How the U.S. Benefits From Foreign Aid to Ecuador

The U.S. often has something to gain when it chooses to lend a hand to a country in need. The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Ecuador by sponsoring structured efforts to eradicate narcotics and human trafficking. Ecuador has a long history of being an essential piece in the transportation of such networks. This has subsequently been a focus of foreign aid from the U.S. to Ecuador for quite some time. Despite USAID leaving Ecuador in 2014, the country has continued implementing the strategies fostered by American and Ecuadorian relations.

Thanks to the relations between the U.S. and Ecuador, the country has made significant progress to curb drug trafficking and modern-day slavery because of these initiatives:

  • U.S. logistical and operational support in counternarcotic cases
  • Prevention and rehabilitation programs after addiction was declared a public health issue
  • Criminal code targeting drug transit through tiered penalties
  • Improvement of detection and analysis in special crime laboratories in Quito and Guayaquil
  • Increases in the monitoring of maritime trade

Ecuador is working to increase the seizure of illicit drugs, especially cocaine, as well as the vigilance of law enforcement in arresting key players in the narcotics trade. The country has been incrementally successful and is seeing new progress each year.

The supplanting of restorative systems returns benefits to the U.S. As one of America’s largest commerce partners, it remains crucial that trade stays legal and in compliance with human rights. The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Ecuador because the decrease in narcotics transit spares the U.S. from networks of volatile crime.

To address human trafficking, the U.S. began implementing steps within Ecuador to aid the country with this prevalent issue. America and Ecuador are aiming to educate the people of Ecuador with:

  • Public service announcements played throughout children’s television programs detailing the rights of each child in order to instill the knowledge of such rights in children from an early age, as well as in their parents.
  • An educational campaign and two-day conference depicting judicial corruption in Ecuador for the public.

Additionally, the American Bar Association (ABA) has been working continuously in Ecuador to strengthen its justice system. The ABA has aided Ecuadorian lawyers in transitioning from the old inquisitorial criminal justice system to an adversarial criminal justice system, which has proven to be a challenge, as the judiciary still clings to the previous system.

According to the ABA website, the organization has aided in the institution of hybrid law, “a mixture of civil law and common law systems” and analyzing the effectuality of such law in Ecuador specifically.

Similar to the reduction of illegal narcotics transportation, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Ecuador through reciprocatory change. By pushing Ecuador in the right direction to minimize illegal trade, America is consequently minimizing active human trafficking within its borders.

Essentially, the trade and transport of narcotics and human trafficking webs in Ecuador directly affect the same trade and transport in the United States. These dual-effort relations have resulted in a consistently increasing number of arrests, seizures and preventions of human and narcotics trade. Each time America helps Ecuador target this issue, it also directly targets the issue within its own borders.

– Lydia Lamm

Photo: Flickr

How the U.S. Benefits From Foreign Aid to EthiopiaEthiopia, the birthplace of the African Union and one of two countries on the continent never to be colonized, has long served as a model of African independence. Coming off of ten years of double-digit economic growth, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Ethiopia are an example of what can be achieved by all nations. Since 2010, the U.S. Department of State has allocated more than $3.45 billion in assistance to Ethiopia. While Ethiopia remains one of the 10 poorest countries in the world, the past decade has been marked by rising life expectancy, educational enrollment and per capita income.

In addition to saving lives, foreign aid produces a positive return on investment for the United States. As people transition out of poverty into the consumer class, new American jobs emerge, along with new markets for U.S. companies. In 2012, foreign direct investment surpassed overseas development assistance in Ethiopia for the first time. U.S. investors are flocking to the opportunities created by Ethiopia’s private sector growth. An upward-trending Ethiopian economy means new economic partners for the United States. These are three examples demonstrating the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Ethiopia:

  1. Microsoft and the Ministry of Education
    As a part of its Partners in Learning initiative, Microsoft has signed the Education Transformation Agreement (ETA) with the Ministry of Education in Ethiopia to transform the way students learn with information and communications technology. The ETA aims to “promote inclusive digital access, encourage innovative and creative thinking, develop critical 21st-century skills and build the capacity of local teachers.”
  2. Apposit and Tim Draper
    Apposit, a software development company based in Ethiopia, has partnered with American billionaire Tim Draper to build and maintain the platform for PAGA financial services, one of Draper’s investments in the region. Apposit is a burgeoning company aiming to deliver solutions for businesses and development challenges in Africa.
  3. Icog-Labs
    New technology companies are now emerging not only in California, but in Sheba Valley, the growing tech hub in Ethiopia. Sheba Valley is home to Icog-Labs, a research and development laboratory co-created with American researcher Ben Goertzel. Icog-Labs focuses on the development of artificial intelligence technology, the first laboratory to do so in Ethiopia.

