Rebuilding of Haiti Offers Opportunity for All Developing Nations

Former Fortune 500 executive says the world has an opportunity to turn devastation into a model for other struggling nations

Jan 13, 2010, 15:56 ET from YURU

DALLAS, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- When the rebuilding of Haiti begins, the country and the world have an opportunity to turn the small country into a productive nation that can in turn help other developing countries in their time of need. That's the opinion of former Fortune 500 business executive Kathy Robison, who spent the last four months working with a group of business men and women in Haiti on economic development ideas.

Prior to the earthquake, the group, Aimer Haiti, has been developing strategies that would take advantage of momentum started by their government, the United Nations, and world leaders such as former President Clinton, to mark a new beginning for global economic development.

"Despite this tragedy, it can still be done," Robison writes on her latest blog at YURU, her company that counsels business and political leaders around the world.

"I know the outcome for many will not be good after the earthquake shook a city already in pain to its knees," she writes, "but if there is any good that can come out of the devastation, it is that this tragedy will awaken the rest of the world to the story of Haiti.

"The business leaders I have been meeting with have seen enough disappointment and suffering," continues Robison. "They are willing to do whatever it takes to show the rest of the world that it is not too late for Haiti."

Robison wants everyone to know that just because Haiti has experienced what appears to be massive devastation, the world cannot give up on the dreams that both local Haitians and those living abroad still have for their country.

"Haitians have more spirit and more strength than you can imagine and they will not let this beat them," she says. "What Haiti needs is economic development and the building of a true middle class."  

Haiti will need immediate aid for sure, continues Robison, but they will also need long term development aid so that they can eventually find their own way and loose the title of the poorest country in the western hemisphere.

"There is much we are planning as far as creating new and innovative ways of using international aid and government support to promote private investment," she explains. "Alignment and partnerships can be created between local governments, private domestic investors, private foreign investors and foreign aid such that all are moving in the same direction.  Aid can be used to incentivize and guarantee investment that will create sustainable progress instead of being primarily used to shore up faltering national balance sheets and lining the pockets of a few."

Robison suggests that Americans wanting to help can do two things:  

First, donations that will be used for immediate relief can be made to YeleHaiti, a nonprofit organization founded in 2005 by Grammy-Award winning musician, humanitarian and Goodwill Ambassador to Haiti, Wyclef Jean.

"YeleHaiti is a non-profit that did amazing work after the devastating hurricanes in 2008," she says.  

Second, Robison suggested that Americans wanting to help long-term can provide donations to organizations such as Aimer Haiti that will be used to ensure that focus remains on economic development after the period of immediate aid is past.  

"I hope people don't give up on Haiti," said Robison. "Haiti is a beautiful country that has much to offer. We have an opportunity to show that we can develop a small country into a productive nation that can in turn help others.  We simply must be smart about how things are rebuilt, create partnerships that last, and align all parties in the same direction."

About Kathy Robison:

Kathy Robison spent almost two decades traveling the globe as an executive with Goldman Sachs Companies and ORIX Corporation, leading high-profile organization and restructuring projects. In 2009 she founded YURU, which counsels business and political leaders on ways to realize their full potential through creative, new business strategies.  

For more information, visit www.yuruinspires.com

For more information, contact Scott White 214.458.5751 or scottwhite@bizcompr.com

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