Home | Publications | Humanitarian Aid on the move | Humanitarian Aid on the move #7 | Bibliography on Haiti: the past and the present help to shed light on the future

The Groupe URD Review

Methods and tools

CHS Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS)
Pictogrammme Sigmah Sigmah Software
Pictogrammme Reaching Resilience

Reaching Resilience
Pictogrammme brochure Environnement Training
Pictogrammme brochure Participation Handbook
Pictogrammme COMPAS COMPAS Method
Pictogrammme globe terrestre The Quality Mission
Pictogrammme PRECIS Humatem PRECIS Method

Humanitarian Aid on the move #7, special issue: Haïti

Bibliography on Haiti: the past and the present help to shed light on the future

 Haitians’ views of the disaster

BERG, Louis-Alexandre.
Crime, politics and violence in Post-earthquake Haiti. UNITED STATES INSTITUTE OF PEACE, 28 September 2010. 4 P.
Available at: http://www.usip.org/files/resources/PB%2058%20-%20Crime%20Politics%20and%20Violence%20in%20Post-Earthquake%20Haiti.pdf
Since the earthquake of 12 January 2010, there has been a rise in crime and an increasing sense of insecurity amongst the Haitian population. In Port-au-Prince, prisoners escaped during the disaster and armed groups have been formed in the most vulnerable neighbourhoods and in camps where women are easy targets. There is a risk that the election process will be affected by this violence and insecurity which is compounding the chronic poverty, the weakness of the government and social and economic inequality. Prior to the earthquake, criminal violence had begun to decline due to a combination of political reconciliation, law enforcement operations and investment in marginalized neighbourhoods. Directing resources towards mitigating violence while addressing the underlying sources of crime and violence should remain a priority in post-earthquake reconstruction.

BERROUET, Sarah ; BOLIVAR, Faubert ; BOUTAUD DE LA COMBE ; CASTERA, Georges et al. Haïti : Parmi les vivants. ACTES DU SUD, May 2010. 181 P.
"What can literature do faced with a tragedy of this scale? Nothing, but it certainly should not keep quiet”. Some of the authors in this book wrote immediately after the earthquake which struck Haiti on 12 January 2010. Others, in the following weeks, chose to share (sometimes without having to spell things out) how this disaster had affected their lives, their imagination, their citizenship and their identity. Together, these pieces published immediately in Le Point and these creative texts do not claim anything other than to express what it is to be in Haiti amongst the living. This book is the result of collaboration between the magazine, Le Point, Actes Sud publishing house and Atelier Jeudi soir in Port-au-Prince. Profits will go towards the cultural and educational reconstruction of Haiti. (Publisher’s note)

CHAUDENSON, Robert. Goudou Goudou : Haïti : une année de terreurs, d’erreurs et de rumeurs. L’HARMATTAN, January 2011. 222 P.
Goudou Goudou is the Creole term which the Haitian people have given the terrible earthquake of 12 January which destroyed the capital Port-au-Prince and the surrounding region, killing more than 250 000 people. This huge disaster could not simply be referred to as " trammeman n’tè ", like an ordinary earthquake, examples of which have taken place in Haiti’s past. A specific name was therefore created for this exceptional earthquake, which is onomatopoeic, resembling the movement and sound of the earth moving. Goudou Goudou. Haïti : une année de terreurs, d’erreurs et de rumeurs relates my feelings and impressions, my indignation and anger during the year of 2010 with regard to the successive misfortunes of this country that I have known for decades. In spite of the universal emotion at the beginning and the promises of aid and assistance from all over, the effects of the disaster are far from having been erased or even alleviated, with cyclones and cholera having added to the disaster. The French media committed many errors of appreciation and judgement: this book highlights the worst of these and attempts to give a more accurate picture of Haiti. Regarding the aid given to the Haitians, despite the good intentions sometimes behind it, there were also many blunders. In Haiti, there have also been, and there continue to be, a lot of rumours, sometimes brief, sometimes prolonged, due, first, to the cholera epidemic and then to the Presidential elections. On a more positive note, the Haitians showed extraordinary courage (today we would say resilience). As they like to say themselves: "Kenbe fèm! Pa lage!” (Author’s note)

