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Latest update : 2010-01-21

“Stop treating Haitians like savages”

The Independent’s Andrew Kershaw has visited Haiti more than 20 times and is disgusted at the media attention on “security issues” in the country. Stop patronizing these people, he says. This story and more in today’s international press review.

The front page of The Independent this morning features an extraordinary photograph of eight-year-old Kiki, pulled from the ruins of a concrete building in Port-au-Prince after nearly eight days.

Inside Andrew Kershaw is very critical of hysterical concerns over security in Haiti. Here are some extracts:

“The crisis for the last week hasn’t been about a shortage of aid but its distribution.”

He accuses several NGOs of being overly-administrative, filling in forms and competing amongst each other instead of distributing the aid.

“The alarmingly unanimous priorities of the spokesmen and women of aid organizations have been about security, procedures and logistics.”

Supplies pile up at the airport because apparently Haitians need to be fed and watered at gunpoint, he infers.

Yet, Haiti is already full of trucks! The first priority should have been fuel for convoys, to deliver the water the medicines and food, in that order…

“The NGOs and the military should recognize the hysteria over “security” for what it is and make use of Haiti’s best distribution network: Haitians themselves.”

“Stop treating them as children. Or worse. Hand over to them immediately what they need at the airport. They will find the means to collect it. Fill up their trucks and cars with free fuel. And further restriction on, and control of the supply of aid is not only patronizing but it is in that control and restriction where any security issues will really lurk. And it is the Haitians who best know where the aid is needed.”

Other stories in today’s international papers:

The Washington Post: “Brown’s victory in Mass senate race hardly a repudiation of health reform”

Le Figaro: “L’Homme le plus sexy d’Amérique” brings a smile back to Republican faces…

Libération: photo of Scott Brown as a 22-year-old law student posing naked in Cosmopolitan magazine.

International Herald Tribune: Embracing Israel costs Merkel clout

 

 

By James CREEDON

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