Judy Mandelbaum

Judy Mandelbaum
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FEBRUARY 12, 2010 5:06PM

Haiti: Where "helping" doesn't always help

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  Haiti food aid
(Source: World Food Program)

It’s only natural for people to want to help their fellow human beings when disaster strikes. But what good does this “help” really do to its supposed beneficiaries? In the case of Haiti, which was devastated by a magnitude 7 earthquake one month ago today, it may do more harm than good.

With starvation looming, you might think that Haitian earthquake victims need all the assistance they can get. And yet, as Bryan Schaaf from Haiti Innovation pointed out just before the January 12 earthquake, Haiti’s chronic nutrition crisis is not due to a lack of food but (among other problems) to a lack of cash. Swamping the decrepit Haitian market with donated foodstuffs actually damages the country’s food security even further by encouraging Haitians to keep planting specialty crops such as vanilla and coffee for export while allowing their own staple food production and natural environment to go to ruin.

If anything, when it comes to food the developed world has been “helping” Haiti far too much in recent decades, treating it as if it were still a white-owned colony. Schaaf notes: “While I lived in Haiti for two and a half years, it is plausible that I did not have a single bowl of Haitian rice. Haiti was once capable of meeting its own internal demand for rice, although now the markets have become flooded with (often heavily subsidized) rice from the United States, Japan, Argentina, Japan, and so on.” All it takes is a bad harvest, a spike in inflation, or – in this case – yet another natural disaster to send Haitians into starvation and total dependence on foreign handouts. Far better, Schaaf concludes, to donate cash to reputable foreign aid organizations such as the World Food Program and UNICEF, which can use part of the money to purchase immediate supplies and then invest the rest in long-term redevelopment programs such as infrastructure and soil conservation.

Food relief needs to be sustainable for it to do any good. Schaaf quotes the Three Pillars of Food Security set forward by the 1996 World Food Summit:

1) Food availability: sufficient quantities of food available on a consistent basis.

2) Food access: sufficient resources to obtain appropriate foods for a nutritious diet.

3) Food use: appropriate use based on knowledge of basic nutrition and care, as well as adequate water and sanitation.

Such an undertaking is all well and good in the long run, but what about the immediate assistance the Haitians so obviously require? Claire Durham from the British Red Cross debunks the idea that “anything is better than nothing.” “Trust me,” she says, “it’s not. Relieving suffering should be guided solely by need and not what people have to donate. Humanitarian aid should also ‘do no harm.’ Quite a lot of harm is done when unwanted and unneeded fresh food items rot in piles at the airports and seaports, stopping medicines and blankets getting through.” Unwanted medical supplies are even more of a problem. Durham goes on to say that “unwanted donations create chaos, waste and confusion for an already stricken country. The risks are spiraling costs or actual threats to its people, environment and industry.”

In other areas, too, less is frequently more. For example, the aid group CARE has asked not to be given tents to shelter Haitian quake victims. “Shipping in enough family tents for all the people in need would take months – too late to beat the rainy season [due to start late March],” the NGO warned in a statement on February 11. “By contrast, shipments of sturdy, reusable 6m-by-4m tarps (plastic sheeting) can arrive in Haiti in days or weeks. This will keep people dry while aid agencies start implementing a longer-term solution to the shelter crisis.”

Haiti relief vehicles
WFA vehicles in the ruins of Port-au-Prince
(Source: World Food Program)

Other short-term measures can lead to serious problems farther down the line. Journalist Nathan Hodge from Wired has described the long-term risks associated with the local “cash-for-work” crews that international relief agencies have hired to dig Port-au-Prince and other towns out of the rubble. Their immediate impact is remarkable: “Cash-for-work gives communities an immediate infusion of money to help kick-start economic activity. Neighborhoods get a desperately-needed sprucing up; rotting trash gets collected; and rubble gets hauled away.” The danger is that such direct aid can lead to “relief bubbles” that will inevitably pop the moment the organizations turn off the tap:

The rapid influx of NGOs and international organizations creates a unique mini-economy, with surging demand for drivers, fixers, translators, security and other services. In the short term, that’s not a bad thing. It provides well-paying jobs for those with the right skills. [...] But it often draws desperately needed talent away from other critical sectors of the economy. And it’s a poor imitation of trickle-down economics: Some of the biggest beneficiaries of aid will be people with large, Western-standard properties they can rent to the international community.

