the state

– of helping. by vastate
Saturday, 16 January 2010, 14:49
Filed under: -of human rights, -of jhumphrey, -of politik, -of the outside world

i’ve been pondering how to go about sifting though the possibilities for helping haiti.

it’s always difficult to figure out what to do, what to send, and to whom.

i’ve been thinking a lot about this one in particular:

paul farmer’s organization has been working in Haiti for 20 years.  we’ve heard him speak before about PIH on democracy now.

the book, mountains beyond mountains, by tracy kidder, documents his efforts to provide health care and social justice in haiti.  i remember thinking it was a pretty great read.

tracy kidder talked with rachel maddow about PIH’s efforts in post-earthquake haiti and said this:

Well, not all aid organizations are created equal.  There are some very good ones and I didn‘t mean to slam all of them, you know, in one fell swoop.  All I meant to say is that there are 10,000 aid organizations in Haiti, and Haiti is still one of the poorest countries in the world then something‘s wrong with the way things are—the aid is being administered.It seems to me that the real problem is that—that many organizations are not willing to work together or they don‘t know how to, or, you know, the mechanisms for doing that haven‘t been established.  But even more than that, that they have not really endeavored to make their projects, to make their work indigenous.  And what I mean by that is they have not done what Partners in Health has really striven to do, which is—which is to work as closely as possible with the government and the particularly that agencies, in their case, with the Ministry of Health.  There is no other way, finally, to improve the state of a place like Haiti.

and, in the same vein, he had a to-the-point editorial regarding this issue of “aid” in the face of disaster in the new york times:

There are the many projects that seem designed to serve not impoverished Haitians but the interests of the people administering the projects. Most important, a lot of organizations seem to be unable — and some appear to be unwilling — to create partnerships with each other or, and this is crucial, with the public sector of the society they’re supposed to serve.

. . . .

The ultimate goal of all aid to Haiti ought to be the strengthening of Haitian institutions, infrastructure and expertise.

. . . .

But there are effective aid organizations working in Haiti. At least one has not been crippled by the earthquake. Partners in Health, or in Haitian Creole Zanmi Lasante, has been the largest health care provider in rural Haiti.

. . . .

As a result of this calamity, Partners in Health probably just became the largest health care provider still standing in all Haiti.

Fortunately, it also offers a solid model for independence — a model where only a handful of Americans are involved in day-to-day operations, and Haitians run the show. Efforts like this could provide one way for Haiti, as it rebuilds, to renew the promise of its revolution.

so – for it’s dedication to sustainable aid and tight partnership with other respected organizations (doctors without borders, the haitian ministry of health, etc.) this is where we suggest your money goes.

if you want to give, go here:


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