As I watch with tears the endless reports of the devastation in Haiti, one thing brings me hope; China, the United States, Switzerland, France, Mexico, Poland, Germany, Canada, Jordan, Columbia, Nicaragua, Brazil, Guatemala. What do all of these countries have in common? Goodness. Each of these countries has sent or is in the process of sending relief workers, search and rescue canine teams, medicine, military, and doctors. This crisis is bringing the world together to help a country already much less fortunate that many.
The problem lies in the difficulty in getting there. A one-strip airport, a port already damaged by hurricanes, and inland roads hampered by the earthquake. As the UN put it, it’s a “logistical nightmare.” To make matters worse, Haiti is a country rife with corruption and poverty. Who will lead the relief efforts? Outside sources like China, the United States, Switzerland, France, Mexico, Poland, Germany, Canada, Jordan, Columbia, Nicaragua, Brazil or Guatemala? Or the still-left-standing leaders who weren’t doing that well with aiding the country even beforehand? At this point, more than a billion dollars has been donated to help Haiti. In the past, aid has been spent well, let’s just say, unwisely. Hence the recent firing of Prime Minister Michele Pierre-Louis in November.
Obviously the first concern is to save people, treat those who have been hurt, and provide food, water, and shelter for the masses left homeless by the destruction. But after that, what will happen is anybody’s guess.
The United States is a powerful and generous ally. The Red Cross reports today that in text messaging alone, they have been given over 8 million dollars in aid. You can give $10 to the Red Cross by texting the word “HAITI” to 90999 or give $5 to the United Way by texting “Haiti” to 864833.