Roger Thayer Stone Center For Latin American Studies

Tulane University

Gates Foundation Funds Haitian Aid Study

September 16th, 2010

By: Mike Strecker

Photo: Dr. Elizabeth Bellino, a clinical instructor of pediatric infectious diseases at Tulane, cares for a wounded child in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, after the devastating earthquake. (Photo from Dr. Elizabeth Bellino)

Tulane University‘€™s Disaster Resilience Leadership Academy, in partnership with the University of Haiti, will assess the impact of humanitarian aid in Haiti and whether it supports the sustainable recovery of the Haitian people. The first-of-its-kind study will be funded through a $762,198 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The assessment, which began this month and will run for 18 months, will determine how relief and recovery dollars can impact community resilience by gauging the perceptions of Haitian stakeholder groups including the Haitian people, government and relief agencies.

On Jan. 12, a 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti near the capital of Port-au-Prince. To date, the government of Haiti has reported more than 230,000 deaths, two million people internally displaced and three million affected individuals. The earthquake has further exacerbated the already fragile state of Haiti.

International and national partners have pledged $9.9 billion in aid during the next three years with the United States alone providing more than $1 billion.

Tulane University President Scott Cowen said, ‘€œThis unique program funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and implemented by Tulane‘€™s DRLA seeks to understand the needs, response and sustainability of humanitarian and development interventions in a complex situation such as Haiti. With New Orleans recently observing Katrina‘€™s fifth anniversary, we have come to know, first hand, the importance of immediate relief as well as issues of sustainability for our communities.‘€

With Haiti‘€™s needs so vast and the funding and resources being brought to bear so sizable, it is imperative to monitor the appropriateness and efficacy of the aid delivered, said Ky Luu, executive director of the DRLA. The novel study ‘€œwill identify humanitarian aid best practices as well as assess donor financial stewardship,‘€ he said.

See the original article in Tulane’s New Wave