Monday, October 31, 2011

photos - various part 4

This is sort of my mixed up picture post. Follow it by parts. Part 4 is listed first but should really be last in the flow of things. I had to make some adjustments and then had trouble with the internet system. It sure is good that we have a back-up plan for moments like these.

It is so nice to see green vegetation and growth. If the whole country could only be like that.
We passed this modern structure built after the earthquake. An elderly woman is walking balancing a small load on her head.
Another feature of green growth is this roadside tropical nursery. We didn't have time to stop and look at all the different tropical plants
Near the temporary homes/banana patch is a series of toilets.
These temporary homes are newly built and the landscaping/finishing touches haven't been done yet. There is hope for Haiti and some rebuilding is happening. Not in comparison to all those living in the camps but it shows a country recovering little by little and hopefully recover in a better way. Pray for the Haitian government and their huge task of leading the rebuilding effort and pray also for cooperation amongst all the many organizations who are working to rebuild Haiti better.

photoa - various - part 1

There is a national holiday coming up tomorrow where people go and visit the graveyards and leave offerings to keep the spirits happy. There used to be a government building on this site but the building was destroyed during the earthquake. The rubble has been removed and now the government uses the site as a disposal yard for government vehicles.
Maintenance of vehicles is one of the big problems the government has. Many times you see yards of broken vehicles. These vehicles have been stripped of parts and will probably be sent to the scrap metal dealer and shipped to China I think.
The UN launched Operation Hope on some of the streets of Port-au-Prince. We were driving through the Bel-Air area and saw lots of soldiers on foot. It was a surprising thing to see. The Haitian people behind these soldiers are laughing at them I think because they are in full battle gear.
The press said that 7 people were arrested and some of them were escapees from the penitentiary. We saw one of the arrests that were made. A man was lying on the ground. Now I know why.
It was funny watching the UN play traffic cop!

photos - various - part 2

Jerry is a famous graffiti artist. He has portraits of life in Haiti spray-painted in different areas of the city. This photo shows a horse sitting on a toilet and crying. The image fits this picture. All the garbage you see is beside a dumpster. Pray that the government can come up with a garbage removal plan.
We drove through another area on the outskirts of the city and it was a different scenery. We followed behind this open panel truck that had people sitting inside it.
The road we headed down was in the Croix -des-Missions area near the Barbancourt rum factory. In the distance you can see a refuge camp. A man was sifting sand into a wheelbarrow.
A few boys were playing marbles near a tin shack.
The area was green! And a lot cleaner than the downtown area of Port-au-Prince. Lots of bananas were growing.

photos - various - part 3

We passed a well designed camp. The houses have a veranda where people can sit and chat with their neighbours as well as a cement drainage channel for rain water.
Some people had small gardens growing and laundry was hung up to dry.
Much cleaner living than in the tent/tarp camps!
The people are comfortable. They have a home in a well-designed temporary village.


( - By Ibrahim J. Gassama

At the time of the January 2010 earthquake, Haiti was the poorest country in the western hemisphere with more than 70 percent of its people living in officially designated abject poverty. The earthquake killed hundreds of thousands and displaced almost two million people. It also created an ocean of ruble and debris. The Haitian government reacted characteristically, pleading for international help. International assistance poured in. Actually, most of it went to people who claimed they were going to help. Haiti already had the largest contingent of foreign human rights and humanitarian workers per capita in the world. Charity has helped it maintain its place at the bottom.

Somalia is a somewhat different place, but shares certain common attributes. In most of the country, there is no pretence at governance. Actually much of the country is not a country at all even though we insist on thinking about it as a country. The people are desperately poor. Much poorer than even Haiti. You should be able to imagine that.

Now imagine widespread drought and famine managed by an assortment of religious fanatics, warlords, profiteers, and just plain gangsters. That should qualify the place as the worst of the worst, but you really couldn't say that without unfairly discounting the horrors of the Eastern Congo region and various parts of Sudan. The rapacity of the Syrian regime, the settling of accounts in Libya, Afghanistan, Myanmar, and the hell that is developing just to the south in Mexico should count too, but perhaps not as much.

In truth, nothing outlined above captures the true breadth of misery and violence that is the foundation of our world. We live in a miserable world, really. Putting aside for a moment what we are doing to our global habitat, the evidence of how horribly we treat each other as humans is breathtakingly revealing of human nature; the chasm between what we are and what we promise.

Most of us function because we have this remarkable gift that allows us the capacity to go on with life everyday and even find joy in the midst of all the mess that is all around us. That is understandable. What is not is that too many go one step further and embrace the catechism of happy talk. And perhaps in gratitude or out of sheer confusion and exhaustion, we select the best of these happy talkers to lead us. Like lemmings.

How long have we known and confirmed that inequality within and across nations is escalating? How long have we tolerated, indeed facilitated the increasing concentration of wealth in the midst of considerable misery? It has been decades since experts identified that about 20 percent of humanity -- about 1.2 billion people-live in abject poverty. This is poverty so wretched it simply cannot be appreciated in the abstract. Another 20 percent or so live in what we have come accept as ordinary benign poverty. You would think with all the happy talk about globalization and technological advancement that we would have made a significant dent in the lives behind these statistics. You would be wrong.

For sure wealth is no longer concentrated in the older developed countries. There are now these rapidly growing advanced developing countries and emerging economies that financial touts on beauty networks palpitate over. Except when they are not advancing or emerging. Yes, China, India, Brazil, and Indonesia and their like have attracted manufacturing away from the West. But at what cost? Has the needle of human well-being moved? The army of happy-talkers who consult, study, conference, and advise would have you believe that we have made progress. After all, they have not done so badly in the business of doing good. Witness those who came together in the year 2000 at the UN Summit to propose the Millennium Development Goals. What a spectacle it was. The speeches, the celebrities, the hope. The grand scheme once again was to tackle entrenched poverty. The principal aim was to reduce global poverty by half by the year 2015. The plan was perfect, the assumptions unimpeachable. The reality unchanged.

The thing is poverty does not persist in isolation. Its constant companion, often its principal guardian, is violence. The diamonds that promote the happiness of lovely couples, the rare earths integral to the devices communicating our happiness, and of course the factories, farms, labor camps, mines, and home industries that enable our access to low price goods are too often the sites and reasons behind the violence that preserves misery.

However, the role of deceitful or insufficiently reflective happy-talk of progress or solutions should not be minimized, especially when it greatly profits those who engage in it. Acceptance of the complexity of the problem, the resilience of misery and violence, and our seeming incapacity as humans to abandon the incentives of inequality is the minimally decent first step we should take. And I am not just talking about the responsibility of the 1 percent.

Ibrahim J. Gassama teaches law at the University of Oregon School of Law.


(New York Times) - By Sam Roberts

Feeling claustrophobic? You’re not alone. According to United Nations demographers, 6,999,999,999 other Earthlings potentially felt the same way on Monday when the world’s population topped seven billion. But if you’d rather go by the United States Census Bureau’s projections, you’ve got some breathing room. The bureau estimates that even with the world’s population increasing by 215,120 a day, it won’t reach seven billion for about four months.

How do the dueling demographic experts reconcile a difference, as of Monday, of 28 million, which is more than all the people in Saudi Arabia?

They don’t.

“No one can know the exact number of people on the globe,” Gerhard Heilig, chief of the population estimates and projections section of the United Nations Population Division, acknowledges.

Even the best individual government censuses have a margin of error of at least 1 percent, he said, which would translate in the global aggregation to “a window of uncertainty of six months before or six months after Oct. 31.” An error margin of even as little as 2 percent would mean that Monday’s estimate of seven billion actually was 56 million off (which is more people than were counted in South Africa).

The Census Bureau’s global population clock gives the pretense of greater precision. It projects that about 255 people are born every minute (about 367,000 a day) while about 106 die (roughly 153,000 a day). At that rate, the world’s natural increase would be about 78.5 million a year, or well more than the entire population of France, Britain or Thailand.

“We don’t use a population clock,” said Mr. Heilig. “It’s a bit silly.”

The two agencies begin with censuses and other vital statistics from more than 228 countries and other political entities, then project births and deaths, estimate the migration of refugees and project mortality rates from AIDS and other epidemics.

Differences in interpreting the individual figures and how they fit together account for the overall disparities. Generally, the bureau’s projections lag behind those of the United Nations by up to a year (the population will reach eight billion in either 2026 or 2025, they figure, respectively).

“Realistically, the uncertainty is at least 2 percent and that’s for the 75 percent of the world for which we have recent official counts or estimates,” Joel E. Cohen, head of the Laboratory of Populations at Rockefeller University and Columbia University, said Monday. “Now, world population is estimated to be growing by about 1.1 percent per year. Hence each percent uncertainty in total count translates into almost one year uncertainty in the date by which the population grows past a given threshold. Bottom line: world population passes seven billion sometime in the last year or two or the next year or two, most likely.”

