Haiti Activists Arrive in DC!

The following comments are from Day 1 of activists from the Haiti Advoacy Working Group’s visit to the nation’s capitol, from the view point of Elise Young of ActionAid USA:

We had a very successful meeting with both Ambassador Veveer and then Tom Adams. GBV, safe housing and grassroots consultation were the big themes. We were very happy to hear Mr. Adams emphasize the US’s commitment to helping to improve protection systems for women. He agreed with Madame Nazaire’s and other participants’ assessment that the justice system needs significant reform in order to process criminals of violence. In Mr. Adams’ words, ” because people who don’t have money in Haiti, don’t have access to the justice system. We must change this.”

Although Mr. Adams had to leave the meeting at the 1 hour mark, our team was delighted to stay for an additional 2 hours, to discuss solid ideas on how to improve the process of direct consultations and partnerships between the US government, Haitian government and Haitian grassroots and civil society groups, in order to improve access to land, housing and security for the most vulnerable.

” I was incredibly surprised and delighted that the State Dept spent so much time with our team and took our recommendations seriously,” said ActionAid’s Haiti’s National Campaign Coordinator, Ghemps Desauguste. “I feel positive that we took the first important step in opening the lines of communication.”

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