Urgent: Let Aid to Haiti Go Through

Received by e-mail: From: Just Foreign Policy , Date: 20/01/2010

Dear Supporter, In part because of restrictions imposed by the U.S. military, aid is still not getting through quickly enough to people in Haiti who desperately need it. In particular, fresh water is not getting through to people who need it.

Established aid groups who have a long history of working in Haiti have suddenly found themselves unable to deliver urgently needed medical, water, and food supplies because the U.S. military will not grant them access to ports and airports. Doctors Without Borders reports that a “plane carrying 12 tons of medical equipment, including drugs, surgical supplies and two dialysis machines, was turned away three times from Port-au-Prince airport since Sunday night.” [1] Groups ready to deliver aid to Jacmel – the fourth-largest city in Haiti – were told they would receive no clearance to land there from the U.S. military, even though they already had both aid supplies and the means for distributing them. This aid is only just now beginning to be delivered – thanks to assistance from the Dominican Republic, not the U.S.

In Port-au-Prince, huge stockpiles of aid sit in warehouses while people wait for supplies that mean the difference between life and death.

Finally, the US has started to airdrop water and food. Would you join us in urging that these airdrops, including water purification tablets, be immediately expanded, and that established aid organizations be allowed to deliver urgent assistance?

Just Foreign Policy.org/Urge Congress to Expand Airdrops in Haiti

AP reports that “The U.S. military has airdropped water and food into Haiti after earlier ruling out such a delivery method as too risky… Military officials are considering whether the method was successful enough to be used throughout Haiti.” [2]

The risk cited earlier by Defense Secretary Gates was that airdrops might trigger riots if there was no structure on the ground to distribute the supplies.

But the primary driver of potential violence is shortage: if there is plenty to go around, there is no reason to fight. That’s why these airdrops must be immediately expanded.

Please join us in demanding that the Obama Administration immediately expand the airdrops of water and food into Haiti, and that established aid organizations be allowed to deliver urgent assistance.

Thank you for all you do to help bring about a just foreign policy …


1) “Doctors Without Borders Plane with Lifesaving Medical Supplies Diverted Again from Landing in Haiti: Patients in Dire Need of Emergency Care Dying from Delays in Arrival of Medical Supplies,” Doctors Without Borders, January 19, 2010.

2)”US military airdrops supplies into Haiti,” Associated Press, Monday, January 18, 2010.

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