Dr Paul Farmer on Fixing Haiti

1/27/2010 Paul Farmer of Partners in Health telling Congress what Haiti needs:

The relief efforts, focused now on addressing the initial wave of devastation from the earthquake, will soon turn to a new set of concerns. Hastily cobbled together camps are at risk of outbreaks of cholera and other waterborne disease. The Haitian government has wisely proposed avoiding huge camps, which will be difficult to manage, but we must hasten our efforts to get tents, tarpaulins, and latrines or composting toilets to Haiti. It is humbling to see the relief efforts be so slow—in large part because delivery of services was so weak before the quake. Now we must do more to get food and water to people every day for some time to come. Creating safe schools and safe hospitals, even makeshift ones, is a known need in rebuilding a society, and storm resistant housing must also be a carefully considered priority since there is little time before the rainy season. Students need to be back in school; the planting season cannot be missed and requires fertilizer, seeds, and tools.

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