Haiti One Year On: Why 2011 Will Be A Better Year For Haiti

Ed Note: January 12 marks the one year anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. Over the next few days we will be running a series of posts taking a look at progress over the past year and what still needs to be done to help get Haiti back on its feet

One year ago, a massive earthquake leveled the capital of Haiti. 250,000 people died and a million people were left homeless. It’s been a humbling year. Aid has flowed slowly, reconstruction has lagged, and frustration is growing among government officials and the people of Haiti.

I think that things will get better this year. Disaster recovery is slow. The volume of money donated to Haiti had everyone thinking that reconstruction would be quick. However, the obstacles to Haiti recovery were larger than a lack of money. No amount of funding can repair systemic problems overnight, or in a year. Haiti could not have been made prosperous in a year, even before the earthquake. Given more time, I believe things will get better.

So, where are we now, exactly? And what will 2011 look like in Haiti? I’m not going to try to predict it. Smarter people than me have been writing about exactly this topic.

These are a few of the best web sources I have seen on Haiti’s future and the current state of recovery:

The Guardian has a comprehensive round-up of NGO reports on the first year of aid to Haiti. They’ve been running a lot of excellent Haiti articles. They also have a slideshow of photographs taken by Haitian teenagers.

Givewell crunched the numbers on aid to Haiti and the total cost of damage to the country

Oxfam has some stories of individuals affected by the earthquake

The Gates Foundation has an optimistic article about establishing mobile money services in Haiti

photo credit: AIDG