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Home Publications Blogs Haiti: Relief and Reconstruction Watch "Haitians are Holding on Despite the Inadequate Humanitarian Response"

"Haitians are Holding on Despite the Inadequate Humanitarian Response"

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Tuesday, 16 February 2010 10:55
Bill Quigley, Legal Director at the Center for Constitutional Rights, writes over the weekend in response to a comment US Ambassador to Haiti Ken Merten made regarding relief efforts. Merten addressed humanitarian aid delivery at a press briefing by saying:
And I think, frankly, it’s working really well, and I believe that this will be something that people will be able to look back on in the future as a model for how we’ve been able to sort ourselves out as donors on the ground and responding to an earthquake.
Quigley notes numerous facts on the ground contradicting the Ambassadors claim such as:

-1.2 million people living in make-shift camps.

-Only 1 in 5 people have recieved tents or tarps.

-Food shortages in the countryside, where nearly a half million Haitians have fled to.

Quigley provides the following anecdote to illustrate who the real model is:
One orphanage outside of Port au Prince, home to 57 children, was promised a big tent so the children would no longer have to sleep under the stars. The tent arrived but without poles to hold it up. The same group was promised food from UNICEF. Twelve days later, no food had arrived. They improvised and constructed scaffolding to create an awning over the mattresses lying on the dirt. They are finding food from anywhere they can. "We're holding on," said the Haitian director Etienne Bruny, "We're used to difficult times."

Haitians are holding on despite the inadequate humanitarian response. They are the model.

Tags: aid distribution

 

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