These investments and innovations have primed Ethiopia to grow into a nation with abundant jobs in the technology and finance sectors, creating job opportunities for both Ethiopians and Americans and opening the door to economic opportunities for the U.S. These private investments can be expanded upon and accelerated with additional foreign aid.

In acknowledgment of the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Ethiopia, the Department of State has allocated $235.42 million in planned funding for the 2018 fiscal year. This assistance will be consistent with the government of Ethiopia’s five-year Growth and Transformation Plan. The good news, for Ethiopians and American investors alike, is that while Sheba Valley continues to flourish, the U.S. is renewing its commitment to Ethiopia’s economic growth.

– Whiting Tennis

Photo: Flickr

How the US Benefits From Foreign Aid to West Bank and GazaThe hardships that the West Bank and the Gaza Strip has suffered throughout its history are no surprising news to the rest of the world. However, through strong relations, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to West Bank and Gaza, as well as provides help to communities in need. This foreign aid allows this region to regain its footing and provide for the wellbeing of its people.

U.S. Aid

Since 2009, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has provided over $400 million towards promoting economic growth and basic humanitarian needs for the Palestinian people.

The conflict and strife in Syria and the Middle East has impacted more than 500,000 Palestinian refugees and caused them to relocate and search for help through other means besides their own government, who could not provide for them.

Humanitarian Assistance

In fact, there was a 57 percent increase of humanitarian assistance to provide enough medicine and food for the refugees. This raise can be attributed to funds supplied through another more condensed program — the United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRWA). This program is designed specifically for providing aid for Palestine refugees and people located in the near East.

However, the USAID and the UNRWA have begun to evolve into much more than simply welfare relief for this region. The long-term goal of relations with the West Bank and Gaza is primarily to achieve a lasting solution for the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians.

Through foreign aid provided to the West Bank and Gaza, three major U.S. policy priorities of concern to Congress are being addressed:

  1. Protect Israel from terrorist groups of the Sunni Islamist group
  2. Foster peaceful coexistence between Israel and the Palestinians
  3. Meeting humanitarian needs

This positive relationship increases opportunities between the regions, and ensures that the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to West Bank and Gaza. Allocating funds to countries in distress also encourages positive relationships with the United States that benefit both countries in the present, and safeguards the United States and its allies abroad.

The President of International Rescue Committee, David Miliband, stated:

“Global threats like Ebola and ISIS grow out of poverty, instability and bad governance. Working to counteract these with a forward-leaning foreign aid policy doesn’t just mean saving lives today, but sparing the U.S. and its allies around the world the much more difficult, expensive work of combatting them tomorrow.”

The Future of the Funds

Due to concerns raised by Congress, the funds go through an extensive vetting process and yearly audits to ensure the money goes towards causes to benefit the country and avoid Palestinian terrorist groups such as Hamas.

The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to West Bank and Gaza in a multitude of ways; however, USAID and UNRWA continue to explore more methods of aid in order to continue their positive relationship with this region of the world.

– Adrienne Tauscheck

Photo: Flickr

U.S. benefits from foreign aid to UgandaUganda, a landlocked country in East Africa, is considered one of the poorest countries in the world. The country has rich natural resources and its rural population is significantly high at 83.56 percent, according to the World Bank. Despite the fact that it is considered a poor country, the poverty rate is declining rapidly.

The U.S. international aid budget cuts would severely affect the aid given to Uganda and consequently might hamper Uganda’s development. This is because Uganda’s rapid development is at least partially due to the foreign aid it receives. However, it is in the United States’ interests to continue providing aid to Uganda, because the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Uganda as well.

