The General Hospital in Port-au-Prince is guarded by American soldiers with dark sunglasses and frighteningly large guns. Most of the buildings are damaged, so the patients lie outside in large white tents—makeshift wards.
One month ago today, Dr. Louise Ivers was in a meeting at the World Food Programme (WFP) office in Port-au-Prince when the ground began to shake. As first it was just a slight rumble, so that she thought that what she was feeling was perhaps the vibration of heavy construction equipment. But then the ground began to shake so violently that it was hard to stand up. "I fell over," says Ivers. "People started screaming, and we could hear the cracking sounds as the buildings shook and fell."
The center of Port-au-Prince—its palace, ministries, schools and office buildings—lies in ruins. On January 12, the earth shook for less than a minute, but in those 35 seconds, buildings cracked and toppled, floors of concrete collapsing one atop the other, crushing hundreds of thousands of people as they fell.
Mondays and Fridays are market days in Dajabon, the small frontier town in the northwest of the Dominican Republic on the border with Haiti.
Haiti's infrastructural devastation in the wake of last week's earthquake highlights media's critical role in facilitating relief efforts. Mark Frohardt knows this all too well. Frohardt is Vice President for Health and Humanitarian Media at Internews, an international media and development organization mandated to empower local media. He and his team arrive in disaster areas at the height of crises to fill gaps in information sharing and provide local media outlets with the necessary tools to rebuild.
Water has been identified as a top priority for aid to Haiti as it struggles to recover. The consequences of not having access to water extend beyond dehydration. Thirst drives people to water sources they would not have considered before - sources contaminated with human waste, garbage, and industrial byproducts. Using this water leads to diseases like cholera and dysentery, which spread rapidly through communities.
This past week, with international focus centered on Haiti, the Pulitzer Center has joined in the global dialogue by drawing attention to the systemic crises that existed in the country before the Jan. 12 earthquake.
We aim to raise awareness of the other issues facing the people affected by this disaster. Our grantees have captured the deplorable conditions of Haiti's national penitentiary, which was among the buildings destroyed by the earthquake, and explored the lives of the child slaves who comprise nearly ten percent of Haiti's youth population.
An inside look at the dangerous conditions inside Haiti's collapsing national penitentiary.
Kira Kay and Jason Maloney report on what is being hailed as a moment of hope for Haiti, as a confluence of security, brought by a large and aggressive United Nations presence, and relative political stability, under the tenure of President Rene Preval, has kept the country calm for a long-enough period that investors are tentatively starting to return to the Caribbean nation.
Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere; over half the population lives on less than a dollar a day and public services, like healthcare, education, even garbage collection, are scarce. But it is also a country of great beauty and opportunity, made more viable by a recent confluence of political stability and security through the presence of a large United Nations Peacekeeping force. Kira Kay and Jason Maloney of the Bureau for International Reporting recently spent a week filming in Haiti as part of their Fragile States series airing on PBS NewsHour.
In the realm of the video news reporter, if you don't have it on tape, it didn't happen. OK, it's not always so extreme, you can narrate the occurrence of an event and use vaguely relevant or generic images -- say a compression shot of people walking on the street -- to cover that narration. But if the element is highly specific, then no video equals no event.
When Royal Caribbean's Oasis of the Seas docked in Haiti yesterday, history was made. First, it marked the inaugural passenger sailing of the vessel, the largest in the world with capacity for 6,300 cruisers. Second, it was the first visit hosted by the newly renovated port at Labadee, Haiti's greatest hope for jumpstarting its fledgling tourist industry, representing an investment of 55 million dollars. Labadee has welcomed many Royal Caribbean ships over the years but until yesterday they did not dock and passengers were instead ferried in on launches.