Global & Disaster Medicine

The ghosts of the 2010 earthquake haunt Haiti after Hurricane Matthew.

NY Times

“….After the 2010 earthquake, aid groups took over. They worked around a government as devastated as its capital, undermining billions of dollars in aid and the very people it was meant to help.

For now, the government has put a stop to that.

“My biggest challenge is for donors to understand this time that they must work with us,” said Jocelerme Privert, the interim president of Haiti, during an hourlong interview in his office. “They must understand that everything will go through us, and trust that we have control of the situation.”

The lessons of wasted aid, and its duplicative and disorganized delivery, have grounded the government’s belief that what is done this time must be sustainable…..

The United Nations secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, chastised the international community on a recent visit for its paltry giving to Haiti this time around. Of the $120 million needed for the hurricane response, less than 20 percent has materialized……..

And sometimes, national priorities are guided more by emotion than reason.

Consider the interior minister’s refusal to distribute tents for hundreds of thousands of people without shelter. It is another scar from 2010, when Haiti became synonymous with tent cities, the images of which were beamed around the world to raise money…..

Jean-Pierre Guiteau, the head of the Haitian Red Cross, said the government needed to be realistic, especially during the rainy season and especially when the only shelters available to many are schools………”

 


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