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9022: Mr. Nau's points well-taken; link relief with restoration (fwd)

From: Stuart M Leiderman <leidermn@cisunix.unh.edu>

per Wilson Nau <Lloc17West@netscape.net>:

"Haiti can no longer afford to depend on food handouts to feed its

	I agree, however some Haitian communities appear to be
	facing extinction and may no longer have that choice.
	it is probably best not to generalize about the whole
	population but to focus on critical areas.  in my
	experience, that's where most charitable food shipments
	are being sent.

"A container of free dehydrated food might be a genuine humanitarian
gesture...but it can also be seen as part of the continuing plot to keep
the country from developing [etc., etc.]"

	well, in some parts of the world there have been examples
	of companies and others dumping rotten food or using
	handouts so that the landscape pumps out export products,
	but plots are hard to prove and the shipments to Haiti seem
	to be supplements to locally-available food and part of
	larger self-reliance and restoration projects.  my database
	has hundreds of such projects.  the food often goes to
	schoolchildren, Haiti's next generation.

"I am reminded of the saying that "It's better to teach a hungry man how
to fish than to relieve his hunger by only giving him a fish to eat."

	yes, definitely.  while much more needs to be done to
	recruit charitable donors who have this philosophy, a
	quick look at websites of dozens of projects that care
	about Haitians show that this philosophy is already being

"Ayiti does not need containers of free dehydrated food for its people."

	it's difficult to convince good-hearted donors about this,
	particularly when many of them know that thousands of
	Haitians are starving daily because they cannot afford to
	buy food.

	(as an aside, remember that such shipments also require
	clean water, cooking fuel, clean pots and utensils, etc.)

"It needs instead the genuine help and emphatic understanding from
voluntary agricultural technicians and experts who can help in the
process of reforestation, agriculture, and animal husbandry."

	bingo!  yes, of course.  now let's put a number, yield
	goals and a timeline to your recommendation.  readers of
	this e-list can go beyond expressing opinions.  a year
	from now, we ought to ask, "Are Haitians better off
	than they were a year ago when we agreed with Mr. Nau
	and got to work?"


Stuart Leiderman

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