“Haiti is still crippled by the January earthquake. Jobs and trade are needed to break its cycle of poverty” (Haiti, Nearly A Year Later, Mr. Nicholas D. Kristof).
The commentary “Haiti, Nearly A Year Later” (December 3, 2010) by Mr. Nicholas D. Kristof: it is certainly disheartening to comprehend the state of affairs in Haiti, especially as natural disasters – in the form of the 2010 earthquake and Hurricane Tomas – has further complicated a national embroiled in conflict. While blame should be rightful placed on the Government for its inaction, apathy and nonchalance towards corruption; the United Nations (UN) and its member states need to take considerable responsibility for its lethargy, and lack of constructive endeavours beyond the commitment of humanitarian aid per se.
Haiti’s geographical susceptibility to such disasters is unfortunate; yet much more can be done to improve basic infrastructure, maintain levels of hygiene and sanitation, increase access to education, enhance the providence of healthcare to combat Cholera – or similar diseases – more effectively et cetera. Why the United Nations Stabilisation Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) has not been able to coordinate the aforementioned remains a mystery to many.
Coordination of humanitarian aid and peacekeeping are noble ideals, but negligence of the long-term rehabilitation process can prove to be detrimental to sustainable socio-economic and political development. The UN must simultaneously address the immediate health and security concerns, whilst pulling the mandate and resources to strengthen the incumbent administration with the hopes of ushering self-sufficiency in time to come. Ultimately, Haiti – at the end of all the hand-holding – needs to stand on its own two feet: propped by a proper economic system, functioning public service, and an iron will to consistently nip away at the destructive poverty cycle trapping its citizens.
A version of this article was published in the International Herald Tribune, the Global Edition of The New York Times.