Haiti’s State-Building Challenge

SANTO DOMINGO -- The $5 billion in short-term aid for Haiti, and the $10 billion pledged for its long-term reconstruction at the International Donors’ Conference on March 31, is a vote of confidence in the potential of collective international action. The question, however, is not only one of money; it is about whether Haiti’s agony is to be addressed as just one more humanitarian crisis or as a structural problem of state building – a long-term quest for institutional stability and sustainable development.

Conspicuously, Haiti’s Dominican neighbors were the first to gauge the magnitude of the problem and the global nature of the required solution. The Dominican government’s decision to hold a summit on Haiti’s future has the objective of securing the international community’s ongoing commitment to Haiti, beyond the generous response to the catastrophe produced by the earthquake in January.