Haiti: new PM faces storm aftermath

On Sept. 5 the Haitian Senate voted 16-0 with one abstention to approve a cabinet proposed by incoming prime minister Michele Duvivier Pierre-Louis. This ended a five-month period in which the country was governed by a caretaker cabinet. (AlterPresse, Sept. 5; Haiti Support Group News Briefs, Sept. 5 from Reuters) The new cabinet faces devastation left by four tropical storms that hit the country from Aug. 16 to Sept. 7.

More than 550 people died because of the storms, and Pierre-Louis said as many as 1 million Haitians might have been left homeless. As of Sept. 18 the authorities estimated that losses in the agricultural sector were more than $180 million. The country doesn’t have the resources to deal with the situation, the prime minister said. “We need major support and it is time for the world to understand that.” (AlterPresse, Sept. 17, 18; Haiti Support Group, Sept. 13 from BBC)

As of Sept. 15, the US government had promised $29.3 million in aid, including $800,000 from the Defense Department to pay for rescue equipment. The US has also given logistical support with helicopters and a ship, the USS Kearsarge. (AlterPresse, Sept. 19)

From Weekly News Update on the Americas, Sept. 21

See our last post on Haiti.