I note from the BBC that the president of Senegal has offered land to refugees from Haiti.
President Abdoulaye Wade said Haitians were sons and daughters of Africa since Haiti was founded by slaves, including some thought to be from Senegal.
"The president is offering voluntary repatriation to any Haitian that wants to return to their origin," said Mr Wade's spokesman, Mamadou Bemba Ndiaye.
. . .
"Senegal is ready to offer them parcels of land - even an entire region. It all depends on how many Haitians come," Mr Bemba Ndiaye said.
"If it's just a few individuals, then we will likely offer them housing or small pieces of land. If they come en masse we are ready to give them a region."
The spokesman emphasised that if a region was given, it would be in a fertile part of the country rather than in its parched deserts.
There's more at the link.
It's perhaps ironic that Senegal (a country which is the source of many thousands of economic refugees and illegal immigrants to Europe) is offering refuge to Haitians: but the principle - getting them out of Haiti to a place where they can make a fresh start - is logical. There's nothing in Haiti to offer a future to most of its citizens. The economy's ramshackle (Haiti was ranked by the International Monetary Fund in 2008 as 135th out of 180 nations in terms of Gross Domestic Product per capita - Senegal, by comparison, was 111th). There are minimal natural resources, gross over-population, and no employment opportunities to speak of. All the aid that's being promised to Haiti right now is going into a bottomless pit . . . it'll be absorbed, used up, and there'll be no improvement to show for it. Those begging for food and help today will be doing the same tomorrow.
I think the only real answer to the poverty in Haiti - which was there before the earthquake, and will be there for generations to come unless a solution is found - is to move a large part of the population off the island. They can make a new start somewhere else, and their departure will lessen the pressure on Haiti's very limited resources from those who remain. That'll give them a chance to begin building a real economy from the ground up.
I know, I know, it's a pipe dream in terms of political realities . . . but it remains the only hope, IMHO. Unless that happens, the situation will just revert to hopelessness once more.
Oh - and has anyone noted the fact that whilst former President George W. Bush was pilloried by the mainstream media and the Democratic Party for his alleged failure to respond adequately to the humanitarian disaster left by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, he's nevertheless been asked by President Obama - along with former President Clinton - to help with relief efforts in Haiti? Clearly, the 'Katrina hangover' hasn't affected his usefulness. The irony! It burns!