Monday, January 18, 2010


Ok, I am out of my area of expertise, and driven by anger and frustration as much as anything, but explain to me again why aid has taken so long to get to Haitians?

My real question is this: in the immediate aftermath of the quake, when as one NPR reporter described it, the response amounted to "Haitians helping Haitians" why was the emphasis on creating the infrastructure necessary to get organized aid to Haiti, rather than getting the food and tools that Haitians could use to Haitians? Why was it not possible to drop food, shovels, and medicine across the city?

And why, today, five days later, when Haitians are running out of the strength and the goodwill to help each other, is the focus still on infrastructure? Do we not trust that humans, in the worst conditions, rise to be their best selves? Is it really so important to have state-certified order before help comes?

Think about more comprehensible disasters--a car crash for example. First responders are usually untrained people who pull over and try to help. That was happening in Haiti, in the worst conditions, for several days. And official aid givers seem to have been unable to take advantage of that good will. Why?

1 comment:

lionofzion said...

Thanks for this post. It put together some of my own frustrations in a meaningful way, and raised a question I hadn't thought to ask.