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Developing Economies

Does The Tsunami Hold Lessons For Haiti?

The World Bank's country director for Indonesia, Joachim von Amsberg, says the rebuilding of Indonesia's Aceh province following the tsunami in 2004 should serve as a model for Haiti. In a editorial in today's Washington Post, von Amsberg notes the similarities between the two countries. He writes:

"Haiti is a poor country long plagued by governance issues. Even though Indonesia is a well-functioning state, Aceh at that time had been ravaged by decades of conflict between the Indonesian government and Acehnese groups fighting for independence."

Von Amsberg suggests a three pronged approach for dealing for reconstruction in Haiti that focuses on "local and national leadership," "empowering people" and "coordinating global aid." And he paints a rosy picture of life in Aceh today: "I have seen enough redevelopment and spoken to enough local people to know that Aceh has been built back better than it was before the tsunami." Still he notes, it will not be easy.

Adam covered the tsunami for NPR in 2004 and later today we hope to ask him what he thinks about the comparison with Haiti. For now, here are some links to stories from his coverage of that disaster:

Organizations Act to Measure Economic Costs of Tsunami

Some Normalcy Emerges in Tsunami-Devastated Indonesia

Businessmen Eye the Future in Indonesia