Wednesday, January 12, 2011

First Anniversary of the Earthquake in Haiti

One year after the disastrous earthquake in Haiti, very little progress has been made. The country still languishes in chaos and poverty. The Wall Street Journal diagnoses the reasons for discouragement. Although they do not put it in these terms, it seems that a major part of the problem is a lack of commitment to the principle of subsidiarity: with hundreds of international charities involved and rebuilding efforts that seem to purposely exclude involvement by Haitians, the people's needs are not being met, and the possibility of leading the rebuilding of their own country is not open to Haitians.

An excerpt: "Due to concerns about Haitian corruption, most of the money is handled by international agencies like the United Nations and charities rather than Haiti's government. Haitian officials say this means they have little control over the money, yet have to face an angry populace that demands progress....

Adding to a sense of dissatisfaction with reconstruction efforts, few reconstruction contracts handed out so far have gone to Haitian companies. Few charities are hiring Haitians, either. One non-profit coordinating refugee camp management for all humanitarian agencies said it's faster to build shelters with imported labor than Haitian workers. After protests from Haitians, a deal was struck to give 25% of the jobs to locals."

Read the full article here.

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