After Haiti quake, aid workers make respect a part of relief

One-third of American families couldn’t cover a $2,000 emergency before the pandemic

One in 3 American families couldn’t handle a mid-sized financial emergency before the pandemic, according to a report from the Stanford Center on Longevity and the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center.

Those with low levels of financial resilience were slower to recover from the Great Recession than the general population

Roughly 27% of American families couldn’t cover an unexpected $2,000 expense within a month, and 33% were struggling to make ends meet in January 2020, directly before the Covid-19 pandemic, the report shows.  

The report looked at Americans’ financial resilience since the Great Recession, measured by someone’s ability to handle a $2,000 expense, total debt and emergency savings…READ ON

After Haiti quake, aid workers make respect a part of relief

When a 7.2 magnitude earthquake shook Haiti last weekend, it made many outside the country tremble as well.

The temblor kicked up memories of the tumultuous aftermath of Haiti’s 2010 quake, of tent cities rife with illness and sexual abuse and of an international humanitarian response that largely excluded local people from decision-making. Since 2010, Haiti has been held up as an example of all that can go wrong with international disaster assistance.

Image Credit: Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff/File
Children play soccer in an open area in the center of the Terrain Acra camp, one of the camps that sprang up after Haiti’s 2010 quake, in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Nov. 17, 2010.

But this time, local and foreign aid workers say, things may be different.

That’s because last time around, “we learned a lot about community-driven support” and “how can the international system support local efforts instead of the other way around,” says Kirsten Gelsdorf, director of Global Humanitarian Policy at the University of Virginia.

Much has not changed in Haiti since 2010; government corruption, widespread hunger, and problems reaching the most affected areas persist. But there are signs of a new approach to disaster response, offering hope that lessons from past mistakes are informing today’s actions, according to local nongovernmental organizations, academics, and international aid practitioners…READ ON

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