TWO EXPERTS SAY COOPERATION WITH HAITI IS 'A MESS'
(Defend Haiti) - By Mauel Jimenez
PARIS - Two experts in international relations have considered that while the foreign cooperation that has come to Haiti has been done with good will, there still exists today problems exacerbated by the earthquake of January 12, 2010. This is because, the help has never been a coordinated strategy or guided by the ideas of Haitians.
Doctors Francisco Nieto, and Jean Francois Claverie, directors of the Cooperation of L'Observatoire des Changements’ in Latin America, agreed that all aid into Haiti enters in a dispersed manner and there exists no coordinating body at both the national and municipal level.
For Nieto, the reconstruction of Haiti must be a "coordinated cooperation, which does not have to come in separate pieces.... hand in hand with Haiti,,,, that the Haitians be heard before any action is undertaken" ...
In addressing this issue, Claverie said that:
"what we have seen after a meeting with officials from Haiti is not so much that there is no money from international cooperation but, I mean that there is a big mess in the international cooperation itself."
He explained that the disorder is expressed by many people who came to Haiti with lots of good intentions... "But with no coordination with respect to their role; for example, the role of the United Nations, MINUSTAH..."
He added that those who make international cooperation in Haiti, both institutionally and in terms of the NGOs think that there is "no state, no towns, there is no public education,... as opposed to the fact that before the earthquake there were indeed institutions, ... they were (certainly) weak but there were mayors, ministers ... ".
Considering the cooperation that is done in these conditions, "the effectiveness of this cooperation is very negative. Haitians do not understand why the money does not arrive. But in fact there is money, the problem is that the projects are so disordered and further, the implementing agencies do not think like the Haitians themselves."
Claverie cited the case of Quisqueya University, which collapsed a month after being inaugurated, at a cost of five million dollars. "And now, almost two years after the earthquake, the courses are taught in a tent in 35 degree heat. It is incomprehensible that after two years there is no progress, not even the least minimum of reconstruction of an area to teach courses..." The French expert was flabbergasted.
Projects in Haiti
Nieto has been the creator of several centers and universities specializing in public policy issues and corruption.
He has also done consulting for the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, Friedrich Ebert and Hanss Seidel and has been a consultant to the World Bank, Andean Development Corporation (CAF) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
"We joined with the Institute of Latin America, which have over fifty institutes in the United States. We created a network with Georgetown University a region of 18 universities ranging from Mexico to Argentina.
“Our idea of coming here is to make two or three specific concrete projects involving Europe and America through the Foundation for Democracy and Development and say yes you can do this with results and projects that are under the matrix that Haitians want. This must be respected, "said Nieto.
He revealed that the Haitian Association of University Rectors will request the training of teachers, because they go abroad and in Haiti there is a lack of well prepared human capital.
Nieto said he accepted that request and will train teachers in Haiti with the cooperation of France, the United States ......
He added that "through this mechanism we are also going to form diplomats and teachers specialized in the social issues, which is our area. This is not going to take long and we are not going to invent anything. There is a clear document made and approved by the Haitian authorities about what they need in the area of higher education.
He said that in Haiti he has recognized that the infrastructure issue is serious because there is still debris in the city, but that others will take care of that, because "what we are saying is that important projects can be made in Haiti, in absolutely important areas such as education. It is a matter of thinking ahead and materializing a joint project (effort), having a clear result in mind, a clear objective that is measurable."
Corruption: zero tolerance.
Nieto also referred in general terms to corruption, and in this regard said that we must try to bring it down to reasonable levels...
He felt that something fundamental for combating corruption is: "the institutionalization, the creation of civil service, in moderation, because if we follow in the case of Greece, where the state apparatus ate the state by becoming too heavy and cannot survive. It must be made that the state like in many countries in Latin America, that the state lives for the nation and not vice versa,... the nation living for the state."
Nieto said that "democracy, ... organically, ....the first thing is to organize a process which gives equal rights, entrusts assets and liabilities, the possibility to elect and be elected for all eligible citizens."
He added that the second thing that makes a democracy is "set periods of time to undertake tasks. You will be given a certain kind of task that you will be fulfilling... responsibilities to perform in a given time....” Furthermore, “considering that I have given you an order for you to comply with requirements, it is logical that you report to me."