The end of the week has seen the headlining riots in Port-au-Prince diminished, However, this does not mean that the problem has been solved. The government’s proposal to increase the price of fuel deeply affects the people of Haiti who depend on fuel for those that make a living from transporting people and goods, those that depend on the transport to sell their goods and produce in the city and village markets, and the everyday household that depends on kerosene to light their lanterns.
While an incensed population can create fear and insecurity, it is also a sign that the people of Haiti have become weary of political actions that continue to keep them poor. In this way, FIDA/pcH stands by the desire of men and women to no longer be poor and to be given the opportunity to provide for themselves and their families. For 35 years we have remained steadfast in a vision for the country that allows for men and women to realize a measure of control and economic resilience in their historic litany of disaster, disease and political upheaval. Since 1984, we have never left. We are there.
Although the protests affect travel to and from the field, the staff carry on in the communities in which we are present. In times like these, it is more than just focussing on activities, it is about listening to the concerns of the people and their hope for their country. As we work with cooperatives, it is these men and women to whom others look for leadership and strategy. As we focus on agricultural activities, they know that ultimately this is the sector that has the greatest economic potential for Haiti.
The (economic) hope of Haiti is with those who have their hands in the soil. As long as this remains the vision, we will not leave. Thank you for being there with us.