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Christiane Broadcasts Live on the Ground from Haiti
Aired January 22, 2010 - 15:03:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN ANCHOR: Tonight, we are live in Haiti. Along with all of our colleagues here, we're looking at what can be done to help this country now. But the focus of this program will be, what can be done to help it over the long term? Will Haiti become a new model for a new Marshall Plan?
Good evening, everyone. I'm Christiane Amanpour, and welcome to the program.
Lots and lots of aid is now getting in. The airport is laden with all sorts of supplies coming in. As you know, planes are having to circle, looking for slot time. The outpouring is huge. But trying to connect those supplies with the immense demand is proving to be a huge challenge.
As I came into the city for the first time, one of the things that really took my attention was the lines of people now starting to form at one of the government buildings. It's still standing, although it has been damaged.
And it's the immigration and emigration building. It's where people go to get their passports or visas, and so many people we saw today in mostly orderly lines. There was some pushing and shoving to try to get into the barely staffed passport office, but we asked people what they were doing, and they basically want to get out. This is what one lady told us.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE (through translator): Let's say the Haitians don't know how to organize themselves and the country. They talk. They argue. That's all. Nothing works.
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AMANPOUR: So in a way, she's right. There is a lot of talking, there's a lot of discussing, there's a lot of impromptu community building that's going on, on the street. But in terms of the big, sustainable aid for body and -- keep body and soul together, that is still taking quite some time to come in an organized way, in terms of distribution points, in terms of proper lines where people can go and really connect what they need on a daily basis.
We went to one of the tent cities that you've been seeing over the last eight days since this earthquake struck -- it's not far from where I'm standing right now -- just to see how people are really developing their tent cities as each day progresses.
AMANPOUR: For days now, you've been seeing these tent villages springing up in parts of Port-au-Prince, which have really become little areas of domestic industry. People are cooking outside, of course. People are also selling anything from charcoal, to try to make a little bit of money, doing their laundry outside, selling whatever fruit they can manage to find, try to sell that and make some money to be able to buy some food and some water.
Now, one of the good things is that there are increasing water points propping up. For instance, here, UNICEF, the children's fund, has brought one great, big plastic bladder of water, and people lining up to get their water outside.
Various buildings -- for instance, hotels that are still standing -- some of them have opened up their water lines to the people. And you know what? People for want of anywhere better to go are having to wash right there, stay clean and hygienic, but do it right outside on the path in full view. There's no privacy in situations like this. Refugees or internally displaced people have to suddenly perform all their most intimate daily chores right out into the open, because there's no chance to do anything else. They don't have a roof over their head.
Now, it's also a challenge in situations like this to maintain law and order. We've seen U.N. police and peacekeepers. We've seen other of the international troops that are here occasionally patrolling some of these streets and driving through.
But there is a sense in some instances of vigilante justice. Today, again, not far from where we are, just about a block-and-a-half away, a crowd gathered around a man and basically stoned him to death, and that's what you're seeing on the picture right now. They told us that he was an escaped prisoner when the earthquake destroyed Haiti's main prison. We don't know whether that's true. They accused him of having stolen something from them.
What we can say, though, is that despite the many, many stories of violence, it really hasn't been as bad as all of that. It's been mostly localized, including the earlier looting. So, by and large, it is -- law and order is being maintained.
And, also, some of the Haitian helping Haitians that we've seen, which is amazing. For instance, one of the -- one of the Digicel companies here, one of the cell companies, we saw just out of his own goodwill bringing a truck full of water and doling it out for free to people who are lining up on the streets.
AMANPOUR: So that's for what's happening on the streets as far as we've been able to see today. And it may seem premature -- as the emergency operation is not even in full swing, trying to get into full swing -- it may seem premature to start talking about long-term development and nation-building, but many are saying that is just the conversation that needs to be had right now. But does the world have an appetite for nation- building?
CNN's Richard Roth has more from the United Nations.
