I am big supporter of Partners in Health (PIH) run by Paul Farmer, Ophelia Dahl and others. Their organization helped argue that you can successfully treat those in developing countries like Haiti (the poorest country in the western hemisphere), the same way as in the United States. They treat disease that were usually considered 'too expensive' like TB-MDR and HIV-AIDS.
I have traveled to Haiti and it's neighbor the Dominican Republic several times over the past few years with a solidarity group. Following the Haiti's news over the past few years, I've realized their problems are bit more complicated than it seems on the surface.
One of their major problems is their location - specifically a prime target to be hit by Hurricanes. Similar to places like Florida, New Orleans, and Cuba, each fall they seem to be devastated by one hurricane after another.
Today I received an email from PIH discussing Haiti's recent blows from Hurricanes Gustav and Hanna.
"Loune Viaud, our Director of Operations in Haiti, explained that the situation is dire and the suffering extreme. She estimates that close to 10,000 people have been driven from their homes by floodwaters in Haiti’s Artibonite Valley, where we have recently expanded our operations to six new facilities."
"The situation is dire and catastrophic and sad and frustrating... worse than [Hurricane] Jeanne, if you can imagine." - Loune Viaud, Director of Operations for Zanmi Lasante
Hurricanes that hit Haiti can be especially deadly because of the lack of forestation in the country. Haiti was once a lush wonderland where Christopher Columbus first landed in the new world. Now thanks to years of poverty, political corruption, and mass deforestation to produce charcoal for food - the place seems almost bare. The lack of trees are a major problem because it the hurricanes can more easily create problems via floods and mudslides. Haiti's high population density (249.79 people per sqkm[45th of 256 countries]) helps compound the effect.
I don't have too much data on the situation - but I feel the hurricanes have shown an argument for helping to solve Haiti's environmental problem before their many others. How this can be done is another question...