NY Times op-ed columnist David Brooks reminds us that the 1989 7.0 earthquake in Northern California killed 63 people, compared to approx 45,000 in and around Port-au-Prince. It’s also been reported that Haiti has more NGO’s per capita that anywhere on the planet (more than Northern Uganda?). The influx of donations right now is imperative to saving lives, but if the US’s aid and development strategy isn’t one that builds local capacity, and continues long after the Retweets and text messages die down, it may leave Haiti with less control over its future than ever.
If you’re in Chicago on Monday, January 25 check out the Café Society discussion at Intelligentsia Coffee: Haiti’s hard times: Are we helping or hurting even more?
Whether you can make it out not, consider these questions:
What has been your reaction to the crisis in Haiti? Do you think the way aid is being dispensed will truly help Haitians? What role should the U.S. play in Haiti now? What are your ideas for helping Haiti become a truly democratic and stable country? What sources of information are you relying on to understand Haiti? Is there hope for Haiti? Why or why not? What does the rest of the world owe Haiti now?
And these resources: