Archive for September, 2009

By Jennifer Browning

Although the cruise line mostly bills the stop as Hispanola, Miami’s Royal Caribbean Cruises has been making Labadee, Haiti a frequent port of call.

Now the cruise line is making a an investment, nearly $55 million, to fuel hope that Haiti can become a popular tourist destination once more.Royal Caribbean Cruises has extended the palm-lined beach, put in a roller coaster and constructed an 800-foot pier along the coastline of Labadee. The cruise line has also extended its lease on the 260-acre northern peninsula until 2050 and remains committed to the expansion.

With the United States and other nations downgrading travel warnings to Haiti, there is a large push to try to revitalize the tourism industry in Northern Haiti. And former President Bill Clinton, now United Nations Special Envoy for Haiti, is also targeting tourism as a key area for private investment.

On Tuesday, Clinton will discuss his Haiti initiatives during the 13th Annual Americas Conference at the Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables. Following the conference, Clinton plans to visit Labadee with Royal Caribbean executives and 150 investors when he travels to Haiti on Thursday.

Haiti’s Tourism Minister Patrick Delatour said there has been an effort to at least raise awareness of the Haitian people regarding the need to get back on the international tourism map.

Delatour and Haiti’s tourism operators want to open the north to cruise passengers by turning the Citadelle, an impressive mountaintop fortress, into an international destination where the cruise line could offer hiking and horseback riding excursions.

Transforming the now quaint town of Milot, a $40 million plan, into a vibrant tourist village with arts and crafts markets, restaurants and stoned streets. Milot is home to the Citadelle and Palace of Sans Souci ruins built by 20,000 Haitians and named a World Heritage site in 1982.

Read more in the Miami-Herald’s article here.

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By Jennifer Browning

University of Texas Health and Science Center in San Antonio, one of our partnering universities, entered Healthcare for Haiti as an idea to support on Ideablob.com in order to help them raise money for their medical trip in January, and to help funding towards the nutrition center that’s currently being built by Project Medishare in Thomonde!

Healthcare for Haiti is currently listed as one of the eight (8) finalists but votes can be made until September 30. We need to keep up the momentum! Please help us by VOTING FOR HEALTHCARE in HAITI on Ideablob.com. Should Healthcare for Haiti win, $10,000 will be awarded to Project Medishare’s Community Healthcare Program.

Click this link below and vote today!


Every vote counts!

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Speaking of clean water…..

By Jennifer Browning

clean_water1_0A water cistern in Marmont is still in need of repair. Project Medishare is dedicated to helping the people of Marmont have safe drinking water, but funding is still needed to complete the repairs.

Clean water plays an important role in not only preventing illness, but also plays a large part in decreasing infant mortality.

Safe drinking water is a luxury that 1.1 billion people in this world do not have. Two in every five people on the planet still have no access to a proper toilet. Children especially pay the price when it comes to the catastrophic health consequences caused by unsafe drinking water. About 1.7 million children under age five (5) died last year from diarrheal diseases caused by unsafe water and sanitation in developing countries. Millions more were put at significant risk of exposure to water-borne infections such as cholera, typhoid fever, and dysentery.

Help spread the word, by sending an email to friends and family asking them to make a donation to the Safe Water Project of $10, $25, $50 or more to help bring clean water to Marmont.

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By Jennifer Browning

Under the enhanced Heavily-Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, United States Ambassador Kenneth H. Merten and Haitian Minister of the Economy and Finance Daniel Dorsainvil today signed a bilateral debt relief agreement.

In recognition of Haiti’s successful completion of the HIPC, under the terms of this agreement, the United States will erase $12.6 million of bilateral debt, eliminating 100 percent of the Haitian government’s outstanding debt to the United States.

Haiti met the requirements to complete the HIPC initiative this summer by successfully implementing of economic and financial reforms, thus qualifying Haiti for over $1 billion of debt relief from multilateral and bilateral creditors.

In July, the Paris Club creditors, including Canada, France, Italy, and the United States, negotiated with Haiti to cancel approximately $62.7 million in official debt. Haiti’s Paris Club creditors intend to provide $152 million in additional debt cancellation beyond the requirements of the initiative.

This debt forgiveness will allow Haiti to invest more in the social needs of the country.

Read more

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By Jennifer Browning

During the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting yesterday, Water.org co-founders Matt Damon and Gary White announced the organization’s $2 million commitment to provide 50,000 in Haiti with safe water and sanitation over the next three years.

