What! You Mean All of that Money We Gave, is Just Sitting There?
Yes, about $2.6 billion US dollars. Only about half of the $5.3 billion dollars that was donated to the Haiti Relief effort so far has been allocated. It has been a little bit more than three years since the earthquake in January 12, 2010. Today if you went there, it would look like the earthquake was yesterday. The earthquake hit one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, so it is not to say that Haiti did not need some form of support but with all that money something must be happening.
Jonathan Katz, who wrote the book, “The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left a Disaster,”reported from Haiti between 2007 to 2011. In his book he talks about many things surrounding the relief effort, especially how the donation money was spent. Below is a video going getting deeper in this topic.
You know, a lot of the money that’s spent in the wake of any natural disaster, but especially in a foreign aid context, kind of goes in circles.
Part two found here.
An aspect of the relief effort that I want to focus on, is the building of a sweatshop complex in Haiti, called Caracol Industrial Park. This is something that was decided by the UN Haiti Envoy as well as the Haitian government. A decision that many believe has no long-term benefit to the Haitian people. More on Haiti can be found here. Sweatshops are a way for foreign companies to go into an area and provide low-wage labor to the local population. The excuse that the companies give to make it look like they care about the well being of the local community is that they are providing jobs. Well, this is true the foreign companies do provide jobs. But are they jobs that the community can survive on? And how much is the company making in comparison? What happens when the sweatshop closes due to financial problems, or the depletion of resources, and or the burning of the factory? Hundreds of people all around the world die each year in sweatshop fires. So you have a chance to make your voices heard, make it clear that you do not want your money used to further suppress the Haitian people. Sign the petition here or here.