The Haitian earthquake was hardly an isolated event. Disasters and misery are part of the country's reality. Although the current relief efforts are already underway, Haiti's rainy season appears to be starting early, and the hurricane season is looming as well. The earthquake will not be the country's last full-scale disaster, even if it never experiences another tremor. Nor will Haiti, whose economy is largely dependent on foreign remittances and fickle foreign investments, ever even approach self-sufficiency. But Haitians need a new perspective if they want to start finding their own solutions to their own stuctural problems.

Here too, the solution lies in micro-loans and long-term investments in education and infrastructure that directly involve the people being aided. It really goes back to the old saying: “Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach a man to fish and he will eat for a lifetime.” If that sounds like a cliché in America, in Haiti it's a prophecy. The Haitians need to learn “how to fish” - and to be given an opportunity to do so in the first place. If you want to help make this happen, then make sure your donation goes to an organization dedicated to sustainable development and not just to “quick fixes.”


Here are some organizations that Schaaf recommends (the descriptions are his):

The World Food Program (WFP):  WFP is the world’s foremost provided of emergency food assistance.  It receives agricultural surplus from governments around the world and to a certain extent (and hopefully more in the future), it purchases food locally and regionally – allowing it to feed vulnerable populations while supporting agricultural economies.  WFP excels at identifying and assisting the most vulnerable and can respond to food needs rapidly. First, read about WFP’s work in Haiti.  Play the Free Rice game – every correct answer will fund ten grains of rice for the poor.  Consider making a short video about hunger for WFP.  Play the Food Force game which lets you experience WFP’s role in emergency response. Then place your photo on the Wall Against Hunger.  Encourage friends to do the same.

United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF):  UNICEF works closely with the Government of Haiti, other UN agencies, as well as international and local organizations to protect and assist children, including those who are malnourished.  UNICEF also plays an important role in organizing immunization campaigns, deworming children, and providing micronutrients such as Vitamin A to bolster their immune systems.  UNICEF has highly developed expertise in expanding access to water, sanitation, and hygiene. UNICEF also protects children by protecting their mothers.  For example, the agency provides training and equipment to health centers in order to prevent maternal mortality.  You can read more about UNICEF's important work in Haiti here.

Organization for the Rehabilitation of the Environment (ORE): ORE is an NGO devoted to increasing farmer income, promoting nutritionally enhanced food staples, and improving the environment through the widespread planting of commercial fruit trees.  The fruit trees are ideal for reforestation efforts as they will not be cut down, they are seen as having value. In addition, ORE has been promoting the planting and use of bamboo.

Floresta: Floresta is a faith based environmental organization that is devoted to promoting sustainable agriculture, reforestation, and soil conservation. Floresta has empowered local communities to plant over 200,000 trees and create over 2,000 compost piles.  Floresta also works with farmers in 35 villages to establish banking cooperatives with credit and savings systems, with nearly 1,000 participants.  Floresta is also active in the Dominican Republic and facilitates trans-border projects and exchanges.

Project Medishare: Project Medishare has worked with community groups, Partners in Health, the Haitian Ministry of Health, and other partners to establish teams of community health workers, a clinic, and a hospital in the province of Thomonde on the Central Plateau. Project Medishare is in the process of building a Medical Complex and Training Center for Childhood Nutrition.  Part of this complex will be a production facility which will manufacture and distribute akamil (AKA1000) which is a mix of locally grown cereals (rice, corn, millet, wheat) and vegetables (beans) blended into a powder.  It is highly nutritious, culturally appropriate, affordable, and can be made entirely with local ingredients.  Project Medishare intends to  distribute akamil in Thomonde before expanding to the entire Central Plateau.  In this way, the nutritional needs of vulnerable children can be met while building the regional economy, which is largely agricultural.  

