Haiti’s heartbreak as chronic political and economic crises hamper disaster response after quake

CBC News. by Ellen Mauro, Aug 24, 2021

Mourning hangs heavy over Haiti’s southwestern landscape, with so many rural villages ravaged by last week’s 7.2 magnitude earthquake. As the region buries the lost, the living languish with desperately-needed aid still just barely trickling through.

This is Haiti’s latest tragedy — but it’s just another layer to its persistent suffering.

In far-away Port-au-Prince, the capital, life lurches on amidst crushing poverty, increasing lawlessness, inadequate infrastructure and ineffective government.

“Haitians are used to [living] with the concept that there’s no state, there’s no government,” said Jacky Lumarque, rector of Quisqueya University in Port-au-Prince, who once tried to run for president.

“If you’re in a disaster yourself, you cannot help people in a disaster and the government is in a disaster.”

A debilitating power vacuum compounded by a devastating earthquake — a grim reality fuelling growing resignation that the help so many need may never arrive.

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