October 6, 2007


Haiti's Rebuilding Shifts to Education: Thousands of Haitian schools reopened for the new school year last month, thanks in part to the support of the United States and other international donors. As Haiti's government works to recover from years of instability, foreign aid remains a key source of backing for its struggling education system. VOA's Brian Wagner recently traveled to Port-au-Prince, and has this report. (Bran Wagner, 10/06/07, Voice of America)

In addition to supporting security efforts, the United States, United Nations and other foreign partners have been trying to help rebuild Haiti's education system.

Over the past three years, the United States has given $24 million to education efforts in Haiti, to train teachers, develop programs and buy supplies. At a recent ceremony in the capital, officials from the U.S. Agency for International Development presented a check for $8 million for new textbooks and other materials for the new school year.

Haiti's Education Minister Gabriel Bien-Aime welcomed the U.S. support to help expand the Haitian government's role in education.

He says the money will help schools overcome some of the difficulties, as the government tries to provide books, uniforms and other materials to students.

Overall U.S. aid to Haiti since 2004 has totaled more than $600 million. Another key source of funds is from Haitians living abroad, who, last year, sent back more than $1.6 billion, according to the Inter-American Development Bank.

Remittances help many students pay for their education, like 10th grade student Fania Joseph, whose father lives and works in Florida. She says she is sad that her father lives far away, but the money he sends home helps to send her to a better school.

One of the big points the nativists miss is that their policies would dry up such remittances and the consequences that would follow.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 6, 2007 9:25 AM
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