Med and Foods for Kids (MFK):  MFK is a small health and nutrition oriented organization operating in Cap Haitian.  Like Project Medishare, MFK treats severely malnourished children with a locally produced therapeutic food called Medika Mamba (Medical Peanut Butter).  Is the Haitian answer to Plumpynut and has shown promising results. Using locally purchased peanuts builds the agricultural economy around Cap Haitian while meeting the nutritional needs of vulnerable children.

Fondwa University:  In 2004, the very ambitious Peasant Association of Fondwa (APF) came together to establish Haiti’s first (and only) rural university. Fondwa provides full scholarships to students in agriculture, livestock and other areas provided that graduates serve in a rural community upon completion of their education.  This grass-roots and service learning oriented approach will help to cultivate a new generation of community leaders in Haiti’s rural areas – where most Haitians live.  This is an institution deserving of expansion and replication.

Lambi Fund: The Lambi Fund’s mission is to promote democracy by developing Haiti's civil society.  In order to do that, Lambi Fund helps establish sustainable agricultural projects in rural areas, with an emphasis on small farmers, most of whom are women.  Lambi Fund also has constructed community cisterns and irrigation networks. In addition, Lambi Fund has established micro-credit initiatives as well as self-sufficient pig and goat breeding programs.  Finally, Lambi Fund holds organizational and leadership training for peasant groups and women’s groups.

Heifer International: "Heifer's mission to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth. By giving families a hand-up, not just a hand-out, we empower them to turn lives of hunger and poverty into self-reliance and hope. With gifts of livestock and training, we help families improve their nutrition and generate income in sustainable ways. We refer to the animals as “living loans” because in exchange for their livestock and training, families agree to give one of its animal’s offspring to another family in need. It’s called Passing on the Gift – a cornerstone of our mission that creates an ever-expanding network of hope and peace. "

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Very good articulation of a serious problem. The other side of poor foreign aid is how cynical it makes donors, leading to less engagement.
"Haiti would have been better off as part of the Soviet Union than as a protectorate of the United States."

Mary, you probably won't find many people in the US who will agree with you. And yet, if you look a few miles across the Windward Passage to Cuba, you'll notice that while the Cubans have plenty of problems, at least it's a different set of problems. Just look at their disaster prevention and relief program, for example.
The other organization I would add to your list is one of my favorites, Heifer International. They give the gift of farm animals and animal husbandry education to the very poor. Kinda like teaching someone to fish. If you give some chickens and some education on how to take care of them, you can have eggs and some income. Likewise with goats, rabbits, and any number of domestic animals.
It's a difficult situation - what to give, when to give, how to give - but really how can a human being NOT give food to another that is starving? How can you NOT give money to someone in need when you yourself have an abundance? Haiti has suffered many injustices and the Haitian people struggle desperately and daily. Add catastrophy on top of poverty, lack and desperation and the problems of yesterday diminish by comparison. Bill Clinton's foundation was making some good progress in helping Haiti to recover, gain strength, become self-sustaining and now, after the earthquake, those gains have lost ground, literally. I agree that we need to be smart about providing aid and I think that we have been and will continue to be. I've written about Project C.U.R.E. which is a local NPO in my neighborhood and I'd add them to your list of established organizations. Wishing the survivors all the best as they struggle to recover and rebuild.
Judy -- I am sure you are in for a long and rewarding career, and I'm looking forward to it! Thank you for your thoughtfulness, articulateness, and passion on issues that affect people the world over. Your voice is individual and clear.

