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Why Haiti Isn’t Getting Fixed

For all the hundreds of millions of dollars in aid that have gone to Haiti after the 8.0 earthquake that killed more than 200,000 and leveled an already decrepit infrastructure, there doesn’t seem to be a great deal of headway happening. Some 1.3 million people are still living in tents or on the streets and now a cholera epidemic is taking more lives. Obviously, the frustration both inside and outside the country is mounting, and people are wondering why – with all the aid, resources, and assistance flowing into the country, why isn’t it helping?

One word: Corruption. For far longer than the earthquake, Haiti has been a country riddled with corruption. Talk to leaders running humanitarian organizations, talk to journalists, or talk to everyday people and you get the same story – corruption is killing the recovery. I saw it when I was filming there more than 25 years ago, and you can still see it today.

That’s why it’s so hard to figure out why the United States and other countries who are pouring millions into the country won’t take a stronger position on the issue.

I spoke to a friend who heads a large orphanage in the country and she told me that corruption is stopping enormous amounts of her supplies. She has shipping containers coming into the country filled with food, medicine, and other critical supplies. They get delivered to her property, but they won’t open the containers, expecting her to pay a government official a bribe.  She refuses to pay the bribe, and simply waits them out until they grown weary.  But in the process, it delays the critical supplies getting to those in need.

The Wall Street Journal has corroborated that story from others as well. The Rand Corporation

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One Comment

  1. “That’s why it’s so hard to figure out why the United States and other countries who are pouring millions into the country won’t take a stronger position on the issue.”

    It’s actually quite simple: geopolitics. Haiti has always been a strategically important location for The USA, especially against Cuba. Pro-USA Haitian govts are allowed to bleed their countries dry so long as they stay friendly to America’s interests. Whenever truly democratically elected leaders have arisen, like Aristide in the 90’s, America destabilizes the country by running the leader out of power and putting a puppet regime in place.

    This keeps the Haitians from being able to rule themselves honestly.

    Not to mention the way the World Bank and the IMF keeps Haiti and other nations around the world down. Check out these books for more clarity: Killing Hope by William Blum and Confessions of an Economic Hitman.

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