January 2015 Archives

January 13, 2015

Adrian Woolridge: "Capitalism begins at home"

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Once again The Economist’s Adrian Woolridge writes about the issues surrounding housing for the poor:

to fix the housing problem one has to solve a lot of others: obtaining land and getting permits; persuading banks to provide mortgages to poorer people; and getting sluggish utility firms to provide electricity and water connections.

Perhaps the biggest obstacle is desire.  The vested interests are not really interested in a systems-based solution.  Exhibit A = Haiti.

Until we get good governance, not much is going to change.

January 12, 2015

5 Years Later: The Sorry Plight of Haiti

5 Years After Haiti's Earthquake, Where Did The $13.5 Billion Go?

That's the title of an NPR story that covers the sad plight of Haitians who are still in the street.

A few points:

- Cholera was brought to Haiti by Nepalese soldiers quartered in a United Nations peacekeeping camp that spilled its waste into a tributary of the Artibonite. Over the past four years, cholera has struck more than 720,000 Haitians and killed almost 9,000.

- Less than a penny of every aid dollar goes directly to a Haitian organization.

- it cost more than $33,000 to build a new housing unit in one post-earthquake program... That's five times more than one nonprofit, called Mission of Hope, spends per house, using local contractors.

- Harvey Lacey tried to make a difference