The rapid poverty rate decline in Uganda is notable: in 2013, the proportion of the population living below the national poverty line declined from 31.1 percent in 2006 to 19.7 percent and the share of people living on $1.90 per day or less dropped from 53.2 percent in 2006 to 34.6 percent in 2013, one of the fastest decreases in sub-Saharan Africa. Poverty reduction among households in agriculture accounts for 79 percent of Uganda’s national poverty reduction from 2006 to 2013. Favorable prices and weather led to the increase in income in the agriculture sector.

Factors that demonstrate market efficiencies, such as investments in infrastructure, economic liberalization and better trade services, lead to favorable prices. Foreign aid, especially from the U.S., has led to the decline in poverty since much of the aid is used to develop agriculture and infrastructure and boost the economy. For instance, Uganda is a part of the U.S. government’s global hunger and food security initiative Feed the Future. Through this initiative, USAID investments focus on three value chains (maize, coffee, and beans) with the greatest market potential, nutritional benefits and income potential for farming households. This has the benefit of transforming subsistence farms into more commercial operations.

Additionally, USAID works to improve farmers’ skills in production, post-harvest handling and storage technologies, all of which increase the likelihood of earning a higher income. This initiative has clearly made a notable impact in the country, as Feed the Future farmers in Uganda earned $97 million from agricultural sales. These numbers show that Uganda benefits immensely from foreign aid. However, other effects such as social capital derived from foreign aid show that the U.S. also benefits from foreign aid to Uganda.

A recent study found that foreign aid has a strong impact on trust among people and can change beliefs and social capital. This study surveyed specific counties in Uganda and found a positive correlation between aid in a county and the subsequent level of trust, which aligns with the hypothesis that foreign aid contributes to an increase in trust. This is significant because trust is considered a “proxy of social capital and determinant of future growth,” meaning it can be converted into conventional economic gains in the future. In this way, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Uganda since it allows the U.S. access to Ugandan domestic and foreign policy, making foreign aid to Uganda an essential foreign policy tool. Moreover, foreign aid helps both the U.S. and Ugandan governments establish a mutually beneficial relationship based on cooperation on a wide range of shared issues.

Also, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Uganda because, as a nation like Uganda improves economically to become a middle-income country, it becomes a potential market for U.S. companies, thereby creating jobs in the U.S.

In short, there are many ways the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Uganda. Hence, the recently proposed budget cuts indirectly harm more than they help the U.S. Additionally, Uganda, as one of the poorest nations in the world, still requires foreign aid in order to continue its development. Hopefully, it will continue to fight poverty amid these cuts in foreign aid from the U.S.

– Mehruba Chowdhury

Photo: Flickr

U.S. benefits from foreign aid to VenezuelaGovernments may not always be straightforward with the way “freely-given” humanitarian aid to other countries is repaid. Many times, in exchange for helping another country solve a financial crisis or rebuild from a natural disaster, the benefactor receives greater access to resources or stronger political alliances with the country benefiting from aid. The ways the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Venezuela has changed because the political turmoil turning Venezuela on its head is putting strain on the United States government.

Human Rights Defense

According to the U.S. Department of State, assistance from the United States to Venezuela is focused mainly on human rights issues, civil services and building up the strength of political interests in the area. One main interest in Venezuela is building a strong counter-narcotics network in the region, but recently the USDS has reported that Venezuela has failed to maintain the network to adequate levels.

Politically, this demonstrates the inability for the Venezuelan government to control its national defense programs, which became even more obvious after a presidential election putting Nicolas Maduro in charge, an action widely disputed for its legitimacy.  

Venezuela’s Economy

According to CNN, a major reason for this election and presidential cycle being so tumultuous is due to a decline in Venezuela’s economy, which is one area wherein questions arise about the way the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Venezuela.

Another article from CNN Money states that the Venezuelan crisis spreads further than just a loss of democracy; it spreads to the pockets of the people as well. Venezuela’s cash revenue has fallen from $30 billion in 2011 to $9.9 billion in 2017. That drastic of a drop is causing a humanitarian crisis disproportionate to Venezuela’s economic capacity.

