By Ellie Happel & Mark Schuller, The World Post, Jan. 12, 2016
The earthquake that rocked Port-au-Prince and killed hundreds of thousands of people six years ago today is often misrepresented as a principal cause of poverty in Haiti. Rather, the Goudougoudou, as the massive tremor is known to Haitians, unveiled and intensified the human suffering created by centuries of debt, occupation, grinding inequality, and state failure.
International attention to periodic, cataclysmic shocks--hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts, political coups--too often overlooks the root causes of Haiti's instability. Haiti will remain unable to avoid disasters until it addresses its intractable, underlying problems, among them environmental degradation, and ineffective and corrupt government institutions.