Kudos to the United Nations in Haiti

Reading time 3 min.

Critics have often labeled UN intervention as failures, especially in situations of Natural disasters and humanitarian intervention. Such critics couldn’t be more wrong. The UN, operating annually on a budget less than that of the New York City Police Department’s, tackles an overwhelming range of problems and swanks a remarkable list of accomplishments, including its most recent exertion in Haiti.

In the words of a Swiss diplomat: “To give up on the United Nations is to give up on humanity.” Thus, it is important that we do not undermine the efforts of the United Nations in Haiti, as the media has often done, so people may know how essential this global institution is to humanity- this institution has not been a ‘waste of time’, as many have described it.

To build a global trust in the UN is to commend it when it has done tremendously well. The UN has done well in Haiti.

As soon as Haiti came crumbling, the United Nations Security Council, on January 19th, 2010 adopted resolution 1908 that authorized an increase of troops and police supporting the UN mission to provide security in Port-au-Prince and beyond, while food is being distributed.

UN agencies such as the World Food Program (WFP) and The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) are distributing health kits, water, and food. Within days of the devastating quake the WFP had reached over 250,000 people with food rations that would last a number of days. The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is offering expertise in protection, camp management, site planning and coordination.

The World Health Organization (WHO) is leading the coordination of the health sector response to the earthquake, while UNICEF has established welcome centers where children, particularly unaccompanied children, can find safety and shelter.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is working to refurbish maternity wards to handle emergency obstetric care, provide reproductive health medicines, and to carry out interventions to prevent gender based violence.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is managing the efforts of over 25 relief teams while directors of various agencies are meeting with local and NGO officials to synchronize activities.

The United States is coordinating closely with the Haitian authorities and the United Nations and working hand in hand with many international partners and organizations on the ground. These efforts are making a difference.

The United Nations deserves its due credit, for its ability to coordinate and rally support for such humanitarian intervention. The UN may not have solved poverty in Malawi, or ended hunger in Ethiopia, or prevented rights abuse in China, but it has been vital in fostering the betterment of humanity. We must remember- as former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell put it, that “The U.N. is us”.

Millions of survivors need food, water, medical supplies, shelter and trauma care. It is our responsibility as people who care to ensure that the humanitarian impact of this disaster does not escalate even higher. The moment we seize to fight for one another, we lose humanity.

International  International news in general
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