As part of the commitment, Water.org has also launched a social media campaign allowing anyone to participate in meeting the water challenge in Haiti.

Click here to check out Water.org

Click here to read about Emory Medishare’s partnership with Project Medishare and Deep Springs International in their efforts to bring safe water to the people of remote Baille Touribe.

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By Jennifer Browning

COME2HAITI(DC)Come To Haiti! Join The Global Syndicate and The Haiti Project as they take you back to a time when tourists flocked to Haiti for a taste of paradise! The event will be in Washington D. C. on Saturday, September 26 from 1-4 p.m. and will take place at the home of Marcia Dyson at 5015 Warren Street NW. Invited guests include President Bill Clinton, Paul Farmer, Congressman Rangel, Susan Taylor, Gail King, Ambassadors of Brazil, France, and Haiti, and many more notables.

Proceeds from the event will go toward six non-profits including Project Medishare!

Led by The Global Syndicate, The Haiti Project is a nationwide fundraising and awareness campaign that will generate critical support for sustainable humanitarian efforts in Haiti. This collaborative effort is bringing together leaders from the corporate, finance and not-for-profit sectors, elected and public officials and celebrities for a series of informative and exciting events across the United States.

Contribution levels for the event are $250 for supporters, $500 for VIP, and $1000 for chairpersons. Students, nonprofit professionals and Global Syndicate Members may attend for a contribution of $100.

Should you be in the D.C. area, please show your support for Haiti and Project Medishare by attending this amazing event! To R.S.V.P contact Jacques-Philippe at 917-596-6937 or click here to purchase a ticket!

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By Jennifer Browning

Last Spring, juniors Ananth Sastry and Ashish Shah from University of Miami’s Delta Epsilon Psi Fraternity boarded their flight to Port-au-Prince with four newly repaired computers. Health care agents now use those computers in participation with Project Medishare’s Community Health Program.

The fraternity, which joined UM’s greek life last Fall, voluntarily seeks to repair and donate old computers to underprivileged countries through a program called Project PC Hookup.

This academic year, the seven-member fraternity plans to donate at least 25 computers to help Project Medishare set up a classroom in Haiti for children as part of the educational component of Project Medishare’s Integrated Community Development Program.

Members spend four to five hours a week fixing the computers.

For more information about Delta Epsilon Psi visit their website: www.depsinu.org.

To donate a computer to Project PC Hookup, contact Emmanuel Berchmans at: secretary@depsinu.org.

Source: The Miami Hurricane

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By Jennifer Browning

While this year’s hurricane season has been a quiet one for Haiti, an eye is being kept on an active tropical system in the Atlantic basin.

Hurricane Fred was 740 miles west of the Cape Verde Islands yesterday with maximum winds near 100 mph making it a category 2 hurricane. According to The Weather Channel, Fred is not expected to hit land.

Meteorologists are predicting that Fred will go north, where the storm system will break down and move into cooler waters.

Haiti suffered rains and mudslides from the remnants of tropical storm Erika last week.

Earlier this week UNICEF reported that they along with UN agencies and partners have devised contingency plans to meet the needs of children and families at various levels of emergency.

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By Jennifer Browning

Paul Farmer returned from Haiti Tuesday marking his first visit to the country in his new capacity as the United Nations’ deputy special envoy. The trip was part of a follow-up trip that UN Special Envoy Bill Clinton made last month to Haiti.

“This island nation is one I am deeply committed to,” he said during his visit, “and I intend to do whatever it takes to support President Clinton and the people of Haiti in our joint effort of creating new jobs, improving the delivery of basic services, strengthening disaster recovery and preparedness, attracting private sector investment and garnering greater international support.”

The goal of Farmer’s five-day visit to Haiti was to gauge the best way to support the Haitian government in its national recovery plan.

Farmer’s visit included meetings with Haitian President René Préval, Prime Minister Michèle Pierre-Louis and other government officials.
He also met with business leaders, representatives from the United Nations as well as many nongovernmental organizations.

In addition, Farmer visited the Central Plateau and Cap Haïtien, where he met with local communities and representatives of the tourism industry.

Related articles:
Miami Herald: UN’s deputy special envoy to Haiti wraps up first trip

UN: Senior UN official pledges support for Haiti’s recover on recent visit

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