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RICHARD ROTH, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): The rush to save Haiti, food, medical supplies, troops, diplomats, relief workers, and many of these visitors seem likely to stick around. Can you spell "nation- building"?
MAX BOOT, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: Nation-building is this horrible phrase which, you know, is like rubbing your fingernails against a chalkboard. But, in fact, it's something that we can't avoid.
ROTH: Haiti is the newest candidate.
ANDREW MACK: There are many, many conditions there that make it, I think, going to be incredibly difficult, even with lots of money going in, to have an effective nation-building program.
ROTH: But just what is nation-building?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Nation-building, in the American parlance, is reconstruction of failed or failing states, usually in the aftermath of wars.
ROTH: Sounds harmless, but nation-building is a political hot potato.
GEORGE W. BUSH, FORMER PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The vice president and I have a disagreement about the use of troops. He believes in nation-building. I would be very careful about using our troops as nation-builders.
ROTH: A few years later, President Bush sent tens of thousands of American troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, and they're still there, protecting fragile governments and helping to rebuild schools, roads and more.
The current U.S. president does not favor nation-building publicly. On Afghanistan...
BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Some call for a more dramatic and open-ended escalation of our war effort, one that would commit us to a nation-building project of up to a decade. I reject this course.
ROTH: American intervention didn't work in Somalia, but did in Bosnia and Kosovo. Nation-building-watchers agree on where it worked best...
ANDREW MACK: Germany, without the slightest shadow of doubt.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The heart of Europe's foremost seaport is a bombed-out shell.
ROTH: In 1947, Secretary of State George Marshall proposed helping Germany help itself. Today's equivalent of $80 billion poured in.
BOOT: The Marshall Plan and the rebuilding of West Germany after World War II really shows the two key ingredients that you need to have for successful nation-building. One is long-term outside support. You also have to have great leadership on the ground from the inside.
ROTH: 1945 Germany is not Haiti, but it offers useful tips.
MICHELLE WUCKER, WORLD POLICY INSTITUTE: Europeans were very early in the process given a say in what they wanted.
ROTH: These days, nation-building is often a dirty word, but supporters believe.
BOOT: We have to create a functioning state. And guess what? When you create a functioning state, that's nation-building, even though nobody wants to call it that.
ROTH: Richard Roth, CNN, United Nations.
AMANPOUR: And none other than the head of the International Monetary Fund, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, called for a Marshall Plan for Haiti just a couple of days ago. He joins us now from Washington, D.C., for an exclusive interview.
Mr. Strauss-Kahn, thank you, and welcome to this program.
DOMINIQUE STRAUSS-KAHN, MANAGING DIRECTOR OF THE IMF: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: So is that a dramatic call? Why did you decide to say that? Because it's a huge commitment, a Marshall Plan.
STRAUSS-KAHN: Well, you know, the first thing we have to do immediately, the urgency is to save lives of injured people and people in the street. And that's why the money that can be provided immediately as we are doing, which will be disbursed in a couple of day, is so necessary.
But that's not enough. The problem is really the long term for Haiti. This island has been hit by the -- the fuel and food prices crisis two years ago, and then one year ago by a hurricane, and now by the earthquake. And we really need to do something to rebuild the economy.
And the question today -- as you show in your -- in your -- what you showed a few minutes ago -- is to rebuild a viable economy, with people working and selling, and that's not going to happen alone. So we need to have the entire international community working together and have in something -- I call it a Marshall Plan. You can call it the way you want that will be -- which will be big enough to help the Haitians to go forward.
But as it has been said by one of you people you interviewed, the Haitians have to be in the driver's seat. It cannot be done from outside. We can provide resources, but there must be ownership by the Haitians themselves, and especially by the Haitian authorities.
AMANPOUR: Right. But let me ask you this. As you know very well, from all your experience, not just at the IMF, but at the government in France, that the world has a short attention span, that sometimes when the cameras move away, so does the focus, and that beyond that, the world seems to be allergic to the idea of nation-building or a Marshall Plan. Do you actually think that this is going to be different?