Professor Cohen added, though, “Today’s as good a day as any to be aware of the problems of the world’s population and to begin to take action to solve them.”

Daniel Goodkind, a demographer in the Census Bureau’s Population Division, said the different estimates were still “remarkably close.”

“Although birthrates and death rates have both declined sharply since the 1960s,” he said, “death rates have declined more rapidly than birthrates. The cumulative effect of the excess of births over deaths in recent decades has led to a successive attainment of billion-person milestones every 12 or 13 years.”

Dr. Goodkind said the bureau revised its projections on a continuing basis, while the United Nations made revisions every two years. Even so, the Census Bureau projects that the world population will hit seven billion next March 12 — well within the United Nations’ six-month, 1 percent window of uncertainty.

So who’s right? “We’re not exactly in sync, but we’re pretty close,” Dr. Goodkind said. “I’m not a betting man.”


(Toronto Start) - By Catherine Porter

HINCHE, HAITI—You can hear the screams from outside the rusted gates.

Shrieks and pleas to God pour out of St. Thérèse Hospital to the dirt road where the smiling guard sits in his uniform. He swings open the gate for a burstingly pregnant woman in a white nightie riding the back of a roaring motorcycle taxi with her hands cupping her pubic bone.

Follow the sound to its source, around the corner and through the doors, and you find four women lying on worn leather birthing beds, their swollen bodies exposed for all to see. The white plastic shower curtains around each bed hang limply to the side, making way for the ebbs and flows of midwives, nurses, nursing students, midwifery students and a single, tall man in a white lab coat — the only doctor.

A wall clock is stuck at 7:23, although it’s now 10:45 a.m. Beneath it lays the coiled body of Joudeline Bien-Aimé, 14. She is five-months pregnant. Her cervix is dilated to seven centimetres.

“I’m so scared, wahhhh,” she wails, tears washing down her face. “I can’t hold it any longer. Oh Jesus, Father deliver me . . . ”

Her baby was not planned. Nor, perhaps, is it wanted. Her father, a poor tenant farmer with a gaunt face and coat-hanger-thin body who waits outside, says the father is their neighbour — a grown man with two children.

Joudeline was set to be the first in their family to finish grade school, he says. The principal kicked her out of Grade 6 when her pregnancy became apparent.

Her baby wasn’t due for another 14 weeks. But this morning, while brushing her teeth, her water broke.

The baby is in a bad position. Instead of being head down, it is lying across her womb like a bridge. But it is so small, says ever-smiling Dr. Rosemont Celestin, it should have room to turn.

Another woman bursts into the room, baby in arms, the umbilical cord looping down between her legs. She clambers onto a birthing bed across from Joudeline, the flock of nurses, midwives and now Dr. Celestin settling around her.

Emergencies jockey for attention every day in the birthing room at St. Thérèse. Most weeks, 30 babies are delivered here. Most weeks, seven are stillborn and at least one dies soon after birth. Mothers sometimes die, too. The No. 1 killer is eclampsia — high blood pressure that mysteriously appears at breathtaking rates in Haiti during pregnancy. (By one expert’s estimate, one in five pregnant Haitian women will develop it, compared to one in 20 in Canada.) No one knows why. The constricting blood vessels can trigger seizures, causing both mother and baby to die. While a drip of magnesium sulfate will lower hypertension for a few days, the only real treatment is to deliver the baby. So in Hinche, the midwives regularly induce women early. If the baby is nearing term, it will likely live. If it is younger than 34 weeks, it will likely die.

Joudeline’s baby is only 26 weeks old.

There is no equipment to keep premature babies alive at St. Thérèse, and even if there were, staff couldn’t turn it on. Despite being only 40 kilometres from Haiti’s biggest hydroelectric dam, the only power comes via generators. The hospital’s main generator failed three months ago. The government has promised and promised and promised to fix it, but nothing changes. In the meantime, the operating rooms sit empty.

The taps in the hospital don’t work. There is no running water, despite a U.N.-built cistern. A truck delivers a barrel of water to the birthing room every so often, but it is nearly dry. The staff revert to hand sanitizer.

For patients, this means no bathroom. Pregnant women are instructed to bring a bucket, along with sheets, drinking water and food. Most squat over the bucket by their beds and then dump the waste in a field behind the hospital.

These conditions have nothing to do with the earthquake that shattered the country’s capital 20 months ago. Cradled in Haiti’s central plateau, three hours north of the destruction, Hinche and its public hospital were untouched. The lack of electricity and water are normal for the town of 50,000. And, believe it or not, the women who give birth at St. Thérèse are lucky.

As a public hospital, the service and the medications — when there are some — are free. The staff are professionals, trained at university and college and supported by a couple of American nonprofit organizations. Most Haitian women give birth at home, attended by matrones — untrained birth attendants — most of whom arrive equipped with only a razor blade, a piece of string and Latex gloves. The result: more women die during childbirth in Haiti than in any other country in the Western Hemisphere. A lot more. For every 100,000 live births, 630 Haitian mothers perish — more than triple the number of mothers in Bolivia, which has the next-worst maternal mortality rate, at 200 per 100,000. In Canada, only seven die.

Haiti also holds the regional record for infant mortality. More than 60 of every 1,000 babies born die soon after birth, compared to five in Canada.

The baby who has just arrived is fine — her umbilical cord cut, she is swaddled in a blanket and left on a scale on the counter behind Joudeline as Dr. Celestin massages her mother’s belly to deliver the placenta.

“Oh me Jesus, Jesus,” howls Joudeline, twisting her mouth into a knot. Sweat drips down her nose. The ceiling fans don’t budge. The room is hot. A nursing student dressed in a little white hat and pleated white skirt reluctantly fans Joudeline’s face with a piece of paper, checking over her shoulder at her giggling classmates.

Nurses in Haiti are technicians, putting in intravenous lines and needles. They are not trained to comfort. Family members are expected to bathe, feed and soothe their loved ones. But since no family members are allowed in the birthing room, a girl like Joudeline will confront her body’s breaking point without so much as a kind hand on her shoulder. A dozen people surround her but she is utterly alone.

Finally, a midwife appears and pours water from a pitcher over Joudeline’s face and neck. Another administers a needle to slow her contractions. “Don’t worry. You won’t die,” she says.

But she might. Something has changed. “There’s a chance she won’t be able to deliver the baby,” Dr. Celestin tells me. Her uterus could rupture. She needs a caesarean section.

“If I had an operating room ready, I’d let her stay here to the last point. . . .” Before the generator died, he averaged 30 C-sections a month. They tried to continue without air-conditioning or fans, but during the first surgery a nurse fainted from the heat. “If I faint, I could kill someone,” Celestin says. “I’d give her a 60- to 70-per-cent chance she’ll make it,” he says, before heading out to the garden to find Joudeline’s father.

St. Thérèse doesn’t have an ambulance. To get Joudeline to the closest hospital capable of surgery, in Cange 40 kilometres away, her father will need to hire a taxi for about $40 — his month’s earnings growing corn and beans.

“Pas gan kob.” I don’t have enough money, he says, pressing his wet eyes into a cloth. He sets off to beg the regional public health director, whose office is across the street, for help.

A miracle: the director agrees to loan his personal car — a white SUV with USAID stamped on the side. Joudeline is changed out of her bloody skirt into a clean, black cocktail dress. Two midwives walk her to the hospital gates and pull her into the back of the vehicle onto the lap of a friend. We roar down the road at 100 kilometres an hour, kompas music blaring from the stereo.

The hospital in Cange, called Bon Sauveur, is famous in Haiti. Built over the past quarter-century by American doctor and anthropologist Dr. Paul Farmer, it is the model of what health care in Haiti could be. The buildings are clean and cool beneath giant trees. There is art on the walls. The toilets flush. There are guest rooms for family members and three hot meals a day. Most importantly, the hospital offers treatments normally reserved for rich Haitians who can pay — chemotherapy, plastic surgery, neonatal incubation. Recently, a child with a cancerous Wilms’ tumour was flown from here to Massachusetts General in Boston for a successful operation, and then flown back — all for free. The hospital’s $2.65 million annual budget is funded by Farmer’s non-governmental organization, Partners In Health.

We pull through the gates after 35 minutes. Joudeline emerges, wide-eyed and crying. She lies on a stretcher — two wooden handles on each side — and is carried up a steep, shaded staircase and along a winding path to the maternity building. A doctor greets her and says the operating room is full but she is next. She is taken to the birthing room to wait. Five minutes later, her baby slips out — purple feet first — surprising everyone.

A little boy. So small he fits on Joudeline’s outstretched hand. She holds him for two minutes before the cord is cut and he is whisked to the neonatal intensive care unit.

