What Innovative Things Can We Do To Assist Haiti in Relief Efforts?

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
January 16, 2010
Rescuer Carries Child After Haiti Earthquake

The United States is committed to a swift, coordinated response to the disaster in Haiti. Working with the international community, we are focused on how to sustain this relief operation and how we will help Haiti rebuild. More about the crisis and how to help: state.gov/haitiquake

Secretary Clinton announced the launch of a new tool on state.gov, the “Person Finder,” to allow people to find and share information on missing persons in Haiti. In the largest mobile donation campaign to date, one million people texted “Haiti” to “90999” to raise $10 million for relief efforts.

What innovative things can we do to assist Haiti in relief efforts?

Comments

Comments

Laura J.
|
Washington, USA
January 16, 2010

Laura J. in Washington writes:

Put forth just a little bit of effort to get your college/university to place a link or button on their website for donations to the Red Cross. It took me less than 24 hours to make it happen.

Crystal
|
Nebraska, USA
January 19, 2010

Crystal in Nebraska writes:

Please send the FEMA trailers that are to be sold at auction down to PAP after the clean up.

These can provide much more stable housing than the makeshift shacks that have crumbled.

Sherlene E.
|
Iowa, USA
January 19, 2010

Sherlene E. in Iowa writes:

For housing - mass produce bamboo yurts. Also use shipping containers full with all the necessities of a simple functioning house and use the container as the house structure and complete the bldg with the materials inside.

Joe
January 16, 2010

Joe writes:

There is nothing innovative to be honest, only developmental, which should have occurred prior to now. While the world is in its compassionate role, we must be realistic as well and use this time as effectively as possible to make long term productive efforts a reality; otherwise five years after we leave or sooner, things will be back as they were.

This may be an opportunity to establish relevant accord and responsibility within their existing government without forceful displacement, which may be a consideration as in Afghanistan. What is the difference in reality other than Afghanistan is a more likely physical threat and Haiti has been an economic threat in many ways. Their situation, not far from our shores, has displaced American workers, added to the AIDs epidemic within our National Sphere and unreasonably drained American resources only because of their leadership. Once corruption was established in an organized manner with only a handful of people controlling fiscal policy and the democracy fell, no one wanted to re establish any realistic form of representation to the people. They kept the people poor as a control element and their hands out to deliberately retain the goodwill of the American People and Government. They know we care, beyond simple politics.

The US government alone has provided over four billion in relief since 1996 or so and unfortunately much of it was absconded by Military Juntas and corrupt officials. Very little of funding ever reached the people unless it was direct and for primary use the held little value. Even today, the count is at over one hundred million in aid for this one disaster alone. How much of that aid reaches the people will depend only on the outside officials and direction.

What we need to do is re establish a transparent form of responsibility within whatever leadership may prevail after this event. One which will demonstrate the proper manner and methods of reaching those in need within the countries more economically distressed areas so they may establish a dignified existence for their people. They have done little or nothing for anyone beyond the profit circles they established within the resort arena and trafficking. The rest of the world have been picking up for quite a while after them. Their Government only looks good on paper in effect and does not even come close, in reality to what exits.

Someone recently told me that God sometimes breaks up relationships, both personal, business and on life’s roads, to put thing back together in a proper order. Perhaps that is the case in Haiti.

Tom S.
|
Minnesota, USA
January 16, 2010

Tom S. in Minnesota writes:

How about letting the military transport small disadvantaged contractors and their equipment to Haiti. This would be a real private/public partnership that would not only help the people of Haiti but our own as well. I am such a contractor willing to do this. I was also a logistics manager for DoD so I know this could work. Let contractors volunteer to do this. To hell with FAR. Let the contractors get their equipment to a staging point like an air base or national guard facility with S&T capabilities, load up the people and equipment, get them to Haiti and let us go to work. We would need fuel for the equipment and shelter for the people. Foam Domes worked quite well in the first gulf war. Obviously the State Department would have to coordinate this effort with the surviving Haitian government but can you imagine the effect of thousands of small contractors showing up to help these people? All we ask is that we be allowed to do what we do best.....build and rebuild.

Chris m.
|
Arizona, USA
January 17, 2010

Chris M. in Arizona writes:

I'M a heavy equipment operator that has a lot of experience in earth quake removal 30/plus years i can help you contact me asap

Cheryl
|
Florida, USA
January 17, 2010

Cheryl in Florida writes:

I have clothes and household things too much to fit in my car, my husband is dissabled and I need some one to pick it up, please advise me who to contact

P.P. B.
|
Florida, USA
January 17, 2010

P.B. in Florida writes:

While the needs are so great, and wide spread, we should not overlook a simple approach.

