Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Doctor in Haiti: 'There are no security issues'

In the streets of Haiti
Amy Davidson: Jon Lee Anderson, who has reported for The New Yorker from Afghanistan, Iraq, and, most recently, Somalia, headed to Haiti soon after the earthquake hit on January 12th. I reached him in Port-au-Prince by text message...

What has surprised you?
The love of country. Or perhaps I should say the depth of and extent of that love. Yesterday, a Haitian man, looking out over his destroyed country, told me: 'I have traveled, you know. I have been to Miami and Paris. But this is the country for me. I love my country, you know? That is why I always came back.'

Democracy Now: 'There are no security issues,' says Dr. Evan Lyon of Partners in Health, reporting from the General Hospital in Port-au-Prince in Haiti, where 1,000 people are in need of operations. Lyon said the reports of violence in the city have been overblown by the media and have affected the delivery of aid and medical services...

Dr. Lyon: One thing that I think is really important for people to understand is that misinformation and rumors and, I think at the bottom of the issue, racism has slowed the recovery efforts of this hospital. 'Security issues' over the last forty-eight hours have been our leading concern. And there are no security issues. I've been with my Haitian colleagues. I'm staying at a friend's house in Port-au-Prince. We're working for the Ministry of Public Health for the direction of this hospital as volunteers. But I'm living and moving with friends. We've been circulating throughout the city until 2:00 and 3:00 in the morning every night, evacuating patients, moving materials. There's no UN guards. There's no US military presence. There's no Haitian police presence. And there's also no violence. There is no insecurity.
Image source here.