Humanitarian Assistance within the United States European Command More Than a Single Success Story

By Ayala, Juan G. | DISAM Journal, Winter 2000 | Go to article overview

Humanitarian Assistance within the United States European Command More Than a Single Success Story


Ayala, Juan G., DISAM Journal


October 2000, Africa

Our drive out of the capital city of Manzini in the Kingdom of Swaziland began routinely. Our destination, the Good Shepherd Hospital located in the Lubombo region of the country, is a non-governmental and non-denominational facility providing secondary care for a population of about 225,000 people, and also the site of an ongoing United States European Command (EUCOM) sponsored humanitarian assistance (HA) project. Once out of Manzini, it did not take long for us to sense the general tension and uncertainty creeping into the country. Every few kilometers young soldiers at barricaded checkpoints manned by armed police eyed every vehicle with quiet uneasiness. The soldiers carried loaded weapons in an assortment of ready positions. Even though it was a weekday morning, large crowds of uniformed students, intermingled with masses of other citizens, nervously milled about on many city streets. Our escort, an American expatriate employed by the American Embassy, told us that the country was in political turmoil due to recent government policies. The authorities in Swaziland had ordered a large presence of military and police to discourage civil disobedience and unrest. We were relieved to see the gates of the Good Shepherd Hospital, and also immensely thankful that the diplomatic license plates on our U.S. embassy vehicle had eased our travel. Driving past the gate guard, we immediately understood the urgency of the hospital's work. Woefully overcrowded and understaffed, the staff of the hospital was inundated with malnutrition, malaria, tuberculosis, burn and HIV/AIDS patients. Bed occupancy was over 200 percent with overflow patients using available floor space in the administration offices. The ongoing EUCOM HA project will add a 50-bed pediatric ward to help relieve the overcrowding. The current arrangements forced the staff to house children with the adults suffering from malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

Our guides through the hospital, the hospital administrator and the head doctor, showed us how their neat, yet inadequate, facilities were strained beyond capacity. Most of the equipment was vintage 1950s, yet hospital personnel worked diligently and professionally, trying to accomplish the impossible. As we walked outside to examine the HA project, I stopped to chat with the construction crew. One of the crew members, a gaunt, thin man drenched in sweat, extended a leathery hand and thanked me for the work he was doing. In the midst of the usual clatter and debris of a construction site, we spoke different languages, yet had no problems understanding each other. This carpenter did not understand the world of military headquarters, and the interagency coordination, diplomacy, and politics that had brought me to his side, but he understood that my group was responsible for the funding of this much-needed addition to the only hospital in his community. He was deeply grateful, as were the rest of the constructi on crew. More important, however, than my personal encounter, was the clear fact that every hospital worker, construction crewman and patient knew that we were Americans and that the United States had made the pediatric ward possible.

I returned to Stuttgart with a new and strong personal commitment to the EUCOM humanitarian assistance program. It is a superb engagement tool and, it is doing great things for people who need help throughout the EUCOM area.

December 2000, The Balkans

Driving through Sarajevo's infamous Sniper Alley, I was reminded of the horrific scenes of wanton death and destruction which flashed across the world's television screens in the mid-1990s. As if frozen in time, countless pockmarked buildings dotted our path in dismal testimony to yet another conflict in the Balkan's troubled history. Leaving the American Embassy in Sarajevo, our destination was the village of Ivanica, a once prosperous community not far from the border with Croatia. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Humanitarian Assistance within the United States European Command More Than a Single Success Story
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.