Those are the only two minutes Joudeline will ever hold her baby. Pediatricians work on her son for hours. Through a glass wall, I watch them press his chest with two fingers and hold an oxygen mask over his tiny face. He was declared dead at 9 that night, just seven hours after being born. The nurses called him a little mouse, he was so tiny.

Even in Canada, a baby born at only 26 weeks faces enormous challenges — eye damage, asthma, incomplete intestines, a weak heart. In Haiti, nothing could be done, not even at Bon Sauveur hospital.

“His lungs were not developed enough to live,” Cate Oswald, Partners In Health’s lead program manager, tells Joudeline the next morning. “Maybe God had a different plan for the baby and for you.”

Joudeline’s mouth twists into a knot, as it did during labour. She sobs. Her son’s body has left for the morgue. She can’t say goodbye. She can’t remember what he looked like. The only photo she has is the one I snapped.


(The Tribune) By Dana Smith

More than 100 illegal Haitian immigrants were sent back to Haiti on the weekend by the Department of Immigration.

According to a press release sent by the Department, officers repatriated 111 Haitian nationals to Port-au-Prince via a Bahamasair jet on Saturday at 10am.

106 immigrants were apprehended in waters off the Exumas by the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, last Tuesday. They were spotted in a vessel 15 nautical miles off Wardrick Wells Cay before being escorted to immigration authorities in the capital by 10.30pm.

An additional five immigrants were found in an undisclosed location in the northern Bahamas. Authorities will not state how they found the immigrants, only that they were found without immigration status.

"The Department of Immigration is committed to the timely and orderly repatriation of persons who breach the immigration laws of The Bahamas," the release stated.


(Haiti Libre) -

The NGO Citizen Action for the Respect of Human Rights (ACREDH) denounced Friday in front of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) that the "slowness" and the "inefficiency" of the Haitian justice system, maintains in jail 4,217 persons in custody. Of a total of 5,600 prisoners in the country, only 1,324 were convicted of having committed a crime.

Mr. Le Cruerre, one of the directors of the organization, lamented that despite the financial and technical support from the international community, received by the Haitian government, the changes necessary to improve the judicial and penal system have not been made.

"The judicial system is not effective, it is extremely slow and continues to suffer from fundamental weaknesses: corruption, poor enforcement of laws and agreements..."

The cases of abuse from bodies and members of security forces, arbitrary detentions with "excessive" use of force and the prolonged detention of "alleged accused", "are not a new thing in Haiti", he laments.

Regarding the situation in prisons and police stations, "the whole system is a failure." The ACREDH found that the conditions are "degrading". There is not enough food or clean water, sanitation facilities and access to medical care is inadequate, and there are difficulties to access health care...

"Prosecutors take several months before presenting the prisoners for cause." There are cases awaiting trial since 2009.

Mr. Le Cruerre also denounced the "complicity, the corruption and lack of effectiveness" in conducting a proper prison policy, because among the 4,217 persons awaiting trial, most are incarcerated for minor offenses.

He also discussed the situation of children who under Haitian law should "in no case" be imprisoned. The law provides rehabilitation centers.

For his part, the Permanent Representative of Haiti to the OAS, Duly Brutus, declared that the new government has just been installed, and that there are no guidelines, but said that he was aware of the "weaknesses" and "needs" of the Haitian justice system; adding that "the establishment of the rule of law is one of the pillars of the policy of President Martelly."

Yesterday, on the occasion of World Day of prisoners, Yanick Mézil, the new Minister for the Status of Women and Women's Rights, together with the Dean of the Civil Court, Jocelyne Casimir, the Senator and President of the Justice and Security Commission Youri Latortue, and a representative of the Minustah visited the women's prison of Pétion-ville. The Minister has promised to intervene to ensure that prisoners who have already served their sentences can regain their freedom.


(Haiti Libre) -

The road network is the main means of transportation in Haiti, but also one of the most dangerous and costly in human lives. Errors due to the negligence of drivers, vehicle defects, coupled with environmental conditions, the precarious of the infrastructure and the lack of signs causes countless traffic accidents.

To eradicate this scourge, it's necessary to have concerted action from various sectors involved in the management of roads; drivers, pedestrians and all road users. Such an undertaking must normally be spread over the short, medium and long term.

In addition to the remedies, the problem of traffic requires constant awareness so that people can have a better attitude for their own interest and that of their families. The aggressive behavior of individuals must be systematically discouraged.

That's why last Friday, the National Police of Haiti (PNH), supported by the component of the United Nations Police has launched an awareness campaign on road safety.

Gary Desrosiers, Deputy Spokesman of the Haiti National Police made ​​an inventory for the years 2010 and 2011 "...the police Friday have officially launched a road safety campaign [...] the circulation service has recorded many cases with victims and injuries. In 2010 there were 3,566 people who were victims of a traffic accident, 122 with fatalities, 804 with physical damage, 11 with material damage, 2,629 between vehicles. [...]

This year from February to September the police recorded 2,724 people who were victims of traffic accidents, including 101 with loss of life ... the year is not yet finished ... it is usually towards the end of the year that the accidents are repeated. Already and I do not wish it, we realized that we could overcome the 122 of 2010 ... 553 with physical damage, 16 with material damage, between vehicles 2,054..."

"The campaign will last six months because it's a comprehensive education program. It will appear in the media, in commercials, on posters, billboards and also on the Internet..." specified the Spokesman of the HNP. The objectives of this campaign are among others, to improve the knowledge of the population in terms of road safety, and to bring the motorcyclists to be aware of the vulnerability of a two-wheeled motor vehicle, and to encourage a responsible behavior.

The themes will be road safety for schoolchildren, vehicle overloading, speeding, the wearing of safety helmets for motorcycles, the use of seat belts, and the use of mobile phones while driving. This campaign targets car and trucks drivers, motorcycles drivers, passengers, pedestrians and school children, but also the transport associations, driving schools and the service of road signs.

Minustah is also supporting the campaign by the production of awareness products to the service of the PNH for this campaign.

"We know that the road is dangerous and we must be careful in respecting the rules of the road, of the school zones and we will all benefit by adopting safe driving habits."


(Haiti Libre) -

From October 25 to 28, military troops of the United Nations Mission for Stabilization in Haiti (Minustah), police officers and formed police units (FPU) of the component of the United Nations Police (UNPOL) have supported the Haitian National Police (PNH) in the anti-crime joint operation, "HOPE" in the neighborhoods of Martissant and Bel Air, in the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince. This operation was followed by civil-military activities in favor of people of these neighborhoods.

In support of the staff of the PNH, more than 2,100 peacekeepers of the military force, 120 policemen and 480 elements (16 platoons) of the Formed Police Unit (FPU) have participated in this operation. The battalions based in Port-au-Prince have been reinforced by troops from other units across the country. The operation involved a large team of infantry and air assets of the Mission.

The purpose of the "HOPE" operation was to stop criminal activities in these areas and give a strong signal to criminals and people of Port-au-Prince that the Government of Haiti and the Minustah remain firmly committed to fighting against crime. One of the main objectives was to target known criminals and stop their activities in these areas and prevent further criminal activity to facilitate and accelerate their stabilization. The operation has enabled the Haitian authorities to apprehend seven suspects wanted for criminal activities, some of who have escaped from prison.

During the operation, in order to not disrupt the daily protection activities conducted in Port au Prince, the Formed Police Unit (FPU) of the Mission based in nearby areas were temporarily redeployed in the capital, particularly in and around IDP camps.

8,900 peacekeepers, 1,351 police officers and 2,940 elements of the Formed Police Unit (FPU) of the component of the UN police (UNPOL) are currently deployed to Haiti in support of Haitian institutions.

The Minustah will continue to support the National Police in its anti-crime actions and the Government to strengthen the rule of law in the country.


(Haiti Libre) -

Cahily Chala, 31, of Haitian origin living in the Dominican Republic, will be repatriated to Haiti in the coming hours, according to information provided by the Prosecutor's Office of the National District. Cahily Chala was arrested at the bus stop of the company "Transporte Espinal" on Paris Street by members of the Intelligence Directorate of the National Police of the Dominican Republic, while he was in possession of 5 toy guns loaded with lead, which were designed to defraud people by selling them between RD$12,000 and RD$15,000 per unit.

However, the "toys" that look identical to a 9 mm, could be used to commit a crime, according to the National District prosecutor Alejandro Moscoso Segarra, who also expressed concern over the fact that some others can exist in the country, since they are smuggled from the neighboring country, Haiti.

Also at the time of his arrest, Chala Cahily, had no cédula on him.


(Haiti Libre) -

In the arrest case of Deputy Arnel Bélizaire, Evans Paul the leader of KID (Konvasyon Inite Demokratik) thinks that it is good that deputy Bélizaire has been eleased, but it is necessary to find a way to defuse the political crisis that exists today in the country.

