Haiti’s unending crisis of governance: Food, the constitution and the struggle for power

image of Haiti’s unending crisis of governance: Food, the constitution and the struggle for power

More than two decades after the collapse of the Duvalier dictatorship and the massive popular approval of a new and democratic constitution, Haiti remains in a state of crisis. The political system is still extremely fragile, lacking vital and functioning institutions; the economy is incapable of providing the most basic necessities to the population; and the personal safety of Haitians continues to be precarious. Moreover, rampant unemployment and old and obscene patterns of poverty and inequalities are as entrenched now as they have been in the past. Haiti has not moved away from the abyss of utter catastrophe; in fact, the country has moved closer to it under the combined and devastating impact of the recent food riots, four consecutive hurricanes – Fay, Gustav, Hannah and Ike – and the earthquake of January 2010. That President Préval has remained in office since 2006 and re-established a modicum of stability is largely due to the much maligned presence of international forces from the United Nations, the so-called United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). Had it not been for the UN’s presence, the current situation would have easily degenerated into a chaotic Hobbesian world; in addition, had the Haitian military not been disbanded it is likely that a coup would have materialized.

Related Subject(s): Economic and Social Development
Sustainable Development Goals:
Countries: Haiti
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