“There has been a reduction in crime in certain spots where the population was practically held as hostages. One can observe churches and schools that have been reopened, and there has been an effective decrease in certain criminal practices,” affirms the Brazilian ambassador to Haiti, Paulo Cordeiro de Andrade Pinto.
He has been in the country since July 4 to provide support to the Brazilian coordinating staff of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (Minustah).
The ambassador judges that the resources destined for Haitian reconstruction are insufficient, although “they help the country avoid falling into a worse situation.” The International Fund for the Reconstruction of Haiti was established in July, 2004.
It was estimated that US$ 1 billion would be collected from the donor countries. US$ 400 million of this total are from the United States. “Brazil is making an enormous effort, not just sending troops but undertaking cooperative activities. US$ 1.7 million will be invested in the Jacmel training center,” he observes.
Andrade Pinto also points out that, besides the 1,200 Brazilian soldiers who are participating in the peace force, Brazil sent a company of Army engineers in June to work on infrastructure projects in the country.
According to the ambassador, Haiti’s structures are fragile, and Brazil is now attempting to form a partnership with Canada to carry out activities in the health field as well. “We shall enter with the human resources, and the Canadians, with the financial ones.”
The ambassador affirms that a survey by the Haitian Ministry of Health revealed that the country lacks the necessary structure to guarantee the refrigeration of vaccines.
“A large share of the refrigerators used to store vaccines, such as polio vaccine, are made in Brazil. They were out of service, because Haiti doesn’t have mechanics to fix them,” he said.
For this reason, Brazil plans to build a training center in the city of Jacmel, with the support of the National Industrial Apprenticeship Service (Senai).
Andrade met with the Brazilian Minister of Foreign Relations, Celso Amorim, Monday, September 19. Amorim is visiting the country to recommend that the period for elections in Haiti be maintained and that everybody participate in November’s elections.
Haiti has been experiencing political instability since 2004, when a rebel attack on the capital, Port-au-Prince, led to the ouster of the President, Jean Bertrand Aristide. Haiti currently has a provisional government.