Responding to Haiti's Crisis

By Oser, Gabriel | Stability Operations, May/June 2010 | Go to article overview

Responding to Haiti's Crisis


Oser, Gabriel, Stability Operations


Challenges to Supporting the Post-Disaster Relief Effort

BECAUSE the U.S. Ak Force had taken over the Port au Prince International Airport and closed it to anything other than daily military and aid flights, Unity's Crisis Response and Facilitation Team (CRAFT), like so many others responding to the disaster, made its way to Haiti overland via the Dominican Republic (DR). The border crossing at Jimani served as the most accessible point of entry from Santa Domingo. The journey required a four-hour drive through modern Dominican cities and quaint little towns in the country side, highlighting the contrast between one side of Hispaniola to the other, and orientating the team to the locale and the background of the indigenous population.

The team made its last stop for fuel at the service station on the outskirts of Jimani, where, for the first time on the journey, children surrounded the vehicle, asking for money in both Spanish and Creole. The line for the border crossing began several hundred meters away.

On the Dominican side, tractor-trailers with aid supplies and heavy machinery lined up as far as the eye could see, while smaller vehicles jockeyed for position in between them, all inching their way to the border gates. Many of the smaller vehicles stood out from the crowd; shiny, newer model SUVs transporting Blanc (foreigners) to Haiti to support the immediate crisis management in the crippled country.

On the Haitian side, motorcycle taxis and tap taps, small pickup trucks with benches welded to their chassis that were operating as make-shift buses, delivered passengers as close to the border as possible before said passengers continued on foot out of Haiti and into die DR Many tap taps were carrying loads of people heavy enough to make their front ends bounce up slighdy. After the tap taps dropped them off, the Haitian passengers continued on, burdened by die heavy loads they carried on their backs, in their arms and on their heads, to whatever promise or perception of life existed for them in the DR.

Since January 12 the number of international aid workers attached to NGOs in Haiti has skyrocketed. Haiti has long been home to scores of NGOs and hence the organizations' collective organizational knowledge was tremendous; as was their empathy and the long-term commitment - they and their staff remain on the front line of this disaster. Many are faith-based organizations providing assistance and developing immediate-consequence management programs for the millions of Haitians impacted by the earthquakes. Other international organizations have mid- to long-term mandates to build capacity within the Haitian population to rebuild their country's infrastructure, utilities, industry and public services.

The emergency and crisis management phases that have followed the earthquake have also drawn in large numbers of wellintentioned, but less prepared organizations that have unfortunately created additional challenges. Many have arrived without orientation or appreciation of the issues and dangers indelibly linked with the situation, dangers that range from environmental to health and security risks.

The stark images of destruction the team observed during its first journeys through Port au Prince and surrounding areas remain burned into their minds to this day. The massive destruction is reminiscent of European cities destroyed by aerial bombings during World War II.

At first glance, many buildings appeared so perfecdy symmetrical that it was hard to believe diat they were actually the remnants of structures that had once stood six or more stories high, but had collapsed downward on themselves. The earthquakes had reduced other buildings and facilities to no more than piles of rubble, with cement, clothing, furniture and human remains all mixed up in an unnatural and grotesque collage.

It is not surprising that engineers from around the world have concluded that the enforcement of building regulations was virtually non-existent, which allowed for low-grade building construction practices. …

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

Responding to Haiti's Crisis
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.

    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.