Thursday, January 14, 2010

On Haiti

The situation is dreadful, harder than I ever imagined possible, because the port has been destroyed and so have essentially the few good roads to the capital. So has the Haitian government and many of the offices and warehouses of relief organizations which were already there. The UN has lost a lot of staff, for example. And the peace keeping troops appear to have pretty much disappeared as well as the Haitian police.

How to get aid in is therefore not only a problem of time and coordination and so on. It's a sheer physical problem, beginning with how to get it into the city, how to keep it safe and how to get it to all who need it. And time is of essence. Still, I hope that the different countries have a plan of coordination and a division of labor once relief work gets going. Without that I can imagine even further chaos.