My concern is with Food distribution, the reports of chaos at aid sites, and the calls for order at such sites. I keep hearing "There has got to be a better way." I know that in time, rule and order, will return and organized distribution sites will be setup. I know this from "Hurricane Ivan". I was "affected", which I believe, is Acute Stress Disorder. (If there is no such thing, maybe there should be. But that's for another blog)

For the first several days we had no clue what to do. When we figured out what to do we didn't know where to start. By day 5 we started to find out about aid sites. 3,4,5 Hours in line waiting in line for food, Ice Or Water was a long time to think about all you have lost, as well as all of the stuff you should be doing. It was not difficult to wind up very angry, at Everything. From this perspective I understand the chaos.

What I propose is a new approach To the immediate distribution of small amounts of food (i.e. energy bars, peanuts, Pretzels (Air plane food))and water. We can do this with an old idea, that is tried and true. In some parts of the world we celebrate/practice, Mardi Gras, every year. Haiti Knows how to Carnival.

Rather than parking a truck to get mobbed, putting Relief workers in danger, Not to mention the suffering people who are supposed to be getting relief. Put speakers on the trucks, play Music and make PSA's "where to go for medical""Staging grounds for the dead, mis-placed children""where and when main distribution Points will be". All the while tossing comfort, Hope, and maybe some moon-pies. Help is on its way.

As recovery progresses, the focus could shift to tools and other supplies as they become available. More important the flow of information remains consistent and roaming.

This would allow;
The "Affected" to stay close to where they "should" be.
The Peace Keepers to keep Peace, rather than, protect "food" and relief workers.
A consistent up flow of changing situations in the affected areas.

The Music may seem inappropriate, However, the momentary distraction of a pleasant, Festive or familiar tune is a very powerful and comforting thing.

Note: I am not a Contractor, but I am fit, able and unemployed. I would work on (Tom S. in Minnesota)'s crew.

Harmony S.
|
Maine, USA
January 17, 2010

Harmony S. in Maine writes:

I would like to go to Haiti to lend a helping hand. Are there any volunteer organizations willing to get volunteers together to go to Haiti to help? I'm in school to become a registered nurse and have my nursing assistant certification. I want to help in any way possible. Even if it is to help clean up....

Thank you,
Harmony S.

Jim
|
Iowa, USA
January 17, 2010

Jim in Iowa writes:

With all the incoming aid to Haiti no seaport to handle ships and an overwhelmed airport why can't the Navy send over amphibious transport ships that can anchor off shore and shuttle needed aid relief from ship to land? I spent 3 yrs. on a LPD which could carry not only crew but 2000 troops,all gear and equipment. We moved alot of payload quite easily and seems these ships could solve alot of proublems fast

MJ
|
California, USA
January 17, 2010

M.J. in California writes:

Is there any possibility we would be able to host displaced Haitians in our home like the victims of Hurricane Katrina?

Don
January 17, 2010

Don writes:

I would think portable water filtration systems would be in high demand, are you using the system developed by Dean Kaman? Seems that would be an ideal resource.

margo f.
|
Virginia, USA
January 17, 2010

Margo F. in Virginia writes:

simple...single food bars and pouches of water raining down from helicopters....first day from now on...must be helicopters in the DR

Gabriel M.
|
Greece
January 17, 2010

Gabriel M. in Greece writes:

Please moderate this idea in case is not suitable in any condition

In case that is possible for USA satellites with increased sensitivity especially to the infra bandwidth, to provide information to the rescue USA Army/teams in Haiti, so to locate and to un trap humans underneath the ruins faster.

Renee w.
|
Texas, USA
January 17, 2010

Renee W. in Texas writes:

Imed clear an area Place 3 hospitals (blowup) Label them Ped 0-13 ped 13-21 GP 22-110> This would be TRIAGE AREA if this is fully staffed it can serve as keeper of lists(all) Patients served,Patients referred,Patients Placed in Temporary Housing(exact location)Tent Cities with real Addresses which also allows for MAIL distribution and some normality

ie: Freedom House Tent 143a Clarice Jones Family of 4. This along with treatment updates will Keep the process of Continued support (Red Cross,Faith Based,etc) Ongoing and accurate

Nicholas
January 17, 2010

Nicholas writes:

With all the communications difficulties on the ground, why can't Google map be used as way to identify where rescue teams are locate,where has be searched already, place where needs medication and medical experts. With all the information streaming in it only takes a couple techies to put it together. Also it would make the job in Haiti easier since from all reports persons can access the internet therefore the different aid groups can access an see exactly whats going on.

