New Haiti government begins work

…In an exclusive interview with The Miami Herald, Conille, 45, a medical doctor with a public health background, spoke of his vision and the pursuit of … priorities. A former senior United Nations official who has worked in several African countries, he says Haiti’s problems are solvable.

But doing so means bringing everyone around “a common vision, a common objective.”

“We are going to make sure that in the next few months every single district can see and feel change and investments in their neighborhoods,” Conille said, referring to rural communities outside of the teeming capital.

The focus on the rural projects is part of “a series of quick wins,” that will focus not just on the camps, where about 600,000 Haitians are still living, but rebuilding the destroyed government ministries.

All are shoring up stability, he said, and showing Haitians that “democracy really does bring change.”

Conille said his Cabinet’s work will (be) focused mainly around Martelly’s five priorities — environment, job creation, state of law, energy and education.

“We want to get Haitians to dream about what Haiti could be,” Conille said. “That will require hope.”

Another centerpiece of his vision, Conille said, is addressing Haiti’s deadly cholera epidemic….Conille said he wants to launch an army of young Haitians — one for every 200 households — to serve as community health workers to educate communities about prevention and treatment. Conille said he also plans to look into the controversial use of oral cholera vaccine, which is being strongly pushed by Farmer and Partners In Health. On Wednesday, the group announced that it plans to vaccinate 100,000 Haitians to control the epidemic and as part of a larger national campaign.

“I see this, despite the fact that it has had a devastating effect, as an opportunity for us to quickly strengthen our system and address other big public health issues,” he said.

Another immediate task awaiting him is the country’s relationship with the Haitian-American diaspora. Like their family members back home, they have to have been anxiously awaiting a new government that they hope will provide them with the opportunity to be involved in their country’s rebuilding. An amendment recognizing dual nationality and pushed by former President René Préval has remained in limbo over disagreements between parliamentarians and the executives over changes actually passed during the final chaotic hours of voting in May.

Conille said Martelly has set up a committee to review the dual nationality issue. Regardless of the outcome, he said, Haitians living outside of the country can expect “a government that is aggressively going to pursue their needs.”

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