Haiti: An Unending Nightmare of Humanitarian Crisis
Posted by terres on September 14, 2008
The Haiti Nightmare
“I have never seen anything so painful,” as what he has just seen in Haiti. — Paul Farmer
Paul Farmer is a professor of medical anthropology at Harvard Medical School and co-founder of Partners in Health. http://pih.org. He is the author of The Uses of Haiti, Infections and Inequalities: The Modern Plagues, Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor and From Outrage to Courage: Women Taking Action for Health and Justice.
Recent interview: Haiti Struggles with Humanitarian Disaster in Aftermath of Deadly Storms
The catastrophe in Haiti
“The catastrophe in Haiti is only a partly natural disaster. It is not natural that Haiti will once again suffer more deaths in the storms than all the other countries in the storm paths, combined. The deadly combination of poverty, weak governance and foreign interference has left the country unable to enforce laws on cutting down trees, install adequate drainage systems or effectively execute disaster planning and response. Haiti has never recovered the governmental capacity it lost in the U.S.-supported coup d’état in 2004, and we are now seeing the consequences.
“Although the international community’s emergency help is needed now, it is even more important in the long term for the donor countries to let Haiti develop its governmental capacity, so it can respond to the next, inevitable natural disaster. This means no more undermining of Haitian governments, even if we do not like their policies; canceling Haiti’s unfair debt to the International Financial Institutions like the World Bank; and implementing trade policies that allow Haiti to develop a broad-based, sustainable national economy.” —BRIAN CONCANNON
Brian Concannon, is the Director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti. http://www.ijdh.org.