Jeff
|
District Of Columbia, USA
January 17, 2010

Jeff in Washington writes:

Some ideas:

a) Beyond giving donations through the recommended channels now, every town, neighbourhood, group or store in america should come up with innovative fundraisers to keep the money flowing thoughout the coming months. It gives people pride to see how much their own community cares: be the organiser (or, better yet, create new organisers everywhere you go) of such events. Get your local grocery store to put a donations barrel front and center etc for the next year...how many times can it be filled with spare change? Imagine the effect of that across the country. Every drop of aid money will help.

b) is it cheaper to try to help sick people in a broken city, then it is to help them over here, where the process is about 1000% more efficient? Fill every plane that comes back from haiti with the injured, and create refugee camps for them in someplace warm like Miami, where aid can be administered 100% more effectively. Just do this NOW, and don't worry about the red tape of it...make people sign a waiver saying they will return at a set date if you are worried that kind of thing. The rest of the details can be sorted out later.

c) If the airport is becoming a bottleneck...make a new drop zone area in another place, and have everything that can be dropped off by air land there. Any big open space will do. And then use this as another distribution point. Only use the airport for planes that actually have to land.

d) In the coming months, encourage a program to "adopt a family" in haiti...

e) How many large cruise ships are their based out of the US that sail around these areas? Make a deal with the cruise ship operators to "rent" their ships for a few months, and then fill them with civilian contractors who can provide much needed logisitical and technical support. Better then building a new battleship.

Jules A.
|
Haiti
January 17, 2010

Jules A. in Haiti writes:

I'm deeply touch for the support of all nations toward my Country Haiti and most of all, the volunteers that going above and beyond to rescue my brothers and sisters.I would like to suggest to President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton to solicite the service of former Secretary of State Collin Powell as her key person to be in charge of rebuilding Haiti.

Thanks you for your anticipated considerations

Jules A.

Susan B.
|
United States
January 17, 2010

Susan B. in U.S.A. writes:

I spoke w/ a "retired" foreign service office who spent 7 yrs in Haiti (among other assignments) and dealt first hand w/ disaster relief in several locales. She said there is nothing so magnificent as seeing professional relief personnel w/ military cohort hit the ground and do their thing. There is a process and a precision to their unwavering commitment and dedication. Let them "do their thing" and let us keep shining the light on this nation in need after the media interest dies down. And it will. The coverage will dissipate. Haiti's need will not.

Will H.
|
New York, USA
January 17, 2010

Will H. in New York writes:

Having enough translators fluent in both Kreyol and English; A public announcement system at certain spots to keep the haitian people aware of developments as they happen; A ferry service to get help to the southern cities of Haiti like Cayes, Leogane, and Jeremie.

Also use loacations in the central plains of Haiti, north of the capital as recovery centers.

Greta S.
|
Pennsylvania, USA
January 17, 2010

Greta S. in Pennsylvania writes:

My concern is for the children who are already housed in orphanages in Port au Prince. Many of them are waiting for paperwork to be completed so they can go home to their American families, others may not have received family referrals yet. These are children who have no family, no parents, no one who is absolutely responsible for their wellbeing. They have special dietary requirements- many are still on baby formula and can't drink milk yet or eat solid food. This makes useless to them much of the food that relief workers are bringing. I feel we should evacuate these children to the USA now, keeping record of their origin along with their picture and fingerprints, should they need to be returned to Haiti at a later date. These children were a strain on the system before the earthquake, certainly now it seems almost impossible to care for them there. There are many people who could be qualified quickly to foster these little angels, or we could set up temporary orphanages for them here. Haiti will need their functioning orphanages to house displaced children until their families can be located. Please, please, if you are a state dept employee reading this, consider this possibility. I am aware how much red tape is involved in international adoption (I have a daughter adopted from Guatemala), but in such a situation children will die if we can't throw out the rule book and act in their best interest to do what we need to do and get them to safety.

Rosa T.
|
Missouri, USA
January 18, 2010

Rosa T. in Missouri writes:

Relief programs should use the resources present in the country hit by a disaster. In Haiti, the most important resource is its people. In the remake of Haiti, its people should be involved from the beginning.

The people from Haiti among many others are the ones working very hard with their bare hands to save people, the group carrying machetes, and the ones robing water and supplies.

The young men with an attitude and with nothing to do should be encouraged to work. It is a priority. There should be a place for them even in this crisis. They must be part of the remake of Haiti. These strong looking young man can clear debris from the streets and pile them at one side at every block until machinery can complete the job. They could help in the distribution of water and food, in helping to keep people on line. Simple jobs will keep them busy and out of trouble and probably fed. And most important they will be in the main stream and out of trouble. They will experience a job like no other in their lives working along people from other countries and may learn important lessons on self esteem and most important may be inspired to change their lives. The remake of Haiti must be in the hands of its people. All the people of Haiti must be totally immersed in the process of the remake of their Country. the In the remake of Haiti we want no trouble, no gangs, no violence, we want to be done in a civilized way where all the persons in the society are benefited. For that reason we have to involve all the people in the process from the beginning of the remake. The remake already started because Americans have taken that responsibility.

