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Should Haiti play bigger role in its own reconstruction?

10:20 UK time, Monday, 27 December 2010

The prime minister of Haiti, has criticised the international community for not allowing his country to play a bigger role in its own reconstruction, following an earthquake in January.

Jean-Max Bellerive told the BBC that his government had too little influence because aid money was channelled through outside agencies. He said much of the money promised by donors has failed to reach the country.

The earthquake in Haiti killed 230,000 people and left 1.5 million homeless.

Do you agree with the prime minister's comments? Should the Haitian government be responsible for its own aid money? Or do the people of Haiti need to rely on outside agencies to survive?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

Comments

Page 1 of 3

  • Comment number 1.

    Sounds to me like it's time to let them get on with it. Let's just ensure that the funds are indeed used for reconstruction (or am I being unrealistic again?). Good luck to them.

  • Comment number 2.

    If they want to bite the hand that feeds them so be it. My sympathy lies with the Haitian people still suffering.

  • Comment number 3.

    There's nothing quite like a mix of disaster, foreign aid, an overload of agencies with superficially good intent, and the bureaucracy we find in almost every organization, to ensure that half the money so freely given gets lost in fees, salaries, corruption, currency charges, and goodness knows what else. Appeals have become big business for many.

    Of course Haiti should decide its destiny and how the money should be spent. Using some of it to provide employment and training for the indigenous population so that they could rebuild their infrastructure themselves was too obvious a gesture - much better to award costly contracts to outsiders who can make a killing at the expense of everyone who responded to the appeal.

  • Comment number 4.

    If the Prime Minister of Haiti is happy that they are capable of getting on with the job then that is good news. This means we can concentrate on putting right the mess being created by the coalition at home. It is going to need all hands to the pump to do that.

  • Comment number 5.

    Haitian governments have a track record of extreme brutality, corruption and almost total incompetence. Aid has usually ended up in just a few pockets. Why trust them to be any different now? You can consequently understand why international contributors don't want to channel money through central government. They should keep silent on the issue if they wish to continue receiving help.

  • Comment number 6.

    4. At 12:07pm on 27 Dec 2010, Jack Hargreaves wrote:
    If the Prime Minister of Haiti is happy that they are capable of getting on with the job then that is good news. This means we can concentrate on putting right the mess being created by the coalition at home. It is going to need all hands to the pump to do that.
    =========================================================
    Jack, give it a rest mate. We get the message that you don't like the current UK government but this is a thread about Haiti

  • Comment number 7.

    Haiti is 3rd from bottom of the Transparency International corruption table. Only Chad and Afghanistan, (there goes the US infrastructure & school modification money, folks) are lower*.

    So the 3rd most corrupt country in the world wants to control the rebuilding finances. This must be an 'End of 2010' joke!

    http://www.transparency.org/policy_research/surveys_indices/cpi/2010/results

  • Comment number 8.

    Such natural disaster are not to be underestimated and many poorer countries suffer natural disaster more frequently than more developed ones.
    It seems only decent that there should be an international fund of resources to assist regions hit by disaster. Trouble is any fund put into the hands on the UN et al would take a decade to distribute a dozen chocolate bars and 90% would be consumed in "administration". Money poured in direct is usually mostly removed to a Swiss bank account by those shouting help, while those needing it sit in the gutter. Nations pledge help but unlike the UK never pay it.
    In the final analysis I am always struck by the large numbers of fit young men lying around amongst debris and dead bodies weeks after a disaster moaning no one is doing anything for them.
    Neverthe less something needs to be done to assist those afflicted and it should not take 2 years to come on stream

  • Comment number 9.

    Why is it that this type of situation always becomes so much clearer when we change our reference point.
    Let's substitute "Haiti" with "Britain".
    Britain has had a devastating earthquake, followed by a cholera epidemic.
    Should Britain play a bigger role in its own reconstruction; in fact, would it demand to play a bigger role, or so long after the fact would David Camneron still have Brits living in tents & drinking filthy water?
    I think David Cameron would be criticising the international community' I think he would be demanding: Where is the money? Who has the reconstruction money? I think he would be standing before the United Nations.
    David Cameron told the BBC that his government had too little influence because aid money was channelled through outside agencies. He said much of the money promised by donors has not reached the country. David Cameron wants answers, and he wanted them yesterday.
    The earthquake in Britain killed 230,000 people and left 1.5 million homeless.
    So having shifted your point of view from Haiti to Britain, it's so much easier to answer these questions, is it not?

  • Comment number 10.

    I can't help but feel a little suspicous about this. Remember all the donations that went missing after the Tsunami. The good people in this country are making the donations to help rebuild the country and I think its up to us on how to spend that money.

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 12.

