Haiti: Three Years Later

Monday, January 14, 2013

Amy Wilentz, author of The Rainy Season: Haiti Since Duvalier and Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter from Haiti, and Laurent DuBois, professor of History at Duke University and the author of the 2012 book, now in paperback, Haiti: The Aftershocks of History, look at what’s changed in the three years since the devastating earthquake.

It can be difficult to know where to make a contribution to the ongoing relief and development effort in Haiti. Ms. Wilentz and Prof. DuBois gave us three recommendations.

*CODEP-The Comprehensive Development Project works on reforestation and self-sufficiency projects in rural Haiti.

*Partners in Health-Provides "preferential medical care" to Haiti's poorest citizens.

*Ti Kay Haiti-Dr. Megan Coffee treats and works to prevent Tuberculosis and HIV in Port-au-Prince.



Laurent Dubois and Amy Wilentz

Comments [14]

buckey from barnegat from New Jersey

We gave to the Red Cross when 9-11 hit.The money was set aside by the Red
Cross for the next tragedy,not for the 9-11 incident. This was done by
their own admission.
I give to the Salvation Army since then, and would never give the Red Cross
a RED nickle .

Jan. 14 2013 04:39 PM
Susan Whitcomb from Fairfield, CT

People interested in helping Haiti should also consider contributing to Haitian Educational Initiatives (HEI), a 501(c)(3) organization that addresses illiteracy and lack of job skills in Haiti. The national literacy rate is only 45%, largely because most school are private and unemployment is so high (75%) that most families cannot afford the $150 for tuition. In partnership with two Haitian community organizations, HEI promotes enrollment and retention by providing tuition, feeding, after school tutoring and job training support to 127 children enrolled in 14 area schools in Jacmel, Haiti. Please visit our website at and our Facebook page.

Jan. 14 2013 01:48 PM
Edward from Washington Heights AKA pretentious Hudson Heights

Bill Clinton should be President of Haiti.

He can build an organization that can hopefully fix Haitis vast problems.

It's clear that no one in Haiti can fix Haiti.

BTW, Why is the Dominican Republic, which is on the same land mass as Haiti, successful where Haiti is a basket case?

Jan. 14 2013 12:39 PM

Something very striking in WNYC's coverage of the anniversary of the earthquake is the absence of actual Haitian voices - Haitians living in Haiti, as opposed to the so-called "experts" WNYC chooses for the interviews, who are almost invariably white American journalists. There are plenty of Haitians in Haiti who speak fluent English, and who are experts on the Haitian reality, but WNYC, true to the colonialist mentality with which the United States has always treated Haiti, does not deem actual Haitians worth listening to... just like the NGOs and missionaries who systematically destroy the country while arrogantly believing themselves to know best.

NGOs, missionaries, foreign journalists - your so-called "experts" - described a Haiti that often seems to be in a parallel universe than the Haiti of actual Haitians.

And yes, let's preface future conversations about Haiti's "poverty" with discussion of how the United States refused to recognize Haiti's independence in 1804, how the United States made recognition of other newly independent Latin American countries contingent upon their NOT having diplomatic relations with Haiti - even though Haiti had helped Simon Bolivar in the wars of independence... how France, though defeated by Haiti, insisted on reparations for their losses, and other countries joined France in refusing recognition and trade relations unless these ridiculous payments were made... how the United States occupied Haiti for 19 years, depleting many natural resources in the process... And when we finally have this discussion, let's actually have real Haitian experts, not just the white American journalists that WNYC deems the only legitimate voices.

Jan. 14 2013 12:28 PM
Annie from Westchester

Great episode. With large organizations like the Red Cross failing to distribute aid $$ effectively, I think smaller orgs with a local focus can provide some of the most meaningful and efficient help to Haiti. I'm a senior in college, and I've been working with The Vassar Haiti Project-- a homegrown effort to extend education, clean water, and medical care to a rural Haitian village (links below)-- since my freshman year.
I'm happy to see Haiti getting some coverage in the news even now that the 2010 post-earthquake media frenzy is over.

Jan. 14 2013 12:11 PM
Ed from Larchmont

And the cholera they say came from UN soldiers from Napal (?), a tragedy.

Jan. 14 2013 11:58 AM
Graham Walker from Bronx

The guest were certainly critical, but I heard no suggestions from them as to how thinks could have been done better given the circumstances or what should be done now to speed up assistance.

Jan. 14 2013 11:54 AM

Part of the problem when people donate to a specified situation is that they don't recognize that dispersing funds appropriately is a problem. If the news media plays up one disaster to a greater extent than another, there may so many funds that you cannot disperse them in a sensible manner, leading to fraud and waste. On the other hand, other disasters may not receive as much funds and really need more. I think it is unrealistic to expect huge change in three years. The type of enduring long lasting changes I have seen in countries like Niger and Cambodia needed a 5 to 10 year time frame. Furthermore, there are many NGOs that do recognize and build up existing local capacity. This is nothing new. What happens in a disaster, however, is you get a lot of new groups reinventing wheels, sometimes with the effect that the wheels are square or break.

Jan. 14 2013 11:43 AM
RJ from Prospect hts

Brian, Please don't forget Rebecca Solnit's Paradise Built in Hell: Haiti is a textbook case of what is described in her book. The cries of "looting" applied to hungry, needy people, demonizing of them, and the swooping in of those who know best, which invariably ends up, for example, in luxury hotels on land owned by natives.

Jan. 14 2013 11:39 AM
Robert from NYC

I don't know why people continue to give to the Red Cross. It is a very corrupt organization that not only doesn't distribute donations as they say they will in each case and they give huge salaries and benefits to their CEOs and upper management. DO NOT DONATE TO THE RED CROSS>

Jan. 14 2013 11:38 AM
greg d from nyc

why help a country that still practices "slavery" and ownership of "people" ??

Jan. 14 2013 11:37 AM
Ed from Larchmont

The Catholic principle is that local help is better than help from larger organizations, because local people know what is needed. So much Catholic assistance went to individual parishes and individual priests. The general response, though, was encouraging!

Jan. 14 2013 11:37 AM
Sheldon from Brooklyn

Haiti, the Haitian government, is simply too incompetent and corrupt to develop that country, regardless of how much money is thrown at them, you might as well burn it.

It's up to ex-pat Haitians and their children, many of whom, are highly educated, to advocate for a constitutional change, allowing them to run for office.

BTW - what is baby Doc up to ? Is he still in Haiti?

Jan. 14 2013 11:30 AM

when is the episode called “Haiti: 200 years” later going to air?
It will explore what effect constant interference and invasion by the USA had on one tiny island whose only crime was to dream of freedom

Jan. 14 2013 10:37 AM

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