Saturday, January 23, 2010

Distribution of aid

One of the facts that became evident in the last few days is the complete disconnect between the Haitian community and the organized aid delivery organizations.

I heard a lot of concern at the UN, the US embassy and a bunch of the big name NGOs about distribution security. A bunch of crap; get it out to the communities. Largest concern is actually that the relief will get stolen and then put out for sale.

Here's a clue if anyone is listening: I can buy HDR (humanitarian daily ration packs) on the street, same with HDR water. It's already getting stolen. Get it out there NOW. So what if 50% gets stolen?

We have hundreds or thousands of kids who probably die every day of thirst and starvation is now a real threat.

Don't worry about doing the SAR for living people. That one fellow got recovered today and good for him. While those resources are being used we are losing hundreds of people a day to thirst and starvation. The news media likes the big story but come on let's get real.

We were at the Hotel Montana yesterday; lots of resources being put out there. It's a luxury hotel so of course the society is going to go all out to save a few folks. Four miles down the hill in the slums people are literally falling over for basic need. It's wrong.

Sorry to rant but there is a lot more of that to come.

The US Air Force is running evac flights out of PaP. Brian and I decided to leave because there simply is nothing to do without an organizational sponsor. I was also quite concerned about the continual strong aftershocks and the possibility of a larger quake. Brian would have been happy to stay but could not find a mission so he cam home as well. We made the decision to go partially because staying consumes resources that could go to someone who has a mission of aid. A difficult decision to make but I think the right decision.

I was finished with my main mission and had been very successful in the unintended logistics mission on the first part of the trip. I am told hundreds of tons of supply moving over the road SDQ to PaP so that is great. Distribution is still the weak link.

Mathew, who is Haitian-American, has an excellent method of accomplishing immediate distribution without incurring significant security liability or significant theft loss. How does one get the idea into the right hands? The idea will work and requires zero infrastructure. Anyone who knows someone at the White House or UN to at least pilot this idea please email or comment. Minutes matter.

More later in the weekend.

I am solid; had a bit of the shock of being in hungry hot and desperate Port-au-Prince and four hours later having a cheeseburger waiting for Andree. Got through it and I am surprised by the fact I am not more whacked out. Need two days of sleep and six or eight showers. Still haven't gotten a new Blackberry will take care of that tomorrow.

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I welcome comments, questions or anything anyone wishes to post on the situation in Haiti.