Omaj pou Ayiti

Actually, Money Donated To Haiti Has Had An Undesired Effect

The first thing that strikes you is the smell: a sweet, sickly stench that sticks to your skin. It is worst in the morning, since women are terrified of risking a nocturnal trip to the handful of lavatories serving the thousands of people in the camp because of an epidemic of rape. Even the youngest girls are in danger.

I stop to chat to a young man in a green polo shirt. Ricardo Jenty says we must take care because three gunmen have just walked by on their way to settle a feud. He fears trouble; already he has seen friends shot dead.

Ricardo, 25, a father of three young children, recounts how the earthquake that hit Haiti two years ago ruined his home and wrecked his life. His makeshift tent is one of thousands crammed onto what was once a football pitch.

Ricardo lifts the faded sheet that serves as his front door. His three-week-old baby lies asleep on the single bed that fills the family’s home, while his two-year old son screams at the back entrance.

The heat under the plastic roof is so intense his wife Roseline, 27, drips with sweat as she describes living in such hell. She looks exhausted. If she is lucky, she says, she has one meal a day, but often goes two days without food, putting salt in water to keep her going.

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One response

  1. The aid we send over is set up to fail. It either gets lost on the way there or ends up in the wrong hands when it gets there. If it doesn’t then it still does not help because America relies on countries need our aid. This is the horrible paradox of the world we live in. Look into the Tele Geto a group of young men who participated in the Ghetto Biennale who videotape their life in a camp in I think Jacmel and they discuss things like how the food gets distributed by the UN.

    January 27, 2012 at 4:36 pm

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