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   Tuesday, August 11, 2020 

HaitiHaiti's Future - Would it Be More of the Same

By Leonie Woodley

 Social Issues     

The consequent flood of humanitarian assistance from all parts of the world has been great and admirable, but the world's governments and international organisations must also look beyond the present catastrophe to rebuilding the country and establishing a productive Haitian society.

In the forefront of the effort to provide Haiti with the necessary resources to reconstruct the country and revive its society shold be France and the United States, the two countries that did the most to batter it to its knees and keep it there after the Haitian people fought for their freedom and declared their independence in 1804.

Up until 1947, the Haitian state paid reparations demanded by France for plantations and slaves owned by the French. Then in 1914 the United States sent in gunboats to enforce payments for loans owed to US banks. US occupation until the 1930's remains a dark stain on the record of US relations with Haiti.

As much as 70% of Haiti's gross domestic product (GDP) was extracted every year for over a hundred years to pay the reparations demanded by France and endorsed by the US and some European nations including Britian.

Which country in the world, confronted with similar conditions, would have been any better than Haiti? With only 30% of GDP available for over a century, which country would have built the infrastructure, provided the education and health facilities, and created the conditions for sustainable investments?

It is no miracle that the country has survived this long. It has done so out of widespread and persistent sufferings over genarations. Millions of Haitians were born into extreme poverty and died in it for two hundred years, their lives nothing but a daily drudge of misery. 78% of haiti's 9 million people have to survive on less US$2 a day; 56% of that 78% survive on US$1 a day.

In Porte-Au-Prince, the capital was badly hit by the earthquake that one estimate suggest that of the 3 million people who reside three- mostly in unimaginable slum dwellings, more than 300,000 (the entire population of St. Licia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines and Dominica) wake up every day without a penny in their pockets.

There has been criticism of Caribbeann Governments over their response to Haiti. In this case, the critism is not deserved. Within their limited capacities, and at a time when their economies are in difficulty, Caribbean governments each responded propotionately to their means, and some with great generosity.

The Bahamas Prime Minister, Hubert Ingraham was right to rebuke those in his country who objected to his government's decision to release Haitian refugees and give them a form of legal status rather than send them back to Haiti at this terrible time. In Dominica, the government also did the right thing in extending the stay of hundreds of Haitians.

On January 25, an international conference on aid for Haiti was to be held in Montreal, Canada. Before the conference, the managing-director of the International Monetary fund, Dominique Strass-Kahn, called for a multilateral like the US." Marshal Plan"that rebuilt Europe after the Second World War. He is not alone in this view.

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 About the Author     

Leonie Woodley is the owner of and reviews popular home business ideas and opportunities. Leonie's most popular home business recommendation is the Plug-In Profit Site at: where you can get your own money-making website setup in 24 hours

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    Views expressed in the article are those of the author and are not necessarily the opinions of CaribbeanChoice, its staff or members.

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