Expert Says Haiti Needs Help

So I think to even get the confidence of the people back, the sustained investment needs to be demonstrated over time. And what I keep saying is: I couldn't put a real dollar tag amount to it, but if you want to just look at a bottom-line perspective, it's cheaper to invest in this sustained way. Just doing these big massive influxes in response to the acute emergencies are not only costly in humanitarian terms -- and it is -- but just pure cost.

There is a debate within the international community about how aggressive peacekeepers should be. The U.N. peacekeeping force in Haiti, as well as in the Congo, has used assertive tactics that we might not have seen just a few years ago. Has it helped?

This year, we've seen a more proactive peacekeeping mission, going into the big slum areas -- Bel Air, Croix de Bouquets and certainly even up in Saut d'Eau Central Plateau in Gonaïves, in doing this similar -- I don't want to say what is happening in the Congo, but the more proactive. It takes me back -- I joined CARE in Rwanda right after the genocide. And the travesty that happened there with passive peacekeeping ...

The peacekeepers are one major ingredient that's keeping the lid on at the moment in Haiti and also ensuring that the interim government can stay in place throughout the upcoming election and transition process. It's not the only element by any stretch, but the presence -- and through presence, it can't just be a passive presence ... One needs to patrol, be active, be seen, be visible and in that way it's an important contributor to peacekeeping in Haiti in the context of a failed state that has an interim government that is not always accepted by the entire international community and national community.

The Security Council is visiting Haiti in part to help plan for the elections, planned for the fall. Are they on track?

What organizations like CARE and the NGOs feel strongly that absolutely that the elections -- the whole election process -- needs major investment immediately, if not yesterday. It needs to be speeded up and get back on track, because the timeline is so tight and there's no room, no margin for slippage. But it's not just the elections -- it's the transition after the elections. And we're concerned about the elections being this milepost, if you will, and then, 'OK, the elections are over,' and then everybody zipping back off to business as usual -- and then no government will stand a chance without sustained and increased investment.

Is there a way to prevent that?

The elections on their own is not the end, and it all has to be integrated -- coming through with those pledges so that people can actually move forward with the work. The election process -- registration officially began April 1. This isn't to blame any one entity, but they're certainly way behind. It's obvious on that. The process is not where it needs to be. If you look in Gonaïves, where 200,000 people live, the majority of whom lost their documents, their identification documents, six months ago -- 6,000 of whom have new documents. 6,000! Elections are in four or five months ... And that's a microcosm of what probably needs to happen. So the challenges are huge. So that actually means it's not just time to come to the table, come and make sure you fulfill the obligations -- it actually needs to be increased.

Ideally, what should the Security Council do?

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