PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti, CMC – President Michel Martelly faced his second major protest within a two week period as hundreds of his nationals took to the streets to protest higher living costs and his lack of action to deliver on a number of promises.
The demonstrators say Martelly, who was sworn in as president in May 2011, has broken a promise to cover the cost of school tuition and has not done enough to alleviate their suffering.
Last month, several thousand people staged a protest in the capital against Martelly, who is seeking to rebuild the French-speaking Caribbean Community (CARICOM) country following the powerful 2010 earthquake that killed an estimated 300,000 people and left more than a million others homeless.
The organisers said Sunday’s protest is expected to be followed by similar demonstrations in the countryside.
There was no immediate response Sunday from the Martelly administration, but the government last month created a commission to work with businesses and farmers' groups to stabilize food prices.
Meanwhile, Nobel peace laureate Mohammad Yunus, who is schedule to leave here on Monday, says his his pro-business development group will be investing in several projects here.
These include two poultry farms, a bakery and a plantation of jatropha plants that can be used for biodiesel.
The amount invested in each will range from US$80,000 to US$500,000, and feature loans with interest rates ranging from six to 10 per cent.
Yunus ‘s ‘‘social businesses’’ must each have a social mission like a non-governmental organization, but also generate revenues to cover costs like a profit-making business.
The Germany-based Yunus Social Business Fund, formerly the Grameen Creative Lab, opened an office in Haiti after the earthquake and the Bangladeshi banker is known for developing a microcredit programme for entrepreneurs who were too poor to qualify for traditional bank loans.
Yunus also plans to launch a nationwide social business competition for university students before leaving Haiti on Monday.