Hubert Dagbo '12 is an undergraduate finance major in Lehigh’s College of Business and Economics.
As $40 billion dollars of aid in 35 years have gone to Haiti and nothing has improved. When I think about that number, $40 billion dollars, it seems mind boggling that Haiti is still the most impoverished country in the western hemisphere. Most people might say “well $40 billion must not be enough."
However I believe the real solution to the problem is that more can be done with less. I believe the aid has created a dependency that has stopped the successive flow of improvements. Rather than simply aid Haiti through foreign money I believe aid must be used to adequately improve the system so that when aid stops the system (whether economic, political, and agricultural) is able to run on its own. The problems are in areas such as agriculture where foreign aiders purchase food from their own country and ship them to Haiti, feeding the hungry, yet destroying domestic agriculture commerce. While not completely fostering protectionism, I believe the aid must instead be used to strengthen domestic Haitian systems in order for successive improvements to occur. I believe this sophisticated structural system overhaul starts with education by teaching how to create the tools to create the product rather than giving them the product and leaving them dependent.