The U.S. and Venezuela

This being said, the United States remains one of Venezuela’s largest suppliers of goods. According to the U.S. Department of State, the U.S. exports nearly $8.3 billion to Venezuela include agricultural products, car parts and petroleum. In return, the U.S. imports a large number of oil products from Venezuela, totaling around $15.6 billion. However, this number has declined since the price of oil fell, causing an economic shift in Venezuela’s market.

This occurrence, along with a cash-poor economy, has pushed Venezuela into a crisis situation. With food being harder to get and inflation through the roof, humanitarian aid to Venezuela is going to increase in the next few years — that is, if the rest of the world wants to help stabilize the country.

A Global Shift

The way the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Venezuela is going to change. As long as political alliances don’t shift too far from their current position, there is a high chance that the U.S., through increased humanitarian efforts and support for the agricultural and healthcare systems in the country, can help Venezuela recover before the nation degrades any further.

– Molly Atchison

Photo: Flickr

BelizeHistorically, U.S. foreign aid has always been a topic of discussion. The decision to help other countries in times of need incites a lively debate, and that has yet to change. These debates include Belize, a country that greatly benefits from U.S. aid, but the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Belize as well.



The U.S. government helps Belize fight organized crime and drug trafficking while regulating the number of migrant workers coming into America. The U.S. has helped strengthen the police force in Belize as well as improve the capacity to secure its borders. It has also helped improve citizen security and Belize’s ability to confront and disrupt criminal organizations that run rampant throughout the country. This is all in the effort to strengthen Belize as a country which will be beneficial to the U.S. in the long run.


Immigration and Tourism

The U.S. and Belize have always been very close as the U.S. houses the largest number of Belize nationals outside of the country itself. This is partly because of migrant workers that come to the country from Belize. The U.S. is a major source of investment funds and is the principal trading partner for Belize.  The U.S. also helps to promote tourism in Belize. The tourism often results in Americans retiring and moving to Belize permanently. This helps increase the revenue within the country, promoting economic growth while also exposing Belizean culture to Americans that had never experienced it before.


International Relations

Giving help to Belize depicts U.S. diplomacy and also helps with relations among all Latin American countries. The U.S. has operations in over 100 companies located in Belize which helps the Belizean economy while simultaneously assisting corporations in the U.S. All the while, these efforts increase international relations and positive American diplomacy.

These are just a few ways that the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Belize, and as the relationship between the two countries continues to grow, more benefits will become apparent.

Belize has benefited substantially from America aid which has allowed an increase in economic status with attempts to end organized crime and illicit drug trafficking. U.S. foreign aid helped Belize improve the inner-workings of the country as well as citizen relations. Foreign aid has had a positive effect on Belize as a whole, and this is a trend that seems to be continuing as long as the U.S. is there to offer foreign aid to the country when it needs it.

– Simone Williams

Photo: Flickr

The Success of Humanitarian Aid to St. Vincent and the Grenadines

Composed of smaller islands in the southern Caribbean, St. Vincent and the Grenadines is known for its major sailing destinations and white-sand beaches. However, on Dec. 24, 2013, a heavy tropical storm plagued the islands. Heavy rains, flooding and landslides caused at least eight deaths and massive damage to the country. Declared a level 2 disaster by the government, regional assistance was requested seeing that local resources were limited. That’s when Britain stepped in.

Providing Humanitarian Aid

Britain was the first to offer humanitarian aid to St. Vincent and the Grenadines. Britain provided about $370,000 in early January 2014. In addition to the funds, London provided essential drugs and medical supplies. Water and sanitation equipment were also supplied in an attempt to curb spreading of water-borne diseases. The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) supplied the goods on behalf of the U.K.

Also in 2014, the European Commission’s Department of Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO) granted €300,000 to bring relief to locations affected by floods. Humanitarian aid to St. Vincent and the Grenadines was granted due to the severe impact left behind by the low-level trough system. A trough refers to an extended time of relatively low atmospheric pressure that can bring clouds, wind shifts and rain.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines have a history of receiving humanitarian aid. In 2010, the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) vowed to provide any and all support to the government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines following the destruction of a previous storm, Hurricane Tomas. This including engaging a team from the U.N. to direct macro socio-economic disaster impact assessments in the islands.

