Port-au-Prince — The United States is being accused of prioritizing the delivery of troops and military equipment over desperately needed aid in Haiti. On the ground, U.S. troops are engaged in “crowd control,” while literally occupying areas of the earthquake-ravaged country. And Washington’s control of the airport in Port-au-Prince gives the U.S. the final word on who does or doesn’t get humanitarian aid… and when.
Doctors Without Borders legal director Francoise Saulnier says a plane carrying over twelve tons of aid was turned back from landing three times this week. Speaking with reporters, Francoise Saulnier said: “Now everything has been mixed together, and the urgent and vital attention to the people have been delayed, while military logistic — which is useful, but not on day three, not on day four, but maybe on day eight — this military logistic has really jammed the airport and led to this mismanagement, real mismanagement of vital issues.” The Doctors Without Borders plane was diverted to the Dominican Republic, delaying the aid delivery by three days.
At a Haitian hospital Wednesday, Doctors Without Borders field coordinator Pip Millard said doctors are struggling to treat earthquake survivors. He told journalists: “We’ve got a surgical team here who are doing surgery. We’re having to do amputations. We’ve got some really severe wounds, lots of fractured limbs, both arms, legs, many different kind of crush injuries. And also, one of the other problems that we’re really encountering is lack of supplies. We’re running out of things very quickly.”