Troubled Haiti-U.S. Economic Relations: Short-Term Aid vs. Long-Term Development Programs

By Baril, Sophie-Anne | Washington Report on the Hemisphere, July 1, 2016 | Go to article overview

Troubled Haiti-U.S. Economic Relations: Short-Term Aid vs. Long-Term Development Programs


Baril, Sophie-Anne, Washington Report on the Hemisphere


The United States and Haiti have consistently had complex economic relations. For the last decade, in addition to donating significantly to Haiti, the United States has also been Haiti's top trading partner. In fact, the United States is currently Haiti's main import partner, accounting for over 30 percent of the country's imports, including cereals and mineral fuels. However, it is also true that Haiti's trade, characterized by low tariffs on foreign goods and a lingering deficit, has worsened already poor economic conditions for the island-nation. Lower tariffs make Haiti's market appealing to exporting countries. As a result, in Haiti, the low cost foreign commodities are preferred over pricier Haitian domestic goods. Consequently, Haiti's national market has fallen behind that of its exporters which in turn produces a harmful trade deficit. In hopes of alleviating Haiti's economic condition, the U.S. government, alongside other nations and several NGOs, have pledged billions of dollars to Haiti's wellbeing.

Donor countries, such as the United States, respond to Haiti's trade imbalance and poverty with spikes of international aid in the form of emergency donations. This humanitarian aid, though backed by good intentions, may hurt the Haitian economy in the long run. For example, local Haitian laborers could find their products, such as rice, fiercely competing with donated foreign goods. Instead of emergency donations, countries wanting to contribute to Haiti's economic revival should focus their humanitarian relief efforts on long-term development projects that would empower locals with the resources and education needed to sustain themselves as well as help the country develop over time. Such community-based programs include creating youth sports programs, supporting small businesses, and increasing food security through local agricultural projects.

Foreign Aid

Aside from indirectly damaging the economy through donated goods, foreign aid can also be harmful if organizations or nations fail to act on their promised agendas due to internal factors. A report prepared by Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley highlights such shortcomings of the Red Cross. According to the Senator's report, "the charity's top officials stonewalled congressional investigators and released incomplete information about its Haiti program to the public." This disturbing report brings to light the inadequacies of such organizations. Also included in this report is the fact that the Red Cross spent excessive funds on internal expenses-an amount previously not disclosed but now confirmed to be 25 percent of the organization's total funds for Haiti. Harmful foreign aid to Haiti can vary on levels of efficiency and effectiveness.

This past April, the U.S. Department of Agriculture committed itself to donating 500 metric tons of subsidized, surplus U.S.-grown peanuts to Haiti, through the U.N. World Food Program. The subsidized U.S. peanut donations may be a helpful initiative for short-term aid; however, these donations have posed a threat to local Haitian peanut growers through overwhelming the local competition. To these local growers, this U.S. aid signifies foreign competition-a situation already exacerbated by other donations that have been previously made by U.S. organizations, such as the charitable Clinton Foundation as well as the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). These donations, altogether anticipated to alleviate Haiti's current economic situation, may actually cause more harm than good in the years to come, as Haitian farmers struggle to compete with the complicated offer of donated commodities.

As the Editorial Board of The Washington Post has written, this situation reflects a "classic dilemma: give Haiti peanuts and its children eat for a year; teach Haiti to grow peanuts, and the impoverished nation might feed itself long-term." Although the short-term aid is well intentioned, it will not be profitable for the Haitian economy. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Troubled Haiti-U.S. Economic Relations: Short-Term Aid vs. Long-Term Development Programs
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.