    What does the Prime Minister of Haiti have in mind? That more of his cronies should be taking a kick-back from the aid money meant for reconstruction, perhaps?
    No way, José!
    Haiti should provide labour, paid at a reasonable rate, which would go a long way to alleviating unemployment and poverty, but the corrupt Haitian government shouldn't be allowed anywhere near the money.

  • Comment number 13.

    Other countries particulary the US have always interfered in Haiti, they are terrified of another Cuba on their doorstep. Haitians can look at Cuba and compare their situation. Life expectancy is far higher, literacy rate, education and health service are far superior in Cuba added to which the criminal element has by and large been exported to the US. Haiti on the other hand has amongst the lowest standard of living and highest crime rate in the world. Why when the countries until 60's had a very similar history and geographic location. Where would most people rather live, if the earthquake had hit Cuba can anyone imagine that the people there would still be in the desperate situation the Haitians are in, international aid has done very little to rectify the problems, the underlying problems are far too deep seated. The western media will not draw attention to any comparisons between the two countries but Cuba has given a lot of medical aid, if the situation were reversed would Haiti have been in a position to give any help, I think not. Until the Haitians have a strong government determined to get rid of the crime and poverty and cut themselves off from the US they will not progress

  • Comment number 14.

    Sarah Palin has suggested a US military airlift. She is correct.

  • Comment number 15.

    I watched the original footage after this earthquake and while people layed burried alive there appeared to be hundreds of very able bodied men sitting around screaming where the international aid was.
    If these people are too lazy to help themselves why should the rest of us care?
    I for one would not give them a penny as it already appears they believe it is owed to them.
    I don't mind helping people but i'm not here to do the job for them.

  • Comment number 16.

    Should Haiti play bigger role in its own reconstruction?

    Of course it should.

  • Comment number 17.

    I think the international community should play a supervisory role so as to give the Haitians chance to get involved.

  • Comment number 18.

    As long as they don't spend aid money for the wrong cause, ie themselves. Yes they should decide what the priorities are, as long as the people benefit.
    There are too many politicians around the world who benefit from aid money while the people suffer.
    Can they be trusted?

  • Comment number 19.

    Haiti should become self-sufficient by cutting it's insane birth rate, educate it's people, & create sustainable jobs. That's what I told the tooth fairy lady week.

  • Comment number 20.

    How can one help a country that doesn't help itself, first? Handing over a blank cheque will only lead to money being ferreted away which will only benefit the few, not the masses. Corruption only breeds corruption.

  • Comment number 21.

    The Special Representative for the Organisation of American States, Ricardo Seitenfus has been "relieved of his duties"; this came within 24 hours after he seriously lambasted the UN OCCUPATION of Haiti.
    Who does Ricardo Seitenfus blame for the state of Haiti?
    He blames iinternational capitalism:
    “The West was a world of colonialism, slavery and racism; it's wealth was based on the exploitation of the poor, the defenceless. The United States did not recognize Haiti's independence until 1865. And France required payment of a ransom before she accepted it."
    Now UN has applies Chapter 7 of its charter; it deploys its troops to impose its peace. It solves nothing.
    In 2004 Jean Bertrand Aristide was removed from office after a coup organised by the governments of France, THE UNITED STATES and Canada. Aristide’s party enjoyed overwhelming support among the Haitian people.
    Seitenfus Says that Haiti’s principle tragedy has been its proximity to the USA, a country that oppresses the island to satisfy its own greed.
    Seitenfus also criticises the blatant attempt by the ‘international community’ to keep Haiti dependent on aid, like incapable children.
    Speaking about his experience in Haiti Mr Seitenfus said:
    “In two months, I completed a two-year mission in Haiti. To stay here and not be overwhelmed by what I saw I had to create a number of psychological defenses. I stayed because I wanted to express my profound doubts and tell the world that what we are doing is not enough. It is time to stop playing with Haiti.”
    French media have never acknowledged France’s direct role in the destruction of Haiti, their support for the Duvalier dictatorships in the Cold War to the kidnapping of the democratically-elected president Jean Bertrand Aristide in 2004. Nor have the French media ever reported on the atrocities committed by the MINUSTAH troops who currently occupy the island.
    Jean Bertrand Aristide doubled the minimum wage of workers in Haiti. That was his great sin. Raising the wages of the world’s poorest workers is clearly a ‘human rights’ violation in the eyes of the United States of Americam.
    In the elections in December 2010, approved by the US and the EU, the country’s most popular party Fanmi Lavalas was banned from participation. In other words, the European Union and the United States excluded the will of the majority of Haitian voters.
    Meanwhile, UN troops patrol the streets of Port Au Prince keeping, in the words of Mr. Seitenfus: ‘the peace of the cemetery’.

  • Comment number 22.

    Yes. Simply because you believed in them when they "said" they were incapable and "asked" for help. If now they say they are feeling alright to make things better for themselves, you should again believe them.

