When you dash in and out of people's lives, whatever assistance you offer is always limited, and sometimes entirely hamstrung, by the complexity of a new and separate reality. If I am grasping nothing else, it's that Haiti's reality is very complex.
Critics of the NGO response in Haiti have begun to ask why the money raised has not been spent more quickly. But they misunderstand the fact that each phase of disaster response is exhaustive and expensive.
Even before the earthquake, 85% of Haitians did not have electricity. Now the situation is even worse. For $10, you can empower a group of 10 people in Haiti for 10 years by providing a solar-powered light.