Thursday, December 10, 2009

Research

Today I ran across a fascinating blog entry by a 29-year-old Chicagoan named Bethany who traveled to Port-au-Prince last year to spend a week in an orphanage. Her looong and very detailed report paints a much clearer picture of city life for me, and sounds almost exactly like my time in India. One of my greatest fears has been the whole "unknown" element of moving to a place you've never seen, so knowing that the streets of Port are similar to Delhi comforts me.

Further, I found an interesting artcle in the Haitian Times on the renewal of the UN MINUSTAH presence in Haiti for at least one more year, through October 10. This 9,000-member UN peacekeeping force has been in the country since 2004 and has significantly stabilized the capital.

Lastly, Ben found an interesting piece called Our Man in Haiti: Bill Clinton on the great work that Mr. Clinton has done as special UN Ambassador to Haiti. He's gone around the world seeking private investors to pursue business interests in Haiti to stimulate the economy, as well as pressured the government to become more business-friendly through greater transparency, better laws, and less corruption. He's also pressuring those who've made pledges to Haiti to pay up, and he was involved in recent cancellations of Haitian national debt by world banks - a move that will save the government $50 milllion per year that can now, hopefully, go to better serve the people.

K

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