On Jan. 12, a devastating earthquake struck off the coast of Haiti, near the capital, Port-au-Prince. Haiti is the poorest nation in the western hemisphere. Its ability to provide for its people has long been a national problem unto itself. Now, a country already effectively devoid of infrastructure is undergoing a humanitarian crisis whose horror is difficult to overstate. Food, water, and basic medical supplies are scarce, travel and communication difficult. Though the rescue efforts continue, the task now at hand is the care of Haiti’s thousands of sick and dying and the maintenance of what social order Haiti still has left.
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