The human loss from the earthquake – and its subsequent after-shocks – that have destroyed much of Haiti are tremendous. No doubt. 100,000 dead. 2-3 million homeless. Hard to envision.
But the earthquake is not the solely responsible.
From the excellent Institute for Public Accuracy
Director of the Institute for Justice & Democracy in Haiti, Concannon lived in Haiti for eight years. He said today: “In the short term the Haitian people need the international community to respond to this tragedy with massive amounts of disaster relief. But in the long term, the Haitian people need the international community to stop imposing policies that make them more vulnerable to natural disasters. These policies include trade and aid policies that force rural Haitians into the cities where there is no safe housing for them, and political policies that undermine or overthrow democratically-elected governments that do try to provide safe housing and services in rural areas.”
AMY WILENTZ, http://amywilentz.com
Author of “The Rainy Season: Haiti Since Duvalier,” Wilentz is now a professor at the University of California at Irvine. One of the issues she can address is practices of environmental degradation that are often pursued in Haiti because of economic conditions, thus leaving the country more vulnerable to disasters.
Also see the Guardian’s article, Haiti: a long descent to Hell