Let's hope that as we all seek to help Haitians in their survival that these means do find the balance that achieves growth and prosperity, by some measure of their own choosing, so that they can thrive in the long-term.

I was happy to see people there celebrating today because they are alive! I know that their human spirit will help them rise above...
I would add Doctors Without Borders as another worthy organization.
Excellent post. Thanks for the links. I'd never heard of Floresta.
It has been the case in Haiti for many years that a large segment of the population has no work and would have nothing to eat without international agencies that feed them. Feeding them encouraged dependence, not feeding them meant they had no food and people would starve.
I still say we should rebuild Haiti and adopt them, if only to get their religion. In Haiti, the gods speak through ordinary people. Here they only speak through politicians, od ed columnists and hysterical talking heads. Re: Cuba. Whatever they've accomplished, they've accomplished it in spite of an embargo and sanctions imposed by the most powerful country in the world. I count our relations with Cuba as yet another implied promise not kept.
Thank you for this informative post.
Very, very useful information plus more to think about. R
The average Haitian IQ is 72, below “dull”. Accordingly, it is no surprise that Haitians blame god, voodoo entities, or chickens for their plight. Their buildings were made of paper mache, their infrastructure amateurish, their preparedness for upheaval laughable, their government clownish, and their long term thinking ability nil. These people are, cognitively, children. Thus, they require supervision by those of adult mental ability to become organized and productive.

Instead of imposing a U.N. ruling body of people with measurable intellects, the world will send Haitians food and money. Such aid will do no good, long term. Haitians will survive until the next disaster and still not be prepared to deal with it.

In fact, this sort of international bromide will only encourage increased reproduction of irrational, intellectual children. Morons do not produce robust societies.
@artburn:
Can you quote a credible source for your I.Q. stats? Without that your statement is, to put it mildly, offensive to everyone reading it. Some things, my kindergarten teacher told me, are better left unsaid.
Here is a source for the IQ question:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/027597510X

It's a book entitled "IQ and the Wealth of Nations" by Richard Lynn and Tatu Vanhanen, and according to the website VDARE.com (N.B.: I have not read the book, so I can't vouch for the accuracy of this statement):

"For sixty countries with clearly identified IQ scores, the correlation with real gross domestic product, or GDP, was significant (about r = 0.60). The countries of the Pacific Rim (Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong and Singapore) had the highest average IQs, of about 105. Then next come Europe, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, averaging 100. In South Asia, North Africa and most Latin American countries, the average IQ score was about 85, and in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean around 70.

The bottom line: well over half (about 58 per cent) of the differences in national wealth can be explained in terms of national differences in average intelligence. Each IQ point above 70 in the national average was worth about $850 in per capita GDP. " (J. Philippe Rushton)

