After the immediate crisis, though, there is another challenge: rebuilding the country. The key question is: will it be re-built better? Or will it be patched up and set adrift again, prey to the next natural disaster that strikes?
The world can send aid. Will we have the will to build good hospitals, comprehensive healthcare, modern water and sewage systems?
If we do have that will, perhaps life will finally improve in Haiti.
Michael Smith is North American Correspondent for MedPage Today. He has been covering the health and medical impact of last week's earthquake in Haiti.