A man works to build a church roof using locally purchased, foreign-imported wood in the Neret neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. (Jacob Kushner/GlobalPost)
Just a small fraction of foreign aid has gone to Haitian businesses, but an NGO network is trying to change that.

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Just days after a cholera epidemic began infecting thousands of Haitians in October 2010, Salim Loxley received a phone call at his desk in Port-au-Prince from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), one of the largest-spending organizations operating in the post-earthquake nation.

“We need 4.5 million bars of soap by Friday,” said the man on the other end, anxious to distribute the soap to Haitians who were living in unsanitary displacement camps and vulnerable to the highly infectious disease.

Read the full story as it appeared at the Global Post

ICE Data Shows One in Two Haitians Detained Have Not Been Convicted of Crimes

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — Despite the Obama administration’s policy to prioritize dangerous criminals for post-earthquake deportations to Haiti, data obtained by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting shows that nearly one in two Haitians detained by the U.S. government have not been convicted of crimes in the United States.

Read the full post as it appeared at FCIR. This is a follow-up story to an original, November 2011 investigation into U.S. deportations to Haiti.

By Jacob Kushner with Tate Watkins

February 21, 2012 (WLRN) – This week millions of people across Haiti will parade in elaborate costumes and dance to the blaring horns of rara and Haitian pop music as they celebrate the nation’s largest cultural event of the year, Carnival. As Jacob Kushner reports from Port-au-Prince, one Haitian-born Florida man is working to ensure that the hundreds of thousands of Haitian immigrants living in South Florida will be able to join them in spirit.

Listen to the story as it appeared on WLRN:

Organizer brings spirit of Carnival to Florida Haitians

U.S. spent $140 million on controversial post-quake food exports

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — In the months following Haiti’s devastating January 2010 earthquake, the United States government spent $140 million on a food program that benefited U.S. farmers but has been blamed for hurting Haitian farmers.

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) sent 90,000 metric tons American of crops to Haiti as part of the Food for Progress and its related Food for Peace programs run by USAID and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The programs send abundant American crops to nations in need of emergency relief. That amounted to almost three quarters of the U.S. government aid to Haiti after the earthquake, according to documents obtained through aFreedom of Information Act request by the Haiti Justice Alliance, a Minnesota-based advocacy organization.

Click HERE to read the full article as it appeared at the Center for Public Integrity’s iWatchNews.

This slideshow was published by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.

Longtime Fort Myers, FL resident Franco Coby looks out of the cell at the Petionville jail where he was held for seven days without charge. Coby was deported after serving a sentence for cocaine possession with intent to sell. FCIR PHOTO/JACOB KUSHNER

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — The United States has deported more than 250 Haitians since January knowing that one in two will be jailed without charges in facilities so filthy they pose life-threatening health risks.

An investigation by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting found that the Obama administration has not followed its own policy of seeking alternatives to deportation when there are serious medical and humanitarian concerns.

Click HERE to read the full investigation at FCIR. Versions of this story were published by California Watch, the Center for Public IntegrityHuffington PostMiami Herald, the Nation Institue Investigative Fund, and the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism, among other outlets.