As relief workers and supplies begin to flow more smoothly in Haiti, development experts are asking what it will take to rebuild the Caribbean nation over the long term. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, head of the International Monetary Fund, said a "piecemeal approach" won't do — Haiti needs a broad, coordinated effort like the Marshall Plan that facilitated the rebuilding of Europe after World War II. But skeptics say foreign aid has flowed into Haiti for years and only made matters worse. Is money from abroad really the key to rebuilding Haiti?
We should cut off aid once the relief work is done: Flooding Haiti with aid money will "salve" foreign consciences, says Bret Stephens in The Wall Street Journal, but, if the past is any guide, it will only make Haiti poorer. Foreign money has fueled corruption, and cheap grains sent to alleviate hunger have driven local farmers out of business. If we really want to help Haiti, we should stop killing it with kindness.
"To help Haiti, end foreign aid"
Haiti can't rebuild without help, and investors: Haiti will need foreign help to rebuild its government buildings, schools, hospitals, and roads, says Nicholas Kristof in The New York Times. But it also needs jobs, and a U.N. report says the best way to provide those is to build more garment factories. "That idea (sweatshops!) may sound horrific to Americans," but has worked in Bangladesh and other places. So along with aid workers we should send business investors.
"Some frank talk about Haiti"
Focus on strengthening Haiti's government: The key to long-term success is helping Haitians take responsibility themselves, says Rabbi Steve Gutow in The Huffington Post, and that means empowering Haiti's democratically elected government. U.S. soldiers shouldn't provide security — rather, they should train Haiti's police to do the job. And we should use international money to help the local government deliver the services its citizens need, thereby giving Haiti "the jump start it needs not only to alleviate its present pain" but to "strengthen Haitian society" in the future.
"What lies in the rubble of Haiti's presidential palace"
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