What can we do to REALLY help Haiti?

While the tradgedy of Haiti rightly moves us all to help, there are some reasons to think about what kind of help Haiti needs in the long term, not just in this emergency, in part because Haiti has been in crisis almost continually for decades.  Perhaps the way we have been helping them IS NOT WORKING.

A few facts to consider (sorry, no time for footnotes, you can correct me if you need to):

  • Since 1992, the US alone has poured in over $3B dollars into Haiti, and the UN has done more on top.
  • Haiti’s population is only 10M, so how much money has been spent per capita?
  • The current earthquake in Haiti was about the same strength as the big Loma Prieta quake in CA.  Some 60+ people died in CA, while the body count in Haiti is now easily over 100,000
  • Some experts say that the reason that Haiti’s economy hasn’t grown (besides the rampant corruption and thuggery) is it’s dependence on foreign aid

What does Haiti really need?

  • Ethical leadership
  • Infrastructure
  • Hard work and honesty
  • Hope

How do we deliver that?

  • Aid with accountability and management (perhaps don’t send money without accountability, tracking, and strings attached to milestones)
  • Missionaries

You see, until the spiritual, moral, and ethical worldview of Haitians, now dominated by voodoo, changes, they will continue to be poor, without hope, and without the moral imperatives that support industry, honesty, and sacrifice.  As the Washington Examiner says in Is religion to blame for Haiti’s troubles?:

In any event, economist Tyler Cowen has a very intriguing post where he offers up eight reasons for “Why is Haiti so poor?” Reason number five:

Hegel was correct that the “voodoo religion,” with its intransitive power relations among the gods, was prone to producing political intransitivity as well.

Thank God that missionaries have been working there, but seems like they haven’t made enough difference.