  • Comment number 23.

    No! Don't let Haiti take charge. The PM and its coterie will eat the money. The only time the PM can begin to talk is when the money is being used or under-utilized.

  • Comment number 24.

    They can take 100% control as far as I'm concerned. Beggars can't be choosers, if you want to benefit from charity you can't decide how it's spent.

  • Comment number 25.

    Too many fingers in the pot to help ordinary people, charities and governments are all guilty of dipping these funds for their own benefit while the givers are being deceived doing what they think is helping. The people of these countries will be doing that which is always available to them, living under a tin sheet salvaged from a fallen house while drinking gutter water and eating whatever they can take from the weakest of their own kind. Simply the way the world is.

  • Comment number 26.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 27.

    11. At 12:26pm on 27 Dec 2010, Red Robbo wrote:

    4. At 12:07pm on 27 Dec 2010, Jack Hargreaves wrote:

    If the Prime Minister of Haiti is happy that they are capable of getting on with the job then that is good news. This means we can concentrate on putting right the mess being created by the coalition at home. It is going to need all hands to the pump to do that.
    ---------------------------
    Comparing the "mess" in the UK caused by the overspending of the last Labour government with the serious humanitarian problems in Haiti is despicable. You should hang your head in shame you pathetic little man.

    ---------------------------

    I didn't compare it with anything you did. My comment was:

    If the Prime Minister of Haiti is happy that they are capable of getting on with the job then that is good news.

    It is good news because as I also stated:

    This means we can concentrate on putting right the mess being created by the coalition at home. It is going to need all hands to the pump to do that.

    Nowhere in that were they compared other than in your mind. Typical Tory twisting of the facts again.

  • Comment number 28.

    Simple question:
    After the devastating Haitian earthquake, which country provied the greatest medical aid to Haiti?
    CUBA!
    Cuba was the first to enter Haiti with medical after the January 12, 2010, earthquake struck. The Cubans were first to set up medical facilities and to organize hospitals.
    The Cuban Medical Team coordinator in Haiti, Dr. Carlos Alberto Garcia, said the Cuban doctors, nurses, and other health personnel worked nonstop, day and night, running operating rooms 18 hours each day.
    The Haitian doctors were trained in Cuba. Fifty-five new Haitian doctors trained at the Caribbean Faculty in Santiago de Cuba will receive their titles in a celebration to be held in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. This will bring the total to 544 Haitians physicians trained in Cuba.
    They are also operating nine rehabilitation centers staffed by nearly 70 Cuban physical therapists and rehabilitation specialists.
    The Cuban team has been assisted by one hundred specialists from Venezuela, Chile, Spain, Mexico, Colombia, and Canada.
    So why has the western media not ranked Cuba high on the list of donor nations?
    One international news agency’s list of donor nations credited Cuba with sending over 30 doctors to Haiti, but guess what?
    The number is more than 350, including 280 young Haitian doctors who graduated from Cuba. A combined total of 930 Cuban health professionals make Cuba’s the largest medical contingent on the ground in Haiti.
    In the Haitian case, the media have ignored not just the Cuban contribution, but also the efforts made by other Latin American countries.”
    Brazil is providing $70 million in funding for ten urgent care units, fifty mobile units for emergency care, a laboratory, and a hospital. Venezuela has canceled all of Haiti’s debt and has promised to supply oil, free of charge, until the country has recovered from the disaster. Cuban medical teams, however, are outside this predominantly ignored by Western humanitarian-media loop. They are likely to receive attention from Latin American media and Spanish language broadcasters and print media.
    Although Cuba is a poor, developing country, their wealth of human resources—doctors, engineers, and disaster management experts—has enabled this small Caribbean nation to play a huge role in health care and humanitarian aid alongside the far-richer nations of the west. Montreal summit of twenty donor nations agreed to hold a major conference on Haiti’s future at the United Nations in March 2010. Some analysts see Haiti’s rehabilitation as a potential opportunity for the US and Cuba to bypass their ideological differences and combine their resources. That will be the day!
    The Haitian people themselves, through what remains of their government and NGOs, must provide the policy direction, and Cuba has been and should continue to be a key player in the health sector in Haiti.”
    Where oh where is the UN special envoy, Bill Clinton?

  • Comment number 29.

    Once again political nuances prevent the delivery of aid to people who need it, in this case the obstruction being connected to Haiti's support for Cuba and her trading parties in the UN, much to the distaste of US Congress.

    It is sad when dogma tempers wishes to relieve the suffering of people for whom US and UN politics means nothing. Must these people who were suffering humiliating hardship prior to the earthquake really have to sign up to the American Dream to get a square meal and shelter?


  • Comment number 30.

