under the Ministry
of Justice and Public Security. The new Haitian National Police (HNP) was based on a
US urban police model. DDR programs were implemented with very limited impact.
Since its first mandate in Haiti in 2004, the United Nations Stabilization Mission
(MINUSTAH) has sought to implement, without much success, a comprehensive DDR program (senior NCDDR member, 2009a). Although
existing best practices for DDR implementation, which
emerged over the past decade from experiences in other
post-conflict settings, would eventually form a foundation
for the UN’s DDR thinking in Haiti, it took some time
for MINUSTAH to develop a coherent approach tailored
to fit the Haitian context. In the end, violence reduction
initiatives were identified as better suited to the local
Abstract: In order for fragile states and the concept of state weakness to be properly understood, they need to be considered in the contexts of political economy and world history.
Four apparently disparate cases – Guatemala, Haiti, Kosovo and Angola – show surprising similarities, and highlight common lessons for international state-building efforts. In all four cases, behind a façade of ‘normal’ state institutions, public life and development are increasingly subject to shadow economies and shadow forces with strong international linkages.
There are unfortunately no existing remedies for state weakness. However, methods of improvement should include autonomous non-state actors, sustained efforts to build state capacities and restore the fabric of society, and significantly improved governance of global flows.
Abstract: Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon paid tribute today to 11 peacekeepers serving with the United Nations mission in Haiti who were killed when a plane crashed last week, hailing them for helping the Caribbean country’s people “fulfil the enormous promise of their proud nation.”
A plane had been on a routine surveillance flight near the border with the Dominican Republic when it struck a mountain on Friday in the Fonds-Verrettes area of southeast Haiti, killing the six Uruguayans and five Jordanians on board, according to the mission, known as MINUSTAH.
“Those we remember today were patrolling from the skies, but they could see something farther on the horizon: a brighter and more hopeful future for all the people of Haiti,” Mr. Ban said in a message to a memorial service delivered by his Special Representative, Hédi Annabi, in the capital, Port-au-Prince.
“They ventured far from home to serve the shared values that bind us together as a human family,” he added. The peacekeepers came to Haiti to protect the country’s borders and help victims of last year’s devastating storms and hurricanes, the Secretary-General noted. “These 11 brave men put everything into a painting a picture of a rising Haiti, more secure, more hopeful, more strong.”
During the moving memorial ceremony, attended by hundreds of UN staff and Haitian and international dignitaries, Haitian President René Préval bestowed the National Order of Honour and Merit on the 11 peacekeepers. The 11 coffins were each decorated with a wreath of flowers laid by Mr. Ban’s Special Representative Hédi Annabi and the commanding officers of the Jordanian and Uruguayan battalions.
The UN flag flew at half mast both at MINUSTAH and UN Headquarters in New York.
Following remarks by Commander Mohammed Al-Ajarmah of the Jordanian battalion and Colonel Edimer Guevara of the Uruguayan battalion, Mr. Annabi spoke on behalf of MINUSTAH and the UN family in Haiti.
Abstract: By its resolution 1840 (2008), the Security Council extended the mandate of
the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) until 15 October
2009, and requested me to report on its implementation semi-annually and not later
than 45 days prior to its expiration. The present report covers major developments
since my report of 6 March 2009 (S/2009/129) and the progress made in the
implementation of the mandate of the Mission as set out in Security Council
resolutions 1542 (2004), 1608 (2005), 1702 (2006), 1743 (2007), 1780 (2007) and
1840 (2008). During the reporting period, increased political cooperation permitted progress
in a number of areas, including the holding of senatorial elections, the adoption of
key legislation and the pursuit of an inclusive dialogue on a number of major issues
facing the country, based on the work of a number of presidential commissions. This
collaboration remained fragile, however, and subject to reversal, with a potential for
renewed tensions and conflict among and within the governing institutions of Haiti,
and a continued readiness on the part of influential forces within the country to
inflame public tensions to further their own interests.
The first round of elections to fill 12 vacancies in the Senate was held on
19 April. While conditions were generally peaceful, a series of violent incidents led
to the cancellation of the vote in the Centre Department and to the closure of voting
centres in the Artibonite Department. The second round of elections in the nine
departments other than the Centre Department was held on 21 June, without
significant disruptions. The rerun of the first round of elections for a Senate seat in
the Centre Department is expected to be held once the authorities take action on the
basis of the investigation conducted by the Provisional Electoral Council.
Abstract: “Peacekeeping economies” have not been subject to much analysis of either their
economic or socio-cultural and political impacts. This paper uses a gendered lens to explore
some ramifications and lasting implications of peacekeeping economies, drawing on examples
from four post-conflict countries with past or ongoing United Nations peacekeeping missions:
Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Liberia, and Haiti. The paper is particularly concerned with the
interplay between the peacekeeping economy and the sex industry. It examines some of the
characteristics and impacts of peacekeeping economies, arguing that these are highly gendered –
but that the “normalization” of peacekeeping economies allows these effects to be overlooked or
obscured. It also contends that these gendered characteristics and impacts have (or are likely
have) broad and lasting consequences. Finally, the paper considers the initial impacts of UN
efforts to tackle negative impacts of peacekeeping economies, particularly the zero-tolerance
policy against sexual exploitation and the effort to “mainstream” gender and promote gender
equality in and through peacekeeping. The paper suggests that the existence and potential longterm
perpetuation of a highly gendered peacekeeping economy threatens to undermine the
gender goals and objectives that are a component of most peace operations.
