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Reporter's blog: Dog eat dog in downtown Port-au-Prince


Reporter's blog: Dog eat dog in downtown Port-au-Prince

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Haiti is both beautiful and blighted; access to housing, education, sanitation, healthcare, employment and security are the preserve of the privileged.
For the vast majority of Haitians the daily grind consists of getting enough food and water to get through the next 24 hours. It is a stressful existence, with so many people scrambling for scraps in the crowded capital, Port-au-Prince.
It is always difficult to visit such places, seeing partially clothed children playing in stinking water or devising toys out of anything they can find,  including condoms and filthy rubbish. Still they manage to smile and laugh. The West could learn lessons in dignity from these people.
For most kids education is beyond reach; if you have cash you can go to school, if not you are left to scour the streets.

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The impact on the wider Haitian society and economy is profound. The population lacks basic skills, which keeps investors away, making economic growth difficult. The irony is that there is so much to do in Haiti and there is so much the country needs.
There are success stories, but the fact remains that Haiti, already the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere before the earthquake of January 2010, has been hit so hard it is still reeling like a punch drunk boxer.
The Red Cross is working hard to improve things in Haiti. They are making progress yet the odds are against them and a weak and corrupt state exacerbates matters. 
All of this just a two hour flight from Miami.
I wish the country well.
Chris Cummins 


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