    Yes, they do.
    Everyone should depend on themselves.
    Only in this way they can survive in such a world.
    Just like the animals in a forest, the only way to live is running more fast or jumping higher.
    That's the only rule in the nature.
    Everyone should obey it if they want to live.
    Inclunding Haiti.

  • Comment number 31.

    Should Haiti play bigger role in its own reconstruction?

    No problem with them playing a bigger role. But not of them taking charge of the dosh.

    I'm 54 years old and all I ever heard of Haiti in my younger days was of the corruption and violence of Papa Doc Duvalier and his son Baby Doc - backed up by the Tonton Macoute. And, since Baby Doc's deposition by populat revolt, the Haitian presidency has changed several times - at least 15, maybe more. Elections - when they bothered having any - were widely dismissed as a joke by observers and presidencies often ended either in the arrest of the president or ousting by coup. Haiti has the reputation of being, if not the most corrupt country in world, pretty near the top.

    And they want to take charge of the budget? In their dreams!!!!

  • Comment number 32.

    BluesBerry -if you could get off your ideological rant against the US then things would be far better

    Haiti has the same problem as Africa (TIA) - endemic corruption!

    nothing changes until the people of Haiti get off their arse and help rebuilding their country

    every film shows them sat doing nothing but begging for help from those they despise!

    God helps those that help themselves

  • Comment number 33.

    32. At 1:57pm on 27 Dec 2010, locust wrote:nothing changes until the people of Haiti get off their arse and help rebuilding their country

    every film shows them sat doing nothing but begging for help from those they despise!

    .,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

    I agree with you.
    God helps those that help themselves.

  • Comment number 34.

    Should Haiti play bigger role in its own reconstruction? Of cause it should. What a stupid question.

  • Comment number 35.

    If my memory serves me correct, several European countries thought USA, and other foreign states should pull out, over a year ago. Yet we may also need to remind ourselves, there are still lots of money to be made from this humanitarian issue.

    Rebuilding of hospitals and health care systems, sanitation issues, inluding sewers, mains water, and other infrastructures. We may need to rephrase it, to Should the charities be told to withdraw, and recognise the issue, as a large humantiarian issue? hence allow all foreign states to bid toward the development of a very impoverished country.

  • Comment number 36.

    "
    2. At 12:01pm on 27 Dec 2010, thomas wrote:

    If they want to bite the hand that feeds them so be it. My sympathy lies with the Haitian people still suffering.
    "

    Well what do you expect from a corrupt Government?

  • Comment number 37.

    Bet he'd like to get his hands on the aid money ; though I suspect as happens in every other dodgy republic the cash would end up in somebody's Swiss bank account rather than in the country's infrastructure. If he wants to do it himself then let him get on with it, but somehow if the past is anything to go by , getting anyone to actually work to help themselves will not be an easy task, especially if it interferes with their criminal activities.

  • Comment number 38.

    If the Red Cross gives one penny of the money to that corrupt government, I will not donate again.

    Haitians seem to bite every hand that tries to help them.

  • Comment number 39.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 40.

    The old addage "God helps those who help themselves" should surely prevail. Unforfunately the corrupt administrators of Haiti seem to take it literally when they "help themselves" to the aid money.

  • Comment number 41.

    Fine then prime minister, next time your country gets wrecked and you're appealing for international aid I won't bother giving you any money, beggars can't be choosers, I wish we hadn't bothered trying to waste our money helping these ungrateful people. Hopefully this will finally nail the big charity lie that Labour and the left inflict on us.

  • Comment number 42.

    Haiti lacks a functioning government. Allowing it to dip its little greedy hands in aid agency operations is an invitation for disaster and corruption. The government did little to uplift its citizens in the past and has done absolutely nothing to help the people after the disaster. Let the aid agencies do what they know how to do best.

  • Comment number 43.

    They managed ok in Lost.

  • Comment number 44.

    If any aid money is given to DFID to help rebuild Haiti, then it is dead money, as DFID is the most useless, unproductive and profligate agency I have ever worked alongside. If aid money is given to Haitian politicians to control, then it is lost!
    International assistance is vital, as Haiti does not yet have the resources to help itself. When they are capable of managing their own re-construction, then control (not financial) can be handed over to them. Until then, Mr Bellerive should accept the world's help graciously and not bite the hands of those willing to feed him. The worlds' sympathies are with Haiti, for the time-being.

  • Comment number 45.

    I don't think Haiti will be able to get over by themselves. After the earthquake strongly hit the country, another situations such as cholera, famine and unemployment have made the country keep on fighting to come through this nightmare. It will definitely need more international aid for a long time until their situation gets better.

  • Comment number 46.

    You can lead the horse to water, but you can not make it drink !

  • Comment number 47.

    Actual cash money should never be given as aid, especially when the local government has such a track record for corruption and for not spending its money to the benefit of its citizens as the Haitian one hag long before an earthquake happened there.

