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Global Voices Online » Haiti: Security vs. Relief?

January 29, 2010

Part of the inspiration for the creation of this blog, and of this group, was the idea that words, ideas, what we say and think, have real consequences in the physical world, especially when what we say and think relate to large groups of people. Call it prejudice if you like, call it whatever you want to. The fact is that the way we think about the world can result in very real suffering.

Take the following story, for instance. Aid is now reaching Haiti, yes, but is it reaching the people who most need it? And is it entirely the Haitian government’s fault if it isn’t? Or are we all complicit in the inequity, blinded by our fear, which grows from the stories we tell ourselves?

Read the whole report and make up your own mind.

More than two weeks after the 12 January earthquake in Haiti, official estimates suggest over 100,000 people were killed, 200,000 injured, and 1 million left homeless. The Haiti Vox blog has posted a partial translation of a government bulletin containing these and other statistics. Despite an outpouring of aid from many countries around the world, and the presence in Haiti of thousands of relief workers, United Nations peacekeepers, and US troops, media reports suggest that a substantial percentage of affected Haitians in and around Port-au-Prince have still received little or no relief assistance.

The sheer scale of the disaster is one reason, compounded by severely damaged infrastructure and the earthquake’s impact on Haitian government agencies, many of which have lost key staff. But some Haitians online, and others on the ground, are suggesting that exaggerated concerns about security and violence may be hindering relief efforts.

via Global Voices Online » Haiti: Security vs. Relief?.

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