The latest statistics on the rebuilding efforts should have us all eating a big slice of humble pie. The numbers indicate that the Haitian business people are being overlooked when rebuilding contracts are being distributed.
The Associated Press has reported that out of every $100 of U.S. contracts now paid out to rebuild Haiti, Haitian firms have successfully won $1.60.
With all of the talk of putting Haitian’s to work and giving opportunities to entrepreneurs, we haven’t shared much of the spending pie.
And the promised employment of Haitian workers seems to have crumbled away as the largest initial U.S. contractors hired fewer Haitians than they had planned.
After the quake the table was set for a great rebirth of an impoverished nation. We all contributed to a cause that would build back a better country and give the people greater hope for the future. But so far the feeding has fattened some large US contractors and left only crumbs for the Haitians.
If we are to be true to the rhetoric that sold the world on donating money for this cause, then we need to slice the pie with more equality. US companies should get some, but Haitian businesses and entrepreneurs need to taste more of the meal. The ratio of 98% to 2% really seems like a starvation diet for Haiti.
There are enormous financial resources earmarked for this effort and we should be setting a place at the table for the people who really need the benefit. Wouldn’t you agree?