Eight months later, little relief in Haiti

Phenia Michel, who was born in Haiti, cries out about the absence of aid for the Haitian people. Hundreds gathered Saturday to call attention to the millions of Haitians still suffering in the wake of January's devastating earthquake. Photo by Ryan Chavis

Amid a sea of flags and hand-made signs, hundreds gathered Saturday to call for immediate help for the people of Haiti.

“Where is the money?” they chanted.

The Haiti Solidarity Network of the North East organized the rally in front of the Haitian Consulate at 271 Madison Ave. on Sept. 25. Participants wanted to put a spotlight on the lack of aid for the struggling residents in Haiti many who still live in slum-like “tent cities” in the aftermath of the disastrous earthquake that shook the nation more than eight months ago.

“All the money they collected on behalf of Haiti, what happened to the money?” said Ener Ve, 42.

Organizers held the protest in front of the consulate in hopes that the delegates who work in the building would hear their pleas for change.

“Many are still homeless. They live with rats, and there is not enough food, “ said Judy Reilley, a representative of HSNNE.  Reilley explained that sexual assault is also an issue for women and children in camps because of the lack of proper security.

Reilley spoke to protesters about poor sanitation throughout the area. The living conditions in Port au Prince continue to deteriorate as residents are forced to navigate through mud and feces as the result of heavy rainfall, she said.

“No child of God should have to live like this,” Reilley said.

Around 11 a.m., protesters and organizers marched to Dag Hammarskjold Plaza near the United Nations to continue their call for action.

“Since the earthquake, the mission has been budgeted for $380 million from July 1 to December 31 this year, and we know that most of that money goes to pay UN personnel,” said Rev. Gene Squeo, from HSNNE. “We’re here today to say that it’s not only the Haitian government that’s mired in inaction, but that the international community is complicit with the Haitian community.”

More than $11 billion has was made available for rebuilding after the disaster, yet the people affected by it are still left to live in an unsafe environment, Squeo said.

“Indifference cannot continue. Inaction cannot continue. The people are suffering,” he said.

Organizers placed emphasis on demanding accountability from various government organizations and officials. Amadi Amajou, of the December 12 Movement and Friday Haiti Relief Coalition, non-governmental organizations that represent Africans and their human rights, spoke about misuse of funds from various donors earmarked for the Haitians.

“The French, the United States, the western European nations all are putting in billions of dollars that support their own NGOs not the Haitian people,” Amajou said. “We need to understand that Haiti is a victim of international imperialism and has been for a long time.”

For one protester, the situation boils down to the importance of basic human rights.

“It is not fair,” said Phenia Michel, who is originally from Haiti. For most of the protest, Michel stood under the solitude of a large Haitian flag, often chanting to rally her fellow protesters.

“All of them are human beings, and we want them to be treated like human beings. That’s all we want,” Michel said.



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Carol McConnell says:

I work with you mother and contribute to your Relay for Life. Mom is sharing your articles with us and you are outstanding.
I’ going to be in NY next week and will give you a call.
Congratulations and keep up the good work

Aunt Marty says:

Excellent article. So proud of you & your accomplishments! Keep up the good work & make us proud!

Anne McGirt says:

Great article. I hope you will follow up on the story. It’s sad to think that the money given to help these poor victims is mired in the UN rather than clearing up the mess in the streets and giving life back to those who so desperately need it.
I know your parents are extremely proud of you. Your hard work has paid off and is evident in the thoughtful, provocative article. It shows great insight and compassion.
I look forward to your next article.

I am extremely proud of you. The article was through and the comments of individuals made it effective. I always knew that you had so much potential and ability.

Yvonne Barnes Dial

jean says:

” Haiti light exchanges ” is an organization for framing of the Haitian intellectuals who to put their knowledge free at the services of the institutions foreign and Haitian donors.

Let us exchange our lights Let us put our lamps on the table of the rebuilding;

Haiti Services:

Orientations of the foreign institutions

– We direct the foreign institutions wishing to invest in the country in their giving all the necessary informations in their steps for the creation of their company Tourist guide us handlebars our foreigners and diaspora Haitian during their tourist stay (hiring of car Mobility A service of transport is at the disposal from abroad and will diaporas Haitian wishing to travel in all the country creations; companies let us create we companies to increase employment in the country Recruitment We recruit the personnel for companies Information We give to information the Haitian abroads and diasporas which work on the ground for better directing them Marketing

– We give services in the field of marketing, telemarketing, survey and market research School let us build we schools to teach reading and writing the population Formation let us train we people of any age in much of fields Real estate

– A real service is in place to help the foreigners, contractors, will diaporas Haitian who seek a house, a ground has to rent or has to sell Data processing

– Our technicians are there to repair your computers and to give other services in the data-processing field Such as Office automation, network, programming, database, creation Internet site, graphics ect Engineering let us carry out we graphic designs of the buildings and monuments for the Haitian inheritance Report let us cover we the events with our services photographs and videotex (report, video assembly, realization of documentary and short film)

Hotel let us deal with we To find a hotel ideal for our Haitian foreigners and diasporas Breakdown service We have a breakdown service in the electric, electronic field and plumbing

Distribution – A service of distribution is in place, we do it with transparency by filmed evidence Assistances for the young students and artist We help the young students has to prepare their files to return has university in the whole world We request purses studies for them, we accompany them at the request of visa We fill the forms of the requests for visa We direct the young artists towards events cultural, stays artistic ect We organize intellectual contests for the young people of the whole world Sport We have a football club in objective to discover and make known universally our best players and hidden talents Haitian

OUR DUTIES Elimination of illiteracy Afforestation Volunteer To help To divide To form Our needs Financing of our departmental services Logistic, data-processing and different material.

Let us receive our best greetings

12 Impasse Liotto, Crajadel Bon Repos Port Au Prince Haiti

Tel 0050946429811

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