PORT-AU-PRINCE - International charities pouring a jumble of aid into Haiti must work better together to reach and help survivors of the catastrophic earthquake, President Rene Preval said on Wednesday.
Aid groups and troops from around the world have struggled to distribute food, water and medical care to an estimated 3 million Haitians injured or left homeless in the magnitude-7 earthquake that wrecked much of Haiti's capital on Jan. 12, killing as many as 200,000 people.
"I am not in a position to criticize anybody, not in the least people who have come here to help me," Preval said. "What I am staying is, what everybody is saying is, that we need a better coordination." Some food handouts have turned ugly, with UN peacekeepers using teargas and warning shots to control jostling crowds.
Other people living in ragtag encampments around Port-au-Prince have complained that no food has reached them.This story is wrong on so many levels--not only because the Haitian government wasn't in any position to fix things in Haiti before the quake, and is even less equipped to handle the mess now, but also because Saudi Arabia, one of the wealthiest nations in the world, has yet to pony up any of its oily shekels for relief efforts. The feckless Haitian whinging to the miserly Wahhabis about how he hasn't been able to line his pockets with aid money--how nauseating!
Preval said he was grateful for fund-raising efforts around the world and tried to ease concerns that government corruption might siphon off aid meant for desperate Haitians.
"The Haitian government has not seen one cent of that money that has been raised for Haiti. I presume that that means the money is going to NGOs," he said, referring to non-governmental aid groups...