    Getting the local government involved in the decision-making and rebuilding processes, however, is an excellent way of training them in how to meet their obligations to their citizens.

  • Comment number 48.

    More than 100 NGOs before the quake -- what were they doing, and now?
    (something for BBC to report) Cuba's help was not even mentioned in USa.
    What works is microlending and birthcontrol. By the way I wish to thank the
    Brits and Franks for packing these lovely Islands full of Africans!

  • Comment number 49.

    I find it rather fascinating that the Haitian people are able to sort out the Voodoo priesthood with machetes when they suspect they're being infected with cholera by them. If only theuy could sort out their "politians" in a similar way and start getting themselves straight from an administrative point of view.

    It's a tragedy of the highest order that these poor people have been beset with disaster after disaster beyond their control, but there are some problems that they can take care of themselves - corrupt and inept politicians being one of them.

  • Comment number 50.

    Surely the simplest solution is for the Haitian Government to open Swiss bank accounts in the name of its ministers (for convenience sake) and let the aid millions pour into them.

  • Comment number 51.

    The Haitian government is inept evidenced by the uneccessary delays at the airport when they wouldn't give the U.S. military temporary control of the flight tower and more recently by bribes being extracted from AID agencies to get their cargo released from the docks. If Haiti wants international help they need to relinquish control temporarily so that the world can help them but the delays, corruption and stupidities that are occuring there on a daily basis are hurting the Haitian people and ruining their prosperous future.

  • Comment number 52.

    15. At 12:41pm on 27 Dec 2010, Semisatanic wrote:
    I watched the original footage after this earthquake and while people layed burried alive there appeared to be hundreds of very able bodied men sitting around screaming where the international aid was.
    If these people are too lazy to help themselves why should the rest of us care?
    I for one would not give them a penny as it already appears they believe it is owed to them.
    I don't mind helping people but i'm not here to do the job for them.


    wow. really?! So it was not fear that stopped then in their tracks? Sadness for loss of life, maybe? The fact that all they had had fallen down around them in a pile of rubble. No food. No homes. In a country with an already corrupt gov! no..must be they were just too lazy to bother.

  • Comment number 53.

    Haiti is clearly in an earthquake zone so doubts must exist over whether it should be rebuilt anyway just to risk the same problem recurring.

  • Comment number 54.

    Aid giving needs to be professionalized where development teams are organized in succesive waves after a disaster or humanitarian crisis. Preferably one that could draw on the closest countries for pre stored supplies and equipment. There is no reason whatsoever not to have initial medical supplies, survival food and water, portable field hospitals and a predetermined cadre of medical and childcare personnel and portable signage within three hours after a major emergency if a comprehensive plan is put into place. It takes intelligent organization not everyone running around like a chicken with their head cut off.

  • Comment number 55.

    The government of this country have sponged off the world for years and any money the country has made has gone into a mafia style administration which keeps the people poor.It is a fine line we tread letting the national government,mostly corrupt,have any say in how this country is rebuilt.But like any disaster there is always too many cooks poking their noses in with meeting after meeting but not resolving anything.Just get on with it.Pre fabricated houses(probably vastly better than they already had)by the ship load and get them errected fast whilst building a comprehensive sewage and water system.The rest is for the people to sort out.It could have all been done by now with western know how but just like every other disaster the money donated just vanishes in a puff of smoke into the pockets of all the hangers on and admin staff,fees etc etc.

  • Comment number 56.

    The Haitian Government has had nearly a year to recover from this terrible disaster but hasn't done anything noticeable. I'm struggling to feed, cloth and keep a roof over me and my own families head's. We can't keep on donating money to this country without seeing the proof of where it's going, too.

    Life's not fair... Get used to it. Blame your own Government's greed and nepotism.

  • Comment number 57.

    53. At 5:03pm on 27 Dec 2010, Paul J Weighell wrote:
    Haiti is clearly in an earthquake zone so doubts must exist over whether it should be rebuilt anyway just to risk the same problem recurring.


    There are issues like this in every part of the world. So you don't rebuild an entire country because it could happen again? So.. what? you "close" a country and move an entire population of people.. ?? elsewhere? How do you accomplish that? what is your solution? eh.. why bother. will only happen again.

  • Comment number 58.

    4. At 12:07pm on 27 Dec 2010, Jack Hargreaves wrote:

    If the Prime Minister of Haiti is happy that they are capable of getting on with the job then that is good news. This means we can concentrate on putting right the mess being created by the coalition at home. It is going to need all hands to the pump to do that.

    _-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-

    If you think that this country is in a mess because of the current government, then you are delusional! You cannot even think of denying that Labour is responsible for the mess we are in!

    To answer the question, yes Haiti should play a bigger role in its own recovery. However, I do not think that aid should be given to them (or any country) in the form of funds, as it will just end up being used to buy audis for corrupt politicians.

