So after all of this talk about postcolonialism and Globalization theories, why is there even a consideration to put yet another foreign leader to "guide" Haiti relief efforts?
I mean, I have nothing against Bill Clinton or anyone else for that matter coming in but why is there not a committee of people put together for this job? Many of the articles speak about pooling resources and the problem of having foreign powers run the programs. While it can be more efficient and can possibly steer the funds correctly, it may not necessarily get to where they would be needed the most.
What about the smaller villages on the outskirts of Port au Prince or even in the rural places that never did have running water or even a hospital but are being overrun by city people trying to escape the image of the dying or injured? How are they getting aid to deal with the changes in their areas? This is why I would advocate what Robert Zoellick, the World Bank group president is advising:
- Why not start by getting the international aid organizations to cancel debts incurred by Haiti so that it can take the funds that it would have used to pay them back to rebuild the country?
- Yes there is not really a government there anymore because a few ministers were lost, but why should we allow outsiders to make all of the decisions? This clearly did not work in the past: from Haiti's forced independence from France, embargoes from the US on sugar (its cash crop) as a result, the US coming in again after the coup during Aristide's regime and trying to reinstall him to a people who no longer trusted his judgement or his consideration for them as a people.
I think that the solution to Haiti's growth *not back to its normal state before the earthquake but dare we say to its hay days as the richest colony* (without the colonizers of course), is to have a select few on a committee of foreigners from the UN, World Bank, relief organizations like the Red Cross but also people from Haiti. What is they hired the Haitians who worked with these relief organizations to be on this team? That way, it would be much easier to understand the Haitian culture, see what is needed where, and at the same time, get the funds allocated fairly and legally.
Some might argue that there is the problem of going back to Papa Doc and Baby Doc regimes of the little bourgeoisie controlling the resources but I think that over time, we add more and more committees, keep the impartial leaders around to help make certain decisions and ensure that the people are catered to. It will take time,yes, but it will be worth it in the end. The first step is to begin replanting trees to create stronger soil, rebuild housing and other infrastructure to acknowledge safety codes, get drinking water, award land to the citizens and teach them to be self sufficient in farming methods (while giving them a subsidy that will help them until they start to yield crops).
It might sound utopic, but how was Indonesia rebuilt so easily in such a short space of time? There was a central committee working on the different aspects with moneys allocated from the relief efforts.