United Nations workers in Haiti say that the people left homeless by the quake have been remarkably calm and patient with their government, even though many are understandably frustrated with how slowly aid has come to them. Haiti's Prime Minister, Jean-Max Bellerive, says his government has waited to dole out $5.5 billion in international aid because they are forming a concrete plan for how best to address Haitians' dire housing needs.
In the meantime, most Haitians live in tent villages that continually become flooded during the rainy season. Stable, safe land is difficult to find in Haiti, and the wet conditions spread diseases like malaria and typhoid more quickly. Still, for many, conditions in the camps are better than what they had before the quake, when they lived in slums without access to clean water or sanitation.
"If you remember that six out of seven people living in Port-au-Prince before lived in the slums, they didn't have access to water and sanitation, the things they're getting now in camp. So unless we can start to look at making sure that those services are available and affordable back in their communities, then they won't go back." - Nigel Fisher, United Nations
"I think one of the priorities of this government would be to quickly build modern housing to give every single one who has lost their house a shelter because they have reconstruction money in hands. You have to address the housing problem and unfortunately, I've seen very little done so far in this direction." - Dr. George Michel
"Because of the land issues, which are incredibly complicated, and the millions of cubic meters of rubble that are covering Port-au-Prince, there have been delays in trying to build those transitional shelters." - Julie Sell, American Red Cross
1. Where is Haiti?
2. What threats do earthquakes pose to human populations?
3. Why was Haiti especially vulnerable in this earthquake?
1.The video shows aid workers and the Haitian government at odds with each other over how and when to disperse international aid money. Do you think the money should be given out right away to address the greatest need, or do you think making a careful plan before giving out the money is a better idea? Why?
2. How does the housing crisis in Haiti compare to the U.S. housing situation? How does the aftermath of Haiti's earthquake compare to the aftermath of disasters in the U.S., like Hurricane Katrina?
3. According to the video, why might it be difficult to convince some people to leave the tent cities for other housing?
4. What problems does the rainy season pose for Haitians living in tent camps?
Lesson Plan: The Future of Haiti:
Young People With Ties to Haiti Await Word From Family Members:
Haitian-American Teen Reflects on Haiti Disaster :