Successes and Challenges in Post-Earthquake Haiti

From A View From The Cave Sat Jan 12 2013, 11:23:00

Three years since a massive earthquake struck Haiti, the country continues to recover and rebuild. Significant gains and serious setbacks make for a changing evaluation of the nation's progress. Trying to determine whether the recovery has been successful or not has been a relatively hard question to answer.

An estimated 80% of all the debris has been cleared, 200 new schools have been built and roughly 3 million children have received vaccines against polio, measles and rubella championed UN Foundation CEO Kathy Calvin in a press call on Wednesday.

Challenges remain. Over 350,000 Haitians are still living in tents and many of the aid pledges made in the wake of the earthquake remain unfulfilled. Some are apt to point out the failure of the response over the past three years.

"[I]t is evident that many good intentions imploded at the expense of the people they were meant to help," wrote journalist Ian Birrell in the Guardian at the end of December. "Haiti stands as the latest sad example of how self-aggrandising assumptions of the global aid industry can backfire so badly. The humanitarian business should reflect hard on the failures."

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