"...I think that it's a good thing that Deputy Bélizaire is released because he should not have been arrested. A part of the problem is resolved, but there is a second fundamental aspect of the conflict [...] between the executive and the legislative powers, which explains the reaction in each Chamber,... of the Deputies and the Senate.

I wish that the Executive plays with great elegance, ... that it has the courage to present to Parliament its' apologies. It would be a good way to defuse the political crisis that exists today in the country.

An apology does not solve everything,... an apology is a dimension of wisdom, especially if it is associated with a commitment to ensure that this type of action no longer happens. At that moment, we will not be obliged to make use of an interpellation [...]

I think that the authorities who are there now, it is not for this, that the people voted for them. They did not vote to have conflict between them. True, a serious thing occurred and we have condemned it at the level of the Alternative party, but we do not want it to become a permanent crisis, which will create a blockage and that the population will pay the consequences of this blockage.

This is what makes me ask, in addition to the release of deputy Arnel Bélizaire, that the Executive, with strength, present to the parliament its apologies [...] and the parliament, with the same strength, suspends the steps of interpellation that they are making, so that in reality the authorities take the country's priorities in hand, to meet the needs of the Haitian people."

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Vanessa loves to talk and joke around. Here is a short video of her. She is a lively, animated young girl. I have no idea how to rotate the picture so you are going to have to tilt your head to watch it.


This photo is of my nephew John. He is dressed as Wyclef Jean. His special education class at Clarke Road Secondary School held a costume party on Friday. He is a very energetic child. During the special ed assemblies he sometimes leads the program in the singing and is not shy.
Vanessa Jules is a female Wyclef Jean. Like John she is bubbly and not shy. The hydrocephalus team from the University of Miami is in Haiti performing surgeries at Bernard Mevs/Project Medishare Hospital. I have lots of photos to put on the blog of what happened in the last week and lots of things to say but it will have to wait until tomorrow. Vanessa had surgery this afternoon. Pray for her and that she will not have any post-op problems. When the doctors did their rounds yesterday afternoon they wanted to talk with her and she told them "Leave your number and I will get back to you later". She has lots of attitude!


( - By Andrew Chaggar

Almost two years since the earthquake that saw Haiti crumble, the country is still reeling and in desperate need. So why are charities abandoning a country which can not yet fend for itself? Andrew Chaggar blogs from the frontline.

Last week, five months after Haiti’s President took office, the country’s new government was finally formed. As a result many will hope that the still stuttering recovery process can now finally begin in earnest. However Mr Martelly’s new government is facing a huge task.

With the second anniversary of the earthquake now less than three months away, more than 500,000 people are still living in displacement camps and 50 per cent of the original 10 million cubic metres of rubble remains to be cleared from the capital.

While the government is not alone in the on-going work there are concerns that many NGOs are withdrawing before the state is able to takeover.

Over recent months I’ve personally said goodbye to many colleagues at other organisations as they’ve either scaled back or ended their operations entirely. However, I wasn’t entirely sure if this trend was representative of the situation overall or just within the circle of NGOs I’m familiar with. To try and answer this question I recently emailed the public information department of the UN’s Office for the Coordination Office of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). Their reply was startling.

Between February and September of this year the number of groups providing water, sanitation and hygiene services across Haiti overall dropped from 53 to 15. While exact numbers for other sectors are not yet available it is fair to assume that trends are similar.

As a result of these NGO withdrawals service provision is already falling. For example between March and August of this year the number of people in camps with regular access to drinking water fell from 48 per cent to 7 per cent. Many fear the situation will deteriorate further as more organisations close their doors.

With so much need remaining, many may wonder why so many charities are scaling back or ending operations?

Reasons for leaving

There are several reasons and one of the most obvious is funding. Almost two years have passed since the earthquake and the disaster has inevitably faded from people’s minds. Haiti has effectively become “old news” as more recent disasters, such as the ongoing food crisis in the Horn of Africa, have become prominent.

The subsequent lack of funding is forcing many groups to withdraw. As a result, OCHA reports that only one NGO will be working in Haiti’s most south-west department after October and that group’s funds will run out by December. This means that a population of almost 750,000 will be served by just one NGO that is itself likely to leave soon after.

Another reason for withdrawal is that some NGOs are trying to hand over projects to local partners, including the state, in the interest of long term sustainability and capacity building.

Such transfers of responsibility are a key part of reducing dependency and ultimately in the best interests of Haiti. However, while all transitions inevitably involve some short-term upheaval, if too many NGOs withdraw too quickly there is a danger that local capacity may be overwhelmed, rather than improved, by the rising demands placed on it.

This may happen if service gaps in one area start to interfere with progress made in others. For example while over 700 schools have been rebuilt or rehabilitated since the earthquake, education will still suffer if teachers or students succumb to cholera because safe water and latrines are lacking. Recovery is the sum of many interdependent parts, and if those parts are unable to work together, then recovery as a whole will fail.

Whether it is due to dwindling funds, or a genuine desire to handover responsibility, it is inevitable that NGO activity will decrease as time passes following a disaster. Generally speaking this is a good thing as dependence on charities is not a natural state of affairs.

Sadly, in the case of Haiti, the earthquake was followed by drawn out political battles which have left the nation virtually without a government until now. Only time will tell how the newly formed government responds to the challenge of rebuilding a nation but as more and more NGOs withdraw the situation for many survivors is likely to get worse before it gets better.

This varied dramatically on age with 58 per cent of 18 - 24 year olds advising they were fairly or very likely to contact a charity this way, compared to just six per cent of over 65 year olds, 19 per cent of 45-54 year-olds, 27 per cent of 35-44 year-oldsand and 44 per cent of 25-34 year olds.


(Reuters) - By Joseph Guyler Delva

PORT-AU-PRINCE - Haiti is wooing Asian manufacturers, and its own diaspora, to inject investments and funds into the economy and create jobs to drive a recovery from last year's earthquake, the foreign minister said on Thursday.

"Our focus right now is two things: foreign companies to come and invest and Haitians in the diaspora coming back to invest," Laurent Lamothe, a former businessman who is now Haiti's top diplomat, told Reuters in an interview.

President Michel Martelly, an extroverted former pop star elected in March, has declared the impoverished quake-scarred Caribbean nation "open for business" after Prime Minister Garry Conille's cabinet including Lamothe was sworn in on October 18.

One of Lamothe's first overseas visits was to South Korea, where he discussed with the Asian nation's leaders and business executives last week plans to create more than 40,000 jobs in Haiti next year through investments in industrial parks.

"We are looking at the apparel sector and technology sectors -- for example, electric razors, putting together cell phones and things like that," the foreign minister said, adding the projected investments in the parks totaled $224 million.

Lamothe said Haiti, whose capital and economic center Port-au-Prince was wrecked by the 2010 earthquake, could offer foreign apparel manufacturers and assembly industries proximity to the large U.S. market. It also enjoyed preferential access to the American market for garment exports.

"There are a lot of Asian companies, especially in the apparel manufacturing sector, that want to deliver goods quickly to the United States and the proximity we have to do this in a very short turn-around helps Haiti," Lamothe said.

Haiti is eligible for duty-free entry of textiles to the U.S. market, irrespective of the source of inputs, under U.S. legislation -- the Caribbean Basin Trade Partnership Act, the Haitian Hemispheric Opportunity through Partnership Encouragement (HOPE) Act and the May 2010 Haitian Economic Lift Program (HELP) Act which expanded the Haitian garment quotas.

With support from the U.S. government and the Inter-American Development Bank, one of South Korea's biggest garment manufacturers, Sae-A Trading Co Ltd, aims to initially invest more than $70 million in an industrial park in northern Haiti, creating up to 20,000 jobs.

Further investments in and around Port-au-Prince by other South Korean entrepreneurs are seen creating another 20,000 jobs next year, Haitian officials say.


Lifting Haiti out of its status as the Western Hemisphere's poorest nation is a priority for Martelly and prime minister Conille, a U.N. development expert who has announced ambitious plans to modernize infrastructure, establish rural and urban development zones and create 1.5 million jobs in five years.

Lamothe said Haiti was also looking to attract visits by Haitian exiles overseas -- he said 4 million lived abroad -- to bring funds into the nation of over 9 million people.

"There are 4 million Haitians living in the diaspora. For example, if you take 25 percent of that figure, if you have one million people coming here spending $100 per trip, that's $100 million additionally in foreign direct investments," he said.

"We want to route all the diaspora dollars into Haiti," Lamothe said, underlining the Martelly's government's insistent message that it wants to draw a line under Haiti's checkered past of violence, dictatorships, corruption and poverty.

More than 80 percent of Haiti's people live under the poverty line, the CIA's "World Factbook" says. It estimates 2010 unemployment at 40.6 percent and says two-thirds of the Haitian labor force do not have formal jobs.