Updating Infrastructure

Still rebuilding from years of previous hurricanes and troughs, the Agence Française de Développement (AFD) offered $33 million to St. Vincent and the Grenadines and nine other islands to finance proper infrastructure projects. The AFD is a chief agency established by the French government. At least 50 percent of the funding will also go toward climate change adaptation and mitigation projects. Other areas to be funded are:

  • Renewable energy
  • Water and sanitation
  • Waste management
  • Updating infrastructure to combat climate change
  • Protection of coasts and rivers

The success of humanitarian aid to St. Vincent and the Grenadines gave the island hope. Every effort counted and the people of these islands knew they weren’t forgotten in their time of need.

– Tara Jackson

Photo: Flickr

humanitarian aid to MauritaniaMauritania is an impoverished country located on the west coast of Sub-Saharan Africa in the Sahel region. Of its 4.1 million people, 42 percent live below the poverty line. The population faces additional challenges of high youth unemployment rates and low levels of formal education. However, a huge decline in the poverty rate during the 2010s and successful projects in humanitarian aid to Mauritania place the country in a position to grow economically.

Mauritania gained independence from France in 1960 but has since seen two coups creating some political instability. The first occurred in 1978 and the second 30 years later in 2008. The second coup coincided with a time of poverty reduction, and the 2000s, in general, brought GDP growth for Mauritania. The mining industry is large in Mauritania and was a big factor in that growth due to an increased global value of minerals.

Humanitarian aid to Mauritania can help further boost the growth of the country and benefit the people. Below are four areas in which humanitarian aid has been a success.

  1. Finance – The World Bank has been involved with humanitarian aid projects in Mauritania since 1963 and is working on financial projects that benefit the people. There are currently eight projects that total over $370 million in aid to Mauritania. The projects align with the goal of creating jobs, as well as provide analytical work and technical assistance. Also, in 2012 the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) invested $12 million in commercial banks to provide a $127 million two-year credit line so that Mauritania would have a stable source of energy products.
  2. Education – The World Bank is also involved in two educational projects in Mauritania. Mauritania’s population suffers from a lack of formal education and a 44% youth unemployment rate. These World Bank projects (totaling over $30 million) educate the population and increase the relevance and efficiency of vocational training in Mauritania. The projects are also working with training institutions to modernize them and improve their programs. Seven of these institutions already have performance contracts and three will be internationally certified to best prepare the workforce.
  3. Climate – Located in the Sahel region in Africa, Mauritania has a semi-arid climate. Additionally, as a coastal country, Mauritania faces challenges from sea level rise and erosion. Up to 30 meters of coastline is lost in any given year. To combat this, Mauritania is working with other countries, regional alliances and international partners. Mauritania is developing an investment plan based on environmental analysis that will be part of a foundation for its future sustainable development. Also, Britain’s Oxfam is working to help the population affected by recurrent climate crises.
  4. Food – A large portion of humanitarian aid to Mauritania focuses on food security and nutrition. The European Commission is working to prevent malnutrition of those most vulnerable in the population. Additionally, USAID is working with Action Contre la Faim (ACF or Action Against Hunger in English) to prevent malnutrition through cooking demonstrations and nutrition education. Further, they conduct screenings to identify children most at risk of malnutrition so they can be treated. They have contributed over $200 million to ensure food availability in Mauritania.

Despite the improvements in Mauritania in the 2000s, there are still many people living in poverty and the country faces development challenges. Humanitarian aid to Mauritania has been essential to helping the people of the country and will continue to help grow the economy.

– Hayley Herzog

Photo: Flickr

How the U.S. Benefits from Foreign Aid to MadagascarThe U.S. has been helping Madagascar through various forms of aid and agreements for more than 30 years. In 2016, USAID was able to supply $91 million to Madagascar. Madagascar takes part in the President’s Malaria Initiative, water, sanitation and hygiene program and biodiversity conservation. The United States is part of an agreement with the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa, which helps frame trading and investments. Madagascar is one of the countries that can benefit massively from the agreement. The country is also eligible for even more trade benefits from the African Growth and Opportunity Act. However, this relationship is not one-sided; the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Madagascar in several ways.

