Haiti’s State-Building Challenge

The $5 billion in short-term aid for Haiti, and the $10 billion pledged for its long-term reconstruction in March, is a vote of confidence in the potential of collective international action. But the question is not only one of money; it is about whether Haiti’s agony is to be addressed as a long-term quest for institutional stability and sustainable development.

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.

In addition to harmonizing the flow of donations and an agreed-upon list of development projects, Dominican President Leonel Fernandez seeks to make clear that the task is a long-term enterprise: re-founding the failing Haitian state. A believer in the essentially political nature of Haiti’s tragedy, Fernandez rightly aspires to turn the current crisis into the lever for state-building, Haiti’s extraction from political isolation, and its maturation into an active member of the regional and world community.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To read this article from our archive, please log in or register now. After entering your email, you'll have access to two free articles from our archive every month. For unlimited access to Project Syndicate, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/OmkNiwP;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.