As Chiri noted -- the main problem has been getting the money on the ground... which is a problem all over the developing world.
I second Lait Agro Go which makes a great yogurt and should get more and more aid.. Also Fonkose which has done an incredible job of getting micro finance loans out to the poorest women.. including lots of training.. Also ORE which is an intensive farming operation in the south.
Note that one of the best aid operations has been the Mango export.. USAID put in a center for clearing the USDA requirements in Haiti and Haiti then became the worlds largest exporter of organic mangos.
The entire aid industry is a challenge since it requires people who themselves do not know private enterprise to teach others to engage in it---- many times what they do is teach them to write good grant proposals... ie make them more efficient beggars.
Digicell, the Irish phone company, was a miracle in Haiti.. getting the entire country onto cell phones within a couple of years. But the issue remains that many places do not have any electric grid to charge the phones. I have seen one guy with a small solar panel which charges 10 phones at a time.. great!
As for the land issue.. the laws of Haiti prevent foreigners from owning more than one piece of land. So you can have either a home or a business property but not both. Also, it is hard, as it is here, to locate all the heirs who may have claim to the land since under French law you cannot disinherit your children. Haiti has always suffered from the fact that Petion rewarded his soldiers with small tracts of land so that the majority of the land holdings are in small plots... subsitence agriculture. Add to that the fact that there is a real prejudice against being a peasant, working the land, and the dream of most families is to have their children educated to the level of professionals. Remember that 70% of Haiti is still rural... Now it will be even higher.
Also, the Haitian diaspora loses its rights to citizenship if they take citizenship in another country... so the brain drain has been severe and absolute. There was hope that the Constitutional change on this would go through soon... has to have a first passage with one congress. then a second, then goes into effect. Hopes for that have been dashed now even though they passed the first amendment.
It is very difficult to legally start a business there... requiring almost a year to get the proper papers in place.
I do not hold out much hope that the "aid" agencies will "develop" Haiti.. since they have very little experience in doing that successfully anywhere. For the most part, they will be able to keep the people alive.
For USAID, for instance, the main requirement for a successful project is that the money is accounted for correctly... NOT that there were any results on the ground!! Gonaives, for instance, is still under mud... two years after the storms.
But what the big aid organizations may be able to do is help get the roads built, help get schools and hospitals built, and help the small community organizations to take more charge of their own destiny. One issue has always been that there was never enough money... and projects were always geared to showing results and getting finished in two to four years.. which may not be the case now.
For instance, there are over 1500 Haitians who are studying medicine here in the DR. They cannot return to Haiti to practice since the Haitian doctors insist that in order to be licensed there, they must complete their internship there and there are not enough hospitals to even accommodate the doctors who graduate from the Haitian university. So building hospitals and helping the State pay the doctors will be a big help.
Add to all of this is the historic corruption of the Haitian state... ranked among the top five most corrupt states in the world. The last Prime Minister, Michele Pierre Louis, was accused of stealing 197 million dollars for the restoration of Gonaives.. in response, she, known by the international community as a woman of great integrity, said that she would open the State books to scrutiny. Within a week, she was removed from office.
What we are seeing now is ALL the international aid agency grabbing for funds, jostling for position, ramping up their operations... Not that immediate food aid is not needed... ditto medical care etc... but in the long run, if Haiti is going to develop, it is going to have to come from the Haitian people. It is a positive thing that so many people--- now an estimated 400,000-- are leaving PaP.. which was a barely habitable city before the quake... and returning to the provinces. Certainly there are going to be camps,,, refugee camps... for a long time to come.. But those who are going out, are returning to their ancestral homes... not to just anywhere... And perhaps... with education which may be available in the camps, new community organizations will arise.
I do not know. It is in my nature to be optimistic and look for the silver lining. It is very hard to do right now, given the devastation.