STRAUSS-KAHN: Well, Christiane, you're very right, and that's the real problem. As far as you give some image from Haiti, people are moved, and they want to do something. And the risk that in two weeks or three weeks or one month from now, everybody will forget about Haiti, but that's not possible, and our commitment has to be a long-term commitment.
That's why something which could look like a Marshall Plan -- I don't like so much the word of nation-building -- but something which will really be a commitment by the international community and long-lasting commitment is something which is necessary. And, really...
AMANPOUR: Let me just go quickly -- quickly to something else you mentioned, the -- the -- the loans. Both the IMF -- you've proposed $100 million loan -- has said that that will be interest-free, at least until the end of 2011. The World Bank has said that they will stop or not demand payment on their loan of $38 million for the next five years.
But many are calling for debt relief for Haiti. Why shouldn't Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, have its debt relieved and wiped out?
STRAUSS-KAHN: That's absolutely right. We are not allowed in the IMF to make grants. That's why we make loan. But for this loan, for instance, there's no repayment which is scheduled before five years from now.
And I'm advocating the fact that, in this five years' time, we will have time to build a debt cancellation for Haiti. It's impossible to ask a country like Haiti to repay debt when they are in the situation we have seen.
So it's not only an economic problem now. It's more humanitarian question and also partly a philosophical problem. Can the humanity avoid to help a country in such a situation? My answer is no, so we have to help them immediately with what we have as a tool, the only tool I have as a loan, I give them a loan, was no repayment for five years, zero interest rate. That's for immediate need.
But then we have to build something stronger. And, of course, debt cancellation, in my view, has to be part of it.
AMANPOUR: And do you see how this so-called Marshall Plan or whatever you want to call it, how it should operate? There is something of a blueprint that's been drawn up by Haiti's government which talks about targeting infrastructure, basic services, agriculture, and things like that. What is your blueprint, if you could give one, for how this development would be enforced and would operate?
STRAUSS-KAHN: Well, the IMF is in close relationship now with the Haitian authority. And as I told you, they happen to be in the driver's seat. But we see clearly that Port-au-Prince is really destroyed, and part of the economy has to be rebuilt in the countryside around the city, where the -- the cities have been hit not as hard as Port-au-Prince.
So rebuilding the economy in the rest of the country is something which needs infrastructures, investment, bank working again, which is not the case today, so to go as close as possible to a normal economy, and that has to be done rather rapidly.
Of course, it needs a strong -- strong international commitment. But I do believe that this is possible.
AMANPOUR: So I was going to ask you, why do you believe that it's possible, not just the international commitment, but that something will make a difference here? Many people look at Haiti and say, "We've been throwing money at this country for decades and look where it is today." Do you see signs of hope here?
STRAUSS-KAHN: That's right, but that has been kind of a piecemeal approach, where after -- day after day, you have another catastrophe and some money has been proposed and some effort has been made, with some reserve, but then comes another catastrophe.
So too much is too much. Now something special with Haiti that we need to take into account. And I think that the conference was going to take place in the coming days under the leadership of the U.S., the French, the Canadian is something which will be very useful, and I hope that the decision can be made not only to help for the immediate needs, but to help for the long term and rebuild the Haitian economy.
AMANPOUR: You yourself had a very early experience with a massive earthquake when you were growing up in Morocco. Has this affected your view of what needs to be done here?
STRAUSS-KAHN: Well, it's right to say that I have my own personal experience of an earthquake. No, it doesn't affect the view I have of the need for the Haitian economy, but certainly it shows to me that we cannot just believe that a few weeks of help, it will be enough. When you have such a big earthquake (inaudible) really to be rebuilt from the roots, from the -- and we don't need to start from scratch. The Haitian population is there. They are educated people, many of them, which can help to build this economy. And, again, they have to do it themselves with our help, but they have to do it themselves.
