Where did all the money go?
The question rises up from the dust of the still-crowded tent camps and the mud of still-impassable roads and from desperate parents still struggling to feed their children.
Two years after the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that ravaged Haiti, less than half of the $3 billion the U.S. has committed to rebuilding the country has actually been disbursed. Reconstruction is by just about all accounts taking far too long. Why?
Haiti is a place of unanswered questions, and perhaps unanswerable questions.
In this Special Report, correspondent Donovan Webster and photographer Ron Haviv start on a journey through Haiti to find as many answers to this question as we can. Or at least to hear the questions that Haitians are asking of their own country and of the many donors who have promised more than they deliver.
Webster and Haviv are joined by correspondents Mildrade Cherfils, who is writing on the diaspora, and Jacob Kushner, who is based in Port-au-Prince. As a reporting team, they found that some reconstruction efforts are succeeding while others are failing. Most of all, they found resiliency and resourcefulness among the people. But they also found cynicism about an aid effort that seems to be enriching big non-governmental organizations (NGOs.) Haitians now call their country ‘the republic of NGOs.”
The stories they tell in “Fault Line: Aid, Politics and Blame in Post-Quake Haiti” reveal searing images and complex characters through whom truths emerge, if not exactly answers to the big question: Where did all the money go?