According to the U.S. Department of State, U.S. imports from Madagascar include apparel, vanilla beans, precious stones and metals, perfumes and cosmetics. The U.S. exports machinery, rice, wheat, vegetable oil, aircraft and vehicles to Madagascar. Each item that the U.S. exports requires workers to make and package them, creating jobs in the U.S. to help Madagascar even more. Trading and exporting higher profit items such as vehicles further shows how the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Madagascar.

In 2011, Bill Gates explained how the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Madagascar and other countries as well. “The 1 percent we spend on aid for the poorest not only saves millions of lives, it has an enormous impact on developing economies – which means it has an impact on our economy.” Years later, this statement is still accurate.

In 2016, Madagascar imported $2.79 billion in products, a 1.68 percent increase from 2011. This shows that the economy is growing and foreign aid is helping. However, the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Madagascar not just through import and exports; foreign aid helps contribute to the security of the United States and can work to keep relations with countries such as Madagascar on reasonable terms.

In Madagascar, the United States focuses on helping with food security, disaster assistance and health. Recently, the United States has been the most significant donor to this country. The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Madagascar because, with all of this support, all that is left is progress. Progress related to the economy, healthcare systems and the continuation of development after natural disasters are all ongoing.

As Madagascar works to lower the 92 percent of people living on $2 a day, the U.S. will start to see benefits. For example, American businesses will benefit because as people who were once in poverty become wealthier, they will have money to purchase consumer goods. This example is critical to show how the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Madagascar.

In sum, Madagascar is still struggling daily and needs foreign aid to help, especially with the number of natural disasters that occur every year. However, all of the progress that is being made shows how essential foreign aid is to improving the lives of Madagascar’s citizens and increasing trade opportunities for the U.S.

– Amber Duffus

Photo: Flickr

How the U.S. benefits from foreign aid to HaitiFollowing the massive earthquake that shook Haiti in 2010, killing at least 200,000 people and displacing 1.5 million others, the United States contributed $5.1 billion toward relief, recovery and reconstruction. Temporary visas were also granted so that some Haitians could seek better opportunities in the United States. White House officials announced on January 17, 2018, that Haitians would no longer be eligible for U.S. visas given to low-skilled workers. The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Haiti, including this program, as it helps foster goodwill and acknowledges that the U.S. has taken much from Haiti in the past.

Haiti gained independence from France on January 1, 1804, and became the second oldest independent nation in the Western hemisphere. Before that, Haitians helped America win the Revolutionary War. In 1914, the United States under Woodrow Wilson invaded Port-au-Prince, raided the nation’s reserve and occupied the country. Haiti was ruled by the United States until 1934. Haiti still feels the consequences of imperialism and the U.S.-supported dictatorship that lasted from 1957 until 1986.

Today, the United States and Haiti are trade partners. The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Haiti because helping the Haitian economy allows for increased trade. Many of the clothes sold at Walmart, JCPenney, Gap, Old Navy and other well-known stores are manufactured in Haiti. The country’s garment manufacturing industry has been stable for decades and is currently employing 60,000 people, according to the Association of Industries of Haiti. The apparel sector makes up at least 90 percent of Haiti’s total exports.

There is clear economic evidence that migrant workers fill important gaps in the U.S. labor market. A 2013 study showed that at the height of the Great Recession in North Carolina, unemployment reached 12 percent. Among half a million unemployed workers in the state, only 250 applied for the 6,500 open agricultural jobs. Haitian immigrants help fill the agricultural labor gap and add value to the U.S. economy.

The U.S. benefits from foreign aid to Haiti and the workers that travel to America on temporary visas. By disallowing visas to Haitian immigrants, the United Staes is cutting off an economically beneficial opportunity for both itself and the Haitian people. The special visas gave Haitians a rare chance to work legally in the United States, contribute to the U.S. economy and help fund the recovery of Haiti after the earthquake.

The United States’ humanitarian assistance to Haiti following the 2010 earthquake fostered goodwill and was a meaningful gesture that helped make amends for the many years of imperialistic rule. When Haiti is productive, safe and firmly rooted in democracy, both Haitians and Americans benefit. U.S. policy focused on aid to Haiti can foster the institutions and infrastructure necessary to achieve meaningful poverty reduction through sustainable development.

– Sam Bramlett

Photo: Flickr