January 22, 2010

Aid Organizations In Haiti Crisis Showing Self Interest

The Lancet, a well-known medical journal, accused major aid organizations of "corporate preening" on Friday, stating that these organizations are showing self-interest, which contributed to chaos in the effort to help quake-stricken Haiti.

"International organizations, national governments and non-governmental organizations are rightly mobilizing, but also jostling for position, each claiming that they are doing the best for earthquake survivors," said by The Lancet in an editorial.

"Some agencies even claim that they are 'spearheading' the relief effort. In fact, as we only too clearly see, the situation in Haiti is chaotic, devastating, and anything but coordinated."

No actual organizations were mentioned in the lash-out, but The Lancet did give praise to aid workers.

The Lancet also stated that most aid agencies and humanitarian organizations are often very competitive with each other. The larger aid agencies often become obsessed with raising money and in doing so, frequently it leads to powerful political battles and objectionable benefit practices.

Usually the effects trickle downward, and, perhaps even worse, relief efforts in the field become competitive and little to no collaboration occurs between agencies. This makes it difficult where smaller, working-class charities are placed to implement immediate disaster relief.


Image Caption: Haitians await the opening of a supply depot, January 16. Credit: Daniel Barker/US Navy


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