Struggling Bel Air Receives Research Library

The Port-au-Prince district of Bel Air is one of the poorest in the city, afflicted with violence everywhere, traumatizing its inhabitants. It has a history of violence, in particular events surrounding Lavalas leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide.


Soon after assuming the office of the presidency, Aristide was the object of a coup d'etat. He sought refuge in both the U.S. and Africa before returning in 2011. The Lavalas party is strong in Bel Air, and protests were staged, calling for Aristide's return. The government of Haiti sent the Haitian National Police (HNP) on more than one occasion to quell uprisings. What usually ensued was police brutality with large-scale massacres.
In 2005 another rebellion exploded in the streets of Bel Air and local officials feared violence would break out at polling stations on Election Day.

Bel Air was the hardest-hit section in Port-au-Prince when the 2010 earthquake struck. Since the earthquake, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) has engaged in reconstruction projects under its Haiti Recovery Initiative (HRI). But HRI is finished with its work in Bel Air, leaving it without ongoing recovery support.

However, Bel Air has received a public library, courtesy of HRI. The library contains an inventory of 4,000 books on science, technology, and vocational fields. Built as a research center, it will offer a rich resource of information across a broad spectrum of knowledge subjects. The library will cater, not only to Bel Air students, but also to students in adjacent neighborhoods.

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