Challenge for Haiti’s Next President: Making Donors to Pay Up

Musician Wyclef Jean seeks to become Haiti's next president. Photo by: Mark Yuen / CC BY Mark YuenCC BY

The international community is perpetuating the prevailing culture of dependence in Haiti by not delivering on its commitments to the country’s reconstruction on time, two children’s rights activists argue.

“This is why the international community must deliver on its commitments,” Marc Kielburger and Craig Kielburger write in an opinion piece published by the Star. “That way, whoever becomes president can stop acting as a collection agent and start helping Haiti help itself.”

The Kielburgers’ comment comes on the heels of musician Wyclef Jean’s announcement that he is running for Haitian president. Jean may have a chance, they say, because Haitians appear to be looking for a superhero. His celebrity status may also sway donors to deliver on their aid commitments, which would be among the next president’s main tasks, they add.

“No matter who wins the election, Haiti’s president will be forced to play the role of part-time debt collector,” the two argue. “But it’s astonishing that solicitation has become a prime qualification. It’s even stranger that people the world over want to award leadership to an inexperienced entertainer who spent most of his life living in the United States.”

They add: “The international community can deliver its aid commitments without Jean’s solicitation. Haiti can rebuild without ceding power.”

About the author

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    Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.