“Everyone has sand and beach,” said Elsa Baussan Noel, tourism adviser to Haitian President Michel Martelly and a third-generation hotelier. “We have a pretty interesting religion mix. We have different music. We have artisans. We have culture.”
Noel was among more than 20 Haitian hotelier and wannabe hoteliers who worked the halls at the two-day Caribbean Hotel & Resort Investment (CHRIS) Summit, which ended Tuesday in downtown Miami. The Haiti delegation was by far the largest representing any one country.
The third annual conference attracted more than 300 hospitality consultants, real estate developers, brand executives, chief bank economists and the biggest hotel investors in the Caribbean. Participants focused on recent tourism trends in the Caribbean, which is rebounding despite the global economic downturn. Demand for new hotel rooms is up, participants said, but they noted that securing financing remains difficult.
12 health centers, of the region southwest of Haiti, are now powered by solar energy thanks to the initiative of the Government of Haiti, the financing of the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB) through the Global Environment Fund (GEF) and “Solar Electric Light Fund” (SELF) which is responsible for project implementation, as part of the South Coast Initiative (CSI).
Thanks to the logistical support of the Minustah and the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS) CSI has been able to transported by helicopter solar panels and technical staff to install 18 solar panels to provide electricity to the health center of Ile à Vache [estimated population: 15,000 inhabitants], thus completing the series of 12 beneficiary health centers, agreed with the Haitian state [Côte de Fer, Chantal, Saint Jean du Sud, Roche à Bateau, Damassin, Coteau, Port à Piment, Randel, Charbonnière, Les Anglais et Tiburon]. The Health Center of the Ile à Vache is the 12th and last of this list, to advantage of this initiative.
Announced this morning… during its run this year, the Cannes Film Festival will host a fund-raising event for… Haiti.
The fundraiser, to be presented by Giorgio Armani, will benefit various organizations and their ongoing humanitarian work in Haiti, like Sean Penn’s J/P HRO, Paul Haggis’ Artists for Peace and Justice, and Petra Nemcova’s Happy Hearts Fund.
Haiti’s projected growth comes after a reported 5.6 percent growth rate in 2011, according to the Fund.
The rate comes largely from reconstruction efforts following the devastating earthquake in the country in 2012.
That number represents the highest projected growth of any country in the Caribbean.
Suriname, with a projected growth of 4.9 percent, has the second-highest projected number.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Glimmers of hope are coming to this devastated capital and its surrounding cities, as the concrete Royal Oasis hotel rises over a metropolitan area still filled with displaced-persons camps housing hundreds of thousands. Signs of Haiti’s comeback can also be seen in the 105-room Best Western hotel being built within blocks of shanty-covered hillsides.
At least seven hotels are under construction or are in the planning stage in Port-au-Prince and its surrounding areas, raising hopes that thousands of investors will soon fill their air-conditioned rooms looking to build factories and tourist infrastructure that will help Haiti bounce back from a 2010 earthquake that officials say claimed 300,000 lives. Some damaged hotels are undergoing renovations.
Together, the projects add up to well over $100 million in new investment and will generate several thousand jobs in a nation still struggling to emerge from years of natural disasters and political turmoil.
In fact, the new hotels are the first significant private-sector construction in Port-au-Prince in the two years since the quake.
AP-HAITIEN, Haiti (defend.ht/MITCDN) – Aligned with national decentralization agenda, President Martelly’s administration is proactively building capacity of municipalities and departments to better prepare communities for emergency response.
March 23, 2012 — Haiti’s Minister of the Interior, Thierry Mayard-Paul and United Nation’s Development Program (UNDP) administrator, Helen Clark hosted a landmark validation ceremony in Cap-Haitien today, putting into action a precedent-setting “Seismic Risk Reduction Plan for Northern Haiti.”
The plan, a flagship project for UNDP and its national partners, is a joint venture between UNDP and Haiti’s National System for Disaster Risk Reduction, under the Ministry of the Interior.
According to the UNDP’s Clark, this is one of the first times that a developing country has taken advance measures to reduce the vulnerability of its people and economy to future earthquakes. “This project is a historical landmark and this is to the credit of the Haitian government, which decided to engage a proactive strategy of risk reduction in order to avoid a similar tragedy to that which struck Port-au-Prince and its region on January 12th, 2010,” she said.
CORAL GABLES, Fla., March 12, 2012 — /PRNewswire/ — There is a new coffee coming to Florida that not only tastes great, but it does a great deal of good. Par Haiti/Pour Haiti™ (From Haiti/For Haiti), launched by Haiti Originale LLC, tastes great because this hand-roasted coffee is made with top-quality, all-natural 100 percent Haitian Arabica beans. It does good because the dollars generated by sales of the coffee help to increase income for Haitian farmers and workers while supporting reinvestment into the Haitian economy. Par Haiti/Pour Haiti coffee will launch in the U.S. in select Whole Foods Markets in Florida in March.
Haiti Originale was established following the devastating January 12, 2010 earthquake to provide a platform for sustainable development and create jobs in Haiti. Products marketed in partnership with internationally recognized consumer brands are identified with the Par Haiti/Pour Haiti logo, allowing consumers and market partners alike to recognize that the mere purchase of such products provides Haitian farmers and workers the dignity of employment. The Par Haiti/Pour Haiti program extends across many categories including apparel, artisan crafts, coffee, cocoa, rum and fresh produce.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Haiti’s foreign affairs minister says his country has signed an agreement with Cuba to receive help in maintaining the government’s vehicles.
Foreign Minister Laurent Lamothe says the deal will bring 34 Cuban mechanics to make repairs to school buses, garbage trucks and heavy equipment.
More than two years after the deadly earthquake in Haiti, the long road to recovery continues for those who are injured. CBS News correspondent Whit Johnson has this example of one victim now making a difference in that island nation.
Her right leg broken and her left mangled beyond repair. Three days after the earthquake Shelove Julmiste was told it would have to be amputated.
“She was crying all day and night,” a translator said, speaking for Julmiste. “She was afraid she wouldn’t walk anymore.”
Today she’s not only walking, but Shelove is helping run the country’s first organized rehabilitation program and showing other disabled Haitians how to get back on their feet.