Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The Shortcomings of Goodwill Alone

"Having spent the morning preparing remarks for the Senate, I bought a few magazines and papers to read en route to Dulles. Each of them featured Haiti on the cover. One of the dailies ran a story about a young Canadian man who, wanting to help out in Haiti, flew to the Dominican Republic and drove west to Port-au-Prince without much in the way of cash- or anything other than his goodwill. Before long, he ran out of money, and the Canadian embassy had to help send him home. It was meant as a lesson about the importance of planning and the shortcomings of goodwill alone. But it could stand as a parable for foreign aid, except that not all aid has been as honorable in intent."

Paul Farmer in Haiti: After the Earthquake, p. 96

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