In anticipation of March 31 meeting with donors
[Translation of an article from the Haitian website AlterPresse.]
by Ronald Colbert
Port-au-Prince, March 20 – Several social organizations have disapproved the content as well as the procedure that have come about in the writing of a document entitled “Action Plan for Development,” undertaken by the government of Prime Minister Joseph Jean Max Bellerive in preparation for a summit of international donors to be held at United Nations headquarters in New York on March 31, 2010, more than two months after the January 12 earthquake, which by official count resulted in more than 250,000 deaths.
“Before the March 31 meeting, the government should meet with social organizations to make them part of the substance of a new, revised document, with the aim of integrating diverse recommendations, notably the population’s aspirations and expectations,” according to participants in a workshop entitled “Introduction to the Government’s Vision and Stagtegic Plan,” as reported to AlterPresse.
Convoked on Friday, March 19, at the request of the government, by InterAction, a network of American non-governmental organizations, the workshop, initially consultative, sought instead to ratify the plan devised by the government in conjunction with part of the international community.
Members of social organizations in attendance, including human rights, women’s rights, migrants’ rights, and diabled rights groups, as well as delegates from certain international NGOs, pointed out a set of weaknesses characterizing the document as presented to them, like the absence of mechanisms of application and control, as well as strategies for carrying out proposed actions and on-site analysis of the extent of damages (the loss of life and material resources) recorded on January 12.
Neither in the preparation of the “Action Plan for Development” document nor in the March 19 meeting, described as “cosmetic” by social organizations, was any consultation held with vital sectors of the population, such as groups still marginalized in slum areas, persons building shanties in dangerous areas, women, or the rural workers on whom national agricultural production depends.