Haiti's government acts to assist the victims of Ernesto: 25,000 families are evacuated from Martissant
August 27, 2006
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Haiti's government acts to assist the victims of Ernesto: 25,000 families are evacuated from Martissant

Port-au-Prince, Haiti (AHP) Haitian Prime Minister Jacques Edouard Alexis indicated Sunday that steps have been taken by the authorities to provide emergency assistance to victims of Hurricane Ernesto, now downgraded to a tropical storm.

Ernesto brought torrential rains and very serious flooding to several regions of the country, particularly the South Department, where Ernesto came to within 60 kilometers. The Haitian government has banned air and sea travel until further notice and announced emergency assistance to all regions.

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While no casualties had been reported by Sunday, some 25,000 families were evacuated from Martissant, a poor district south of the capital which has suffered violence from armed bands over the past two years, especially at the hands of the criminal group known as "lame ti manchèt" (little machete army).

On the island of La Gonâve, 13 homes were destroyed.

Several seaside homes in the city of Les Cayes (160 kms south of the capital) were flooded, as well as numerous crop plantings in the region.

Very strong winds buffeted Port-au-Prince throughout Saturday evening and were followed by heavy rains on Sunday that prompted residents to remain indoors.

"The government is mobilized together with the national police and MINUSTAH to accompany the victims" said Mr. Alexis.

Finance Minister Daniel Dorsainvil announced emergency assistance in the amount of 300,000 gourdes for each geographical Department of the country.

Interior Minister Paul Antoine Bien-Aimé said that 10,000 emergency kits are available.

In related news, Florida Governor Jeb Bush declared a state of emergency and some tourists began leaving the Florida Keys on Sunday.

AHP August 27, 2006 6:30 PM

A conference on the future of Haitian-Dominican relations opens in Oslo

Port-au-Prince (AHP) A Haitian-Dominican meeting sponsored by the Norwegian government and the Church opened Sunday in Oslo.

The gathering was a follow-up to the First International Conference on the Future of Haitian-Dominican Relations, held in May 2006 in Santo Domingo.

Since early 2000, the government of Norway has been supporting various initiatives to bring the two countries closer together, including Haitian-Dominican meetings under the framework of the "Oslo Process".

Nicole Grégoire, from the secretariat of the Foreign Affairs Minister, Garaudy Laguerre, a director of ISPOS, and officials from Center Point and GARR are taking part in the conference that is scheduled to end on September 6.

The Dominican delegation is being led by Lorenzo Mota King.

The Dominican delegation also includes Ambassador Inocencio Garcia, responsible for Haitian affairs at the Dominican Foreign Ministry, journalist Sara Perez, Mr. Jose Alberto Diaz, and Bishop Telesforo.

The former Haitian consul general in Santo-Domingo is attending the conference as an observer.

AHP August 27, 2006 4:00 PM

Six million dollars (US) were misappropriated at the Foreign Affairs Ministry under the interim government according to the president of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Chamber of Deputies

Port-au-Prince (AHP) Sorel Francois, president of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the House of Deputies, said Friday that more than $6 million (US) were misappropriated by the Foreign Affairs Ministry over the two year administration of interim Prime Minister Gérard Latortue.

In remarks on the private station, Radio Solidarité, Sorel Francois explained that a portion of those funds were misappropriated at the Haitian Embassy and consulates in the United States.

He urged the Haitian authorities to act to question all individuals accused of involvement in this case of corruption.

Several other members of Parliament said there has never been so much corruption in Haiti over such a short period of time (two years).

For his part, former UNION presidential candidate Pastor Chavannes Jeune said he was disappointed that certain interim authorities are guilty of corruption.

" It is extremely difficult to find serious and honest men today to whom positions of considerable responsibility can be given without squandering the public treasure", deplored Pastor Jeune.

Members of the interim government led by Gérard Latortue and Boniface Alexandre presented themselves March 2004 as "technocrats, honest men and women who have come to fight corruption and embezzlement of public funds".

The leader of the UNION party called upon the new government to assume its responsibilities by setting in motion the wheels of justice to act against all who are guilty.

AHP August 27, 2006 10:20 AM

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