On any given day in Port au Prince you’ll see lots of international aid workers whizzing around the city in big SUVs. In the evenings, groups of foreign workers often gather in the city’s bars and restaurants to relax after work. Haitians know perfectly well that billions of dollars in aid have been promised to help their country recover from the catastrophic earthquake of January 12th. So, watching the foreign workers go to and fro, they often wonder exactly what the money is being spent on.
We asked a few of the more than one and a half million Haitians living in tent camps what they thought. Within a minute or two we had struck up conversations with several people. Then a crowd gathered, and women began loudly wailing and throwing their hands in the air. Emaneze Lima was one of them. “We don’t know what they are spending the money on because they don’t visit us to ask us what we need,” she said angrily. “We only know that the money isn’t coming to us.” Jean Francois Pepe was even more suspicious of the aid community. “They spend the money on themselves, not on us,” he said “We’ve been here since January 12th, and nothing comes to us.