As Rains Roll In, Help Still Not Reaching the People

By INDYKIDS STAFF

MILLIONS IN NEED: The Haitian people remain in need of food, water, shelter and medical care following the powerful January 12, 2010 earthquake. As the rainy season approaches there is an urgent need for shelter. In addition, the country predicts mudslides and spread of disease due to the heavy rain.  PHOTO: Grant Fuller
MILLIONS IN NEED: The Haitian people remain in need of food, water, shelter and medical care following the January, 12, 2010, earthquake. The quake left 300,000 people dead and 1,500,000 people homeless. As the rainy season approaches there is an urgent need for shelter. In addition, the country predicts mudslides and spread of disease due to the heavy rain. Photo: Grant Fuller

A ‘Children’s Emergency’
When ten U.S. missionaries tried to take 33 children out of Haiti without the right documents, they were arrested and accused of kidnapping. Many of the children had parents who were still alive. A Haitian judge later cleared most of the missionaries of charges after hearing from the children’s parents that they had willingly given over their children.

Illegal adoption and kidnapping are just two of the many problems that Haiti’s children have faced since the earthquake. Many children remain in hospitals unclaimed and unsure if their parents are still alive. In addition to the homes that were ruined in the earthquake, around 90 percent of the schools in and around the city of Port-au-Prince have been damaged or destroyed.

“Delivering aid for children is critical because the crisis in Haiti is a children’s emergency,” said UNICEF (The United Nations Children’s Fund) Executive Director Ann M. Veneman.

HELPING OR HURTING? The U.S. military has sent 15,000 troops to Haiti since the earthquake, but many organizations and governments say they have hurt, not helped, delivery of aid to people in need. Days after the quake, Doctors Without Borders say they tried to bring in 85 tons of medical and relief supplies, but their plane was turned away at the main airport, which is under U.S. military control. PHOTO: Grant Fuller
HELPING OR HURTING? The U.S. military has sent 15,000 troops to Haiti since the earthquake, but many organizations and governments criticized their presence saying they delayed emergency aid. Days after the quake, Doctors Without Borders say they tried to bring in 85 tons of medical and relief supplies, but their plane was turned away at the main airport, which is under U.S. military control. Photo: Grant Fuller

How Haiti Became Poor and Stays Poor

Bad luck isn’t the reason why Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. For hundreds of years, Spain, France and then the United States have invaded and occupied Haiti and made huge profits off the land and people. France became rich using slave labor to produce goods such as coffee, sugar and wood. Later, the United States made large sums of money by controlling Haiti’s banking system and debts.

Now the U.S. government and the institutions it dominates, such as the World Bank, are planning to set up more low-wage jobs in Haiti making clothes for Gap and Levi as well as other manufactured goods. The minimum wage in Haiti is less than $3 a day.

“If we are serious about helping we need to stop trying to control Haiti’s government, to pacify its citizens, and to exploit its economy,” wrote Peter Hallward, author and professor at Middlesex University, in The Guardian newspaper. “And then we need to start paying for at least some of the damage we’ve already done.”

A girl dressed in white on the one-month day of mourning for the earthquake victims. PHOTO: Grant Fuller
A girl dressed in white on the one-month day of mourning for the earthquake victims. Photo: Grant Fuller

Click here to learn more about Haiti.