Abstract: This project argues that the current model of state-building is deeply flawed and
that an alternative model may work better. It hews to a middle ground between the critics:
successful state-building may be possible, but only if the international community adopts
a different framework. Key to successful state-building, I argue, is restoring the
legitimacy of the state’s monopoly of violence. The current model implicitly rests on a
formal-legal conception of legitimacy in which law or institutions confer authority on
officials, who then employ that authority to create a social order. But a formal-legal
approach, however well suited to established states governed by a rule of law, is
inappropriate in the anarchy of a failed state. Precisely because the prior regime has lost
its legitimacy, there is no accepted legal or institutional framework that can confer
authority on a nascent government, no matter how democratic. I develop an alternative,
relational conception of legitimacy drawn from social contract theories of the state.2 In
this approach, authority derives from a mutually-beneficial contract in which the ruler
provides a social order of benefit to the ruled, and the ruled in turn comply with the
extractions (e.g., taxes) and constraints on their behavior (e.g., law) that are necessary to
the production of that order. The contract becomes self-enforcing – or legitimate – when individuals and groups become “vested” in that social order by undertaking investments
specific to the particular contract. In this way, legitimacy follows from social order, not
the other way around as in the current model. This implies that providing security,
protecting property rights, and adjudicating disputes within society should be the first
step in any state-building process. This paper proceeds in five principal sections. The first examines the concepts of
state failure and state-building, arguing for a new focus on rebuilding state legitimacy.
Section II probes and criticizes the intellectual foundations of the current model and
practice of state-building. I then develop an alternative analytic foundation and model that rests of a relational conception of authority in Section III. I develop the role of
international trustees in the state-building process and examine further the tensions
identified above in Section IV. The final section examines the case of Somalia. Other
cases are planned for future research.
Abstract: At the outset of the donor conference on Haiti held in Washington, DC in April 2009, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon identified five interlinked challenges to the stabilization of the country: the necessity to pursue political dialogue; the extension of state authority; the bolstering of security; the rule of law and respect for human rights; and socio-economic development. In a widely circulated report, renowned economist Paul Collier (2009) stated that by 2007 a degree of security, democracy and economic opportunity had been achieved and it was the series of natural disasters and their resultant political shocks in 2008 that placed Haiti in the difficult position it is in today. Those disasters underscored the continued fragility of Haiti’s security situation and highlighted the need for rapid progress in security sector reform (SSR). In the last Security Sector Reform Monitor the state of justice sector reform and efforts to implement the Haitian National Police Reform Plan were examined. This edition will dedicate particular attention to issues related to penal reform and the overarching issue of corruption in the security sector.
Corruption is invariably difficult to measure. Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI), which ranks 180 countries by their perceived levels of corruption, is widely viewed as the standard tool to assess the prevalence of corruption. Although most of the informants consulted confirm widespread perceptions of severe corruption in Haiti, this is difficult to substantiate given the absence of hard data and the fact that few offenders have been prosecuted. At the same time, one would be hard pressed to find a Haitian citizen who has not been a witness to, or victim of corruption by civil servants, justice officials, security officers, or non-governmental organization (NGO) personnel. In May 2009, during a meeting with national human rights NGOs, Justice Minister Jean Joseph Exume promised that well orchestrated trials of high profile corruption cases would be held to encourage greater public trust in the system. Given the culture of impunity that prevails, this promise will be difficult to uphold. In Haiti, as in many other countries of the region, corruption not only undercuts economic performance and good governance, but it can also shatter public confidence in the state and facilitate insecurity.
Abstract: Haiti remains the poorest country in the western hemisphere. Over half the population of 8.2
million people live in extreme poverty. Since Haiti's developmental needs and priorities are many,
and deeply intertwined, the Haitian government and the international donor community are
implementing an assistance strategy to address these many needs simultaneously. The Préval
administration presented a revised strategy at a donors' conference on April 14. Haiti received aid
commitments of $353 million. The United States pledged $68 million in new FY2009 assistance,
including $20 million in targeted budget support. The United Nations Stabilization Mission in
Haiti (MINUSTAH) has been in Haiti to help restore order since the collapse of former President
Jean-Bertrand Aristide's government in 2004. MINUSTAH's current strength is 9,089 troops.
The main priorities for U.S. policy regarding Haiti are to strengthen fragile democratic processes,
continue to improve security, and promote economic development. Other concerns include the
cost and effectiveness of U.S. aid; protecting human rights; combating narcotics, arms, and
human trafficking; addressing Haitian migration; and alleviating poverty. The FY2009 aid request
for Haiti was $246 million. The Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009 (P.L. 111-8) provided for an
additional $41 million in bilateral economic and international security assistance for Haiti. The
FY2010 aid request for Haiti is $293 million.