Saturday, January 16, 2010

When Will the People of Haiti Get Help?

Good God, can anyone get any help to the suffering people of Haiti? Time is running out. Despite the best of intentions in the relief effort-- now directed at the Port au Prince airport by the U.S.-- the news is horridly grim. This is not the way to make friends or support a people.

President Obama's remarks on Thursday included these words "To the people of Haiti, we say clearly, and with conviction, you will not be forsaken; you will not be forgotten. In this, your hour of greatest need, America stands with you." It looks as if those words will rank in history with those engraved on the memory of Americans after Hurricane Katrina "Brownie, you're doing a helluva job."

As relief supplies languish at the airport as if there were 10,000 tomorrows, Haiti thirsts.

UPDATE (1PM): Another night and another morning has passed, and the only reports of aid received are sporadic and very limited. CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta talks about being the only doctor who didn't leave his patients in a field hospital overnight, and the US government continues to talk about a long term commitment to Haiti which won't mean much to anyone who is dead. The media carries stories of people who will perish without water or food or medical care growing desperate, looting food and other items that can perhaps be used for barter, and becoming angry and prone to violence. These peoples lives are at stake and this is the best they can say? The word is that Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in haiti, and let's hope she can do something. It's 3AM and that crisis phone call is waiting.

A couple of items seen around the internet:

Please send insulin to: Baptist Mission Haiti Hospital of Fermathe 62 Route De Kenscoff - People r dying by the minute (via Twitter)

"We haven't seen any government help here, nobody from the U.N., nobody . . . Tell people what is happening here in Haiti." (via ABC News)

8:00 PM Update: "HELP the God's Littlest Angels Orphanage in Port-au-Prince needs WATER! Children since 4 days without assistance! Thks!" (via Twitter)

And finally, we see some good news via Twitter:
"Dominican Red Cross set up hospital in Jimani border town; seeking medical staff; and

"The german urban search and rescue team working on the groung in Haiti."

11:00 PM Update: This Youtube video--posted today--features a story about an experienced 24 person Columbian Trauma team, complete with surgeons, who are skilled in amputations and treating traumatic injury. While they are capable of helping 120 patients per day, they have been unable to treat anyone since their arrival Thursday because they can't get clearance to leave the airport to set up their field hospital.


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