But what I'm convinced of is that we cannot just deal with some piecemeal thing, saying we're going to provide some resources there, some other resources there. It has to be a comprehensive plan, and I think that the Haitian authorities agree with this view.
AMANPOUR: Mr. Strauss-Kahn, thank you so much, indeed, for joining us from Washington.
And when we come back, we will talk to one of Haiti's leading novelists and poets, Lyonel Trouillot, about what he thinks Haiti needs and what Haiti can do for itself, as well.
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RENE PREVAL, HAITIAN PRESIDENT: On behalf of the Haitian people, I thank President Obama and his wife, Michelle. I thank the secretary of state, Mrs. Clinton, and her staff. I thank the President Clinton and all the partners, international partners who are helping us.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: That was Haiti's president, Rene Preval, talking to me just a few days ago.
And joining me now, Haiti's leading novelist and leading public intellectual, Lyonel Trouillot.
Thank you very much, indeed, for joining us. I want to ask you: With all of this tragedy, with all of this emergency right now, what do you see going forward? Do you think the world needs to continue? Do you think Haiti needs to do it for itself? What is the answer for Haiti?
LYONEL TROUILLOT, HAITIAN NOVELIST: I will talk first about what Haiti doesn't need.
AMANPOUR: Doesn't need, tell us.
TROUILLOT: What we do not need is for anybody, either state institution or individual, to take this occasion, this earthquake, to try to make a case about Haiti's failure.
AMANPOUR: You mean from the outside world?
TROUILLOT: This is not a failed state. This is not a failed country. This is a poor country that has been socked by an earthquake. And if we start from there, Haiti has to continue to develop the democratic process, to create a modern state. It was already going on. We have to continue on that. And we need the help of the world. We need money. We need technology. We need support. But what we most need is to remain the ones who decide of our own future.
AMANPOUR: And that, I think, is what we're hearing loud and clear from my guest, the IMF chief, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, from the U.S. president, other world leaders. But so does Haiti -- you talk about democracy, and many people talk about hopeful signs over the last few years. But what needs to happen in your own government, in your own structures to have a fresh start?
TROUILLOT: In our own structure, we have to change something that has been going on for 200 years. This is a state that has mostly been the state of the rich and has forgotten the poor. We need to create a (inaudible) citizenship for all Haitians.
And this, I must admit, the so-called elites and government and state have failed. And maybe we struck by such disaster, it is time for us to come together and improve, stop thinking about only the few rich and think about the whole country.
AMANPOUR: You know, a lot of people -- well, some people have raised, you know, fairly controversial subjects, like Haiti's culture needs to be changed, Haiti's culture of paternalism needs to be changed, needs to take responsibility for itself, no more excuses. Do you buy that?
TROUILLOT: I don't think we've been looking for excuses. And maybe those people have not been listening to what Haitians have been saying for at least 15 years.
I do think that what keeps us together, it's the rich popular culture. The thing is, that popular culture that comes from the peasantry, that comes from the poor people has been totally ignored by the government, by the elites, by the rich in this country.
Once again, it is the case for us to accept what -- I've been in the streets for a week. I've seen the poor people, what they are doing. I've seen (inaudible) I've seen (inaudible) by themselves.
AMANPOUR: It is incredible. I mean, we've just shown this nation- building that they've done for themselves.
TROUILLOT: ... and I've also seen how artists, writers, musicians, painters, all the cultural world, all the artistic world, we are trying to work together. And I think that's what holds us together.
AMANPOUR: And do you think that the world understands enough that, in 1804, this was the first black republic, that it was the first to beat back colonial France and end the slavery?
TROUILLOT: The few people outside Haiti who know about it understand, but not...
AMANPOUR: But what happened? What went wrong after that? It was a rich country, sugarcane. I mean, it filled the coffers of imperial France.
AMANPOUR: What happened to bring it to the state that it's in today?
