An aid worker speaks with a young Haitian girl at a field hosptial.
Haiti, Latin America: Week in Review

Aid Groups In Haiti Raise Housing Prices; Sarah Palin Visits The Country

December 13, 2010 By Staff

An aid worker speaks with a young Haitian girl at a field hospital.

Today in Latin America

Top Story — Foreign aid workers are causing an increase in housing prices, political turmoil and perhaps even the cholera epidemic in Haiti, according to a feature article by The Los Angeles Times.

The massive international presence in Haiti has benefitted the minority group of wealthy Haitians, who own car dealerships, grocery stores, the car rental and telecommunications firms among other businesses, the article said.

“You wonder where all the money is going besides seeing all the blans (whites) driving new 4-by-4s,” said Steeve Laguere, a Haitian-Canadian and longtime aid worker in Port-au-Prince who has worked for Catholic Relief Services and Plan International, according to The Los Angeles Times. “And people are opening restaurants like there is no tomorrow.”

The issue of international aid groups in Haiti has divided many in the nation, with some arguing that the country could not function without the estimated 4,000 foreign aid groups operating in the country of 10 million.

Others have blamed the foreign aid groups for not only the rising housing prices, but also the cholera outbreak that has killed over 2,000 people in Haiti.

Haitians living in the Artibonite Valley, where the outbreak was first identified, have blamed Nepalese troops working for the United Nations for dumping their waste into a tributary of the Artibonite River.

Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin was in Haiti over the weekend, where she asked Americans not to forget the country.

Palin, who was accompanied by her her husband, Todd; daughter Bristol, a Fox News crew and the Rev. Franklin Graham, was in Haiti for a weekend visit to Graham’s aid group’s sites in this country.

“Not to get political, but if some of the politicians would come here and see the conditions perhaps they would see the need for, say, a military airlift to bring the supplies that are so needed here,” Palin said, according to CNN.

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