Jonathan M Katz: Haiti’s Inconvenient Truth

Interesting report. What are your thoughts?

Repeating Islands

haiti_0

This article by JONATHAN M. KATZappeared in Foreign Affairs. Follow the link below for the original report.

Was a U.N. diplomat pushed out of his position for airing Port-au-Prince’s dirty laundry in public?

When a major earthquake clobbered Haiti in January 2010, a shift in how international officials talked about solving the country’s ills was already under way. Starting with then-U.N. special envoy, Bill Clinton, the word “aid” had fallen from use, in favor of the new buzzword in international development: “investment.” The term was sexier, more optimistic, and promised something not only for recipients but also givers with diminishing economic and political confidence: a return.

After the catastrophe, investment fever was everywhere, expressing itself in hundreds of millions of dollars poured into efforts to scale up Haiti’s moribund export sector, particularly in low-wage textile factories, tourism, and niche-crop agriculture, such as mangoes. Another directly related trend was…

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