The latest news out of Haiti in the wake of Hurricane Matthew is not good. As many as a thousand people dead, whole towns wiped out and a looming cholera outbreak. A lot of people have been thinking about how they might help and there are plenty of organizations gearing up to take donations.
But Haiti has had a complicated history, when it comes to aid. Jonathan M. Katz was the Associated Press bureau chief in Haiti during the earthquake 6 years ago.
His book about that quake and the aid that followed is called “The Big Truck That Went By: How the World Came to Save Haiti and Left Behind a Disaster.” Kai Ryssdal spoke with Katz about what we learned from how aid was administered in 2010 and after.
On how aid gets administered:
I think there’s some fundamental misunderstandings about the way aid works… We have this humanitarian aid industry and that industry is constantly functioning, it just gets into a slightly higher gear … And really, the work that those aid groups do, is never really intended to make the long-term systemic differences necessary in order to face the next disaster to come.
Marketplace is on a mission.
We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.
Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?