This Wash. Post article provides an unusually insightful explanation of the slow recovery process in Haiti. Among the causes described are the extreme poverty, lack of a viable government prior to the disaster, lack of basic sanitation infrastructure, and the need to create a new organization to dispense funds honestly and with transparency. See Funding delays, housing complexities slow Haiti rebuilding effort.
Robert Perito, a Haiti expert at the U.S. Institute of Peace, said the emergency response went well. “The reason for that is, we’re really good at it. . . . We have all this capacity, these wonderful teams that deploy. It’s nonpolitical. It’s humanitarian. There’s not a lot of decisions to be made.”
In contrast, reconstruction is all about deciding where and what to build. “This is a classic conundrum in development theory,” he said. “It’s called the development gap: How do you fill the gap between the emergency phase and the long-term development phase?