Lamothe said other investment opportunities included "great tourism areas" and projects to rebuild the quake-damaged presidential palace and other official buildings, as well as entire city neighborhoods left in ruins by the 2010 disaster.

Martelly's government has also vowed to resettle more than 600,000 homeless quake survivors still living in tent camps.

"There is a new management in town ... We want to show that basically a small Caribbean nation that's been through a lot of problems is now doing better," Lamothe said.

(Writing by Pascal Fletcher, Editing by Eric Walsh)


(UN) -

The top United Nations envoy to Haiti today voiced his concern about the political tension created by the arrest last night(Thursday) of one of the country’s lawmakers and encouraged dialogue to resolve any differences.

Arnel Bélizaire, a member of Parliament, was reportedly arrested after police spotted his name on a list of inmates who escaped on the day of the deadly earthquake in January 2010. He was taken into custody after arriving in the capital, Port-au-Prince, on a flight from France.

The Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of the UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), Mariano Fernández, said the tension caused by this incident is “harmful” to the country’s best interests.

It may also hinder the implementation of Government programmes to the detriment of the Haitian population, who are impatient to see the promises made by elected officials fulfilled, he added in a news release.

To preserve an environment conducive to strengthening democracy and the rule of law, the Special Representative encouraged dialogue, and invited authorities to clarify the legal process, consistent with the constitution, which led to Mr. Bélizaire’s arrest.

The new Government was inaugurated just last week and MINUSTAH has called on all parties to unite to carry out the necessary measures to rebuild a new Haiti, fully respectful of democratic values.


(Defend Haiti) - By Sonny Lindo

PORT-AU-PRINCE - Deputy Levaillant Louis Jeune (Dessalines-Desdunes/Inite) is determined to build a case to have the President of the Republic, Michel Martelly, impeached by January 2012.

"We must end the excesses of the totalitarian, Michel Martelly, before it's too late," said Louis-Jeune, the former President of the Chamber of Deputies. The deputy also provided his email address while speaking on air at Radio Caraibes and asked anyone with pertinent information for this case to email him.

Legislators who were out of session returned to the capital on Thursday and Friday following the arrest of the elected representative, Deputy Arnel Bélizaire (Delmas & Tabarre/Veye-Yo), who was under immunity.

Both houses, the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate made a quorum and voted to hold an interpellation for the Minister of Justice, Minister of the Interior and the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.

After the events of the arrest of Bélizaire, Louis Jeune said, "if today were January we would have brought in all the ministers and would have dropped the entire government." The parliament will return into ordinary session in January 2012.


(Defend Haiti) - By Samuel Maxime

PORT-AU-PRINCE - The Minister of the Interior, Local Authorities and National Defense, Thierry Mayard-Paul, was motioned to be the subject of a senate investigation on Friday after security agents at the international airport held a strike from work caused by an incident of disorder during the arrest of Deputy Arnel Bélizaire (Delmas & Tabarre/Veye-To).

"'You're looking at us in the eye? You're looking at us in the eye? Blah!'

"Oh oh! And how about that. They gave the man a blow to the head!"

"They were just hitting them, man. From the time they stepped into the airport they're giving the guy blows and they held the other two and beat the guy some more, man."

This the explanation given by a witness at the airport. Another, spoke of the actions of the Minister of the Interior.

"The minister of the interior, Thierry Mayard[-Paul]. The gentleman entered with a core of his security guards. If it was not for the intervention of Roro Nelson to make these guys [stop], these guys [minister's security] would have been sleeping in prison last night."

"They beat those guys [airport security], they beat the security agents inside, they passed in front of the door for Air France... and if you have to provide security to an area and you have government officials entering without a mandate or authorization... even though they gave them a place to enter, through the diplomatic room... this is a Makoutiste act..."

"This is the return of the Makoutes. You stayed in the same place and took all the beatings until you start putting out blood. And then you beat them two other occasions on top of it."

A firearm restricted zone at the international airport, Toussaint Louverture, had its integrity compromised by the Minister of the Interior is what security agents claim; but as a minister for national defense and homeland security it is still to be determined whether it was the airport security that were out of order in trying to stop the minister.

The airport security allege that Mayard-Paul was participatory in the beatings. Senator Nenel Cassy (Nippes/Inite) brought the matter to the floor of the senate in a session that made quorum on Friday afternoon, saying:

"On many radio stations we heard that the airport was blocked where the security guards did not provide security at the airport."

"Yesterday, after they [police] left with Deputy Arnel Belizaire, there are three security guards that they mistreated."

"[one] who, himself was on Scoop Radio this morning, as a source who was beaten a lot, and said one hit came directly from the Minister of the Interior."

"They hit them, they beat them, three security guards because there was a law passed... they block people from bringing firearms into an area of the airport."

"And... not only did the minister hit someone but his security continued to do it to them again."

"And this morning because of the solidarity that others have, the entire airport was blocked because of what happened to these people, they were obliged to have a strike and not work."

"And as they are not working, they let us learn that an airport police chief accompanied by another authority in the airport, because no one was working, allowed people who came to the airport to board planes without being screened, because all security guards were on strike."

"I'm not going to accuse the Minister of the Interior and say that it is true or that it is not true but I have heard enough of this, ..... also from the other employees..."

" is Deputy Arnel Belizaire that they arrested. The population began to wake up, colleagues in pariament began to wake up, and they let him go immediately without any explanation... and today, three, of these people [security guards] who don't have anyone who can speak for them,... I insist that these men come together with the senate to carry out an investigation and a commission.... to go with these people to find out directly if the minister of the interior personally got to the point of beating these people."

The senate resolved for an interpellation of the Minister of the Interior.


(Haiti Libre) -

In the arrest case of Deputy Arnel Bélizaire, Sauveur Pierre Etienne, coordinator of the Organization of People in Struggle (OPL) believes that the honorable senators and deputies are mistaken,... that it's the Government who is responsible and that it's necessary to interpellate the Chief of Government " fact, I do not think we should talk of an arrest,... but rather of a kidnapping, because an arrest is more or less legal in nature.... Of course, we should not defend deputy Arnel Bélizaire, because we know his past, ... we must defend preferably the parliamentary institution.

In my opinion, the double-headed executive power, has no respect for the institution of Parliament. It's a hitch to the Constitution of 1987. The deputies and senators who are the authorities, ... if their rights are violated,... if the government can afford to proceed with the kidnapping of a deputy, ... from this moment, no citizen is safe in the future.

I believe that the parliamentarians, the honorable senators and deputies were mistaken, because it is the government that is responsible. It's not a question of the Minister of Justice or Interior. No, it's the Chief of Government that must be interpellated.

It is necessary that a parliamentary commission be established to investigate what happened at the Port-au-Prince airport. This is an extremely serious event and in my opinion, if the deputies and senators do not show their responsibilities, we should expect all the excesses, because the authoritarian temptation exists at the level of this power and we must stop these abuses as soon as possible.

The Constitution of 1987 exists. It is still in force, ... so the deputies and senators, should not hesitate to apply the elements of the Constitution in this regard. This means simply that the Parliament should exercise its control, it is a constitutional right held by the parliament to control the government action and here we are talking about authoritarian excesses,... the arbitrary kidnapping of a deputy... this is unacceptable within the framework of a democratic rule of law."


(Defend Haiti) -

PORT-AU-PRINCE - In an article published May 13, 2005, Anel Bélizaire, explained the circumstances of his escape from the National Penitentiary as a result of someone from the interim government of Gerard Latortue (2004-2006) asking him to murder his cellmate, the former Prime Minister, Yvon Neptune.

This is the full article from People's World:

Anel Belizaire, an ex-soldier in Haiti who recently escaped from the National Penitentiary in Port-au-Prince, says that someone from interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue’s office asked him last month to murder fellow inmate Yvon Neptune. Neptune is the deposed prime minister who served under exiled President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. He has been jailed for nearly a year without trial.

In a March 13 telephone interview from Haiti, Belizaire told the World that a high official from Latortue’s office visited him in his prison cell on Feb. 12. He was serving time in jail, he said, because in an earlier incident he had refused to help the U.S.-backed government arrest Neptune and three other pro-Lavalas Party lawmakers on trumped up charges of transporting firearms.

Promising him $10,000 in cash and telling him he would be well looked after in the future, the official asked him to assassinate Neptune. When Belizaire asked the high official for his name, he refused to give it, telling him only that “they [members of Latortue’s office] know me.”

Belizaire agreed to take on the job. On Feb. 14 the same official visited him again to further discuss the assassination plot. “I asked them how can I get out of the penitentiary and do it [kill Neptune] without being caught,” Belizaire said, “and they said to me, ‘Don’t worry about it — the way we will do it, you will be covered and nobody will know that you did it.’”

On the morning of Feb. 19, another unidentified official from the interim prime minister’s office visited him and told him he was to kill Neptune that very day. The official said preparations had been taken to ensure his success, and that a 9mm pistol had been planted nearby for him to use for the job.

