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Haiti | International

‘Economic Terrorism’: Ignoring the Debt Issue in Haiti
by Michelle Karshan, Jubilee USA
Thursday Oct 4th, 2007 12:23 PM
The Pangs of Hunger Not Eased by Millions in Aid & Loans
By Michelle Karshan | laughingmaze.blogspot.com

In Part One of my blog I said it would not be difficult to begin my fast but by 9:30 a.m. I had already started experiencing actual hunger pains.

At first I reflected on why I was feeling so intensely hungry after such a short period of time. I thought perhaps it was because I was starting to feel deprived, but then also realized that I had eaten very little the day before — very similar to how most Haitians actually live.

I thought of the homeless children who hang out in downtown Port-au-Prince or hide behind tombstones at the main cemetery while keeping an iron grip on plastic bottles filled with glue which they keep at their noses all day.

Apparently, glue sniffing not only gives one a dangerous buzz, but more importantly it eases the pains of hunger.

And there are the street children, boys and girls, forced to sell their bodies, risk contracting HIV/AIDS, and are subjected to brutality, just to buy a meal to eat. Other children, live in domestic servitude — as slaves — serve hefty meals to their masters, and pray that a few scraps will be made available to them.

And what of those who wear their hunger like a billboard?! The children with orange hair and distended stomachs , the prisoners with swollen bodies dying from Beri Beri, a fatal and painful illness from B vitamin deficiency, children with stunted growth, or even the average Haitian so thin that the bones in their faces protrude and many people collapse in the street from weakness and dehydration.

Why is there still hunger in Haiti if millions of dollars are pouring into the country, as the press would have us believe? In fact, contrary to press releases issued by various donors, and press stories to back them up, much of the funds we read about don’t actually get to Haiti when they say, if ever.

And, as a USAID representative testified before Congress some years ago, 84 cents on every dollar of USAID monies to developing countries actually goes to U.S. workers, consultants, companies, or materials. That means only 16 cents on every dollar actually goes to the receiving country.