Disaster in Haiti continues unabated with long term medical effects

By Allyn Gaestel

11 February 2010 [MediaGlobal]: One of the smaller towns devastated by the 12 January 2010 earthquake in Haiti is Petit Goave, located 42 miles southwest of the capital Port-au-Prince. The emergency situation continues in this town of 12,000 people, with daily aftershocks and deaths from infections and diseases exacerbated by unstable living conditions.

Many people are living in makeshift tents in the open spaces of the town and the roads. Temperatures drop at night, and many people, sleeping on the ground, are contracting bronchitis as well as developing skin rashes and conjunctivitis from the close quarters in densely-packed living areas…Read more

Haitian diaspora engaging with long-term reconstruction emphasize the need for leadership

By Allyn Gaestel

5 February 2010 [MediaGlobal]: Following the 12 January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, organizations and institutions have focused on immediate relief for the victims and survivors of this disaster. As time passes, however, organizations are thinking ahead to the long-term rebuilding and reconstruction of the country.

One phrase repeatedly used by commentators on Haiti, including John Holmes, United Nations Undersecretary General on Humanitarian Affairs, and Paul Farmer, UN Deputy Special Envoy to Haiti is “build back better.” Those who have been involved with Haiti over the years are aware of the economic and social difficulties the country has faced, and they now hope to leverage the international attention currently focused on Haiti to make significant improvements across numerous sectors for the development of the country…Read full article

Local Haitian communities take initiative in responding to earthquake

By Allyn Gaestel

24 January 2010 [MediaGlobal]: The 12 January earthquake in Haiti caused huge destruction in the country, as is well chronicled in the international media. But the coverage has focused on Port-au-Prince, the capital city, where 30 percent of the city was leveled and an unverified number of people died. However, small towns have also been severely affected and international humanitarian organizations have been slow to acknowledge and address the needs of the more isolated areas. In their absence, local governments and community organizations have attempted to deal with the crisis independently, but many towns lack the infrastructure to deal with the enormous social and physical changes that have occurred…Read full article

Haitians mobilize as the international community scrambles to bring humanitarian assistance

By Allyn Gaestel

15 January 2010 [MediaGlobal]: As the window closes on the timetable for emergency rescue for victims of the 12 January earthquake in Haiti, the greater humanitarian disaster surrounding the destruction is becoming clearer. United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon emphasized the importance of the first 72 hours following the disaster. But already much of that crucial time has been spent attempting to assess the situation. The UN Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH) suffered the collapse of its headquarters. Approximately 150 peacekeepers are still missing and 36 staff members are confirmed dead. Much of the focus of the United Nations had been on this internal tragedy and the logistical difficulties of losing track of the majority of the UN presence. Meanwhile the fate of millions of Haitian civilians affected by the earthquake remained “sketchy” according to Ban…Read full article