ActionAid USA’s Elise Young’s Letter to the Editor in The New York Times

May 2, 2011

Our Promises to Haiti

To the Editor:

Haitians Forced Out of Tents to Homes Just as Precarious” (front page, April 24) describes the dire situation faced by at least 680,000 Haitians.

Precarious living conditions and forced evictions have worsened gender-based violence, food insecurity and health concerns in the country.

Both the incoming Haitian government and the United States government must now deliver on their promises and address this problem. This includes investing in a nationwide system of land reform, redistributing plots of land to poor communities and providing housing to those in desperate need of a permanent home.

Based on recent meetings with Haitian civil-society leaders, it is clear to me that a key to reconstruction is for Haitians themselves, especially grass-roots and women’s groups, to play a greater role in the reconstruction process. For recovery to succeed, the most vulnerable must be deeply involved in the creation and implementation of the national housing plan.

Washington, April 27, 2011

The writer is a senior policy analyst, for Haiti advocacy, at ActionAid USA.


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