New Orleans, without the SCA

Via Constance, I see that the donations are pouring in. Medecins sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders), Partners in Health, even the American Red Cross.

There is supply. And there is clearly demand. But it appears that delivery is being deliberately impeded:

As life-saving medical supplies, food, water purification chemicals and vehicles pile up at the airport in Port-au-Prince, and as news networks report a massive international effort to deliver emergency aid, the people in the shattered city are wondering when they will see help….

BBC reporter Andy Gallagher told an 8 pm (Pacific Time) broadcast tonight that he had traveled “extensively” in Port-au-Prince during the day and saw little sign of aid delivery. He said he was shown nothing but courtesy by the Haitians he encountered. Everywhere he went he was taken by residents to see what had happened to their neighbourhood, their homes and their lives. Then they asked, “Where is the help?”

“When the Rescue teams arrive,” Gallagher said, “they will be welcomed with open arms.”…

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates…was asked by media in Washington why relief supplies were not being delivered by air. He answered, “It seems to me that air drops will simply lead to riots.”

Gates says that “security” concerns are impeding the delivery of aid. But Gallagher responded directly to that in his report, saying, “I’m not experiencing that.”

Describing the airport, Gallagher reported, “There are plenty of materials on the ground and plenty of people there. I don’t know what the problem is with delivery.”

The longer the wait, the more likely the prophecy becomes self-fulfilling. Which still does not make it true. And, in this case, there is no Superdome to store people in.

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