So we’re coming up on 3 months since the massive earthquake hit Haiti, which means we’re not hearing too much about it in the media anymore (we all know the media has the attention span of of a two year old). One piece of news I think is worth mentioning is the International Donor’s Conference that took place this week at the UN Headquarters in New York. During this conference, countries from around the world pledged to provide Haiti with over $5.3 billion dollars in aid over the next 18 months.
A few things that make this Conference unique is the goal of rebuilding a country from the foundation up: not just the infrastructure, but the government. Haiti has long been a poor nation, plagued by crime, corruption, and an ineffective government. The proposed Action Plan includes areas for economic rebuilding, social rebuilding, and institutional rebuilding (among others).
A NY Times Editorial emphasized the need these organizations recognize to include Haiti and it’s government in these reconstructions efforts. The bodies involved in the reconstruction of Haiti are trying to learn from lessons of the past: you cannot try to improve a country without involving the government that will eventually have to take over control and leadership: they must be included from the beginning.