A whole other world

It’s a whole other world up on the North Coast. It’s where the resorts dominate, where everything is clean and tidy, sanitized and orderly. Staff wear safari-like outfits and ask you how you are. They say things like “Irie” and “Yeah mon” with increased frequency. Bob Marley is often playing and nobody is yelling. The tourist life. Here’s a glimpse of the Iberostar resort, which we visited to pick up a family member.

On the ground in Haiti


I direct you today to some remarkable reporting on the devastation in Haiti from Hurricane Matthew. This reporter, Azam Ahmed, is doing some great on-the-ground work. Yesterday he visited people who are living in caves, as their homes have been destroyed. Today, he is talking to drug dealer Guy Phillippe. I wonder how he got such close access, such candid conversation. As I say, it is remarkable, not only in its access and color and respect for the subjects, but in its appearance in the New York Times. The Times, unfortunately, in its coverage of the Americas, tends to produce one-dimensional stories, mostly because the correspondents do not live in the community. But this Mr. Ahmed is doing some good work. Please check out the story from yesterday here.

US foreign aid in JA


You see the USAID signs across the island, mostly concentrated in inner-city communities in Kingston. This is a sign of the United States’ presence, in terms of foreign aid. The Washington Post has done a break-down of U.S. global foreign assistance. This story and this chart does not single out Jamaica, but I assume that one of the squares (in the upper left hand corner) for the Americas represents the country. (The text does not come through for the graphic, but the top ten largest recipients are:

Afghanistan, Israel, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Pakistan, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Ethiopia.

For what its worth, Colombia and Mexico receive $203.9 million and $85.6 million respectively.

This is the latest I could find in terms of foreign aid assistance, $21.7 million in 2012, targeted at crime and violence.  Here is the local USAID site for Jamaica.

18 Degrees North wins Jamaica Broilers award


Congratulations to the 18 Degrees North team for winning runner-up in the Jamaica Broilers Fair Play awards of Excellence. The team won the $300,000 award for the investigative report on Prime Minister Andrew Holness’ real estate holdings.

Nationwide News reporter Abka Fitz-Henley won the $500,000 first place prize.