  • Comment number 59.

    Should Haiti play bigger role in its own reconstruction?

    Not really. The existing agencies are better at spending all those billions raised in aid or reconstruction, rather than government officials. And why you may ask? Well go figure.

  • Comment number 60.

    Before the earthquake few people gave a jot for Haiti or its people. It was just the images of the destruction and the dead and injured that forced a reaction from the international community. In the fulness of time Haiti will return to obscurity once again, well until the next earthquake. Which might explain why apparently a lot of promised donationd haven't surfaced. Because apart from admin costs etc, they were a good idea at the time, but only at the time.

    Haiti can be compared to Rwanda in terms of international importance. So, who really cares whether they indulge in corruption ot chop up the local Voodoo priest. Are you going to lose sleep over it?

  • Comment number 61.

    Haiti is a mess, it maybe the worst place to live on earth. The UN has made a mess of it, the USA has made a mess of it, Europe, mainly france has made a mess of it. Corruption is a way of life, the money you give does not get much father than the airport bank. Food rots in warehouses, medicine sits on the warehouse shelf. Pay off and rip offs are as common as turning the channel with a remote. The best way you can help these people is to ignore them.

    The USA has done more to help than all other nations combined. Still I do not blame other nations or people. If it helps to ease your mind at all, just remember the lucky ones are no longer with us.

  • Comment number 62.

    Give the money to the government and impose ban on import of luxury items. Most of the poor countries have same type of problems, so why to blame on Haiti only.

    Haitians should be responsible for themselves not the world around them.

  • Comment number 63.

    Sadly,Haiti was a disaster area well before the earthquake struck.It had virtually no government nor infrastructure to organise anything pre-earthquake and it has even less now.Haiti must have outside help in order to get back on it's feet

  • Comment number 64.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 65.

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  • Comment number 66.

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  • Comment number 67.

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  • Comment number 68.

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  • Comment number 69.

    Haiti sufferd as much if not more so that the Tsunami that hit several countries but was given less than to those countries. Most of the government were killed so it would seem a good opportunity to try and build this country up and give the people a future and have a fresh start. Most of the governments hit by these disasters have a form of corruption but it shouldn't stop international aid it's the people that count.

  • Comment number 70.

    This is going to be politcaly incorrect but Haiti has a history of aid money going into bank accounts of the ruling group.

    they can't be trusted.

  • Comment number 71.

    most charitible institutions are totally corrupt. take for example the red cross. almost 70% of all contributions go to administrative costs and salaries. then you have the salvation army which spends less then 10% on admin. costs. do research on any charity before you contribute otherwise maybe you should just throw your money into the garbage. better yet, contribute only to local charities who only do their work where you live and let the rest of the world deal with their own problems. americans contribute to every hand out in the world and what does it get us? just more hands wanting more.

  • Comment number 72.

    with 230,000 people dead and presumed buried costed and trusted by donations to feed the homeless of 1.5 million is there reason to doubt the ability of the many helping hands in haiti, who have shared in the horrors of earthquake destruction of people, homes,and infrastucture?
    Why,when so many people are controlled by death,the living argue for greater strength in wealth,for reasons not understood to be the cause
    of gaining power over a nation and it's people unable to help itself but depend on the efforts of others for survival,how should a leader lean on the shoulders of outside helpers with such a heavy hand,without so much as a praise of 'thank you'

  • Comment number 73.

    Amnesty International or some other GROUP of INDEPENDANT Character should oversee contributions, donations, resources, spending and progress.

    Many doctors and other professionals devote their time FREELY in the name of humanitarian aid. This should also be expected in true charities (minimum wages accepted) and not the 50K plus, plunderers try to grab as a minimum.

    However, Haiti should be at the forefront of rebuilding their country.
    The Boot Strap Principle ought to be on the hearts and minds of all those affected in any country that has deficient infra structure after a huge natural disaster.
    Charity begins at home and refugees should help one another to rebuild society.
    This ought to be taken into financial accounting and financial assistance provided where it will be of most benefit.

    The PM of Haiti may be correct in his statement but if nobody oversees donations, non payment of promissory pledges, corruption and superfluous services (overcharging), soon disperses any sized pile of money.

  • Comment number 74.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 75.

    A balance has to be struck: a country cannot be expected to surrender all its sovereignty to others even if their help is badly needed. However, I'm not sure whether the PM's implicit claim that this is what is happening holds water.

  • Comment number 76.

    Financial help is the last thing any Government should receive after a disaster. Money just fuels corruption and greed. I would go on to name at least ten countries who fit that scenario, but I fear my comment would be removed by the moderator's if I were to name them.

  • Comment number 77.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 78.

