Ann Girdano '12 is a supply chain major and a global studies minor. She also serves as the vice president of the Global Citizenship program’s student committee and as vice president of cultural programming for the Global Union.
Sad though it may be, neither the United States nor other post-industrialized nations can ensure that the financial assistance Haiti is currently receiving translates into long-term growth and development. The US has contributed billions of dollars in aid over the decades to Haiti, yet before the earthquake struck corruption was still extremely prevalent. According to Transparency International’s 2009 Corruption Index, of 180 countries polled Haiti ranked 168. Now that there is hardly any functioning infrastructure left in the country, the political system is in shambles, and chaos reigns, the task of managing aid in this impoverished nation has soared to previously unknown levels of complexity. The process of bringing Haiti out of this crisis and on a path towards long-term growth and development will not be quick and must be done, in a large part, by Haitian people themselves. Also, the role of NGOs in this process cannot be overlooked. However, achieving “sustainable” growth and development is something NGOs have had trouble attaining throughout the world. Therefore, NGO policies need to be reexamined and altered to ensure that they are not blindly providing aid while simultaneously creating a situation where Haitian people are trapped by aid dependency.