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Fault LinesViews across Haiti's Divide$
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Beverly Bell

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780801452123

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801452123.001.0001

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The Super Bowl of Disasters

The Super Bowl of Disasters

Profiting from Crisis

(p.146) 18 The Super Bowl of Disasters
Fault Lines

Beverly Bell

Cornell University Press

This chapter examines how corporations and contractors, lobbyists, and consultants have exploited the Haitian crisis for their personal gain by leveraging humanitarian aid for profit. Plenty of the $1.1 billion in disaster relief from the United States has gone to inside-the-Beltway contractors rather than to suffering Haitians. In the first year, the U.S. government awarded more than 1,500 contracts worth $267 million, most of which went to U.S. firms and the rest to Haitian businesses. One contractor called it “the Super Bowl of disasters.” This chapter looks at a few examples of post-earthquake contracts and grants to illustrate that disaster capitalism is at work in Haiti after the earthquake, such as the story of housing and nonprofit CHF International's cash-for-work programs. It also considers the role of U.S. firms in the privatization of governance in Haiti.

Keywords:   Haitian crisis, Haiti, disaster relief, contracts, grants, disaster capitalism, housing, CHF International, earthquake, privatization

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