TROUILLOT: Yes, but let's not forget that, during the 19th century, Haiti has been kept away from all -- I would say -- outside life by the United States, by France, by the powers of the West. So often people talk about Haiti as a disaster. It's a miracle when you know how much in the 19th century this country people were betting that it would not survive, and it did survive.
AMANPOUR: So are you hopeful?
AMANPOUR: Standing on top of this rubble and looking to the future?
TROUILLOT: Yes, I've been -- I've seen how people are trying to work together, and it is a time for us to recognize that we have made some mistakes and we have to get a new start.
AMANPOUR: Lyonel Trouillot, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.
TROUILLOT: Thank you.
AMANPOUR: Thank you very much, indeed. And we wish you luck. And we'll keep wishing luck for your country, as well.
And coming up, more on the earthquake that violently shook this country. And also, a bit more on the history of this country.
AMANPOUR: You heard our last guest, Lyonel Trouillot, talk about Haiti's long and complicated history, going back more than 200 years.
AMANPOUR (voice-over): In 1804, African slaves in Haiti overthrew their French rulers, creating the world's first black republic. But decades of turmoil followed, until American President Woodrow Wilson sent U.S. Marines there in 1915. And that was the start of an occupation that lasted almost 20 years.
The Haitian military then seized power and ruled the country until the dictator, Francois "Papa Doc" Duvalier, declared himself president for life in 1957. His son, Jean-Claude, "Baby Doc," took over in 1971, but he was ousted 15 years later.
And then, after more instability and unrest, former Catholic priest Jean-Bertrand Aristide won Haiti's first free election in 1990. But his presidency didn't last long. He was overthrown in a military coup a year later. Many Haitians tried then to flee to the United States, but were forced back. And fighting broke out in Haiti.
And then, in 1994, the U.S. sent thousands of troops to maintain order and to restore democracy and Aristide's presidency.
But Aristide was overthrown again in 2004. U.N. peacekeepers returned, and Haiti was making small, but significant steps towards progress until the earthquake struck.
AMANPOUR: So now -- now so much of that promise has been set back by the earthquake. And just the basic GDP has been -- much of it -- wiped out.
It's going to take a long time to be able to get that back. When we return, we are going to talk to two experts on Haiti, a leading journalist who's been focusing on Haiti and a leading economist, as well. And right now, we have a Web -- a Web feature where you can have a 360-degree view of what's happened over the last eight days, that earthquake, that you can control.
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AMANPOUR: Perhaps one of the most heartfelt messages here these days is emblazoned on this T-shirt that Juazen (ph) is wearing. Basically, why can't I find a millionaire to love me? And, certainly, the Haitians need not just millionaires, but the focus to stay on once the cameras walk away.
And I think what people should know is that, despite the devastation and despite the depravation, there is self-imposed order. There's commerce that's spreading up. Look, you can see the streets here. They're clean, because after several days of the immediate emergency, where people could, they did take the garbage away.
So as I say, there are all these little communities that are springing up commerce even. As you can imagine, whenever things go bad, people do what they can to not just take advantage, but to do what they can to live. And here people are selling. Those who have a little bit of cash can come and buy something.
Remittances are beginning to come back into Haiti through Western Union, but the banks are not fully opened yet. And what money's coming in is still really a trickle.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: Welcome back. We're live still from Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and I'm joined now by Jeffrey Sachs, who's head of the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York. He's also a special advise to the U.N. secretary general. And also by Mark Danner, a journalist who's been covering Haiti for decades, he's in Berkeley, California.
Gentlemen, thank you both for joining me. Let me start with you, Jeff Sachs, in New York. You have written an op-ed about how to help Haiti not just now, but in the future. What is it going to take? And is the world going to be able to do it any better than it's tried over the many other times that we've witnessed, even in the last 10 or 15 years or so?
