Earthquake in Haiti is a Wake-Up Call for the World
For countries that are either poor or underdeveloped, natural disasters and the inability to respond to them are often the most unlucky of circumstances. And if there is one nation in the underdeveloped world that is the most unfortunate, Haiti takes the cake.
With a horrific earthquake shattering the very essence of Haitian society, now is the time for the international community to come together for a common humanitarian mission.
The task for the United States & Company now should be “to save lives.” Some media reports are claiming that the death toll could be as high as 100,000. Other sources are saying that 50,000 Haitians are either dead, missing, or trapped in the rubble. Whichever figure is correct, tens of thousands of innocent people lay victim to Mother Nature.
It is far to early to speculate on the death toll. It usually takes weeks to figure out how many casualties result from a natural disaster (remember the Indonesian Tsunami in 2004?). The primary job now is to pour as much money and medical resources into Haiti as humanly possible. Obviously the United States will take the lead, but other countries need to pull their own weight as well; Brazil, a state that striving so desperately to become a strong force in the Western Hemisphere, must step up. Europe, China, Japan, Russia, and India should contribute as well.
Rescue and recovery is the first mission. The second should be a new U.S. emphasis on Haiti in the long-term. The island-nation has been overlooked for far too long by Washington…something that strikes me as rather shortsighted considering its proximity to the American mainland. If there is anything that can be taken from his horrible tragedy, it is the earthquake’s relentless power in fomenting a world response to Haiti’s already desolate environment.
God bless the victims and their families.
**Comments courtesy of The Economist**
-Daniel R. DePetris