Will Haiti Slide Into Civil War Without A Resettlement Plan?

by / Tuesday, 05 October 2010 / Published in Blog, Featured, General, Haiti News, Permanent Housing, Recovery

Yesterday’s New York Times story “In Haiti, Rising Call for Displaced To Go Away ” makes clear the potential consequences of a recovery effort that has been maddeningly slow to address the 1.3 million displaced Haitians following last January’s earthquake.

It appears what is beginning to occur here points to a lack of focus on a long-term strategy for Haiti’s recovery after the earthquake.  To be sure, there is plenty of blame to go around. The government did not adequately address a mid-term plan for these displaced Haitians.  Thus as land owner become frustrated that they have no answer for how and when the people on their land will leave.  At the same time, land owners have not put a proposal in front of the government telling them of their requirements in order to allow the current tenants of their land to stay longer.  And finally, NGO’s haven’t provided the guidance necessary based on their experience in disaster situations to assist the government in creating the required plan to allow for a smooth transition from relief to recovery.

Pointing fingers, however does nothing to solve the problem. Representatives from all parties, government, land owners, and NGO;s, need to quickly bring each of their expertise together and develop the transition plan to recovery. This plan must include the mid-term living solution for those Haitians still displaced, as it could be years before permanent housing is available to all.

My fear is if not addressed this current problem of localized scuffles could escalate into an all out civil war.  Haiti and its people cannot afford to have this happen.  Not only would it serve to fuel current incorrect views the world has of Haiti, but it also diverts much needed resources away their humanitarian purpose toward something that will only tear down what little hope still exists for the Haitian people.

Just one man’s opinion, what do you think?

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