Two years ago this week, a devastating earthquake hit the Caribbean nation of Haiti, killing a huge number of people. The Haitian government claims that 316,000 died, while other estimates place the death toll at between 46,000 and 92,000.
The quake also displaced another 1.5 million, and many of them remain homeless. It was one of the biggest natural disasters in history.
While aid flowed in from around the world much remains to be done. The country still remains devastated, and it needs ongoing help on many fronts.The challenge is how best to provide that help. A great deal of money has flowed into the country, and much good has been done. But because so many projects have been spearheaded by well-meaning non-governmental organizations, there has been a lack of co-ordination. In addition, some aid money doesn’t seem to have arrived yet, even though it has been promised. The United Nations special envoy for Haiti says that only about half of the $4.5 billion in aid promised by world leaders has actually been disbursed thus far. Canada has disbursed 90 per cent of the money it has pledged. The Canadian International Development Agency has approved projects worth $232 million in Haiti. These projects have helped in areas such as providing clean water, providing medical aid, training police and rebuilding infrastructure. Canada remains committed to helping in Haiti, and many Canadians want to see the country rebuild. They may find it difficult to know what projects to support and how best to get help to the country. Perhaps the best approach is to get information firsthand from people who have been to Haiti and are familiar with its current needs. In the age of the Internet, getting such information is not difficult. Canadians showed two years ago that they have a willigness to help people in other parts of the world. That generosity remains, but it is important to know how best to provide assistance.
– Black Press