Aid Struggles Getting to Haiti
Aid has been struggling to get to Haiti this weekend with a logjam at the capital’s airport, a shortage of fuel and just poor communication altogether. This continued even on Sunday, 5 days after the massive 7 magnitude earthquake on Tuesday. It’s anticipated that over 100,000 people died due to the disaster.
There has been some conflict over planes landing at the Port-au-Prince airport, with some people complaining that the US military, who is managing the airport since its control tower was damaged during the quake, isn’t doing a good job. French co-operation minister Alain Joyandet protested to the sole US management since of their medical flights were turned away this weekend. The foreign ministry in Paris has tried to insist on a Franco-American co-operation, which is possible.
To add to that, there is a shortage of fuel supply that may discontinue operations by Ocha, the United Nations humanitarian agency. They have warned that they could be forced to shutdown if their supplies aren’t replenished.
Furthermore, it’s been hard enough as it is trying to communicate between Haiti and the rest of the world. Telephone services were disrupted by the disaster, with wireless network towers being damaged. Caribbean mobile company Digicel is pressed to ferry their equipment and technicians to the country after four of their planes were rejected for landing.
The UN and US have clearly taken the lead in law and order in Haiti. However, Canada is also sending 2 ships, 7 helicopters, hundreds of vehicles and 1,000 military troops to double their presence and help restore order.
There are still thousands of Haitians without food, and the World Food Programme of the UN says that they plan to deliver emergency rations to 40,000 every day during the weekend. This emergency operation, however, will eventually reach 2 million.