Omaj pou Ayiti

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Haiti’s Lawmakers Finally Approve Of Laurent Lamothe

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Haitian lawmakers have approved President Michel Martelly’s choice for a new prime minister, ending a two-month impasse that had hampered the country’s efforts to rebuild from the devastating 2010 earthquake.

The Chamber of Deputies voted 62-3 with two abstentions shortly before midnight Thursday to confirm Laurent Lamothe, who will serve as Haiti’s head of government and lead earthquake reconstruction efforts. Lamothe was a special adviser to Martelly before being named foreign affairs minister and has been co-chairman of an economic advisory panel with former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

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Haiti Wants To Make Its Name In Tourism

They came bearing a colorful brochure, new logo and hope that after years of disaster and crisis, Haiti will return to the tourism map.

“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.

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12 Health Centers in Haiti To Be Powered By Solar Energy

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.

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Reminder

‘I AM HAITI’

VIDEO CONTEST

I AM HAITI’

(SUBMIT YOUR VIDEO)

Our readers have taken an interest on our exciting weblog project, ‘I AM HAITI’. We had originally produced web clips of Jaffa Films staffers who are currently working on the feature documentary, ‘Blessed are the Meek’ and suggested they tell us about their love, and pride of their homeland, Haiti. However, we’d like to turn the lens on you, our supporters and share a select numbers of these videos in the feature documentary project, ‘Blessed are the Meek’. The winner of the ‘I AM HAITI’ video contest will be flown to Haiti in 2012 to record their personalized video.

The ‘I AM HAITI’ video contest hopes to present Haitians from all over the Diaspora who embody the love and humanity of Haiti. We’re excited to hear from you on topics as far reaching as childhood memories, family, community, Haitian culture and history, and Pre-Quake and Post Quake life. The Blessed team appreciates your participation in sharing, personal and honest accounts of being Haitian. Furthermore, we’ve also been inspired by the accounts from readers who told us that the disaster of 2010 presented a committed challenge for Haitians to rebuild their beloved country, by rebuilding their own lives. For many, it’s about reconnecting to one’s past and turning a terrible tragedy into personal triumph.

It’s really easy to contribute! You can create your video using YouTube or Vimeo and send the link/URL of the video to Iamhaiti@jaffafilms.org If you create your video using your laptop or mobile phone and have a video file, please attach the file in an email to Iamhaiti@jaffafilms.org.

Your video submission will be judged by a selection of Haitian scholars, artists, writers, and filmmakers. Selected video submissions will be featured on the film’s upcoming multi-media website and weblog. Please make sure to include your full name with your video submission. Each video should be 60-90 seconds long, and should feature only you, speaking right into the camera telling your story. Please start your story with the words “I Am Haiti…” We can’t wait to hear from you! And if you have any questions, please email blessed@jaffafilms.org

Submission of ALL videos, ends Friday June 8th.

Merci.

The Blessed Team.

‘Men Anpil Chay Pa Lou’ – Haitian Proverb

(Many hands lighten the load)


Cannes Film Festival Holds Fundraiser For The Benefit of Haiti

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.

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11 People Accused Of Using Haiti’s Earthquake To Sell Stock Illegally

Federal regulators say 11 people exploited a disastrous 2010 earthquake in Haiti to illegally sell stock in a U.S. company that they told investors would build homes in the devastated country.

The mastermind of the scheme was Kevin Sepe of Miami, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Wednesday. Sepe and five others agreed to pay a total $3.2 million to settle the SEC’s civil charges. Charges are still pending against the remaining five people.

The SEC says the scheme netted about $1 million in profits. The agency says Sepe and the others promoted the stock of Recycle Tech, a small company they touted as having legally committed to build up to 50 container homes in Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake. But the SEC says that the company never had money to do such work.

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Haiti Needs To Unite And Improve Agriculture

The Regional Office of Social Affairs of Southeast of Petit Goâve has marked the Agriculture and Labor Day, this May 1, 2012, by organizing with different sectors of the city a day of reflection on issues related to agriculture and unemployment. Different personalities spoke during the day.

“Our vegetation cover is decreasing every day. Reforestation of the country appears to be an imperative and citizens must therefore, plant each a tree to improve the vegetation cover and fight against possible floods” declared in his intervention, Mr. Abdallah Moncy, the Director General of the Town Hall.

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Cholera: The Issue Between Haiti and UN

Two years after Haiti’s deadly 2010 earthquake, a second humanitarian crisis continues to claim Haitian lives.

Whereas the first crisis was a natural disaster, the second — a massive outbreak of cholera — was man-made. Worse still, although the United Nations unwittingly caused the epidemic, the world’s largest humanitarian organization has disclaimed responsibility and has failed to address the legitimate demands of the thousands of Haitians affected.

In October 2010, U.N. peacekeeping troops stationed about 100 kilometers north of Port-au-Prince at a camp lacking basic sanitation facilities dumped human waste into a tributary of the Artibonite, the country’s largest river system. This set off what has become the world’s worst and fastest-spreading cholera epidemic, infecting over 500,000 people and killing more than 7,000.

Before late 2010, when U.N. troops arrived carrying pathogens from cholera-stricken Nepal, not a single case of cholera had been reported in Haiti for a century. Seven months after the outbreak, a U.N.-appointed independent panel of international experts released a report largely confirming what a number of epidemiological studies had already concluded: U.N. troops were the sole source of the disease. The report also found that the U.N. had failed not only to ensure proper sanitary waste disposal in accordance with its agreement with Haiti, but also to conduct adequate water safety tests or to take timely corrective measures when cholera exploded throughout the country.

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Michel Martelly Returned To Haiti

Haitian President Michel Martelly returned to Haiti Monday morning after a two-week hospital stay in Miami following a pulmonary embolism.

The President arrived at Haiti’s Toussaint Louverture International Airport Monday morning before 8 o’clock, joined by his wife, Sophia.

Martelly gave a press conference at the airport’s Diplomatic Room to address the local media in the country following his arrival, renewing his call for Parliament to ratify Laurent Lamothe as the country’s new Prime Minister.

Lamothe has been confirmed by the Senate.

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In Depth: The Five Pieces of Haiti’s Puzzle

By Joshua Paul, MD

In the wake of Haiti’s devastating earthquake of January 2010, scores of NGOs, charities and disaster experts flocked to the country in a valiant effort to conquer the chaos. Former United States President Bill Clinton was one of the first famous names to join the surge. Also on the scene have been Wyclef Jean, Sean Penn, Oprah Winfrey and many others.

By some accounts, there are more than 3,000 NGOs operating in Haiti today. This can be seen throughout the countryside as small foci of non-profit developments, orphanages, water wells and primary schools. The tragedy is that there is minimal collaboration among these organizations. This lack of cooperation leads to redundancy, reinvention of the wheel and, in some cases, total waste.

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