Michele Wucker, Executive Director of the World Policy Institute, speaking at Fairhaven College of Interdisciplinary Studies on Wednesday, October 14th.
Haiti desperately needs the world's help. Four devastating storms last year destroyed nearly all of its crops, much of its livestock, and many of the roads that farmers need to get their goods to market. Even before the storms, Haiti only grew 40 percent of the food it needed. After years of coups, violence, mismanagement, and corruption, the challenges facing Haiti are enormous: environmental catastrophe, poverty, hunger, illiteracy, unemployment, and continuing violence. But is the kind of help the world has given so far what Haiti needs most? Many Haitians rightfully feel that international intervention in Haiti doesn't always benefit Haiti as much as it should; funds are perpetually short, priorities not always well thought out, and the participation of Haitians in the decision process limited. How can the international community do better by Haiti? Can Haiti and the Dominican Republic, which share the island of Hispaniola, put behind them centuries of conflicts and work together to solve mutual problems? What should the priorities be for former President Bill Clinton, recently named UN Special Envoy to Haiti, as a new champion for the Caribbean nation?