Since last year’s devastating earthquake, Haiti has received billions of dollars in humanitarian aid. But, according to a new report from the Office of the U.N. Special Envoy for Haiti, what the country really needs right now is direct investment from international donors to help with job creation and basic services in the nation.
“To revitalize Haitian institutions, we must channel money through them,” the report, entitled “Has Aid Changed: Channeling Assistance to Haiti Before and After the Earthquake," states. “We have heard from the Haitian people time and again that creating jobs and supporting the government to ensure access to basic services are essential to restoring dignity.”
Between 2009 and 2010, aid to the nation increased from $1.12 billion to $3.27 billion. But following the earthquake, a vast majority of aid — 99 percent — was dispersed through humanitarian agencies like the Red Cross.
With a struggling economy and more than 80 percent of citizens living below poverty line, Haitians and public and private Haitian institutions will benefit more by partnering directly with donors, the report concludes. Such action will require “close partnerships between donors and Haitian institutions, based on open discussions,” the report states.
These findings echo a similar sentiment President Michel Martelly made during his recent trip to the United States to meet with members of the Haitian Diaspora.
“It is important that you understand, you Haitians, you cannot expect Haiti to be good to go back ... you need to put [it] together, you must be the first tourists,” he told audience members at a New York event on Sunday. “We need investors to create jobs, to have sustainable development, to get out of the assistantship.”
The office that produced the report, co-chaired by former President Bill Clinton, is charged with examining the effectiveness of international donations to the nation’s recovery efforts following last year’s quake that killed 200,000 and left more than one million people homeless.
(Photo: AP Photo/Dieu Nalio Chery)