That afternoon, Belizaire heard the crackle of gunfire. Gunmen, who witnesses identified as policemen, launched an assault on the prison and created a huge commotion, allowing 480 prisoners to escape.

Belizaire left his prison cell, which he said was unlocked during the day, to get the pistol. However, rather than carry out the assassination plan, he says he located Neptune and Jocelerme Privert, another former minister under Aristide, and told them that they had to leave the penitentiary with him.

“Neptune told me that he did not want to go and I told him, ‘You have no choice, we have to go.’ Neptune told me, ‘My life is in your hands,’” said Belizaire.

Once out of the prison and on the main road, Belizaire said he drew his pistol and commandeered a passing car, causing the driver to flee. Belizaire drove Neptune and Privert to a safe location. He warned Neptune that his life was in danger and to be careful. He then departed and has been in hiding ever since.

Neptune and Privert immediately turned themselves in to the authorities and were returned to prison. They have since gone on a hunger strike to demand that the government assure their safety.

Asked why he did not kill Neptune on Feb. 19, Belizaire said that he got to know the deposed prime minister in prison and found him to be quite different from the negative image painted of him by the anti-Lavalas opposition.

“The image that they give of him is not the one he gave to me,” Belizaire said. “He showed me his true personality.” Neptune is not the bad person that the government makes him out to be, he said.

Interestingly, Belizaire is no Lavalas Party supporter. He detests Aristide, and he willingly took up arms to overthrow Aristide’s democratically elected government in 2004. U.S. Marines participated in that overthrow by kidnapping Aristide and spiriting him out of the country. But neither does Belizaire back the Latortue government, which he said is as repressive as its predecessor.

“We fought the Aristide government because they did bad things,” he said. “This government is doing worse. That means they don’t want anyone in their way to confront them.” He said that the interim prime minister’s office was only using him to do their dirty work. He also confirmed allegations from witnesses and human rights organizations that Haitian police and former soldiers are executing the regime’s opponents in poor neighborhoods.

Belizaire remains a fugitive. He believes that the Latortue government wants to kill him now because he did not assassinate Neptune and because he knows too much and will not remain silent. “I’m not going to hide these dirty things,” he said.

Saturday, October 29, 2011



(Globe and Mail) - By Doug Saunders

First there was the largesse of the industrial barons, then the big international agencies of the postwar years. Now comes Philanthropy 3.0: On one side are the billions wielded by ‘1 percenters' like Bill Gates and power brokers like Bill Clinton. On the other are countless social enterprises, micro-charities and campaigns via social media. Traditional charities are squeezed in the middle. It's a dramatic change, but can it really improve humanity's dismal record in making the world any less desperate, diseased, dangerous and unfair?


If you had visited the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince a few years ago, you would have found the mountainside suburbs to its west, where the grand old homes are located, scattered with a few handsome compounds housing the great institutions that had dominated philanthropy since shortly after the Second World War.

At the hilltop was the enclosure of CARE International, down the street from the three houses occupied by Médecins sans frontières (Doctors Without Borders) and a few blocks from the whitewashed buildings of Oxfam. Down the hill were various branches of the Red Cross, and at the foot were Plan, World Hope, Save the Children and the sprawling blocks of United Nations agencies. These fortresses of altruism, humming with air-conditioned SUVs, were more permanent, changeless and bureaucratic than any branch of the impoverished nation's government. And not just in Haiti. Around the world, these were the power centres of giving and helping.

In Port-au-Prince today, you can watch the map of charity being remade. Amid the twisted wreckage of the 2010 earthquake and the tent cities that still fill every available space, the old charity village has turned into something of a metropolis. Those well-heeled old institutions have been joined by at least 2,000 new ones, some even larger and many much smaller, filling tracts of new prefab buildings and providing one of the island's few sources of steady employment.

Hundreds of micro-charities have collected tens of millions through text messages, online donations and Twitter and Facebook campaigns, their offices jammed with new Apple computers, engaging in running behind-the-scenes battles and mutual jealousy with the old agencies.

Many are built on celebrity: Singer Wyclef Jean, who was raising a million dollars a day in mobile-phone donations after the quake, is no longer seen much at his charity's lavish hilltop estate, ever since it was accused of squandering vast sums on video production, personal expenses and a $250,000 carnival float.

Actor Sean Penn's operation, by the refugee camp that was once a golf course, is more securely in place, deploying squadrons of digging machines, though he rubs some of the charity elite the wrong way, as do the smaller charities of Patricia Arquette and Ben Stiller.

Officials from agencies such as the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and the Red Cross have complained the celebrity charities duplicate their work without the standards – for example, giving donated food to refugee camps, a practice established charities stopped years ago because it cuts into local farmers' profits.

Many more of the new philanthropic powers in Haiti, and around the world, are not charities at all in the old sense, but corporations that mix profit-seeking with benevolent missions. Such “social enterprises” produce results that can be exceptionally efficient – and sometimes awkwardly self-interested.

Digicel, for example, is an Irish-owned company that dominates Haiti's cellphone service. Its chief executive, Denis O'Brien, has spent hundreds of millions rebuilding large parts of downtown Port-au-Prince, providing shelters, sanitation and aid. It's an act of generosity that also raises Digicel's brand identity, making it a beloved household name among Haitians, which can only be good for its market share.

Mr. O'Brien plays another important role: He is a key figure in the huge network of corporations, governments and agencies organized by former U.S. president Bill Clinton, who has channelled hundreds of millions onto the island, persuading billionaires to give large amounts.

And that is the other factor looming over Haiti – the vast resources of the world's wealthiest 1 per cent. With hundreds of their agents trooping around the traffic-clotted streets here, the vast funds of Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, George Soros and others are often among the most influential forces on the island.

What you see in Port-au-Prince, and what is taking over the world's $2.2-trillion non-profit sector, is what some insiders call Philanthropy 3.0.

It marks a historic change. Philanthropy 1.0 was the handful of U.S. and British foundations, such as Rockefeller and Carnegie, that did “scientific” charity work in the prewar decades. Then came a revolution after the Second World War, with the births of both foreign aid and a galaxy of large non-governmental organizations and bureaucracies, including the United Nations and groups such as CARE. This edifice of Philanthropy 2.0 remained remarkably stable for six decades.

But over the past few years we have seen a third wave, born of globalization, crisis and technology, that is both more dynamic and less stable than the compounds of yesterday.

At the top of the pyramid are the new private foundations, dwarfing the largest of the old and playing a dramatic political role: They remake the executive structures of the old charities, forcing many of their activities to be organized in a much more businesslike way, or bypass established charities altogether to make direct links to the poor, diseased and disaster-ravaged.

At the opposite end of the scale are countless micro-initiatives and social networks, leveraging money and effort bit by byte, for causes great and small.

“You have the big givers, the Bill Gateses who've appeared all of a sudden, on the one hand, and then you've got the emergence of philanthropy in rapidly developing countries, and then the whole dimension of direct-giving philanthropy. It's changing everything,” says J. Allister McGregor, head of the British-run Bellagio Initiative, created by the Rockefeller Foundation.

It is not hard to imagine a situation, when the dust clears after the global crisis, in which conventional charities are largely obsolete, squeezed out between the world-improving schemes of billionaires and the surging efforts of lesser people responding to calls for help on Twitter.

The economic crisis has put a dent in traditional giving. The U.S., which accounts for more than two-thirds of the world's charitable giving, saw donations decline 13 per cent in the first two years of the crisis, bouncing back by a lacklustre 2.1 per cent last year. “At that rate, it will take five to six more years just to return to the level of giving we saw before the Great Recession,” says Patrick M. Rooney, executive director of the U.S.-based Center on Philanthropy.

Canada has seen a similar squeeze. According to an Imagine Canada report, a quarter of charities say they will have trouble covering expenses this year.

There is a sense that many of those contributions may be gone forever, because the high-tech ways of Philanthropy 3.0 allow people to connect almost directly to a recipient. That's what younger people are doing (and giving less than their parents). Online micro-loan outfits such as Kiva, for example, put people in touch with, say, a street vendor in Rwanda looking for a $400 loan (at interest) to set up a store or buy a delivery motorcycle. Everyone is meant to profit: lender, Kiva and street vendor.

You might think that charities would find succour in the dramatic rise in giving from fast-growing China and India. In 2009, China's 50 largest philanthropists gave a total of $1.2-billion, about a third of what their counterparts in the U.S. did.

But that money largely appears to be bypassing the 2.0-style institutions. Typical is actor Jet Li's One Foundation, which collects millions of minuscule donations of only 1 yuan (16 cents), often through cellphones, and attracts huge sums for causes unlike the traditional ones in China, from adolescent depression to earthquake relief.

