Friday, May 14, 2010

A solution for Haiti?

I was watching last night an update on the situation in Haiti, where progress is slow, contradiction is rampant, government is conspicuously absent and where the situation on the ground seems only “controlled” by NGOs, hence Haiti's nickname, the Republic of NGOs. While this situation isn't new, it has gained increasing prominence following the January 12, 2010 earthquake. Some suggest that funneling so much aid through NGOs perpetuates a situation of limited government capacity and weak institutions. Rather than looking to their government for basic public services, Haitians look to NGOs and it still today their government remains invisible and ineffective.

This is how I came up with that idea of mine; why not let a well-structured and well-organized country take over the management (government if you prefer) of that poor country? I was thinking of Canada, Germany, Japan, Scandinavia, and not necessarily in that order. I wouldn't give that task to Italy, Spain or Greece, nor would I give it to the United States or the U.K. (we seem to get nowhere in Iraq and Afghanistan) but it might perhaps be a smarter idea to consider a consortium of Francophone countries, like Belgium, Canada, France and Switzerland.

All along, this effort would be monitored by the U.N. Whoever would take charge would be in charge of putting in place strong institutions, a capable and effective administration, educate the masses and bring rule of law. At the same time, it would also invest in the country's infrastructure by rebuilding whatever needs to be, bringing sustainable manufacturing activity, schools, universities, research centers, hospitals and well adapted tourism. After at least three decades of nation building (all that time, because it's a whole generation) the mentor nation or nations would be able to either continue its presence or progressively move away depending on the level of prosperity and sustainable development reached in that small nation. I like the idea; do you?

1 comment:

William Bocq said...

Kipling would have loved you, no offense. UN sponsored colonialism? A country managed by a committee where French are present...with Swiss...overseen by the UN? This is a scary concept. Poor Haitians: first an earthquake, then that!
Why not merge them with the DR and call that new country Hispaniola? Simple, effective and cheap, cultural unity preserved.