In Haiti, climate aid comes with strings attached

(THE CONVERSATION) Perhaps no people know better than Haitians just how dangerous, destructive and destabilizing climate change can be.

Haiti – which had not yet recovered from a massive 2010 earthquake when Hurricane Matthew killed perhaps a thousand people and caused a cholera outbreak in 2016 – is one of the world’s most vulnerable countries to climate change.

Scientists say extreme weather events like hurricanes, floods and droughts will become worse as the planet warms. Island nations are expected to be among the hardest hit by those and other impacts of a changing climate, like shoreline erosion.

For poor island countries like Haiti, studies show, the economic costs, infrastructural damage and loss of human life is already overwhelming. And scientists expect it will only get worse.

To help Haiti address this pending crisis, international donors have stepped in with funding for climate action. The problem with that system, as I found in a recent analysis of international climate aid in Haiti, is that the money may not be going where it’s most needed.

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