LAFERRIERE, Dany. Tout bouge autours de moi. GRASSET, January 2011. 192 P.
On 12 January 2010, Dany Laferrière was in Port-au-Prince. One year on, he writes of what he saw, without pathos or lyricism. He writes of the horror he saw and of the composure of the Haitians. What remains when everything falls down? The culture - and the energy of many remarkable people. (Publisher’s note)

MIGRATION AND REFUGEE SERVICES. The displaced of Haiti: long term challenges and needed solutions. COMMITTEE ON MIGRATION OF THE UNITED STATES CONFERENCE OF CATHOLIC BISHOPS, August 2010. 16 P.
Available at:
9 months after the earthquake, 1.3 million people are still living in makeshift camps, the reconstruction of the country is slow, leaving the most vulnerable people, including children, in great destitution. Despite the major mobilisation of the international community immediately after the earthquake, long term reconstruction projects are still being held up, and even though the need to protect displaced children was regularly underlined, few solutions have been found to avoid families being separated and child trafficking.

MUNRO, Martin. Haiti rising: Haitian history, culture and the earthquake of 2010. UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST INDIES PRESS. UNIVERSITY OF LIVERPOOL PRESS, January 2011. 200 P.
The earthquake of 12 January thrust Haiti into the public consciousness as never before. It is a country with a rich history, the first black republic and the first country to free itself from European imperialism in Latin America. It must rebuild itself without forgetting its culture. Those who want to help Haiti need to hear the testimony of survivors and learn about the country’s politics, history, art and culture.

NESMY, Saint Louis Rose. Le Vertige haïtien, réflexions sur un pays en crise permanente. L’HARMATTAN, décembre 2010. 338 P.
Partant d’une simple observation, la crise permanente du pays, l’auteur offre dans cet ouvrage des réflexions approfondies et une nouvelle approche de l’échec de l’Etat-nation et de la faiblesse chronique de la croissance économique en Haïti. Il illustre, au travers de fresques d’exposés et de recommandations, comment toute route menant à la démocratie véritable et à l’éradication de la pauvreté endémique en Haïti doit passer par l’établissement de l’Etat de droit et de la croissance économique forte et soutenue (résumé de l’éditeur).

ROBINSON, Randall. Haïti, l’insupportable souffrance. ALPHEE, February 2010. 315 P.
12 January 2010. One of the deadliest disasters we have seen in a long time hits Haiti. World opinion is appalled, people talk of supernatural forces, of a curse! Is Haiti damned? Why do we only ever show interest in this country, the poorest of the Americas, when it is struck by misfortune? Why is its history, a large part of which it shares with France, only ever spoken about in hushed tones? There is similar ignorance about its recent history. According to certain commentators, Haiti’s first democratically elected President stood down in 2004. A “resignation” which, according to this captivating and terrifying account by Randall Robinson, a key witness, more closely resembles a Coup d’Etat fomented by the Bush administration, with the support of Dominique de Villepin. And is the US military intervention of 2010 not another occupation under the pretext of a humanitarian mission? Haïti, l’insupportable souffrance provides us with all the keys to understand post-earthquake Haiti and, more generally, the incredible contempt of the West for a country which, once it has picked itself back up again, will continue to surprise us. (Publisher’s note)

SAINT ELOI, Rodney. Haïti, Kenbe la. MICHEL LAFON, September 2010. 266 P.
“I wrote this book so that the goudou-goudou would stop raging in me, this earthquake which all Haitians now carry with them. On top of the violence of its history and the poverty, Haiti really did not need this earthquake. It is one violent event too many. Slavery, colonialism, exploitation and occupation were enough. At night, I feel myself swaying. The earth falters at the merest movement. I read or write to forget that the earth, which feeds us, also trembles and kills. I wrote this book to say that life never trembles. The people are on their feet and are looking for their path by candlelight. The people are on their feet and are looking for water and bread, and are burying their dead. Because the dead can cross gardens and knock on the windows of dreams to bring hope to the living”. (Author’s note).