JEFFREY SACHS, EARTH INSTITUTE, COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY: I think what you heard from Dominique Strauss-Kahn was exactly right, the managing director of the IMF. We need a large, sustained, organized effort. I very much appreciated what he said.
What we've had is, over the years, a loss of interest and attention every time the cameras go off. And, in fact, ironically, the U.S. has sometimes been a source of destabilization rather than -- than help by imposing trade...
AMANPOUR: What do you mean?
SACHS: Oh, when you think about the era of bringing President Aristide back to power in the early 1990s that you mentioned, the U.S. led an international trade embargo that actually crippled the Haitian manufacturing sector, which never recovered.
And then, in this past decade, it was the Bush administration actually which did most to chase Aristide out of office. So the U.S. has been on all sides of this. And what we need now is a sustained effort, not, I think, focused inside the U.S. government, but in a professional organization like the Inter-America Development Bank, that for years and years can carry on the good, necessary, hard, but achievable work of helping Haiti to rebuild an agriculture sector and an urban economy.
AMANPOUR: OK, Jeff. And we want to go through the points point by point, but I want to pick up your point of history, the recent history, and ask Mark Danner. You, too, have just obviously written a lot over the years, but have just written that to heal Haiti, look to history, not nature.
What about before the recent U.S. involvement, the dictators, the coups, the occupations? You know, so many people say that it's Haiti and its inherently corrupt and ineffective structures. Give us a little sense of the history and how that's contributed to the terrible state it's in today.
MARK DANNER, AUTHOR AND PROFESSOR: Well, Haiti, as you said in your history piece, began in a slave revolution. It's the only successful revolution in history. When it was established, when it declared independence, it was the only independent black republic on the face of the globe, and it was immediately put under a regime of isolation, a trade embargo. The United States, among other major powers, wouldn't recognize it, didn't recognize it for six decades.
So it was immensely hindered by the antipathy of the outside world. I think more relevantly, as well, is the fact that the government that was established there really is a kind of pale echo of the extractive mechanism that was there during colonial times.
That is, the government was about extracting wealth for the elite through taxes on agricultural produce in the first years and not about development. And in a sense, although the Haitian government has improved in the last couple of years, that has really been the tradition in Haiti for a very long time.
And one should say, also, that though I agree with the head of the IMF, Haiti needs a lot of money and it needs it quickly, and that's obviously part of it, we should be a bit skeptical about the history of development and development organizations in Haiti, as well.
If this rebuilding is going to be successful, it has to be done by Haitians. It has to put money in the hands of Haitians and not just the Haitian elite, but in the hands of Haitian citizens...
DANNER: ... who are immensely entrepreneurial, immensely impressive. The question is how you can distribute that money in the countryside, throughout the urban sector, so that people can get started themselves, so that the construction industry, for example, spreads money around, so it isn't just monopolized by the contractors and builders.
AMANPOUR: Right. Let me put that to Jeffrey Sachs. How to -- to do this and to make Haiti and Haitians the drivers of this with outside assistance? You have a recommendation or a proposal for a recovery fund that should be in the hands of an outside body. Does that -- does that mesh or jibe with the idea of letting Haiti take control of its destiny?
SACHS: Yeah, I think that one has to view this as a series of specific challenges. How to help peasant farmers get fertilizer and seed so that they can grow the food to feed the country, that's a specific set of mechanisms. How to build a power plant, that's not an internal matter. That's actually imported, large-scale capital investment. That's not a transfer to the Haitian government. That's a specific large project that needs to be financed from outside, in effect, so there could be electricity again in the country, reconstruction...
AMANPOUR: And to Mark's point...
AMANPOUR: To Mark's point about not letting all the money and the aid get eaten up by contractors, outsiders?
SACHS: Well, again, I think that there are ways to do this and then there are bad ways to do this. I would not subcontract to a lot of businesses the way we've done in Afghanistan and Iraq, because we'll never see the money again. And I think this can be managed in a much more professional manner, and that's why I recommend a professional organization that is focused entirely on development to do this. And the Inter-American Development Bank is my recommendation in that.
