After Billions In Misspent Aid, How Haiti Could Recover Faster From The 2010 Earthquake

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Photo: Haiti earthquake 2010 aftermath
Debris in the streets of the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Bel-Air in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

In some ways, it's like the earthquake that devastated Haiti eight years ago happened just yesterday. Wynn Walent, who leads the Colorado Haiti Project, says there are people still in temporary housing, looking for work or struggling to get clean water. That's despite $13 billion in aid that poured into the country. Walent has gone to Haiti regularly since the quake hit in January 2010, and says he has found a model for rebuilding more quickly.

Photo: Haiti seed bank Colorado Haiti Project
The Colorado Haiti Project's community seed bank was founded in response to Hurricane Matthew, to help families and small farms replant staple crops.

The Colorado Haiti Project helps run a school, a women's empowerment program, a seed bank and more. Three Episcopal priests -- one in Haiti -- started the organization 28 years ago.

Photo: Haiti women's co-op Colorado Haiti Project
Rica and Margalita, community leaders in Haiti who founded the artisan co-op Ti Pa Ti Pa, which means "one step at a time." The Colorado Haiti Project helps run the co-op to create jobs and provide access to capital.

says the group's partnership with Haitians and locally led organizations makes it successful and distinguishes it from most of the recovery and rebuilding efforts after the earthquake. Investigations by NPR and others have found a lot of the money was misspent on pricey international contractors, instead of going to Haitians themselves.

Photo: Haitian students with the Colorado Haiti Project
A third grade class at St. Paul's School in Chevalier, Haiti. The Colorado Haiti Project educates students with a focus on agriculture, entrepreneurship, and girls' empowerment.