Haiti. Visit Countryaah official website to get information about the capital city of Haiti. The political crisis in Haiti triggered by the elections in April 1997 continued throughout the year. Congress repeatedly refused to approve the prime ministerial candidate presented by President René Préval, which is why Haiti has been without government for more than 2 years. The opposition party OPL (Organization du Peuple en Lutte) claimed that Préval was trying to maneuver back President Jean-Bertrand Aristide to power. The crisis worsened in March when OPL Senator Yves Toussaint was murdered, according to OPL on the instigation of Préval and Aristide. On March 8, however, an agreement was reached which meant that Jacques Édouard Alexis was approved as prime minister against the formation of a new electoral council and new parliamentary elections to be held in December. Already in July, the 1997 election results were formally canceled. However, no elections were held at the end of the year, but the UN.
In May 2004, more than 100 died and hundreds disappeared as a result of heavy rains in the southeastern part of the country. Thousands are becoming homeless in the border region of the Dominican Republic, and the magnitude of the disaster is increasing as a result of food shortages and poor sanitation. The United States and Canada send troops in support of the rescue operation.
In July, a number of countries and multilateral organizations agreed on a reconstruction program worth more than $ 1 billion. US $ over the following 2 years. The rebuild must be funded by flexible credits and donations. Thirty countries and 32 international organizations participated in the conference in Washington. On the basis of a report prepared by the EU, the Inter-American Development Bank, the UN and the World Bank, it was decided that the funds received should be used to improve security forces, health, electricity supply, and strengthen the social and political sphere. Even before the conference, the United States had committed to contributing $ 232 million. US $ until 2006. Mexico would provide training to Haiti police and also offer medical assistance. Haiti’s Prime Minister Latortue declared,
Haiti remains America’s poorest country with an annual average income of less than US $ 400. Only 10% of the population has access to electricity. The reconstruction program will create 31,000 jobs within the public sector and with the collection of garbage in the urban areas. In addition, 1500 schools will be established.
In September, Hurricane Jeanne cost 600 dead in Haiti’s northwest, and 80,000 were affected by the hurricane. Government representative in Artibonite, Elie Cantave stated that over 500 – predominantly children – were killed in Gonaives alone. Gonaives is the most important city in the north of the country and connects north to south. As a result of the floods, the country was largely cut off from the outside world. Cantave explained during a press conference: “The rescue team continues to find the bodies in the houses of this city that were not prepared for a tragedy of this magnitude at all.”
The representative of the United Nations Force in Haiti (MINUSTAH), Toussaint Congo Doudou stated that all figures were preliminary and that the disaster could be even worse. The interim Prime Minister Latortue declared 3 days of country grief and asked for international assistance to the 80,000 people without food or water in Gonaives. He himself visited the area with his interior minister, but did not reach the worst affected areas due to the destruction of the roads.
The main roads in the area were transformed into uncontrolled rivers. Commander in chief of the UN Stabilization Force in the country, Heleno Rubeiro Pereira explained how helicopters could see half of Gonaive’s underwater and how thousands of families stayed on the roofs of their houses hoping to be rescued. The floods hit the country so much harder because it is almost 100% deforested.
One year after the coup, the transitional government had failed completely – despite its total backing from Washington. The violence prevailed and security was non-existent. In the streets there were corpses, and armed gangs of soldiers who had been demobilized 10 years ago could move freely around the cities. Many members of the Lavalas movement had been killed, schools were closed, hospitals could not function and in many places the roads were no longer usable.
By May 2005, 10,000 Haitians had been killed and over 1,000 jailed – most Aristide supporters. According to a joint statement by several of the country’s social mass organizations, local leaders and supporters of Aristida are at constant risk.