(February 15, 2011) Foreign NGOs in Haiti have been coming under increasing fire from both Western media, and from Haitian political elites. But as William Booth of the Washington Post writes, ordinary Haitian citizens are also getting fed up with the NGOs.
Complaints about Western NGOs coming from Haiti’s political elites are nothing new. Overwhelming dependence on NGOs to deliver essential services, such as education and health care, has lead to Haiti’s reputation as the “Republic of NGOs.” While the Haitian political class is relieved to be bailed out, they resent having so little control over NGOs. Now dissatisfaction with foreign NGOs has spread to include ordinary Haitians. William Booth of the Washington Post describes the emerging disillusionment:
“In the squalid camps where 800,000 people still languish, many Haitians routinely say their misery is exploited by NGOs to raise funds rather than raise them up from poverty. Children throw rocks at photographers from aid groups trying to take their pictures, demanding money.”