Haiti response inadequate and UN Head of Mission seems incompetent

The UN after having introduced cholera to Haiti – which will now remain for many decades – is providing an “inadequate response” according to Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) says the BBC.

MSF said that despite the huge aid agency presence in Haiti, urgent needs were not being met. MSF’s chief in Haiti, Stefano Zannini, said the charity had treated more than 16,500 people but that there had been “no real and efficient response from other organisations. This is alarming in the sense that we haven’t reached the peak yet, that might take some time, and so the number of patients might still go up while we still don’t see actions on behalf of other people,” he said.

In a statement, Mr Zannini said more help was urgently needed to treat the sick and implement preventative measures. “There is no time left for meetings and debate – the time for action is now,” he said. Cholera was previously unknown in Haiti, so MSF said much work had to be done to reassure the population, particularly of the low risk and positive benefits of having treatment centres close to areas where people live.

Haiti - Insecurity : The alarmist statements of Edmond Mulet !

Edmond Mulet: image haitilibre.com

But the need for this reassurance to the local population is apparently not something understood by Edmond Mulet, the head of MINUSTAH (the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti). He seems to be mainly engaged in justifying the UN deficiencies by blaming the lack of action on “the violent protests by people who blame peacekeepers for the spread of the disease (who) were wasting time and costing lives”.

But local Haitians are incensed by the alarmist posturing of the UN head of mission Edmond Mulet who is accused of not taking action. He is busy blaming everybody else and seems to be incompetent at basic public relations.

Judging by the response to his statements in haitilibre.com he is providing little reassurance and only succeeding to alienate the local population. They write

The alarmist statements of Edmond Mulet !

The perpetrators of these “criminals and irresponsible” acts said Mr. Mulet, “prevent the delivery of medical and sanitary assistance to the thousands of patients recently hit by the cholera epidemic, thus condemning to an unquestionable death.”

It is time to stop speaking and start acting Mr. Mulet before it is too late and that violence will spread throughout the country. 12,000 men strong, very well equipped and (with) armored vehicles, what awaits Minustah to release these roads and to restore the order in the zones concerned ? If Minustah’s mission is to maintain peace, she must first begin by eliminating the causes of these disorders, not with dramatic speeches.

If M. Mulet can only respond to the fear of people by blaming them instead of addressing their fear and anger then his competence is in question.

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One Response to “Haiti response inadequate and UN Head of Mission seems incompetent”

  1. Haiti cholera death toll revised up to 2,000, elections this weekend « The k2p blog Says:

    […] revised information about the cholera outbreak in Haiti. What they are reporting now is what others were reporting already last week: A baby and other patients suffering from acute diarrhoea lie on the floor of St. […]

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