Wednesday, February 02, 2011

US NGOs Become Haiti Election Issue

As a result of the election, Haitians have begun a revolt against NGOs, according to today's Washington Post:
Haitian officials speak of being "overrun" by "an invasion" of NGOs. Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said that foreign NGOs operate in Haiti with little regard to government planning and that their presence, while necessary, can actually undermine long-term recovery efforts. By funneling most aid dollars through the NGOs rather than the government, which struggles with a legacy of corruption, the NGOs condemn the country to a cycle of dependence, he said.

Michel Martelly, the popular carnival singer who has become a top contender in the chaotic presidential election, promised that if elected, his government would rein in the NGOs and change how they do business in Haiti.

"We will allow them to function, but I will tell them what to do and where to do it," Martelly said in an interview. "We are going to impose a system to oversee what is done. We are going to get control of them."