Dan C.
|
New York, USA
January 18, 2010

Dan C. in New York writes:

Who within the State Department is reviewing this blog and the numerous top ideas stated herein? Many of these approaches are simple and obvious, yet we have not heard of their application. Among these is the plan to rain down food and water and to keep distribution centers mobile; to deploy our willing private contractors by providing transportation and shelter; evacuating large numbers of refugees to tent cities in US or elsewhere with conditions for later return. Not to be critical at a time like this, but it would appear the most creative minds are not immediately on this job. I see on CNN this Monday morning that only one large field hospital has been set up on the ground, that by Israel, and that many of those pulled from the wreckage now lie in US run centers, untreated for infections and other medical urgencies, and continuing to move closer to death. We can do much better with what we have available.

John G.
|
Pennsylvania, USA
January 18, 2010

John G. in Pennsylvania writes:

HEAVY EQUIPMENT READY TO GO: We want to help! We have 4 CAT EXCAVATORS, 2 TRACK LOADERS, 2 DEMOLITION TRUCKS, TRACTOR TRAILER WITH FLOAT TO HAUL MACHINES IN HAITI. We have lined up a shipping company to move them into Cap- Haitien. WE CAN GET THEM INTO HAITI ASAP.

Someone please respond with contacts on funding to cover some costs, and someone spearheading infrastructure relief.

Normita
|
California, USA
January 18, 2010

Normita in California writes:

Thanks for asking for my thoughts! I believe that distribution of basic necessities - food, water, medicines and shelter is key at the outset. This is being done now and need to continue along with expedited effort to find survivors, provide them with the necessary aid. More importantly, compassion for those who did not survive, digging them out and giving them the respect they deserve.

Secretary Clinton, thank you for your unwavering courage and generosity in words and in deed. You and your husband are SIMPLY THE BEST! God bless you.

Laura C.
|
Mexico
January 18, 2010

Laura C. in Mexico writes:

The U.S. government must lead the charge to cancel the Haitian debt, most of it illegitimate and a huge burden on development.

In addition, the U.S. must encourage policies and allow tariffs that favor local food development over imports so it can provide jobs for the rural poor and food security. In the 80s Haiti was self-sufficient in rice, its staple crop. As a result of trade liberalization polices it now imports 82% of its rice. When international prices spiked, thousands went hungry. That is simply cruel. http://americas.irc-online.org/am/5236

Now with a devastated nation and economy, the nation will be unable to import food and have to rely on foreign aid. A far better path is to promote national production of basic foods. This means allowing tariff hikes and subsidies so local producers do not have to compete unequally with giant subsidized growers from the US.

Finally, sending army troops and weapons instead of food aid and doctors sends the worst possible message to Haiti and to Latin America. The US has many trained individuals willing to help in Haiti and yet we send soldiers? This approach must be ended immediately in favor of real and expedient humanitarian aid. Looting is a natural response to dire need and security in a natural disaster is best assured by assuring that people get the basic necessities. We need to extend a hand, not a boot.

Bettina D.
|
West Virginia, USA
January 19, 2010

Bettina D. in West Virginia writes:

While I applaud how fast we responded initially and how much aid we are pouring in we simply need to make the top priority getting that food and water and medical supplies and doctors and nurses in there before anything else and as fast as possible. This is not happening! I can't believe how many days it has been with the supplies there but not getting to the people. Airdrop huge amounts in if nothing else! Bottlenecked at the airport? Use something small enough to get in the neck of the bottle instead of trying to use too large an item ie jeeps, small planes, seaplanes, helicopters. It seems like we are more concerned over safety and providing military guards than we are than getting the aid in. I know we need both but the top priority should be getting the aid in. Also there are probably lots of doctors and nurses willing to go and help and this should be set up asap.

Ernest M.
|
Maryland, USA
January 19, 2010

Ernest J.P. M. in Maryland writes:

Haiti's ability to feed itself has been destroyed by free-trade agricultural and economic policies.

The solution to the food crisis in Haiti can be found in agroecological and organic approaches to rebuilding the the food sector and environment.

Nathanael S.
|
Virginia, USA
January 19, 2010

Nathanael S. in Virginia writes:

I would like to see an open immigration policy for people who would like to leave Haiti and come to America. I would happily volunteer funds to support the move for as many Haitians as I could afford, and housing for a few as well.

We should send some empty boats down there and ask: who wants to go to America? As many as can fit should be allowed to come.

Peri L.
|
Colorado, USA
January 19, 2010

Peri G. and Ron L. in Colorado write:

We are very concerned about the ORPHANS IN HAITI. Are they getting the supplies, food and water they need? Are their special needs a priority? How can we help ensure they become a priority?

Pages

.

Latest Stories

Pages