Devastation in Haiti

Last April I wrote, Friends don’t let friends suffer: The US must step up for Haiti, about the responsibility of everyone, but especially those in the US, to do more for Haiti. The argument for doing so is compelling on many grounds. It calls for a long-term commitment to rebuilding the Haitian economy and to changing the relationship between Haiti and its wealthy neighbors.

Now, the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti on Wednesday, with aftershocks continuing, needs immediate attention. In addition to making our government do more, we can work through NGO’s (see How to Help at NPR). Beyond that, Haitians should be immediately granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS). The Department of Homeland Security review and revise US policy towards Haiti.

If anything good can come from this disaster, it might be that we begin to act in a more humane and responsible way toward one of our closest neighbors. Beyond immediate needs there must be concerted action to address the underlying economic and political catastrophe that afflicted Haiti even before the earthquake.

In that earlier post, I listed six specific actions that the US and international agencies could do now.

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