When Aid Creates Adversity: Haiti

image courtesty of iwatchnews.org

Journalist Barbara Shelly, in the Philadelphia Inquirer, notes that the island nation of Haiti – two years after the horrific earthquake – is suffering again:  this time from compassion fatigue.  All the help that was meant to bring immediate relief after the natural disaster lingers on…and on.  The result, Shelly says, is that most Haitians have not benefited from foreign aid money or seen a positive change in their way of life. 

Two years after the earthquake that shattered its buildings and soul, Haiti has grown sick of compassion.

Citizens, nations, and charities responded quickly after the Jan. 12, 2010, quake that claimed 250,000 lives and left more than a million homeless. Nongovernmental aid organizations rushed in with medical supplies, food and water, and tents.

Their trucks and tents still crowd the landscape. And that's become a problem.

"The humanitarian response was so appreciated that few could have predicted, two years later, the long and deep thread of anger toward NGOs that now runs through Haitian society," wrote Marjorie Valbrun, a Haitian American journalist who published an extensive report for the Center for Public Integrity's iWatch News.

PovertyCure is currently in Haiti, hoping to capture some of this troubling “aid” landscape that has hurt local businesses, costing Haitians jobs and income.  We anticipate bringing back stories that highlight the pitfalls of foreign aid, but also show that many Haitians, through entrepreneurial endeavors, are creating jobs and hope for their nation.

Jan 182012
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