Thanks for all the visits and positive feedback yesterday. And no fear Peter; I am daunted!
It feels pretty inappropriate to launch an HLP blog at this moment in time without at least referencing the appalling situation in Haiti, where some of the sharpest-edged imaginable humanitarian – and HLP issues – are playing themselves out right now. Moreover, we now seem to be nearing the inevitable moment where the emerging ramifications of the crisis and the intensity of the local and international relief effort will enter into an inverse relationship with the amount of page 1 space the situation is getting.
In terms of property issues, Port au Prince gives the impression of a perfect storm; extensive destruction in the context of massive informality, no available records, crippled courts and administration, spontaneous IDP settlements in places with unexplored safety and tenure issues and no easy prospect of return. However, colleagues report a sense of common urgency about getting to grips with the underlying HLP issues along with more familiar considerations such as safety and hygienic conditions right from the earliest discussions of shelter strategy, which is reassuring – if still a very tall order for those put in charge. I will aim to give the HLP situation in Haiti the coverage it is due – and hope I might even be able to entice some guest-blogging from people with experience on the ground there – in the next days.