AMANPOUR: OK. We're going to go to a break. And when we come back, we're going to speak to you both about the specifics and some of the real questions that people have about whether a better Haiti can be built from this rubble and these ruins, when we come back after a break.
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HILLARY CLINTON, SECRETARY OF STATE: I think there has to be a coordinated reconstruction and development effort.
NICOLAS SARKOZY, PRESIDENT OF FRANCE (through translator): We also have to use this opportunity to help Haiti move out of this difficult economical and financial situation. We need to use this crisis to mobilize.
GORDON BROWN, PRIME MINISTER OF BRITAIN: This is now a test of the international community. It is a test of our compassion. It is a test of our resolve.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
AMANPOUR: As we listen to those grand promises and those big words, a reminder that the emergency is by no means over. There's a huge commotion going on right down there just a few years away. A truck has pulled up. There's a truck full of bottled water, and some people are throwing bottled water to people, who are still really thirsty, who still need clean water. And some people came up to me today and said, "I'm hungry," who still need food.
We're back, of course, with Jeffrey Sachs again and Mark Danner to continue our discussion about what it's going to take to change all this and give Haiti a completely new face for the future.
Mark Danner, how much does -- how much does Haiti have to be able to offer to this reconstruction, if you like? I mean, so many people have been talking about it, its leading economic potential, whether it's tropical fruit, whether it's tourism, whether it's the garment manufacturing sector. There's a lot of -- of -- of possibility, isn't there?
DANNER: Well, I think Haiti has great potential. It's very close, obviously, to the United States. It's quite beautiful, parts of it. Its people are entrepreneurial, artistic. It's got a glorious history, very interesting history.
And, yes, you know, when you look at the countryside, its farmers can be very productive. Its workers in the industrial sector that was essentially destroyed in the embargo were extremely productive. So it certainly has a lot to offer. There's no question about that.
The question is how you free the people from the grip of what has been, at least historically, quite a debilitating government and unleash the entrepreneurial energies of the people of Haiti. And this is an opportunity to do that.
AMANPOUR: Well, how do you?
DANNER: Well, I think...
AMANPOUR: Mark, how do you?
DANNER: I think one way is -- you know, Jeffrey Sachs is right, of course, that a power plant needs to be designed and brought in from outside, but the fact is that a huge part of this reconstruction is going to be simply replacing houses and buildings. The construction industry as much as possible, things should be made in Haiti. Haitian workers should be constructing this. The wages should be at a decent level to put money into the hands of Haitian people.
We should be training electricians and other trades, which can be done. You know, one thing that this effort should do is spread out the money so that they can invest.
AMANPOUR: Well, I'm going to ask that to Jeff...
AMANPOUR: ... about spreading out the money. Jeff, how long do you think it's going to take to even start a rebuilding and to get it anywhere near -- with any -- any kind of progress to show for it? And how much do you think it's going to take, in terms of money?
SACHS: If we're clever, we should recognize that the rainy season begins in about two-and-a-half months, and getting a decent crop is vital for the food supply and vital for the future of Haiti, so we should act now already starting on the recovery phase and the development phase. That would mean a very specific program to help get fertilizer and seed to peasant farmers in the -- in the non-destroyed countryside.
For the physical reconstruction, this is also something that needs to start in months, not years, and Mark is completely right. There's a tremendous amount of labor-intensive work ahead that really will employ a very substantial part of the labor force of the country in rebuilding the country by themselves.
There's also the expansion of basic services, community health workers, and literacy teachers, and others that can make a huge difference. So we shouldn't see this as people going into tent cities and then living there as displaced populations for months or years. That would be a disaster and tragedy. We need to start on the recovery and development effort, essentially, within -- within weeks.
DANNER: A key question...
