Haiti is suffering from misguided foreign aid.
The rains are coming in Haiti, but there are more homeless people in Haiti today than the day after the earthquake hit in January. More than 1.5 million Haitians are living under tattered tents, tarps and sheets, which will provide little protection during hurricane season.
Immediately after the earthquake, there were 20,000 U.S. troops and 14,000 U.N. troops in Haiti. But these troops didn't help remove the earthquake rubble. Haitians themselves, using their bare hands, did almost all of the search and rescue. Today, 98 percent of the rubble remains, as Haitians have not received the heavy machinery needed to remove it.
Only a small fraction of the billions of dollars of international aid for Haiti has actually reached the quake victims. And much of the aid raised by U.N. envoy Bill Clinton is geared to small and medium-size businesses. But the quake victims are not small- and medium-size businesses. They are ordinary people who need a place to live in the city or who need tools to work their fields.
Instead of enabling the millions of small Haitian farmers to become food self-sufficient by growing rice, millet, corn and a variety of fruits and vegetables, however, Clinton has announced that Coca-Cola will be running a project to use Haitian fields to grow mangoes for a new drink.
In the last six months, a number of industrial parks have been built by foreign corporations to take advantage of Haiti's $3-a-day minimum wage.
The "new Haiti'' after the earthquake is not much different from the old Haiti the United States has been attempting to bring forth for two centuries: a place governed by business-oriented Haitian technocrats who take their marching orders from Washington.
Clinton and others in the international aid community opine that the slow disbursement of funds and rebuilding of the country is the fault of Haiti's weak government. Ironically, it was the Bush administration that rendered Haiti weak by overthrowing in 2004 the elected government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide.