Vincent DeGennaro Jr. | October 26, 2016
Another disaster has befallen Haiti in the form of Hurricane Matthew. Conservative official estimates cite more than 1,000 lives lost and property damage totaling $1 billion, and from the outside portrayals, the death and destruction is expected to further cripple the country, our poorest neighbor in the hemisphere.
But Haiti is not the sum of a series of disasters, both natural and man-made. The country has been improving since the 2010 earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands of Haitians, and it truly had been “built back better,” to paraphrase the mantra of the post-earthquake relief and recovery efforts.
The hurricane is a formidable block to the progress there, but it is by no means a knockout blow. Nor is Haiti a helpless, hopeless case, waiting for saviors from abroad. If anything was gained from the international response in the earthquake’s aftermath, it is the certainty that the international community needs to study its mistakes that too often made bad situations worse. In short: More listening and less talking.