    I dont think the issue of if Haiti should play a bigger role in its re-construction should even come up in the first place. The whole world knows the state of Haitis economy and its problems even before their resent natural disastors.The country just needs all the help it can have from the international community. You help the people of Haiti or just leave them alone to think of other ways. Harry- Finland.

  • Comment number 79.

    Frankly, I think Haiti should temporarily become a U.N. or French protectorate and give up its sovereignty. The government simply isn't competent to deal with this situation, and the most important thing is to alleviate the suffering of the people, not worry about the status of the political elite. Under their own government, the people have no more say about their future than under some outside control, and the results will be far worse. The Haitian governments have more than demonstrated their abilities, even in the absence of a disaster. It's time to try something different.

  • Comment number 80.

    Should Haiti play bigger role in its own reconstruction? How can it help it's self everything prior has been taken out of it and now what it had is destroyed. Haiti has always been poor and over crowded.

    Look at the name would you?!
    Haiti (HELL).

    When I worked in Fort Lauderdale, FL. they flooded the unions and were constantly moved from one site to another and had the worst of jobs. These people have no idea how to help them selves! They have their hands out and they need a infrastructure and ready and willing to work. Just show them what to do and they will do it.

  • Comment number 81.

    Haiti's history is one of strife and suffering and though the government should obviously influence reconstruction the money should only be placed in the hands of the reconstructors. Billions of aid dollars have disappeared over the past 50 years so the money should be kept away from government officials. Haiti needs a great deal of help economically let alone rebuilding, health and crime-fighting. It needs all the help it can get for reconstruction and rehabilitation and thereafter, a fair chance economically (without destroying the place with biofuel crops.

    I lost two friends (and most of their families) in the earthquake; visited in early November, a most distressing visit, I can tell you. Haiti really does need international aid.

  • Comment number 82.

    I think the Haitian people are hard working and suffered alot by succesive politicians raping and robbing them. Why aren't these politicians ever brought to justice? One is protected in France. This type of Mafia tyranny needs to be stopped. Why would we supposedly redistribute wealth to poorer nations only to continue to plunder them of their natural resources like Afghanistan and Africa. Foreign policy needs to be called out for what it really is so the world can live in peace and we can truly help poorer nations instead of playacting at it. Where did the money that Clinton/Bush collected from corporations go?

  • Comment number 83.

    77. At 7:13pm on 27 Dec 2010, UKcerberus wrote:I think the BBC should stop all these discussions about other countries problems, and allow us to debate the UK's really challenging ones. Here's a few ideas; "Should we get rid of the royals?", "should we get rid of the UK parliamentary system?", "where did the money go?", "who should be jailed for stealing all our money?", "whatever happened to the fiddling MP's?".
    Instead, we get these discussions, more designed to distract than debate.
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Excellent post

  • Comment number 84.

    Dai The Tie,
    I'll help you and name the corrupt, Mafia countries for you. Britain and America. The corruption is so overt that its invisible because its suffused in every aspect of the government and every financial transaction. Hiding in the open. That's brilliant!

  • Comment number 85.

    83. At 7:45pm on 27 Dec 2010, Dr Llareggub wrote:
    77. At 7:13pm on 27 Dec 2010, UKcerberus wrote:I think the BBC should stop all these discussions about other countries problems, and allow us to debate the UK's really challenging ones. Here's a few ideas; "Should we get rid of the royals?", "should we get rid of the UK parliamentary system?", "where did the money go?", "who should be jailed for stealing all our money?", "whatever happened to the fiddling MP's?".
    Instead, we get these discussions, more designed to distract than debate.
    ----------------------------------------------------
    Excellent post
    ============================================
    And the answers are:

    No
    No
    Into Gordon's social engineering funds
    Don't know
    Most of them were voted out at the last election

  • Comment number 86.

    alot of comments about the corruption in haiti. but what about our own governments? they and the international bankers and stock brokers pulled off the biggest theft in all history and nobody is in jail or even being questioned. we serously need to take a look into the corruption that is rampant and sometimes blatant. we need to bring these thieves and criminals to justice before they totally destroy the world economy which i am sure is their plan.

  • Comment number 87.

    You dont donate to charity because you think you are the owner and allocator of goodness. Actually if there was anybody in that position there wouldnt be any need for charity.
    You donate to charity because you think there is goodness outside and away from your reach that deserves the trust.

    I personally dont donate to charity. it is madness.

  • Comment number 88.

    There are two answers to that: "NO!" and "HELL NO!!". Haiti needs independent specialists, perhaps under the coordination of organisations like the FAO, UN and Transparency International to oversee every penny of expenditure, marking every single bank note handed over with traceable ink!

    I should like to see the monthly accounts of donations received and how the money was spent, with full invoices and receipts, made publicly available online, via the UN website, for international scrutiny and monitoring by donors.

