20 January 2010

Another Earthquake hits Haiti

The Guardian reports on a second earthquake which hit Haiti today (here), only 8 days after earthquakes which left the country with millions in dire need of assistance.

As we continue to hear those in authority give reasons why the aid distribution is not occurring, such as not having depot's to transport the supplies to, up to 20,000 a day are said to be dying from a lack of medical supplies. Aid agencies have voiced their anger at the lack of distribution as tonnes of supplies are stockpiled and guarded from those they were sent to help.

Given that the size of Haiti is not particularly large, smaller than the state of Maryland, it seems bizarre that the aid has not yet been distributed to the affected parts of the island by the thousands of troops that are now based there. I wonder whether any perimeters have even been selected to receive aid, as even those close to where aid is stored say they have not received yet received any.

The UN has voted to send more troops but in what capacity will they be functioning? So far I have seen them guarding the food from those in need (why? It's actually there for the people, who are the UN to control if/when they can have it?) and herding the survivors around by banging their body length shields and shouting at them.

There seems to be a lack of regard for the peoples need to survive as evidenced by the footage of soldiers arresting those who are salvaging what they can from the rubble. Not to mention the lack of urgency to their food distribution methods.

If the people do not salvage it, it will go to waste! Why on earth should the people of Haiti have to walk past supplies they need when they are starving and aid is being held back from them? A more useful role for the UN would be to assist the people with salvage operations, rather than arresting them for it!

For example, can you imagine if a policeman had survived in the TV series "Lost" and had then started to arrest people for stripping the plane of things they could use? It would be ludicrous, and so is punishing the Haitian people for trying to find what they can to survive instead of helping them.

Perhaps it is time to give the Haitian people charge of distributing the supplies rather than the UN, particularly as some have said they are concerned about violence which prevents them from taking the food out to those in need? I for one feel those in need would not use fear as a reason to prevent supplies from being distributed.

Able bodied survivors would probably be more efficient at distributing the aid by hand, and at least they would know that the food, water and medical supplies they are so in need of have been released to them at last.

The awful thing is, it reminds me of the global population reduction agenda we hear about.

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