I am not qualified to interpret the results any further than that (e.g. how, if at all, these findings should influence foreign policy, the validity of administering western-generated tests to non-western societies, the level of literacy that is required for an IQ test to accurately measure what it purports to measure, the sample size and breakdown of the populations tested, etc.). What I *would* like is for us not to use these data to make patronizing, offensive blanket statements.
BTW, in case you haven't heard of it, VDARE (stands for "Virginia Dare," symbol = a white doe) is an anti-immigration White nationalist organization. Just so you know where the comment on the IQ info I posted earlier comes from.
I am unsure of the true IQ levels of differing countries, but I think it's safe to say that generations of malnourishment contribute greatly. Don't ever make assumptions about the overall intelligence of a community. I think one of the main problems is indeed location. A rainy season and then hurricanes?? And I know people feel better giving, but agree it can debilitate a community. I found this article to be very informative and am glad I read it.
Froggy.. Heifer International is listed.. and I agree.. a great organization. So much better than "Humane Society Of The United States" ( NOT affiliated with any government agency and NOT affiliated with any "local shelter") The HSUS is on their THIRD "mission" to Haiti to 'save the animals" Of course all of that travel takes MONEY.. so they are asking for donors to "send money to save the Haitian animals" Heifer International HELPS PEOPLE and ANIMALS Great article.. and wonderful choices.. When you give your hard earned dollars to help others in need... make sure your money is being well spent..
@Artburn is right. Face those facts, people! Stop your political correctness...it is ruining America as well as Haiti! The sooner the rest of us face the fact that intellectual capacity is important in the success of Haiti and STOP the political correctness that rules the world, we will be able to understand that throwing money at this problem is not going to solve it! Low IQ is EXACTLY what has caused this country's failure for decades! Face facts! Stop the bleeding heart nonsense!
I was rec'd this post by tearaway.
I live in another country in the Caribbean and had never heard of most of the organizations you mention. I'm glad you are posting this information.
From the GripeVine.... & Donah..
It´s nice to sound upbeat but it almost never amounts to results..
Haiti´s help orgs have been there for decennia.. still :- how much has been achieved ?? My observation of the 3rd world is that they´re all for a hand out.... It´s imbedded in their culture... they´re worklazy.. Doing "business" means stealing from and robbing others... The only solution is in colonizing them.. democracy is giving the powerfull selfrule they do embrace for one purpose:- have power over the masses and live like a king.... The old style of colonizing brought the masses some sort of prosperity.... they could be sure of a more or less decent live with decent income they could live from... all facilities provided by the whiteman... The Brits and Dutch are typical examples of social progress.. but the American cry for "freedom" and independance from "slavery" killed it all.... The British commonwealth is gone... The Dutch social colonial system is a thing of the past and all former British mandates and the Dutch East Indies have become proletariats ruled by despotic rulers....
Think about it.... Me ?? I have no other comment nor answer.. Donah..//
From the GripeVine.... & Donah..
It´s nice to sound upbeat but it almost never amounts to results..
Haiti´s help orgs have been there for decennia.. still :- how much has been achieved ?? My observation of the 3rd world is that they´re all for a hand out.... It´s imbedded in their culture... they´re worklazy.. Doing "business" means stealing from and robbing others... The only solution is in colonizing them.. democracy is giving the powerfull selfrule they do embrace for one purpose:- have power over the masses and live like a king.... The old style of colonizing brought the masses some sort of prosperity.... they could be sure of a more or less decent live with decent income they could live from... all facilities provided by the whiteman... The Brits and Dutch are typical examples of social progress.. but the American cry for "freedom" and independance from "slavery" killed it all.... The British commonwealth is gone... The Dutch social colonial system is a thing of the past and all former British mandates and the Dutch East Indies have become proletariats ruled by despotic rulers....
Think about it.... Me ?? I have no other comment nor answer.. Donah..//
Being a Libra, I am cursed sometimes with seeing both sides of a situation.

Providing aid to other nations does breed dependency in many of them. I am reminded of the story of the african tribe that experienced a massive crop failure and food was air dropped to them to help them survive. The primitive tribe thought the planes were a flying 'god' that disbursed food, apparently better than they had normally, if they had crop failures. They built images of this giving 'god' and were reported to have burned their crops the next year and anticipated the return of the 'god' to save them. I don't remember if the 'god' ever returned.

As hard as it sounds, perhaps letting groups of people starve is actually more humane than artificially providing them food and other supplies. It sounds heartless but such is the way of life. The primitive tribe has probably suffered through many other times where the crops were destroyed and they had survived. Adding the unaccountability to their failure into the equation, makes things worse. Perhaps there wouldn't be as many tyrannical despotic rulers in the African nation if the people weren't used to being coddled and fed by outside forces. Star Trek's 'Prime Directive' would be a good start for how to handle more regressed nations and groups of people.

Providing limited food support and more infrastructure support would be better than allowing fed and clothed people to continue the retched building practices that caused such widespread loss of life in the beginning. The idea of meaningful building codes that were adhered to and legally mandated would go father than just providing food and medicine to these people.

