The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Haitian Tragedy and Lying Contest

Oct 25, 2010

Haiti is once again besieged – this time by a fast-growing epidemic of cholera.

Nearly nine months after the earthquake, the financial aid promised by the U.S. and other rich countries has not yet reached Haiti. The U.S. promised 1.2 billion dollars in March and other rich nations pledged a total of 8.8 billion dollars for reconstruction of Haiti. But time showed that this was just talk: few of these funds materialized. Nor did preventive medical care and aid to sanitation.

Today, more than a million Haitians still live on the streets between piles of rubble, without shelter, food, public sanitation or clean water. Just two% of the rubble has been cleared and 13,000 temporary shelters have been built – less than 10% of the number planned. There are no semi-permanent houses – none have been built. During September and October, storms destroyed tarps, tents and shacks built by Haitians with their own efforts. The storms killed many people, including children.

These conditions mean that sanitation is lacking. That is what produced the current epidemic of cholera.

This talk of providing aid to Haiti or other people in difficulty is only a lying contest among rich people.