Boondoggle Haiti

Haiti will have to start almost from scratch.

During the 1990s, the U.S. government spent$100 million trying to improve Haiti’s police and justice systems, andhad little to show for it.

After a decade of such aid, the nation’s lawenforcement and courts remained corrupt and ineffectual, a 2000Government Accountability Office report said.

From 2005 to 2007, the USA tried again, paying acontractor nearly $4 million to improve Haiti’s judicial system. Therewas “no measurable improvement,” a government audit found.

Those programs were a small part of the river offoreign aid that has flowed into Haiti in recent decades, even as ithas descended further into the depths of poverty and dysfunction.

After receiving $8.3 billion in foreign aid since 1969, Haiti is 25%poorer than it was in 1945, according to statistics compiled byNicholas Eberstadt, an economist with the American Enterprise Institute.Even before the Jan. 12 earthquake that killed at least 100,000 people,three-quarters of Haiti’s 9 million people lived on less than $2 a day,the United Nations says.