    After all, it's OUR money, so why shouldn't we control closely its disbursement? Involvement of Haitians people yes, but their corrupt government? NO WAY!

  • Comment number 89.

    The best and only aid should be in education. How to build a seimic fitted school , how to lay out a clean water system, how to organize an uncorrupt government, how to sew textiles for industry, how to import fruit to the international market. Education is the only gift that will ensure a bright future for Haiti's future children.

  • Comment number 90.

    Dr Llareggub post #83 suggests: should we get rid of the royals?
    thats so funny, even stupid that i cannot even laugh! THEY OWN YOU AND THE U'K. the people couldn't get gid of the royals no matter how much you complained. they wield an incredible amount of power and you will find out soon enough when prince william is crowned king. Dr Llareggub, were you daydreaming the whole time you went to school?

  • Comment number 91.

    84. At 7:53pm on 27 Dec 2010, clamdip lobster claws wrote:
    Dai The Tie,
    I'll help you and name the corrupt, Mafia countries for you. Britain and America. The corruption is so overt that its invisible because its suffused in every aspect of the government and every financial transaction. Hiding in the open. That's brilliant!


    If you say so.

  • Comment number 92.

    It is not difficult to read between the lines. The accent is on "money". But does Haiti have the necessay institutions, checks and balances to account for funds spent? This is a good issue Haiti should raise with the donors and agree on a proper accountability system. The recent cholera outbreak and its real causes also gives room for betetr rationality and accountability in arriving at acceptable solutions.

  • Comment number 93.

    "
    84. At 7:53pm on 27 Dec 2010, clamdip lobster claws wrote:

    Dai The Tie,
    I'll help you and name the corrupt, Mafia countries for you. Britain and America.
    "

    Don't be so silly, it's down to the aliens.

  • Comment number 94.

    So, the Prime Minister of Haiti - one of the most corrupt countries in the world - wants more say on where aid money is spent.

    I bet he does!

  • Comment number 95.

    I keep reading that the US messed Haiti up, or some-crazy-how we're to blame for the mess that's still going on there today. What would the world say about us if we didn't do anything?

    On another note...if we're so corrupt, then how can a foreign citizen come to our country, open a gas station, and become a millionaire from the work they do? I'm not saying there isn't government corruption here, but the corruption here doesn't stop clean running water from being circulated, or electricity, or education like it does elsewhere in the world. We all don't have to worry though, the World Bank and the IMF will keep Haiti in debt for decades to come.

    I view this like Hurricane Katrina; there were plenty of people who were trying to help in the midst of the tragedy, and there were plenty of people looking to improve their previous position from the tragedy as well.

  • Comment number 96.

    The suffering in Haiti is real. The people there will do anything to get out. If sending a few quid make you feel better, then by all means do so. It won't help but it is the thought that counts.

    Haiti is a accident waiting to happen. Useful once to the French, sadly those days have past. The USA has taken in many, and no doubt will take in more. More countries could help, but as is so often the case little will be accomplished. Some really do try to help, but it is futile. The Haitian gov't officals are so inept that they capitalize on others misfortune to make their living. Many have tried to fix Haiti, none have succeded.


    I truly feel sorry for the kids there. Their gov't wants you to see them suffer, they need the money.

  • Comment number 97.

    ref #86
    jackinusa wrote:
    alot of comments about the corruption in haiti. but what about our own governments? they and the international bankers and stock brokers pulled off the biggest theft in all history and nobody is in jail or even being questioned. we serously need to take a look into the corruption that is rampant and sometimes blatant. we need to bring these thieves and criminals to justice before they totally destroy the world economy which i am sure is their plan.

    _____________

    we are talking if a goverment given aid for a disaster will use it to help the people or put it into their pockets.

    Since the world has not given finacial aid to this country in over 200 years the question is irrelvant

  • Comment number 98.

    No. Haiti should have no say in their future at all.

    It should all be controlled from Brussels, just like the UK!

    You bunch of clowns!!!

  • Comment number 99.

    I nominate France to be put in charge of everything. After all, Haitians speak French, more or less, and Haiti is a former French colony. I assume the French are not bitter about being slaughtered by machetes 200 years ago. Let bygones be bygones.

  • Comment number 100.

    77. At 7:13pm on 27 Dec 2010, UKcerberus wrote:
    I think the BBC should stop all these discussions about other countries problems, and allow us to debate the UK's really challenging ones. Here's a few ideas; "Should we get rid of the royals?", "should we get rid of the UK parliamentary system?", "where did the money go?", "who should be jailed for stealing all our money?", "whatever happened to the fiddling MP's?".
    Instead, we get these discussions, more designed to distract than debate.

    ********************

    totally agree ! I used to love HYS but since the general election all the topics are pointless and irrelevent to any of us licesnse payers that are very interested in whats going on around us in the UK.

 

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