Four members of the Brazilian Peace Force Brigade in Haiti were wounded last week during confrontations in the streets of Port-au-Prince. The injured soldiers received immediate medical attention, and their condition is not life-threatening.
According to a note released by the Brazil’s Army Center of Social Communication, the soldiers were wounded “by weapons fire from gang members” during patrol operations in the Bel-Air neighborhood in support of the Haitian National Police.
The purpose of the operations, according to the note, was “to take preventive actions in the area, bearing in mind the recent prison escape from the National Penitentiary.”
In the note, the Army Center of Social Communications makes it clear that, even more so in light of what happened, the Brazilian Peace Force Brigade in Haiti “will proceed with its mission to provide better security conditions in its zone of action and continues to count on the support and collaboration of the Haitian population to achieve its goals.”
Brazilian Chancellor Celso Amorim and the World Bank’s vice-president of Foreign Relations, Ian Goldin, signed an agreeement January 28 for a program to co-finance social projects in Haiti. The program will count on US$ 500 thousand from the World Bank and a Brazilian contribution of US$ 125 thousand.
As he signed the agreement, Amorim emphasized that the fact the agreement was concretized in Davos demonstrates that “the theme of poverty is beginning to make significant inroads.”
In his view, neo-liberal formulas by themselves will not resolve the world’s problems. The Minister once again asked for other countries to assist in Haitian reconstruction.
The program will last 12 months and will involve trash collection services, through the implementation of five pilot projects in needy sections of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, with the utilization of community participation, simple techniques, and equipment already available in the city.
The project also includes the provision of consulting serves for waste treatment, as well as the definition of a long-term (10-year) strategy for Haiti in this area.
This is the second effort of its kind in Haiti. During the Brazilian government mission last December in Port-au-Prince, Brazilian and the World Bank concluded a co-financing project to strengthen the institutional and distributional capacity of Haiti’s school lunch program.
This project, the World Bank’s first in conjunction with a developing country on behalf of another developing country, was aimed at making it possible to set up school kitchens to allow approximately 35 thousand elementary school children in poor neighborhoods to receive balanced and nutritious daily meals.