Donations Pour in, Aid Slow to Reach Victims Through Main Airport Controlled by U.S. Military


Milo Pierre: "We are waiting for some aid, but have not been able to find any help." PHOTO: Phuong Tran/IRIN
Milo Pierre: “We are waiting for some aid, but have not been able to find any help.” Photo: Phuong Tran/IRIN

Three weeks after the earthquake, the Haitian government stated that over 200,000 people had died and another 300,000 people were treated for injuries. The Haitian people remain in need of food, water, shelter and medical care. While governments and individuals around the world are giving, the main problem is getting supplies to the people.

The U.S. military has sent in 15,000 troops, but many organizations and governments say they have hurt, not helped, delivery of aid to people in need.

Days after the quake, Doctors Without Borders say they tried to bring in 85 tons of medical and relief supplies, but their plane was turned away at the main airport, which is under U.S. military control. “We have had five patients in Martissant health center die for lack of the medical supplies that this plane was carrying,” said Loris de Filippi, emergency coordinator for the Doctors Without Borders Choscal Hospital in Cite Soleil.

A French minister, Alain Joyandet, launched a complaint saying the United States’ role should be about “helping Haiti, not occupying Haiti.” Occupation is when one country controls another country by military force.

Learn more about Haiti by reading:

Find Haiti resources for teachers at Teaching for Change

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