Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 3 Share on Twitter Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
OpEdNews Op Eds   

WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE HAITI DISASTER?

By       (Page 1 of 2 pages)     (# of views)   1 comment
Author 11635
Message Elayne Clift
- Advertisement -

Life is a crap shoot. Events like the earthquake in Haiti, the tsunami in Asia, the hurricane in New Orleans are random. Bad things happen to good people (and good things happen to bad people). We all live in fear of the dreaded diagnosis or the death call in the middle of the night.

That's why some people believe "good living is the best revenge" and why others encourage the "practice [of] random acts of kindness." It's also why all the major religions of the world teach us to be charitable toward others. "There but for the grace of God go I."

- Advertisement -

We often see the best of humanity in moments of greatest tragedy. The enormous generosity exhibited after the Haiti earthquake whether in contributions or voluntary assistance has been inspiring. It reassures us about our finer natures. And there are lessons to be learned from the response, lesson that give us hope and increase our compassion toward others in need. But don't we also need to ask ourselves what our failures have been during a situation as desperately sad as the one we've been witnessing?

- Advertisement -

In the realm of international development assistance, there can be no greater challenge than that of responding to natural disasters. Earthquakes, floods, massive mudslides, tsunamis ask much of the world community. They call for more resources than are readily available (people, money, equipment and supplies) and they quickly exhaust what resources are mobilized.

Still, the world community has a long history of responding to such disasters. Why, then, have we not learned to react to them more effectively and efficiently?

Why do essentials like food, water, and medicine remain on the airport tarmac in the face of such desperate need? Why does no single agency seem to be in charge of distribution, or evacuation or resettlement? Why are there no grids established so that responsibilities can be sensibly and immediately shared by governments and non-governmental organizations in a capital city like Port au Prince, or a country like Haiti, which is prone to natural disasters, and which is so incredibly poor it is unable to sustain something as devastating as a massive earthquake?

Next Page  1  |  2

 

- Advertisement -

Rate It | View Ratings

Elayne Clift Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

Elayne Clift is a writer,lecturer, workshop leader and activist. She is senior correspondent for Women's Feature Service, columnist for the Keene (NH) Sentinel and Brattleboro (VT) Commons and a contributor to various publications internationally. (more...)
 
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines
Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

STAY IN THE KNOW
If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEdNews Newsletter
Name
Email
   (Opens new browser window)
 

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

What Happens When "Jane" Comes Marching Home Again?

Is America Really as Safe a Place to Live as You Thought?

Orifice Politics; What the War on Women is Really About

Why Are We Sexualizing Young Girls?

Beauty and the Beast: The Ugly Attacks on Activist Women

DSM-5 Could Be Hazardous to Your Mental Health