Hope that makes sense...

Also disasters do tend to bring out the worse in many people. People sometimes get fixated on 'doing something' and they lose track of why they are doing what they are doing. Some people get fixated and obsessed with 'helping' and forcing their mental illness on the situation. 'Do-gooder' syndrome? The Haitian kidnapping case is a prime example apparently... We will all see more disasters in our lifetime, from hurricanes/tornadoes to earthquakes to human caused events. We can only hope to handle them appropriately...
If I mention Haiti more return calls will yell "what the hell do you know about Haiti... you´re nowhere in the social world... True !! What do I know about Haiti.. Everything you tell me..!! I´ve never "been" there... only know it´s there on the map - with blind eyes - whick is more than 98.99% of Americans know !! So where do I stand..

I was born US American,"spent" childhood in S.E.Asia... had basic education in Europe and finished "Science ed" in Uncle Sam´s USA... which is more than "any" of you can boast.. But the point is not "who I am" but about Haiti and all the 3rd world countries....

Haitians were dumped there for sale by Spanish, English and Dutch Sea pirates.. That´s right... Christobal Colomb opened the sea ways in the late 14 hundreds and eventually the Dutch took over mining the trade:- good looking bodies from Africa´s Gold Coast.... shoved them "down below" to move the ship at no wind - like the Spanish and Brits did before (the Dutch never invented slave trade - they improved on it), carried them to the West and filled the islands with slave labor for sale to English colonist land owners. How the French got into the game I don´t know and it´s not important.. Important is that non of the former European colonists ever cared about the slaves´ poor status or standing... They used them, explored them and in general left them to themselves when there was no trade and no value in them... Even just lately.. who had ever come up with the idea of educating those Africanoes so they would learn to stand on their own feet.. NOBODY !! Neither the nearby US of A which looked at them with Jewish dollar eyes:- How can we make an "honest" dollar out of them monkeys.... ?? By "helping them" to needed food and shelter and medical needs (to be paid for) till the next catastroph.... Oh yes... the World Bank will excuse the debt.... That´s fine.. so we get paid by the IMS..!! It´s the money we´re after... right ?!! We´re Jewish.. aren´t we ??!
The only one I value is our only Bill Clinton who - whoever he is - rounds up the money cats and puts the sheckles to work where he thinks it does best.. He´s good at it.. Forget GWB,,, he is in for the photo-op... And oh yes... Billy Gates and his active wife....
But where are the banks and the bank managers with their million, billion, trillion bonusses.... Oh I see.. their kids have to go to college.... which does not amount to much because those kids have no clue how to make a living out of necessity.. besides.. they´re too stupid..whát IQ ??

So what can the US achieve in the next 100, 200 years ??
Colonise them and teach them how to achieve whatever in life.... Haitians are not STUPID... they are only under educated and misinformed.... and don´t bring them evangelicals !! they are Catholics !!! Haitians don´t need Jezus Christ !! the have Mariah, their "Nostra Doña Señora"...

Ah, but.. we are currently in an economic mess..... Sure.. Round up the bankers and their lot and take their money... those kids don´t need Detroit iron.. they can do with a skate board.. or a pedal bike.. the super rich need to be a day late and a dollor short !! (punch line from your Salon Marte).. That money... a couple of trillions - at least - will not be wasted on Haities recovery... We don´t need the Federal Reserve... so we don´t need to use our tax money..... or pay for it... We DONATE !!

Oh.. and the orphans ?? Shelter them, feed them, raise them in boarding schools, teach them solid skills and then let them go... this lot just don´t need college now.... They don´t need to be adopted... there are too many of them and besides... let them in their own culture..
That should be the costfree donation of the US of A..
Would it work ??? I´m sure it would not....
No American works for less then money !!

