Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Aid response to Haiti makes little appeal

The terrible tragedy in Haiti brings out the best and worst in people.

Into which category do showbiz appeal efforts fall? On one hand you think, here are rich and famous people doing their bit to help those in desperate need.

On the other hand you ask, why can’t they just put their hands in their pockets and help without all the razzmatazz — and attendant back-slapping? As for the aid effort itself, watching Bill Neely’s anguished reports on ITN about the lamentably slow process of getting food, water and medicine to those in despair makes you wonder just what is the problem behind this.

If the US could, during its Shock and Awe attack on Baghdad, remotely deliver several tonnes of missile to precise addresses in that city (or so they said), how come they don’t have the ability to efficiently deliver a bowl of rice to the hands of a starving child in Port-au-Prince?

Much of the global response worldwide to the Haitian emergency has been inspiring and heart-warming. But you can’t help feeling that some of the efforts have been more to the benefit of the rich West than to Haiti, the poorest part of it.

Everybody hurts?

No. Not equally.

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