Rebuilding Haiti: Where to Go from Here

Experts weigh in on how to fix a broken Haiti

011410 Haiti Survivors Tents 2
Getty Images

As food, water and medical help finally trickles in to the survivors of the earthquake that devastated Haiti, experts have begun to weigh in on what steps are next on the path to rebuilding the Island nation.

Donations have begun pouring in from individuals, corporations and governments eager to help in the region, which, when the dust settles, will likely have suffered hundreds of thousands of casualties and lost countless buildings and homes. This on top of its chronically broken economic and political institutions.

The question of the day: how can we fix a broken Haiti?

  • Long-term recovery has to begin with immediate reformation of Haiti's political institutions, Anne Applebaum writes for The Washington Post, saying the nation could face "mass starvation" and "civil war" in the near future. "Haiti does not have decades, it has days -- maybe hours -- before fresh disasters strike," she writes.
  • James Dobbins writes for The New York Times that the silver lining of the Haiti quake is that outside nations have the chance to rebuild the country's failed institutions on new, effective foundations. "Repair or replace the buildings, by all means, but also insist of fundamental reforms in their management," Dobbins writes.
  • Reform in Haiti was needed long before the quake, Charles Madigan writes for the Chicago Tribune, saying the raised awareness is an "opportunity" for wealthier nations -- and individuals -- to help change the nation for the better. "Haiti has been an earthquake forever. It was just playing out in slow motion," he writes.
  • American policymakers have the chance to do right by Haiti in the coming months, Derrick Jackson writes for the Boston Globe. Though Obama's administration has temporarily stopped deportations it also needs to grant protected status to Haitians, according to Jackson, who writes that Obama has the "chance to do what no other American president has done: dig America out of the many faults in its policy towards Haiti."
  • No matter what steps are taken, bringing Haiti back will be a slow effort  -- but could give the world a roadmap on how to handle future natural disasters in impoverished regions, engineering expert Anne Kiremidjian writes for CNN. Haiti needs to rebuild its power, water and structural systems, not to mention handle countless casualties and land loss: but "if Haiti and helpful nations around the world respond correctly to this tragedy," Kiremidijian writes, "perhaps it will never be repeated."
Contact Us