WTF Friday, 12/17/2010

Thanks to Nathan for starting us off this week: “I thought you might continue the thread of Haiti-related WTF Friday posts with this gem. Directly after Paul Farmer writes a piece in Foreign Policy criticizing the reconstruction effort because the Haitian government has only been given 0.3% of the aid money (the rest going to the Interim Commission, etc.), Sec. Clinton gives a speech about her “growing frustration” with the Government of Haiti’s failure to coordinate the reconstruction efforts, which Canadian Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon follows up by saying the international community ‘cannot do everything.’ I guess the government was supposed to make that 0.3% go a long way…”

IPS reports “U.N. Deplores Escalating Violence in Côte d’Ivoire.” This is a sharp turn from their regular stance of “condemning” violence. Either way, the U.N. appears to have consistently been “not down” with violence. Well, sort of

Lastly, sorry for some of the unfortunate links on the bottom of this page (you’ll see), but these pics are just classic Jong-Il.

Chris Maggio


  1. Thank you for calling attention to Dr. Farmer's counterbalancing of Clinton's and Cannon's obliviousness. Farmer points out that the aid agencies' end-run around Haiti's government also bypasses the business community there—thus doubly depriving the Haitians of the chance to strengthen their ability to solve their own problems.

  2. Also, Dr. Farmer and his organization encourage this mix of public and private sectors (ie NGOs like PIH and the Ministry of Health), which is kind of hard to do when the government isn't getting any money…

  3. If anything is to blame for the "slowness" of the reconstruction effort – it is, ironically, rich nations' efforts to stop corruption through lengthy procurement policies.

    Dr. Farmer's quote is ridiculous. Do you really want this government to get all the money directly – or even much of it? Some of us would rather see the money go directly to the people in some way.

    Dr. Farmer is the Deputy UN Envoy to Haiti. His own UN Office of the Haiti Special Envoy puts the donor disbursement rate at about 40 percent. Check out – click the table on the right panel for the top 30 donors.

    The Haitian government sets policy through the Recovery Commission – so they approve every big project that happens in Haiti.

    Donors implement projects themselves based on their own regs – which their parliaments design to keep money out of the hands of corrupt ((in this case Haitian) officials.

  4. Why does everyone seem agreed that we really want donor countries to send reconstruction funds through the government of Haiti?

    When donor countries criticize the government coordination work – they are probably talking about Haiti's policies (not its handling of the funds it cannot control).

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