18 January 2010

Why the delay with Haiti aid distribution?

I have been growing increasingly appalled at the delays in distributing aid in Haiti. A week on and many have still received no help at all. Food and water are in desperately short supply and how do the media respond? By calling them "scavengers" and looters, both words with negative connotations!

To see such suffering and desperation makes my heart ache for them. To have so little, not know if or when you will get more must be a terrible burden to bear, particularly if you have a family. When the aid is being collected up, and drip fed out ( eg Sky news videos of crowds of waiting people and the military only letting one person at a time in, and slowly at that. Meanwhile, children line the fences, asking but not getting).

Surely, it would be more humane to hand those in reach some food instead of just making them watch and wait,
it must seem like torture to them. Even asking them to pass the food back would be better than the painfully slow methods I've seen utilised to date. If the people knew that food was being shared more freely, those calling for a greater military presence might find that, that was sufficient to restore calm.

A greater military presence will only lead to more difficulties as those I have seen seem to be functioning as blockades and protectors of food stores rather than people. Tonight, sky news showed footage of military viciously attacking a Haitian man, as he lay on the floor, they kicked his body and head. This, to a survivor of such a huge natural disaster seems wrong in so many ways, who knows how many people that man had lost. Maybe someone needs to remind them that the people are the victims, they are grieving and we can only guess how much. On top of this they have to survive, the storing up of food, water and medical supplies is not helping that.

Kind of makes me wonder whether those in favour of reducing the global population could do any better at blocking vital aid if they were in control of operations themselves!

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