Japan Meets Its Pledge but U.S. Commitment Falters for Haiti Earthquake Restoration

Haiti has suffered enormously since 2010's devastating earthquake reduced Port-au-Prince to rubble, inflicting major damage to the rest of the country also. Relief aid poured in from major nations, billions of dollars. Tent cities were quickly erected and non-government organizations like Doctors Without Borders tended to the maimed and sick. The U.S. donated $1.8 billion to lift Haiti out its perpetual state of poverty.

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But Haiti, especially flattened Port-au-Prince, has not begun essential re-building efforts, for example, permanent housing and an electric grid. Two factors have impeded Port-au-Prince's restoration: the Government of Haiti's (GOH) nearly annihilated administration (16,000 functionaries lost their lives), and its tenuous collaboration with the U.S. to jump-start re-building projects. As a result, little progress has made.

The U.S. seems to have reneged on its promise to "build back better", while Japan has fulfilled its pledge of USD $100 million. The news media printed a story with the sensationalistic banner headline "U.S. pledge to rebuild Haiti not being met". Anthony Liverpool, Director General of Foreign Affairs in Antigua, praised Japan for meeting its pledge, while many other nations--other than the U.S. have failed to make good on their promises.

Debt forgiveness has eaten up millions of U.S.-donated dollars; mis-spending has occurred; administrative tasks approving projects have slowed in the still-traumatized GOH; and unrealistic expectations have thwarted re-building efforts. Japan is looking like Haiti's savior, while the U.S. has regrettably suffered damage to its image.

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Read more: 2010 Haiti earthquake, Japan, Restoration, Debt, International

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