Read Me: New article in the Haitian Times

I’ve just finished a story about New York area businesses that are trying to get a slice of the $10 billion reconstruction pie. I plan to continue reporting in the vein of profit and business, particularly those firms that are creating employment in Haiti.  I figure there’re enough reporters covering aid as charity, how it works and then blaming the usual suspects when it doesn’t.  That’s a valuable frame but there’re so many other ways to frame how development goes down in Haiti.  I’m open to other ideas so, holler.

Unfortunately, my story’s behind a pay wall so I’ll reproduce a bit here:

[Jean] Petrus belongs to a small coterie of New York-area businesses, most owned by Haitian-Americans, pushed by a slow recovery at home and pulled by both patriotism and profit to help reconstruct Haiti.
[According to the Associated Press] more than 105,000 homes need to be rebuilt, along with 1,300 schools, 50 hospitals, the presidential palace, parliament and courts, not to mention debris removal and technology and infrastructure development.
These Haitian-American owners are new to the world of federal procurement, however. Since January 12th, other American firms with extensive international experience in disaster clean-up and construction—many with lessons learned from post-Hurricane Katrina reconstruction—have been setting up offices, camps and mess halls for an anticipated workforce in Port-au-Prince.
It remains to be seen whether and how effectively Haitian-American firms can compete for the more than $1 billion in aid pledged by the United States over the next decade.

4 Responses to “Read Me: New article in the Haitian Times”

  1. Yes, I am speaking from experience. In the US, students are taught differently than they are in Haiti. Thus, you can have a university graduate in Haiti who does not have the analytical skills that are focused on in the states.

    In terms of changing the politicking, yes, that would take a whole other post 🙂

  2. Balanced Melting Pot, are you speaking from experience re: the work ethic? And what would the reconstruction need to change, if these firms are to do less politicking? — You say a lot up there; want to write a post that explains it all?

  3. One of the things these firms are going to have to deal with once they set up shop is the lack of/difference in work ethic. If they go there with the intention of having the business run similar the way it works in the US, it will most likely fail. Also, unless things are going to change drastically with the reconstruction, there is a great deal of “politicking” that will need to happen in order to “protect” the business. Other than that :-), I think it’s fantastic and critical to include private business in the reconstruction of Haiti.


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