From NYC Councilmember Gale Brewer
To my friends at the JCRC:
I know that you have heard this before, and the papers have lots of stories, but I thought you would be interested in this e-mail that I received from African-American and Haitian friends. None of this amazing work by the Israelis is surprising to anyone who knows them, but I am glad that the rest of the world is finding out.
Subject: Brief update on medical aid coordination in Haiti
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 2010 08:56:40 -0500
There is currently a lack of coordination of the aid sitting at the airport and not getting to the residents. The US leadership must coordinate with Haitian Physicians on the ground whom know the facilities to distribute medical supplies. The military must use their truck to disbribute aid and transport medical supplies, not just armed military all over. U.S. air traffic controllers in charge of the Aeroport International Toussaint Louverture are diverting aircraft carrying medical supplies and other humanitarian aid. U.S. military flights were getting top priority. About 200 flights a day are taking off and landing at the one-runway airport each day. With the seaport closed by earthquake damage, hundreds of tons of aid sit waiting at the airport, the only port of entry. U.S. military helicopters routinely load the cargo at a grassy landing zone between the runway and a crowded tarmac and airlift it to at least eight distribution points throughout the city. The military intends to open two other airports within the next two days, Allyn said Tuesday. One will be about 25 miles from Port-au-Prince, while the other will be in the adjacent to the Dominican republic. The U.S. military has 2,000 troops on the ground and will increase that level to 10,000 in the next few weeks, the general said. The military has distributed 400,000 bottles of water and 300,000 meals since the earthquake. But many aid workers — or those who would like to help find themselves increasingly frustrated. At Sylvio Cator Stadium, where hundreds of displaced Haitian families have set up camp, a team of Israeli doctors has treated about 500 patients in the past three days. The Israeli disaster relief doctors have electricity, imaging technology, icu, and neonatal incubators and and telemedicine capability on the ground. The world should take note of the impressive Israeli ability that should a model for disaster relief that should be followed in the future and in the reconstruction of Haiti. The Israeli effort is a welcomed contrast to their excessive military operations in Palestine in the past.