Stolen Haitian Relief Money
Haitian Suffering Continues
by Stephen Lendman
Following Haiti's catastrophic January 12, 2010 earthquake, billions of dollars in relief aid were raised. Suffering Haitians got virtually none of it.
Hundreds of thousands remain homeless. A cholera emergency still exists. On June 19, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent said:
"There is a significant probability of a major cholera emergency in Haiti in the coming months but resources have been severely diminished."
Increased numbers of cases were reported in the Artibonite, Nord-Ouest, Nord-Est, Ouest, Gonave island, and homeless camps in Port-au-Prince and surrounding areas.
The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) estimates another 170,000 new cases by end of 2012.
Haiti's problems are severe. Deep poverty, deprivation, and unemployment torment millions. Earthquake devastation compounded them. Little relief came. It was stolen for commercial development.
It's common practice to divert relief aid to private developers. In 2004, a second tsunami struck Sri Lanka. The first one took 250,000 lives and left 2.5 million homeless throughout the region.
Coastal areas were scrubbed clean. Everything was gone. Sri Lankans living there lost everything. New rules prohibited rebuilding homes where they once stood. Buffer zone restrictions insured it.
Beaches were off-limits to people who once lived there. Displaced Sri Lankans were shoved into temporary grim inland camps. Soldiers prevented them from coming home.
At issue was developing coastal areas for profit. Luxury destinations were planned. Formerly occupied land was sold to commercial buyers. Privatization was the new game.
Displaced residents were entirely left out. What they lost, they never got back. Land grab money making became policy.
Tsunami victims in other ravaged countries suffered the same fate. The pattern repeated everywhere. People were prohibited from rebuilding where they once lived.
What nature wrought, corporate developers and corrupt politicians compounded by stealing their land for profit.