Haiti: Six Months On

Moving Image
Created: 2010


Haiti: Six Months On
Summary: "Synopsis
"Six months after the earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people, the dust is starting to settle over Port-au-Prince. As it does, the deep wounds that fracture this country are re-emerging, more gaping than even before.

"One-and-a-half million people remain displaced, many living under tents and tarps. In these camps, women and girls are vulnerable to sexual violence. Rubble removal is slow, and rebuilding has yet to begin.

"The UN and NGOs are as omnipresent as the rubble -- but the chasm between Haiti's poor majority and the foreign organizations that say they are here to help seems as wide as ever.

"And while the quake may have forced the international community to acknowledge that Haiti needs a functional state, Haitians are debating who is up to the task of governing as an election race looms.

"Rationale for entry
"Al Jazeera reporter Sebastian Walker arrived in Port-au-Prince the day after the January 12 earthquake, assigned to cover the disaster. And he stayed, becoming Al Jazeera's Haiti correspondent when the channel decided to establish a fully-staffed bureau there to document the relief effort. His daily reports scrutinized the international aid operations; reconstruction plans; grassroots efforts and the political establishment's responses to the crisis; and the UN peacekeeping mission -- as well as the eventual cholera epidemic and the November 2010 elections.

"In July, six months after the quake, Al Jazeera's flagship Americas current affairs show Fault Lines teamed up with Walker. Together, we sought to give our audience an accurate, visceral and emotionally evocative picture of the conditions in which earthquake survivors -- and residents of Haiti's capital - were living.

"We showed the ways in which Haitians, particularly women and girls, were confronting the tremendous obstacles they faced on their own terms.

"We discovered an appalling number of cases of rape and sexual abuse in the IDP camps in and around Port-au-Prince, and uncovered a shocking lack of action by Haitian and United Nations authorities in addressing these crimes.

"We challenged Haitian politicians and the international community, represented by the United Nations, to account for why, after the tremendous global outpouring of charity that followed the disaster, so little progress had been achieved half a year later.

"Ultimately, the documentary provided an uncompromising picture of international aid, development, and peacekeeping operations that offers lessons relevant far beyond Haiti. And it was a reminder to the world that Haitians were still facing an urgent crisis, even if most international news channels had left the story behind.

"'Haiti: Six Months On' was broadcast on Al Jazeera English, available in more than 220 million households in 100 different countries, including the United States. It was also podcast, and archived online on the Al Jazeera YouTube channel."--2010 Peabody Awards entry form.

Corporate Producers: Al Jazeera English

Persons Appearing: Sebastian Walker

Broadcast Date: 2010-04-12