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Inequalities Persist In the Name of Aid

February 24, 2010

Warner Pierre reports that though Haitians are ready to move on, one of the difficulties may be the aid workers themselves.

Haitians walk for miles on foot to retrieve meager rations of water while USAID employees are seen using up to three SUVs to transport six people. Haitians scrounge up materials to put together makeshift tents while, next to them, in a US military compound, soldiers have more tents than they can use. Haitians, the lucky ones, used candles to light their tents while the US soldiers in the compound cheered the Superbowl that was shown on a big screen TV.

Additionally, the situation remains similar to a military occupation:

In a message to the nation, President Preval said little about the delivery of humanitarian aid, and focused on continuing projects that halted after the earthquake. Some of those projects have been “ongoing” since Hurricane Jeanne struck Gonaives several years ago. Unsurprisingly, most people disregarded Preval’s message and continue to wonder what is going on with the distribution of aid – especially with their country now swarming with 20 000 U.S. troops, nearly 2000 Canadian troops, helicopters, and U.S. armored vehicles that patrol the streets of Port-Au-Prince.

“We are not at war. Why all these troops?” asked Thonas, a father of three.

Questions abound about the true intentions of the US government. Why so many troops and so few doctors and nurses? Why are elected Haitian governments always bypassed and deprived of support while dictatorships – the most recent being that of Gerard Latortue – generously funded? As time passes, the true objectives of the aid effort will made clear.

from – “One Month After the 7.0 Earthquake, Haitians Ready to Move On

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