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Lots of Waste and Bureaucracy in Haiti Aid Effort

January 29, 2010

Too much money and supplies are wasted in the massive effort to provide aid to starving Haitians in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake, two weeks ago.  A recent story in The Wall Street Journal ( multimedia ) showed just such an example in a 15-truck Food Aid (F-A) convoy that turned into a ‘Convoy to Nowhere’.

“Scott Lewis (52-year old founder of Florida-based Eagles Wings Foundation–a disaster-relief organization), hoped to deliver more than one million meals to Haitians on Wednesday (27 January), via his 15-truck convoy brimming with beans and rice”.

“‘It was a Convoy to Nowhere’,  Mr. Lewis said”.  It was well after dark and hardly any of the food aid was properly distributed (some was looted as they were driving).   At the end of the day, the only safe haven for the convoy of food aid was the airport from where they started that morning.  What a waste.

Problems facing the delivery of F-A include:  Failures of communication between various F-A agencies and the military; Too much non-aid traffic clogging the road system; Multi-headed bureaucracy; and, Criminal and crowd violence.  Anybody moving anything of value in Haiti needs a security force.  The earthquake ‘liberated’ more than 7,000 violent criminals from the local prison; these criminals are actively preying upon the population and various aid convoys.

The road system must be secured and regulated.  United Nations or United States Military forces must set up one-way streets for aid traffic, to and from warehouses and the airport locations to better organize the timely delivery of food to the starving and mostly helpless population.

Overall, ‘someone’ must be in charge.  I favor the U.S. Military be in charge to organize the whole aid effort.  The United Nations is well known for their bloated, slow-moving and corrupt methodology.  The longer an aid mission goes on, the more money can be siphoned-off to U.N. ‘managers’.  When dealing in Billions, a few Millions are easy to ‘become lost’.  Only when there is a single agency ‘in charge’ will order and organization take place.  Right now, there is enormous duplication of effort on the one hand and stagnation of aid assets on the other.

Security patrols must be performed in an orderly manner to provide anti-violence protection for the population and the F-A delivery operations.

All in all, there is much to be done in Haiti in order to effectively provide the life-saving supplies to the people in need.  Do you think our American efforts are enough in dealing with this disaster in our ‘neighborhood”? 

What would you suggest or do differently?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Happy in Chicago permalink
    January 29, 2010 1:12 pm

    I noticed you just posted a new Blog and I want to thank you for keeping up with the current events as you are. The U.N. should not be taking a lead in organizing the relief efforts–too much corruption with that team! What are our military people doing over there? Who is protecting the helpless people? I like your ideas about the one-way streets to make the movement and delivery of aid supplies more rapid. Maybe the military will eventually do this. Keep up the good work!

    –Happy in Chicago

  2. KeyLargo permalink
    January 30, 2010 7:35 pm

    To Happy in Chicago: Obviously, the corrupt U.N. should not take the lead in anything.

    The ‘helpless’ people of Haiti are accustomed to eating dirt and rotten vegetables; these are some of the most underdeveloped people on the planet. Not because of their poverty but because of their societal corruption. I saw a YouTube video recently that showed there are hundreds of kidnappings EACH DAY, to extort money from the few who have some. Some of the kidnap-for-ransom ‘rings’ are run by the people in government. Haiti was a mess long before the earthquake further damaged the little country.

    I like the author’s idea of using One-Way streets for speeding-up the movement of important supplies of vehicles is very good. The Americans used this during WW2, in order to facilitate the delivery of fuel and war-fighting supplies to the rapidly advancing leading edge of the Army.

    America has been providing financial aid to Haiti for decades and it seems to have fallen in the pocket of the petty dictators that feed on that place. Too bad. It is possible to make that place a paradise that anyone on the planet would save money for to travel there. First, you must get all the bad people off the Island and then the building can begin.

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