Haitians Protest Aid Blockage, Corruption, UN Calls It Political,
Murky Land Deals
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 8 -- A protest of
"hundred of Haitian"
women in Petionville on Sunday was characterized on Monday as
political by the UN's humanitarian coordinator Kim Bolduc.
Press asked Ms. Bolduc about the protesters, who accused
Petionville's Deputy Mayor of hoarding aid so it didn't reach those
most in need. Inner City Press asked, does the UN have any response?
contrary to Reuters, that there was "no disturbance reported
there." Video here,
from Minute 23:08. She went on to say that
the UN "cannot avoid conflicts" between "groups in
then to in fact be aware of the protest,
recounting that a "group of political parties... told people
they could ask for more."
how much the
UN speak of the needs of the poor, while asking for money, it would
seem that the UN should listen, and not dismiss, protests by the poor
saying, we are not getting enough food.
But the UN,
as a club of
governments, is most committed to always working through governments.
So when a government, even a local one like in Petionville, is
protested, some in the UN automatically side with the government. So
much for the Millennium Development goals....
UN's Bolduc appearing by video to UN in NYC,
protests not shown
also asked Ms. Bolduc about reports that private land owners are
getting side commitments for money in exchange for land to shelter
and house the displaced, that the UN is involved in. Ms. Bolduc had
said no money was changing hands, then told Inner City Press that of
course rent would be asked for. Finally, she said that landlords were
being "negotiated" with to give or lend for free their
land. What's to negotiate, then? We'll have more on this.
* * *
In Haiti, UNDP Paying
$4.47 a Day to Demolish, Few Safeguards on
Right to Return, DR Congo Protests
Matthew Russell Lee
NATIONS, February 4 -- The UN Development Program, with which Bill
Clinton is to coordinator aid to Haiti, bragged Thursday about $2.5
million being given by the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Inner
City Press asked UNDP's Jordan Ryan to respond to protests in the DRC
about the grant, when Congolese people are under-served and
unprotected, and asked if UNDP had sought out this contribution.
grant shows solidarity, and that UNDP is the "vehicle."
from Minute 11:14. He didn't disclose, but should, what
overhead fees UNDP is charging -- as high at 10% in some contexts.
Given how much UNDP has in the bank, might it not waive such fees in
the case of Haiti?
Associate Administrator Rebecca Grynspan -- according to African
Ambassador, she took a post that had been promised to Africa, ironic
in light of the happy talk about accepting also a $2.5 million grant
from the DRC -- briefed the Press about UNDP's "cash for work"
in Haiti, she said it would be $5 a day.
have said $3 a day. Inner City Press asked Ryan, who said it is $4.47
a day, set by the government. Much of the work being done involves
demolishing buildings in Port au Prince.
asked, since UNDP is involved in knocking buildings down, what
safeguards will be in place that people can return? Video here,
from Minute 28:45. These questions
were asked about New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina -- why not in
Haiti? Ryan responded with platitudes about recovery plans with,
among others, the World Bank. Great.
UNDP's Jordan Ryan, overhead costs and
rebuilding plans not shown
IMF, Inner City Press asked about criticism, including by a UN
expert, of the IMF issuing a new loan rather than grant to Haiti. IMF
Spokeswoman Caroline Atkinson said that nothing would have to be paid
until 2012. And then? Watch this site.