Rein in the corruption first, then assist the desperate needy
I visited Haiti in 2006 for election monitoring, but also to do a report on the effectiveness of the $500-600 million of aid money given over the prior 10 years.
There was no progress. Haiti’s economic status had actually declined. Haiti was strife with corruption and waste of aid funds then. Those in great need still were in great need while their leaders lived highly. The past President, who had recently left Haiti, was said to have taken $600 million with him. Canada would have done everybody a favour saving a lot of effort by writing him a cheque directly.
Then, in 2010, the earthquake hit. 200,000 Haitians perished while 1 million more became homeless, living under plastic tarpaulins. 1/2 million still live in these horrific conditions, despite Canada giving $350 million in aid to Haiti since. Three years later the little new housing built are 12’x12’ plywood shacks, portable because the land is owned by wealthy interests and is under dispute.
Don Cherry’s questioning and outspokenness on the issue has much merit.
Why continue to send plane loads of money when the Haitian government corrupts this assistance from being transparently, accountably, and effectively managed?
We have great housing and social needs here in Canada, too. But why should we continue to send plane loads of money - $104 million to Attawapiskat’s 1,500 persons over six years - when their local government corrupts this assistance from being transparently, accountably, and effectively managed? Just like in Haiti, those in great need still are in great need today, while their leaders live highly.
Canada must learn to deal with those who are corrupting its assistance efforts in Haiti, Attawapiskat, and elsewhere before continuing to provide greatly needed assistance intended for those in desperate need if they are ever to see it.
What do you think?