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US Development Policy

CGD experts track US development policy and offer ideas and analysis to improve its impact on developing countries. Also check out our Views from the Center blog and Global Health Policy blog.

Rethinking US Development Policy Blog

 

Haiti Quake: Four Years Later, We Still Don’t Know Where the Money Has Gone

January 12, 2014 marks the fourth anniversary of the massive quake in Haiti that left over 200,000 people dead and several million people homeless.  The response from rich countries was overwhelming—over $9 billion was disbursed towards relief and reconstruction efforts ($3 billion from the United States, an estimated $3 billion in private contributions, and another $3 billion from foreign governments).

Inspector General Gives USAID Failing Grade in Haiti

On September 26, the Office of the Inspector General for USAID issued a blistering evaluation of USAID's activities in Haiti.  The report focuses on implementation of the Haiti Recovery Initiative (HRI) which supports short- and medium-term reconstruction projects. Overall, the audit states that the work is “not on track” and identifies areas for improvement including: monitoring and evaluation, community involvement, technical assistance, and the need for environmental reviews.  These are some of the themes that we also highlighted in our CGD Policy Paper entitled "Haiti: Where Has All the Money Gone?" We proposed three solutions to improving the use of taxpayer dollars in Haiti:

Getting Greater Value from Post-Quake Aid to Haiti

The January 2010 earthquake that devastated Haiti, killed over 220,000 people, displaced several million, and flattened much of the capital, Port Au Prince, also unleashed a tsunami of outside assistance. In the 28 months since the earthquake official donors have disbursed almost $6 billion in aid to help the people of Haiti, the equivalent of $600 per person for a country where per capita annual income is just $670. Where has all the money gone? On the second anniversary of the quake we set out to answer this question; our new CGD policy paper is the result. The short answer is that the vast majority of the money so-far disbursed has been paid to international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and private contractors. And while many of these organizations do excellent work, there is shockingly little information on how they used the funds.

Why America Needs to Ramp Up Aid to Pakistan

This is a joint post with Wren Elhai, and first appeared on Foreign Policy's AfPak Channel.

"Heart-wrenching," said U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon Sunday upon surveying Pakistan's ongoing floods. The U.N. chief called the floods "the worst natural disaster" he said he had ever seen. The numbers explain why. More people have been affected by Pakistan's catastrophic floods than any other natural disaster on record -- over 20 million and counting. That's more than were affected by the 2005 Pakistan earthquake, the 2004 Asian tsunami, and this year's earthquake in Haiti combined. As millions of dislocated Pakistanis search for shelter and food and as health conditions deteriorate and disease spreads, the need for an immediate, large-scale humanitarian response is urgent. And this is just the beginning. Once the floodwaters subside from Pakistan's swollen rivers, the task of rebuilding will be staggering - with a price tag in the billions, and lasting for years to come. The effectiveness of the response to these relief and rebuilding challenges will have serious implications for the wellbeing of the country's citizens, for the peace and stability of Pakistan and the entire South Asian region, and for U.S. national security.