Once again, Haiti is in the news. Once again, a terrible tragedy has struck this captivating country. In early February we carried out a “real-time evaluation” to learn lessons about the complex initial weeks of the response. Amid the images of destruction and individual tragedy, we also saw the incredible resilience of the Haitian people. Past centuries and decades have not been kind, but the political and economic crises, oppression and hurricanes of the past have created an incredible ability to recover from trauma. Less than a month after the tragedy, the town of Port-au-Prince was buzzing with activity. Street trade had returned and the town’s inhabitants were trying to restore a semblance of normality: despite the wounds that had been inflicted, life had begun to regain the upper-hand.
Despite this, the future of the IDP sites still looks bleak, while in rural areas, the magnificent way in which the population offered help and hospitality has no doubt led to the depletion of food stocks. In order to make sure that this resilience, mutual help and courage has not been in vain and is not broken under the weight of too many problems in the future, there is an urgent need to help the government pick itself back up and for the aid community to intensify its efforts after a difficult start, before the rainy and hurricane seasons arrive.