Much of the developing world's giving doesn't go to organizations at all. One study found that Pakistanis, for example, are perhaps the world's most generous philanthropists – but they give almost exclusively to the needy in their own communities, often through mosque-based networks.

Yet as the economy sags, the established charities are being asked to take on monumental loads. On top of disasters, diseases, hospitals, universities and global poverty, the “third sector” is increasingly being expected to take the place of austerity-crippled government services.

Prime Minister David Cameron in Britain has made this official with his Big Society program. Its general failure so far hasn't prevented the Canadian government from moving to copy it, as Ottawa revealed this week. And the U.S. Congress is currently debating a bill to slash funding to USAID, Washington's foreign-aid and international development agency, by as much as a third ($1.4-billion), leaving charities to take up the slack.

The non-profit sector, meanwhile, is far from up to the challenge. Only 14 per cent of its funding worldwide actually comes from donations, according to the Bellagio Initiative – almost 40 per cent comes from governments. In truth, the vaunted “third sector” of charity and volunteerism can barely be called an independent sector, so tightly linked is it to government and big business.

As much as Philanthropy 2.0 is a victim of circumstance, though, there is also a sense that it has failed in its original mission to alleviate global poverty and disease.

There were some initial triumphs: UN agencies and major international charities began their efforts to eradicate smallpox worldwide in 1950 and succeeded by 1980; others spearheaded the Green Revolution, which ended large-scale famine in countries such as India in the 1970s. Today, many disasters and crises would be far more deadly if not for the highly evolved, fast-responding infrastructure of big agencies such as the Red Cross.

But in many areas, the world's troubles have seemed immune to charity's salve. A billion people still live on mud floors with no toilets and hardly enough food. Diseases such as typhus and cholera are not being eradicated as fast as they should. Over all, inequality and deprivation have yielded little to the trillions of charitable dollars thrown at them in the postwar decades.

And the main advances that have come cannot be credited to old-school charities. That includes the huge decrease in absolute poverty during the 1990s and 2000s (the rate worldwide plunged from 34 per cent to 25).

Researchers who polled thousands of individuals who managed to escape absolute poverty asked them what institutions and sources of income touched their lives. Not charities. Not Western foreign-aid programs. What brought people out of poverty was export-led economic growth and political stability.

The nagging question is whether Philanthropy 3.0 can do better. Its record, as we'll see, includes historic gains against AIDS in Africa. But on the other side there is the tragic mess in Haiti. This country's post-earthquake donation drive was the largest in history, with an astonishing $1.4-billion in private donations in four months. But despite the huge sums and the sprawling overgrowth of charities, there are few signs of improvement.

Some critics would even say that no matter what model they used, charities – by pouring free money into an economy that needed to start generating its own wealth – made things worse.

NEW YORK CITY: Rise of the philanthro-capitalists

In September, more than 50 prime ministers and presidents, dozens of billionaires, scores of Hollywood celebrities and scads of NGO heads and social entrepreneurs gathered in midtown Manhattan for the three-day annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative.

Mr. Clinton strode the stage like a faith healer, extracting promises of aid from businessmen and philanthropists (close to $10-billion at this meeting, adding to the $69.2-billion pledged to date) and nudging those with money and those with causes into impromptu hallway meetings.

“We've learned that if you have government and the private sector and the NGOs working together, they can do things faster, cheaper and better, so that even if there's less money, they can make the money they have go further,” Mr. Clinton said this week at his Manhattan office, where many of his group's 1,400 employees work. “You want to get everyone pulling in the same direction.”

At any moment at the summit, he might have been huddling with billionaire Carlos Slim, the Foreign Minister of China and an NBC news anchor to talk urban reform, or hosting an informal discussion on climate change with the leaders of Bangladesh, Mexico, Mali, Norway, Grenada and South Africa, with Forest Whitaker and Geena Davis in the audience.

In the midst of it all were Ashok and Amrita Mahbubani, an elegant couple who became wealthy running an electronics company out of Toronto.

For many years, their main manufacturing plant was in Haiti, operated by Ms. Mahbubani's Indian father, and his death in 2007 inspired them to start giving back. They set up their foundation, EKTA, with $1-million from his legacy. But instead of taking the traditional path – setting up an office and cutting cheques to the big charities and organizations – they decided to plunge into Philanthropy 3.0.

“We realized that we can multiply our impact if we use the network of people here,” Mr. Mahbubani says. “What took maybe six months to do here would have taken three years if we'd gone monkeying around by ourselves.”

The price of attendance is very steep, involving an obligatory pledge, but for smaller players such as the Mahbubanis, it is the ticket into a tight-knit network that combines world-transforming idealism with elite connections.

What is new in the Clinton approach, but now widely imitated, is that the ex-president's group does almost nothing on the ground itself. Instead, it persuades others to join forces and take action, whether they're private- or public-sector, religious or corporate or volunteer. The range of commitments is huge, from “rebuild Pakistan” to “empower girls and women,” as well as the famous Clinton commitments to fight AIDS and fix Haiti – or, rather, to get others to do so.

Unlike the older charities, they hope to create local economic conditions that make it unnecessary to have permanent agency headquarters in poor countries and regions. “You want to be in there so you're working yourself out of a job,” Mr. Clinton says.

For their part, the Mahbubanis linked up with the Internet-driven charity, founded in part by actor Matt Damon, which seeks to provide clean water in poor countries. And they struck a deal with Invenio, a California-based social enterprise that uses an entrepreneurial model to provide solar-powered Internet access in dirt-poor rural areas (while technically a non-profit, it otherwise operates like a corporation).

The couple don't just give money to these organizations. They actively take part in their projects and activities, linking their interests with the varied objectives of their partners. “We didn't want to be a foundation that gives money to charity and never knows how it will be used,” Ms. Mahbubani says. “We wanted to do this in a businesslike way. I questioned that approach at first, because this is philanthropy – it's different from the business world. But it has worked.”

That sense of unease about the private-sector-dominated philanthropy pioneered by Mr. Clinton is shared by a lot of people. In Haiti, for example, the initiative has been criticized for having brought in flawed shelters that happen to be manufactured by a company owned by one of the Clinton members.

In traditional philanthropy, there was a stark line between the capitalist activities of the benefactors and the altruistic activities of their chosen causes. The Clintonites have blurred the line, and perhaps erased it forever.

For a vivid example, consider Thomas Nagy, executive vice-president of the Danish-based multinational biotech company Novozymes. One of his tasks is to oversee its social enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa: In Mozambique, and soon in other countries, Novozymes has mounted a huge venture to end the reliance of poor villagers and slum-dwellers on indoor charcoal stoves – a practice that creates chronic health problems and ecological destruction, both from the stoves themselves and from the charcoal-making trade, which destroys forests and belches out tonnes of carbon.

Novozymes is replacing tens of thousands of family cookstoves with gas stoves. It is also paying the charcoal makers to become cash-crop farmers, while helping set up markets for their crops.

If it works, the project is unquestionably beneficial to huge numbers of people. But nobody is pretending it's a purely altruistic venture. One of Novozymes's businesses is converting farm crops into ethanol fuel. The charcoal makers will be taught to grow plants Novozymes can buy for that purpose, such as cassava. And the gas stoves in turn will create a large new untapped market in ethanol cylinders, assuring future markets for Novozymes.

“This is for profit. It is a social venture, designed to assemble an entire value chain,” Mr. Nagy says. “We are assembling a sustainable agricultural food and energy system with a supply chain that serves real needs, is more healthy and increases rural income and livelihood. It will have both a profit and a social and ecological benefit.”

Replacing the fuel economy of an entire nation is a kind of project that no charity or UN agency or foreign government would ever have attempted. The new profit-friendly philanthropy is built around such coincidences of interest – or conflicts, depending on your perspective.

Its great merit is that it is far more immediate, responsive and direct than the bureaucratic edifices of Philanthropy 2.0; the potential for profit prompts companies to mobilize far more people and resources far more quickly. But that is also its largest potential flaw – that self-interest could overshadow altruism, with no outside force overseeing it.

For established charities, there's another worry: If people come to believe that the world's problems can be fixed by acts of capitalism, will they be less inclined to make donations to charity?

It has come full cycle: Philanthropy 2.0, created to smooth out the flaws in the capitalist market economy, may end up being put out of business by it.

SEATTLE: The billionaires' club

On a grubby stretch of Seattle's industrial waterfront sits a drab, unmarked four-storey building that was once a cheque-processing centre. What takes place inside it is doing more to end the old order of philanthropy than anything else on Earth. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is not just the largest philanthropic organization in the world. It is using its extraordinary wealth to remake the basic nature of charity, aid, development and, in some respects, government.

Founded by the software billionaire in the late 1990s, when he needed to compensate for his international reputation as a monopolist, the Gates Foundation is now to philanthropy what Microsoft is to personal-computer software.

