Rebuilding Haiti

October 2, 2012 • Volume 6, Issue 19
Is Haiti on the road to sustainable development?
By Marjorie Valbrun, Roland Flamini


A street vendor hawks sneakers in Port-au-Prince (AFP/Getty Images/Thony Belizaire)
A street vendor hawks sneakers in Port-au-Prince on Jan. 9, 2012, amid damage from the earthquake that devastated the Haitian capital two years earlier. With reconstruction proceeding at a glacial pace and unemployment at 40 percent, independent entrepreneurship is often the only way to eke out a living in Haiti. (AFP/Getty Images/Thony Belizaire)

Nearly three years after a major earthquake struck Haiti, the devastated country is still heavily dependent on foreign aid. Despite billions donated by the international community for earthquake relief, the lives of most Haitians have not significantly improved: Unemployment is at 40 percent, and most people live on less than $2 per day. Hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the earthquake still live in filthy, dangerous tent camps or flimsy temporary shelters. The government of President Michel Martelly is vowing to attract foreign investors — with some success — and major international donors and lenders have been impressed with his efforts to reform and strengthen Haiti's economic system. Still, major reconstruction and economic development programs that would create thousands of jobs have been slow to materialize. Powerful forces are proving to be major obstacles, including a stubborn and deadly cholera epidemic and thousands of international charities that often undermine the government's ability to implement its long-term rebuilding plan.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Foreign Aid
Feb. 18, 2022  Fragile States
Apr. 23, 2021  U.S. Foreign Aid
Mar. 29, 2019  U.S. Foreign Policy in Transition
Apr. 14, 2017  Rethinking Foreign Aid
May 16, 2014  U.S. Global Engagement
Oct. 02, 2012  Rebuilding Haiti
Mar. 23, 2012  U.S.-Europe Relations
Jun. 17, 2011  Foreign Aid and National Security
Apr. 26, 2002  Foreign Aid After Sept. 11
Sep. 27, 1996  Reassessing Foreign Aid
Sep. 23, 1988  Foreign Aid: a Declining Commitment
Dec. 01, 1965  Development Aid for Poor Nations
Dec. 19, 1962  Foreign Aid Overhaul
Jun. 19, 1957  Population Growth and Foreign Aid
Dec. 12, 1956  Extension of Foreign Aid
Jan. 26, 1955  Aid to Asia
Feb. 04, 1953  Trade Policy and Foreign Aid
May 03, 1951  Future of Foreign Aid
Feb. 09, 1949  American Aid to Greece
Oct. 17, 1947  Conditions for American Aid
Jun. 11, 1947  Financial Aid to Foreign Countries
Aug. 06, 1940  American Relief of Famine in Europe
Feb. 16, 1940  Loans and Credits to Foreign Countries
Regional Political Affairs: Latin America and the Caribbean