Looting should not deter aid to Haiti


Children are not to blame in child marriages

By Managing Editor

While many people in the U.S. were concerned about the effects Hurricane Matthew would have on Florida and surrounding states, Haiti, a country already suffering from past disasters and poor infrastructure, suffered worse effects from the same disaster.

 The crisis caused by Hurricane Matthew—a Category 4 hurricane—Oct. 4 in Haiti has not gone completely unnoticed by the international community. The United Nations sent aid to the country in an attempt to help people recover from this disaster, but U.N. trucks with supplies were looted by Haitians, according to an Oct. 16 Reuters article.

There are 1.4 million people in need of humanitarian aid in Haiti following this hurricane, as reported by Reuters, and this looting is a sign of the desperation Haitians feel. 

The looting also shows that Haitians may distrust the U.N. and other humanitarian aid providers coming to their country, but this is not unwarranted. 

After the earthquake in 2010, Haiti fell victim to a cholera outbreak. This summer, the U.N. admitted it was responsible for bringing the disease to Haiti because it sent a group of peacekeeping soldiers from Nepal-—where cholera was a prevalent infection—to assist Haiti, according to an Oct. 20 ABC News article. 

The cholera outbreak caused 770,000 infections and approximately 9,200 deaths since October 2010, according to the ABC News article.

An outbreak of this magnitude and the U.N. guilt are likely to cause distrust in the organization’s current efforts to help the Haitian people.

Also, following the earthquake, it was found that the aid being provided in Haiti was not properly monitored by the agencies or the government.

An Aug. 19, 2011, report from the Human Rights Watch found issue with many aid practices in Haiti including inadequate reporting and communication about aid among  nongovernmental organizations, other aid agencies and the Haitian government.

The report recommended ensuring “adequate oversight, monitoring, and reporting of programs to allow accountability between donors…and the government of Haiti.” 

Lack of accountability providing aid- leads to ineffective plans that fail to provide help where it is most needed. This lack of focus is most detrimental to the people on the ground who are relying on this aid to survive. If Haiti received ineffective aid in the past, it is likely Haitians will not trust the aid they are receiving now.

Despite assistance interventions, Haiti never fully recovered from the devastating earthquake and the following cholera outbreak. Without proper aid, it is likely it will take years for Haiti to come close to recovering from this hurricane and they are left susceptible to future disasters. Even with proper assistance, it will take a significant amount of time to stabilize Haiti, which is why aid efforts must be executed with precision and understanding between Haitians and aid providers. 

Looting trucks should not be seen as disrespect or be used as an excuse not to give the Haitian people the help that they desperately need in order to continue on the path of national recovery.