I was shocked to learn that my hometown, Montreal, will be hosting the Conference for Haitian Relief today. The conference will be attended by Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon, U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive and French Foreign Affairs Minister Bernard Kouchner. Together, along with others, they will try to figure out how to rebuild Haiti. This nation, which had already seen it's load of troubles way before January 12, will take years and billions of dollars to rebuild. Their challenge will not only be to come up with a sound plan of reconstruction but more so to put this plan into action. This devastated country will need an honest government, new infrastructures, buildings built to withstand earthquakes, a strong agriculture base and consistent manual and financial help and this for the next several years.
The disparity in living in Haiti is flagrant. This is an important factor to keep in mind. Relief funds will have to be diligently managed, otherwise it is very likely that the rich will find a way to secure relief funds for themselves leaving the poor majority of the population helpless.
These are all issues that will have to be dealt with in today's one day conference. God be with them.