On Haiti's reconstruction: Obama and Sachs

Photo: Catherine Lainé

Check out these essays on Haiti.

First, President Obama’s Newsweek cover essay, “Why Haiti Matters.” An excerpt:

In the aftermath of disaster, we are reminded that life can be unimaginably cruel. That pain and loss is so often meted out without any justice or mercy. That “time and chance” happen to us all. But it is also in these moments, when we are brought face to face with our own fragility, that we rediscover our common humanity. We look into the eyes of another and see ourselves. And so the United States of America will lead the world in this humanitarian endeavor. That has been our history, and that is how we will answer the challenge before us.

Second, Jeff Sachs’ WaPo op-ed, “After the earthquake, how to rebuild Haiti from scratch.” An excerpt:

Haiti will suffer a quick death of hunger and disease unless we act, and the United States will suffer a slow and painful moral death unless we respond to the extreme distress of our neighbors, whom we have neglected for so long and, at times, even put in harm’s way.


Thousands are feared dead in the wake of the earthquake that devastated Haiti on January 12, with millions more affected and displaced. Haiti is the most impoverished nation in the western hemisphere, with a heartbreaking history rife with slavery, despotism, disease and disaster—in 2008, the country was hit by four hurricanes, which killed hundreds.

Please help however you are able: through prayers, through donations to charitable aid organizations, and through action. Here’s a list of organizations that are working on the ground in Haiti, including World Vision and Oxfam; and you can find more suggestions and recommendations from Sojourners readers on Sojourners’ Facebook page.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change, though the mountains should shake in the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult” (Psalm 46:1-3).