Following the October Security Council meeting, there was much optimism for Haiti; however, the last six months have been a missed opportunity to improve the situation. The main problems in Haiti since the devastating 2010 earthquake are fair and free elections along with problems within the police and security forces. With constitutional amendments and a new prime minister, elections were promised in 2012 but none were held. The UN Secretary General has strongly urged for elections in 2013, saying that they are vital for the development and security of Haiti. Fair and free elections must be held on local, municipal, regional, and national levels. While progress has been made recently in establishing a judiciary branch, more needs to be done to ensure that the judiciary is independent from the government.
There have been widespread reports of human rights violations within the Haitian security forces, including sexual abuse of women and children and inhumane prison conditions. Since 2010, investment in Haiti has declined by 46%, and NGO presence has declined by 50% since 2011. The global community needs to continue its commitment to Haiti, especially in this crucial period of governmental reform.
Despite the setbacks, there have been many good signs of recovery since the horrible 2010 earthquake. The amount of people in displaced persons camps has declined by 77%, from around 300,000 people to 2.3 million people. Despite this decline, conditions remain poor and the camps rely almost entirely on foreign aid. UN security forces under MINUSTAH (United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti) have been able to scale back operations with no decline in national security. 80% of the damage from the hurricane has been removed, and 20% has been recycled. Lastly , women have had increased roles in reforestation and recovery efforts, along with increased presence in government.
By: Dylan Gerstel