From the GripeVine.... % Donah,,//
Excellent article. "Teach a man to fish..." in its truest sense.
Please add to your list Partners in Health, pih.com, training Haitians to be doctors, nurses, lab technicians, community health workers, midwives, and pharmacists for more than 25 years, with excellent, visible, measurable results.

As for the comments about purported Haitian IQ, they are beneath contempt. No doubt every country has a wide range of IQ, and these posts certainly prove it in the case of the United States.
"Fearing that if the Haitians got enough to eat they would fight back, the US brought in the World Bank and the Internaltional Monetary Fund, or more commonly called in Latin American The International Mother Fuckers to screw the people by forcing them to open their market to US rice and bean growers. Then they began to flece the people by taking away 40 to 60 percent of the GDP to service the debt.

This is what you call Neocolonialism US style." --Mary Gravitt

Thank you for writing this as it truly is. I began a reply the other night in complete disgust with what I found in the responses, and when I was ready to post it, about the fact that Haitian rice had been grown up to the point that you describe,which took place after the assassination of Jean Dominique whose murder has never been investigated. His story was told in a documentary made by Jonathan Demme about seven years ago; but I never posted my account in detail because I suddenly found that Open Salon was closed for maintenance!
"Mary, you probably won't find many people in the US who will agree with you. " That's because most people in the US deny or aren't aware that they're an imperial power.

As for the IQ results, IQ test are often biased towards the society they were developed in. I'd be very cautious about quoting that 'fact' until I fond out what the methodology was.
Otherwise - an excellent post.
I found what I intended to post nearly 2 weeks ago; it may not be likeable but it is what I felt when I opened to this page and read. Today, I have to agree with Marc Erickson that most are not even aware while others deny the US is "an imperial power".

"Schaaf notes: “While I lived in Haiti for two and a half years, it is plausible that I did not have a single bowl of Haitian rice. Haiti was once capable of meeting its own internal demand for rice, although now the markets have become flooded with (often heavily subsidized) rice from the United States, Japan, Argentina,..."

As you know, why Haiti is no longer capable of meeting its own internal demand for rice is because of the assassination of the agronomist who propagated the cultivation of rice production in Haiti for self-sustaining agriculture. Since Jean Domingue met assassination in 2000, no full inquiry has mattered to resolve this crime.

Those of you who care to will try to locate Jonathan Demme's film,The Agronomist, released in 2003, as an attempt to further investigation; but from the sound of it, this board in response to the initial report of the above poster is a set-up to spin propaganda. Everyone knows what happened in 2004, as reported by Amy Goodman. The Republican administration of the US released a number of drug dealers from Federal prisons to initiate riots in Haiti before the start of the Bicentennial of the Slave Revolt, the kind of guys who could pass for indigenous Tonton Macoute, and now we are at 2010 following a natural disaster with apparently posters complaining about feeding the moronic Haitians, no one asking for our two ex-Secretaries of State to be held accountable and explain why they were asked to remove former priest and Pres.Aristide who was kidnapped from Haiti and dropped into the Congo. This sounds like a set up to me, it's lovely to advocate for numerous provisional groups who could bring assistance to Haiti, while bemoaning the indigenous morons." Written in response on 2/15/2010 by madupont
Medupont -
This is an extremely important story. Since you seem well-informed, would you consider writing your own OS post about it?
What you have stated are the facts that lie in the other side of the story that we often overlook or disregard. Yes, some short term help can only lead to other harms although we can't tell people to stop giving such because that's what they can only give. I think the best that we can do is consolidate all that a certain area can give specially any monetary amount and then use it to purchase some thing that all can benefit from such as blanket, clothes and other non-food necessities or if it's a big amount, a shelter perhaps. Or likewise, livelihood programs or part time works that are more concern on giving back to the Haiti people rather than on the profit. I remember this shop who helps people through outsourcing the manufacturing of fair trade clothing. On top of the skill that they acquire that can further use to build up their own source of income, they also have a share on each item that will be sold. Such, I think, is a long term help!