AMANPOUR: Right. And, Mark, I mean, something like 50 percent of the people, 10 million or so population, are impoverished. And I want to know, why is the Dominican Republic forested, it's got a good economy, it's got a decent system and a democracy, and right on its border, Haiti is so poor and so pretty much dysfunctional?
DANNER: Well, the Dominican Republic has had a very different history. And it's had bad times itself, but, you know, there's nothing determined about geography. In other words, pointing to a country next door with the implication that there's something doomed about Haiti, I think, is -- is misconceived.
AMANPOUR: No. What could Haiti do better?
DANNER: Well, I wanted to follow on what Professor Sachs was just saying. To me, the key question here is, we're going to have a period of rebuilding, in which immense amounts of money are going to -- we hope -- are going to flow into the country.
The question is how not only that rebuilding can be done in such a way that it puts money into the hands of ordinary Haitians, gives them skills, but also, third, and I think most important, transitions in some way into sustainable economic activity.
For example, if you're investing the agricultural sector -- and I believe that's absolutely necessary, as Dr. Sachs said -- you want to invest in it in such a way that you can have American markets open that will continue to supply markets for a revitalized sector after the recovery period is over. In other words, you want this to be a kind of liftoff to permanent development.
And that has to be the way we're thinking of this, not simply as an emergency effort, and also not as an effort to simply redeem -- and, you know, it's about us, we have to -- this is a test of us. It needs to be about Haiti and about unleashing the energies of Haitians.
SACHS: Christiane, if...
AMANPOUR: Thank you so much, both of you. Yes?
SACHS: If I might come in, I just wanted to stress that as recently as around...
AMANPOUR: Very briefly.
SACHS: Haiti was about half the average per person income of Dominican Republic, but Dominican Republic grew, whereas Haiti has the trade embargo and the political instability, and then fell down, so that the gap rose to seven or eight times.
So Haiti was close by and could get close by again if this political disaster can be reversed and we can have a decade or more of proper cooperation.
DANNER: These are political differences, not inherent ones, definitely.
AMANPOUR: OK. We are going to keep our eye on this, gentlemen. We're out of time. Thank you both so much, Jeffrey Sachs, Mark Danner.
And next, on our Web site, we have a photo gallery showing the disaster from the children's perspective. That's on amanpour.com.
AMANPOUR: Now our "Post-Script." We'll be in Port-au-Prince and around Haiti for the week, and we want to close tonight showing you moments of CNN's report and its coverage from here over the last week.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (through translator): If conditions don't improve, these people will fall to the ground as cadavers.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It's impossible to overstate the sense of indignity here. These are the poorest people in the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Have you heard your daughter?
(voice-over): "Yes," she tells us. She heard her 10-year-old daughter just this morning. She's been trying to get someone to go through the building for four days.
In the movies, this is when a small sound would be heard, a faint tap, a child's cry. But this is Haiti, and this is real. And despite their best hopes, they hear no sound of life.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We hopped on one of the dozens of American helicopters now delivering aid to nine landing zones.
COOPER: His name is Manly Elise (ph), 5 years old. He appeared to do what many thought impossible: He survived in the rubble for nearly eight days.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (inaudible) feel good.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Talking to some of those rescue teams, many say they'll be heading home in two or three days. That's it. The challenge then will be making sure these survivors make it through.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We're trying to make sure that the person who comes out after a few days under the rubble piles and we're treating then gets passed on to definitive care afterwards.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We came across little Aniaca (ph), and her mother, who made it onboard. (SPEAKING FRENCH)
(voice-over): Against all odds, they got on board and planned to travel to an aunt's house in a safer part of the country.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: We got down to the port yesterday and saw what we think is some very, very good news. You know, the port partially reopening. It's not perfect, but it could down the road lead to some very, very good things in terms of getting aid out to the folks who need it.
AMANPOUR: Do you believe that Haiti will recover and that the world will keep its attention on Haiti?
PREVAL: Yes, I think that we will make it with the help of the Haitian people, with the help of the international community.