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Tag Archives: Haiti

Dropping Haiti’s debt = sending old shoes

The following post is by David Roodman, a research fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD) in Washington, DC.

Last week my colleague Michael Clemens blogged in this space about the “The best way nobody’s talking about to help Haitians.” So as a complement, here’s what I think is the worst way that everybody’s talking about to help Haitians: cancelling Haiti’s debt.

I am not suggesting that Haiti’s foreign creditors should stick…

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Disaster relief | Also tagged , 9 Comments

Quake an opportunity for foreigners to “get Haiti right”? Aid “shock doctrine”?

NEIL MacFARQUHAR in a good NYT story this morning  (self-promotion alert: I am quoted in the story) notes all the discussion that the quake is an opportunity to sort out all the problems of long-run Haitian development. But an opportunity for whom? Apparently for foreigners. The story mentions some of the proposals for foreign intervention:

Haiti should be temporarily taken over by an international organization

{Bill Clinton as} Haiti reconstruction czar.

“Is it too wild

Posted in Disaster relief, In the news | Also tagged , , , , 16 Comments

We’re shocked to discover Jessica Simpson doesn’t read our blog

Click here to watch the video.

Click here to read our blog post (by guest blogger Alanna Shaikh), just one of many pieces out there trying to give people good advice on the best ways to help in Haiti (HINT: NOT by sending them your old shoes.)

Posted in Badvocacy and celebs | Also tagged , , 12 Comments

The vacuous top and the resourceful bottom in the Haiti crisis

Meeting about Haiti in Montreal on Monday, representatives from 14 donor countries and the European Union came together and committed to a detailed, specific, well-coordinated plan … to come up with a plan.

Chairman of the Conference, Canada’s Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon:

We have a shared vision on the way forward, one plan that ties us all together. … Clear vision, co-ordination and adherence to principles of aid effectiveness will be essential.

Stay tuned for…

Posted in Disaster relief | Also tagged , , 9 Comments

The best way nobody’s talking about to help Haitians

The following post is by Michael Clemens, a research fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington, DC, and an affiliated associate professor of public policy at Georgetown University.

The earthquake two weeks ago hit Haiti hard because Haiti is poor. The rich U.S. had similar earthquakes with far less carnage. So, what would do the most to lift Haitians out of poverty?

Start here: What has done the most, to date, to lift Haitians…

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Disaster relief, Migration | Also tagged , 31 Comments

Bill Clinton for President…of Haiti?

The Economist leader on Haiti:

investment {should}  be targeted on infrastructure, basic services and combating soil erosion to make farmers more productive and the country less vulnerable to hurricanes.

The pressing question is who should do it and how. Haiti’s government is in no position to take charge, yet the country needs a strong government to put it to rights. Paul Collier, a development economist who worked on the plan, reckons that the answer is to

Posted in Disaster relief, In the news | Also tagged , , 15 Comments

Dr. Lancet discovers hitherto unsuspected need for aid criticism

The Lancet has issued a severe editorial blast against the aid agencies (both official and NGO) for Haiti aid efforts. (Link requires free registration.)

Alanna Shaikh points out where the Lancet is off base.

The Lancet knowledge universe has the perception “the aid sector” has “largely escaped public scrutiny.” Who ever heard of any those obscure *&^%$#@ criticisms of foreign aid? That “coming age of accountability” crap? Sigh.

But, forget all that, here’s a belated welcome…

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Disaster relief | Also tagged , , 13 Comments

Telethon: “We’ve seen the earth quake but the soul of the Haitian people it will never break.”

You might expect a certain critic of celebrity-aid to make fun of the Haitian telethon last night.

And there were indeed some cringe-inducing moments in this 4-minute video summary I just watched.

But it’s a little-known dark secret that crotchety skeptics often have a sentimental streak.  So what’s really wrong about some well-meaning gushy-anthem-belting megastars raising money for some currently very needy people?

I just hope that some day we will get to the point…

Posted in Accountability and transparency, Badvocacy and celebs, In the news | Also tagged , , 4 Comments

A multiple choice post on Haiti disaster

Which best describes Port-au-Prince?

A) A hotbed of looting, machete-wielding gangs and violence.

“Downtown Port-au-Prince now feels like a war zone. Gangs with machetes rule the streets here.” – CBS News 1/14/2010

“Hundreds of people desperate for food and supplies swarmed downtown Haiti yesterday, climbing atop piles of broken rubble and shards of glass to get to canned goods, powdered milk, and batteries buried underneath. On the main boulevard, the Grand Rue, their desperation flared

Posted in Disaster relief | Also tagged , 7 Comments

Too much of a good thing? Making the most of your disaster donations

The global outpouring of support for people affected by the South Asia earthquake and tsunamis of 2004 added up to more than $14 billion.

One notable fact about this $14 billion is that it represents the most generous international response to a natural disaster on record. Another is that it exceeded the total estimated cost of damages from the storm by some $4 billion, or about 30 percent.

What drove these record-breaking sums in the…

Posted in Aid policies and approaches, Disaster relief | Also tagged , 9 Comments