Haiti Observer

Letter of Odette Roy Fombrun to Haiti Prime Minister

Odette Roy Fombrun (born June 13, 1917) is an educator, a feminist activist and historian. Odette is a prolific writer of fiction and non-fiction; she has published textbooks, mystery novels, newspaper and magazine articles. She is the author of a collection of good citizenship guide book, and there are several novels and numerous instructional books to her credit. In 1945, she opened Haiti's first kindergarten and first professional flower shop. She celebrated her 100th birthday on June 13, last year. On December 2014, as a member of the Presidential Consultative Commission, Mrs. Odette Roy Fombrun wrote an open letter explaining how the resignation of Prime Minister Lamothe was a serious mistake.

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The reasons why roads in Haiti kill and cause harm

Haiti is considered a country with the worst transport system in the Caribbean. Here is a partial list of the reasons:

Traffic is usually chaotic with roads generally unmarked. Lanes are not marked and there are many roads with no signs to indicate the direction of traffic flow.

Some drivers do not have Driver's License. They use Receipt of citation when stopped by the Police.

Not all drivers use turn indicators or international hand signals properly.

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Driving in Haiti is attempting Suicide, you may succeed

A major road accident occurred on Saturday in Cavaillon. A truck crashed against a wall due to break failure. It took the lives of 12 people, over 30 were severely injured. The injured were taken to the hospital in Les Cayes for treatment.

Was this an accident? At least this is what the people and the Haitian authorities present at the scene stated.

To be honest with you, this was not an accident. Maybe by saying that it was an accident, it removes the responsibility from those who are in fact responsible and should be paying the consequences for death of 12 people and the medical cost of over 30 more.

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Black Lives Matter Cambridge Fundraising for Solar Panels in Haiti

Black Lives Matter (BLM) is an international activist movement, a collective of more than 50 organizations representing thousands of Black people from across the country originating out of the African-American community created in response to the sustained and increasingly visible violence against Black communities in the U.S. and globally. The movement began in 2013 by Alicia Garza with two of his sisters, Opal Tometi and Patrisse Cullors with the use of the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter on social media when an American George Michael Zimmerman responsible for the fatal shooting of a 17 year old boy Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida was acquitted of second degree murder. The BLM received national recognition following the killing of an 18-year-old Michael Brown at the hands of Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. Alicia Garza and his two sisters, originators of the hashtag, expanded their project into a national network of over 30 local chapters between 2014 and 2016.

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What ever happened to the Peanut Donation to Haiti?

Do you remember few months ago, there was a plan to send 500 metric tons of surplus U.S. peanuts to feed 140,000 malnourished Haitian schoolchildren?

It is clear that just like imported rice killed the local rice production in Haiti, the same thing would happen with local peanut production. Haitifs own peanut market stands to lose big when surplus peanuts from the United States are flown in as food aid.

On paper, it seems to be a great goodwill gesture from the United States as they are feeding malnourished Haitian schoolchildren. In reality, this is no other than crop dumping

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Haiti recently Hosted Global Speakers for Tech Summit Festival

Tech Summit is an effort to accelerate the United Nations' sustainable development goals. Haiti Tech Summit brought thousands of entrepreneurs, investors, digital marketers and innovators under one roof together to address humanity's greatest challenges. The Global Startup Ecosystem (GSE) is an organization created with the aim of accelerating startups from emerging markets; it is the first and largest digital accelerator network in the world with a mission to digitize offline startup ecosystems. GSE is the 'event sponsor' of Haiti's 2017 Tech Summit Festival.

The Haiti summit was a historic event with the participation of 100 global speakers flying from the top startup capitals of the world such as Silicon Valley, Dubai, New York, and London. Some of the most popular world Tech startups and important media participating in the summit include Uber, AirBnB, Google and "Inc Magazine", "Ebony Magazine", "Black Enterprises", and "Forbes".
The summit has been organized with three primary objectives. (i) As an annual meeting point the participants and entrepreneurs can discuss and exchange their ideas and practices at regular intervals. (ii) It serves as a central platform for showcasing advances in the rapidly growing technologies and (iii) To assist in the formation of an annual partnership program towards achieving UN's 17 sustainable development goals (such as, No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Good Health, Quality Education, Gender Equality, etc.) to transform our world.

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Black Lives Matter answering to the call from Haiti

Following the crippling Hurricane Matthew on October 2016, Black Lives Matter(BLM) Cambridge partnered with a number of Haitian organizations (Vertiver, Kouraj, and Kolectif Kay Kok- Sakage) to send aids to a number of grassroots associations. BLM has extended long term support by supplying resources to repair damaged homes, install solar posts, and provide water purifiers and donated specific items like LED lamps, solar panels, water filters, etc for as many communities as possible.

Black Lives Matter is a chapter-based national organization in the United states that is working for the validity of Black life. It is a call to action and a response to the virulent anti-Black racism that permeates the United States of America. It was was created in 2012 after 17-year old Trayvon Martin's murderer, George Zimmerman, was acquitted for his crime.

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Extension of protected status for Haitian immigrants (TPS)

TPS is designated to a foreign country if conditions in the country temporarily prevent the country's nationals from returning safely, or in certain circumstances, if the country is unable to handle the return of its nationals adequately. Thus, as per the latest announcement, the Haitian immigrants living in the U.S on TPS have to leave America within January 22, 2018 instead of the earlier dateline of July 22, 2017. USCIS may grant TPS to eligible nationals of a designated country, and eligible individuals without nationality who last resided in the designated country who are already in the United States.

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Haiti's public debt at $ 2,771 million, 33.5% of Haitian GDP

In 2016, Haiti's public debt at $ 2,771 million reached 33.5% of Haitian GDP and that translates to $255 per individual citizen. As per recent reports (dated May 27, 2017), the national and international debt of the Republic of Haiti hovers around US$3 billion out of which $1 billion represents internal debt and $2 billion of external one.

An 'External Debt' (or foreign debt) is the total debt of a country due to the foreign creditors while an 'Internal Debt' (or domestic debt) is the part of the total government debt in a country that is owed to lenders within the country.

If we compare this debt amount with other neighboring Caribbean countries, we might understand the relative soundness and solvency of the Haitian economy.

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United States Government Issued Warning to Persons Wishing To Visit Haiti

Wishing To Visit Haiti should take special care while travelling the areas of Pétion-Ville and the storm-damaged southern peninsula departments of Grand Anse and Sud. This travel warning replaces department's earlier warning dated November 4, 2016. The warning also advises U.S citizens of evacuation insurance, not to share specific travel plans with strangers. American travelers should maintain constant touch with their hosts or prearranged organizations.

As per John Kelly, the Secretary of the U.S Department of Homeland Security, Americans traveling Haiti must remain cautious while visiting banks, ATMs, because the Haitian authorities' ability to respond to medical or security emergencies is very weak, limited and often in some areas, it is non-existent. The announcement ignores the fact that hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens safely visit Haiti each year.

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