Need for Humanitarian Assistance to Haiti Following Storms

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Guysanto
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Need for Humanitarian Assistance to Haiti Following Storms

Post by Guysanto » Wed Sep 10, 2008 7:35 am

[quote]Need for Humanitarian Assistance to Haiti Following Devastating Storms
By “Vote ~4~ Change!” - Sep 8th, 2008 at 8:01 pm EDT

Statement from Senator Obama:

CHICAGO, IL – Senator Barack Obama issued the following statement on the need for humanitarian assistance to Haiti following devastating storms:

“My thoughts and prayers are with the hundreds of thousands of Haitians struggling to survive the floods and devastation caused by the hurricanes and tropical storms of the past six weeks, and I extend my deepest sympathies to those affected by the loss of more than 500 lives.

“Time is of the essence in helping Haiti cope with this humanitarian crisis and begin to recover. Tens of thousands of Haitians have been displaced and left without shelter, Haiti 's already struggling agricultural sector has been devastated – and hurricane season is not yet over.

“The Haitian-American community is doing its part by supporting family and friends in Haiti in their time of need. Now the United States government and the international community must intensify relief efforts to bring food, water and shelter to the storm victims.

“I welcome the dispatch of $100,000 in emergency assistance by USAID and the promise of 50 tons of relief supplies, as well as the deployment of U.S. Coast Guard personnel and material and the pending arrival of the USS Kearsage to help alleviate the immediate crisis in Gonaives. But there's more we can do.

“The ships, helicopters and air cargo capacity of the U.S. Southern Command should be directed to provide Haiti the logistical support our Armed Forces so ably provide around the world in times of humanitarian crisis.

“I also urge the United States to work in partnership with President Rene Preval and the new Haitian government under the leadership of Prime Minister Michele Pierre-Louis, and with key international actors (the United Nations Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH), the Inter-American Development Bank, the World Bank, the Organization of American States, and crucial bilateral donors) to immediately assemble a task force on reconstruction and recovery to begin work as soon as the storms pass.

“Together, we can help Haiti recover from this terrible series of storms and renew efforts to bring hope and opportunity to the people of Haiti.”

Source: barackobama.com[/quote]

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Guysanto
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Post by Guysanto » Wed Sep 10, 2008 8:01 am

We've seen USAID's response before, every time tragedy strikes in Haiti. Initially, they make a stingy offer of insultingly low proportions. Like in this case, $100,000.

"Beggars cannot be choosers", we hear. Even more true is the fact that we should be careful not to rely excessively on foreign assistance, even at times of great emergencies. We need to develop our own capacity to respond effectively to disasters like this -- and yet, it appears that we have not done so, in our History. Every storm becomes our Katrina.

Yet, it seems like when disasters strike elsewhere in the world, US foreign assistance promises hundreds of millions, sometimes billions of dollars. When something happens to Haiti, USAID's response always seem to be: "We will be advancing $100,000" to help the Haitians. Why add insult to injury?

Well, I am just venting against the implied insult. Our brothers and sisters in Cabaret, Gonaives, Cayes, and elsewhere will be grateful for even one bottle of clean water at this point. We welcome every assistance. The alternative is more malnutrition, more starvation, more dehydration, more infectious diseases, more deaths.

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