In the following newspapers, Le Monde (France), Forbes (United States), The Guardian (United Kingdom), El Pais (Spain), Le Devoir (Canada), Le Soir (Belgium), Excelsior (Mexico), La Republica (Italy), Afrika (Africa), René Préval and Nicole Guedj report: ‘Haiti has been one disaster too many. We have not learnt the lessons from the Asian tsunami of 2004. Because of the [rescue teams] lack of organization and coordination, we lost time and too many lives.’
Amidst it all, the issuers of this appeal welcomed the mobilization of the international assistance, however they decry the lack of a ‘conductor’ that plunged Haiti into chaos in less than 24 hours: ‘What was needed in this state of emergency was a humanitarian high command that would have identified the needs and made an inventory of all available resources. The situation could have been transformed by a rapid reaction task force capable of refining a strategy for action and coordinating operational teams.’
Since 1997, Nicole Guedj pleads for the creation of humanitarian brothers of the Blue Helmets, intended to coordinate the rescue teams deployed in emergency on a scene of natural disaster. On January 22nd, René Préval who has been both witness of the international mobilization but also of the greatest disruption of humanitarian action in recent years, has joined her fight.
On the eve of the International Conference for the Reconstruction of Haiti, the President of Haiti and the Red Helmet Foundation chairman raise awareness: ‘We appeal to the duty of all heads of states to unite and find a consensus. It is through solidarity that they must ensure that history is not repeated. Not a place on the planet is safe from a future disaster. The very same question of relief coordination will continue arising until we take the necessary actions. Next time, they will not forgive us.’
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