With the $33.5-billion endowment it won in 2008 when investor Warren Buffett donated half his fortune and Bill Gates quit Microsoft to run the charity full-time, it is by far the largest charitable foundation in the world, three times the size of the next-largest (the Ford Foundation) and larger than the entire economies of many of the 100 countries in which it operates; it gives out a sum of money each year – more than $3-billion – larger than that disbursed by the other top 10 foundations combined.

If older foundations have viewed the world through the goggles of a missionary, a nurse, a social worker or a policeman, Bill Gates has approached it as an engineer. A great many of the 1,200 people working here devote themselves to metrics – painstaking measures of the precise impact of every dollar spent – for example, the precise amount it costs a particular program to extend life expectancy in a poor country by one year.

And where old-school charities would assess their projects on an annual or biennial basis, the Gates people prefer their data daily, live from the field, as it's happening.

Mark Suzman, the head of the Gates Foundation's international-development program, began his career in a UN development agency. “One of the things that was really surprising” about old-school philanthropy, he found there, “was the degree to which it was a field that had not focused on results. It was much more focused on outputs: Did you get your money out the door? … We spend a lot of time mapping out what we think the metrics of success will be, and how we will measure it, and the way it will be reported back.”

They also typically have longer time frames: Among the 20 core Gates projects, many, such as vaccination programs, are calibrated on five-, 10- or 20-year schedules. And the scope is beyond what even large governments would consider – system-wide re-engineering projects: changing the type of rice grown in Africa so it will be both flood- and drought-resistant, after climate change; changing the total secondary and post-secondary education system of the United States; ending AIDS and tuberculosis around the world, completely.

As with the Clinton Initiative, a lion's share of the Gates money does not land directly on the ground, but is instead used as seed money to help other organizations raise and disburse further sums for their work. The Gates people call this “catalytic philanthropy” – not to do something themselves, but to cause someone else to do it.

Like the postwar charities, Bill Gates sees this as a mission to correct the imperfections of faltering governments and failing capitalist economies. “Where does the marketplace fall short and therefore a foundation can have a catalytic effect?” he asked in an interview last year.

As a result, though, the Seattle team is in the odd position of being not just rivals but often the main financiers of huge charities, UN divisions, other funds and government departments around the world.

To receive the funds, these bodies must apply the scientific standards, success-measuring techniques and organizing structures of the Gates Foundation. Since the amounts involved are so large, they often end up altering those institutions' basic DNA.

An official with the British government's Department for International Development tells of a foreign-aid program that was receiving hundreds of millions from both Whitehall and the Gates Foundation. The two clashed over how to measure the program's results.

“The outcome was, as it always is in such cases, that the Gates people got to install one of their people as the director,” the official says.

Such effects can be witnessed around the world, as the Gates people struggle to spend a sum of money each year that some analysts consider too large to be absorbed.

“Gates is so big and so influential that if they decide they want to focus on, say, food security, then they have the weight to get other foundations and, indeed, government agencies to change the game,” Randall Kempner, whose Aspen Institute promotes for-profit philanthropy, told an interviewer last year.

Mr. Gates's influence is even more powerful because it is amplified through the funds of other billionaires. Media tycoon Ted Turner's United Nations Foundation, founded in 1999, gets substantial funding from the Gates Foundation and, in turn, finances many of the old-school charities (and governments). Mr. Buffett took that meta-charity approach to a new level when he decided not to attach his name to a foundation but to leave his legacy to Mr. Gates.

And Mr. Turner, Mr. Gates and Mr. Buffett are all now campaigning to persuade other billionaires, such as Oracle chief executive officer Larry Ellison and New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, to part with half their fortunes in the name of philanthropy.

Some may spot a piquant irony here: In an age of grotesque inequality, the interests of the world's poor and diseased have become the concern of a small circle of billionaires, motivated – whether by guilt, concern for their reputations, vanity or pure altruism – to give a proportion of their wealth to do things that tax-deprived governments can't manage.

And the effect of their huge injection of personal wealth is often to change the behaviour of governments and more middle-class postwar charities. It is, in short, a very top-down way to impose bottom-up solutions to the world's problems.

Whatever the long-term effects, few will deny that the Gates effect has been broadly beneficial so far. “It puts human well-being back on the agenda,” the Bellagio Initiative's Mr. McGregor says, “because people like Gates are keen to rethink it now.”

Although the old-school charities claim to be happily co-operating with the billionaires' funds, in many important ways they are being left behind. That was most dramatically evident in what many consider the greatest accomplishment of the Gates and Clinton era: the taming of the AIDS crisis in sub-Saharan Africa.

In 2002, when Mr. Gates, Mr. Clinton and others decided to create the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, people assumed it would be operated by the World Health Organization, a branch of the UN. But Mr. Gates and Mr. Clinton were quietly adamant that the WHO be bypassed entirely.

“There's a real sense,” says a WHO official who was involved in the dispute, “that if it had gone to the WHO, we'd still be at the planning stage today. We were seen as too slow-moving and bureaucratic – not entirely inaccurately.”

Since then, the Global Fund has spent $19-billion on programs of education, HIV drug treatment, adult circumcision and hands-on preventive health care of unprecedented scope and scale. And the campaign is a startling success: The AIDS crisis, which at the beginning of the decade had reduced average life expectancy in some countries to little more than 30 years, is coming under control in most countries, with deaths down by 20 per cent and new infections by more than 25 per cent in the past decade.

In a parallel effort, the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization has vaccinated more than 250 million children and prevented five million deaths. It created a successful meningitis vaccine last year and announced a malaria vaccine this month.

Reducing continent-ravaging plagues to expensive but manageable issues may be the most dramatic demonstration of the new philanthropy's best potential.

GENEVA: The end of an empire

At the opposite extreme from the mud shacks, tent cities and crowded hospitals where aid is typically received is the calm, silent expanse of low, glass-walled buildings along the shore of Lake Geneva, the bureaucratic capital of the postwar philanthropic archipelago. Here are the well-paid elite of the Red Cross, many UN agencies and a number of the largest charities.

One of those glass buildings is home to CARE International, the quintessential 2.0 organization: Founded to deliver American food packages to the refugee camps that covered postwar Europe, it expanded and internationalized to become one of the world's largest charities, with 12,000 employees across virtually every global trouble spot, backed by fundraising in a dozen countries, including Canada.

Robert Glasser, the seasoned field worker who is the chief of CARE's worldwide operation in Geneva, remains one of the sector's outspoken optimists, but he can't help seeing the crises both within charity and outside it: “There are huge changes happening in philanthropy, and the scale of the problems is actually growing, and that is a real challenge to groups like ours.”

Donations to CARE from Canada, Britain and France actually have increased during the crisis. Yet in the U.S., which supplies 60 per cent of CARE's donor base, donations are sharply down. Mr. Glasser is also beginning to see steep cuts in grants from deficit-stricken governments – the source of more than half of CARE's funds, as is typical of the larger charities.

For the big institutions, the thousands of new organizations of Philanthropy 3.0. bring chaotic scenes of competition and crossed agendas, and not just in disaster zones such as post-tsunami Indonesia or Haiti. It's also a problem in the capitals of a great many sub-Saharan African countries and in unstable countries such as Pakistan and Somalia, where the parade of pop stars, evangelists, single-issue obsessives, Chinese-government agents and U.S. billionaires can create unhelpful distractions.

“There's good and bad with the crowded field,” Mr. Glasser says, diplomatically. “The good is that there's new energy, innovation, new approaches, great ideas … The problem with that has been in situations like Indonesia and Haiti, where you have hundreds of NGOs descending and trying to be helpful … some of them are just chasing the money. The problem is it really clogs up the system, and actually decreases the efficiency of the response.”

He is one of many charity heads who would like to see a global registration system for philanthropy, to prevent incompetent, flaky or ultra-religious organizations from poisoning the well.

The way donations are going, the opposite is more likely to occur. A generation ago, charitable giving was almost entirely middle-aged, middle-class and Western (in fact, mostly American – of the $52-billion donated worldwide each year, all but $15-billion comes from the States).

But today, the old practice of tithing part of your paycheque or pension to charity, or getting a letter and writing a cheque, has not been passed down from the older generation.

A recent study found that Canadians born before 1945 give an average of $833 a year, and three-quarters of them donate regularly; among those born from 1965 to 1980, annual donations drop to $549 and only 60 per cent give. Among those born after 1981, only 55 per cent do, and the average falls to $325.

Clearly, the decline in giving is not merely an effect of the Great Recession. But the crisis does put charity in a new light: A system meant to alleviate the bumps and pitfalls of the global market economy is bound to seem less relevant and effective when that whole economy has become a charity case.

The effort to find solutions may have become more complex and sophisticated – but the problems have never been larger.

With a report from Timothy Schwartz in Port-au-Prince. Doug Saunders is a member of The Globe and Mail's European bureau.