Monday, May 31, 2010

Is the situation in Haiti improving?? Not so much...

From NYTIMES: Rubble of a Broken City Strains Haitians’ Patience
Update on how the recovery/re-building is progressing in Haiti. This report "from the ground" shows growing frustration with the effort. Rubble is still piled in the streets and there is public sentiment that the government is not proactive enough with the clean-up and recovery. Have things really changed (or at least improved) internally to bring about desired change?
""While few have given up entirely on the dream that a more efficient, more just Haiti might rise from the rubble, increasingly, hope is giving way to stalemate and bitterness. “Is this really it?” Haitians ask. They complain that the politically connected are benefiting most from reconstruction work that has barely begun. They shake their heads at crime’s coming back, unproductive politicians and aid groups that are struggling with tarpaulin metropolises that look more permanent every day.""
Taking care of people who are in crisis is job one.  The problem of homelessness, the"tent/tarpaulin cities" that dot the landscape, and immediate health issues are priorities, but re-building infrastructure and motivating people to create a new and improved Haiti needs to be a high priority too.  Seems like enough resources, money and material,  have been poured into the country that there could be a full-frontal assault to improve conditions dramatically even at this early stage.
Crucial to this effort must be the participation of ex-patriate Haitians who seem committed to help create a better Haiti.  However, this has not been easy for them:
""Before Parliament closed, she added, lawmakers could have made it easier for members of the Haitian diaspora to invest — perhaps by easing rules requiring that joint ventures be 51 percent Haitian-owned...That might have opened the country to more people like Alain Armand, 36, a Haitian-American lawyer from Fort Lauderdale, Fla., who is now trying to open several businesses here in Port-au-Prince, the capital, including a bed and breakfast.""
If the existing government of Haiti OR the shadow government created by the UN with former President Clinton as co-president does not aggressively solicit the investment dollars from people like Mr. Armand, then they are simply going to give up and go away.  That would be a shame and Haiti will remain at status quo. That would be in no ones  interest...
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