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.
There’s a lot happening in the world. Through it all, Marketplace is here for you.
You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible.
Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.