Still Waiting for Recovery
Earthquake on Haiti
Three years ago, Haiti, also known as the Republic of NGOs, fell a victim to the devastating earthquake. More than 350,000 of its residents still live in the tents, in the scattered camps. France, which is closely tied to its former colony by the common language and culture, actively participates in the relief programs. It took the French Red Cross two years to build 20,000 temporary abodes. The international community as a whole has erected 100,000 lodgings since the earthquake struck Haiti. These lodgings are designed to accommodate those Haitians who have lost their houses in the earthquake until their previous dwellings are reconstructed (Taft-Morales, 2011).
In October 2010, almost a year after the earthquake, the island has experienced a new calamity – an outbreak of cholera. The following month, the hurricane Tomas further exacerbated it. According to the United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) figures, around 7,000 Haitians succumbed to this acute infectious disease. As of today, the situation has stabilized as the epidemic has been coped with. However, Haiti is now an endemic focal point of cholera. Taking into consideration the fact that the country’s sanitary and hygiene situation is abject and sewage disposal problems do exist, the return of cyclone in the next rainy season will be conducive to the dissemination of comma bacillus.
Authorities have been trying to revive the tourism (Katz, 2013). The tenants of local hotels have made ambitious efforts to attract more clients as well. Despite the fear of lack of clarity over land rights and social instability, foreign investors have been arriving on the island in huge numbers. They are intended to facilitate the restoration of the hotels infrastructure.
Consolidation of the political processes and maintenance of the rule of law are the main issues on the Haitian agenda. These conditions are indispensable for the creation of jobs, as well as for the increase in trust on the part of foreign investors. However, it is obvious that there are strings attached to the foreign investors’ “generosity”. Since 2010, the American and Canadian well-to-do have invested more than $30 million in the boring works and erection of roads in the northern parts of Haiti, where enormous deposits of gold were discovered (Katz, 2013). On the other hand, not all experts believe that the discovery of the auriferous stratum will make the country’s economy burgeon. Analysts point out that extractive industry in such impoverished and graft-ridden countries often results in the worsening of ecological and social problems. According to Farmer (2011), “The piecemeal actions of the Haitian government combined with its bigoted eagerness to make concessions to the foreign entrepreneurs (15-year tax holidays) have already demonstrated how far it is ready to go just to please them”. The likelihood that sycophant Haitian officials will authorize foreigners to fall back on the open-pit mining for gold, which is prohibited in Europe and other civilized countries, is high. In this case, large amounts of cyanide, which is used to treat gold ore, will get into the water bodies. This may inflict serious damage on the agricultural industry and exacerbate the shortage of potable water.
Nowadays, 40% of the Haiti’s tiny $1 billion dollars budget is formed thanks to the financial assistance from the international community. Remittances made by the diaspora from abroad constitute the main source of the Haitians’ income (Katz, 2013). These are oftentimes the sole means for them to purchase clean water and some vital products. The two thirds of the Haitians are officially unemployed.
By and large, remarkable strides have been made in the restoration of normal life in Haiti. However, the country still badly needs assistance of international donors. The vast majority of Haitians need to reach consensus over the problems facing their country.
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