Haiti Earthquake, One Week After: Post-Disaster Economic Recovery Will Be Key (Jan. 2010)

Although many thought in the following hours after the quake hit that “only” thousands could have been killed, it is now clear that hundreds of thousands died in what remains one of the most devastating catastrophes to hit this small country of 9 million people. The lack of preparedness and coordination of crisis management capacities is eye opening for numerous commentators, but not surprising for those who have worked on many other crisis situations like this one.

In the coming weeks and months millions of families will honor those who perished. Then, the next major question on the country’s agenda will be: what are the economic consequences of this large-scale disaster? How can we reconstruct the country to make it more sustainable in the face of future earthquakes and hurricanes?

There are lessons to be learned here from other quakes (China 2008, 2009), tsunamis (South east Asia, Dec 2004), hurricanes (US/Gulf of Mexico, 2004, 2005, 2008) so we don’t make the same mistakes again and again.