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Editorial, Opinion Piece Discuss Haiti’s Recovery From Hurricane Matthew, Ongoing Humanitarian Aid

Washington Post: The Herculean task facing Haiti
Editorial Board

“…[After Hurricane Matthew, it] is to Americans [that Haitians] are turning for the most basic forms of lifesaving help: food, water, shelter, medical supplies. … The hurricane left conditions ripe for a new spike in Haiti’s already deadly epidemic of cholera … [A]id workers and journalists visiting the area describe … a growing sense of desperation, and [a rise in] reports that looters have targeted international humanitarian stockpiles and built roadblocks in order to ransack aid convoys. … Americans should demonstrate generosity to ease Haiti’s plight, as they did after the earthquake. … Not least, the hurricane forced a postponement of an already long-delayed presidential election, leaving the Herculean task of relief and rebuilding in the hands of a caretaker government. To regain its footing, Haiti will need help, and quickly” (10/16).

Wall Street Journal: The Curse of Charity in Haiti
Mary Anastasia O’Grady, editor at the Wall Street Journal

“…[W]hy are so many Haitians still living in such dire poverty in the 21st century? Paradoxically, the answer may be tied to the way in which humanitarian aid, necessary and welcome in an emergency, easily morphs into permanent charity, which undermines local markets and spawns dependency. … The country has also been the recipient of billions of dollars in foreign government bilateral and multilateral aid over the last quarter century. This enormous giving has created harmful distortions in the local economy because when what would otherwise be traded or produced by Haitians is given away, it drives entrepreneurs out of business. … Most Haitian farmers could not compete with Uncle Sam’s generosity [after the 2010 earthquake], and they lost their customers. … Donations of bottled water, clothing, shoes, and even solar panels destroy local businesses in the same way. … When the cleanup from Matthew finishes, aid groups should start packing their bags. The best way of showing we care is to provide emergency relief and then leave Haiti to Haitians” (10/16).