Commentary | Ballsy, Saeed, but too ballsy

Re: “Think before you give” | Commentary | January 28

Sana Saeed’s analysis of the relief organizations in Haiti is concise and daring, but I find it a little too daring. I don’t think that any of these organizations, however politically biased, can be considered to be profiting from the people of Haiti given the current situation. If there is imbalance of distributed aid in the aftermath of the disaster, it is only because of the enormous number of people affected and the scarcity of the resources.

Furthermore, she goes on to state that reconstruction plans are less important than Haitians learning to prepare themselves for future disasters, an argument that contradicts itself. If the infrastructure was developed and 300,000 people weren’t living in the slums, there would not have been a need to be on guard for natural disasters. In the long term, investments in infrastructure can raise the GDP and move the economy upward, something that goes to the core of the problem.

After all, Haiti is a tourist destination and it needs some major reconstruction projects; such projects can provide jobs for the thousands of people affected by the disaster and by poverty. Not to mention completely rebuilding the city in the long term, as is currently happening in New Orleans.

And I also want to say that this earthquake is not something that they could have prepared for, so it is completely senseless to think that they could educate themselves about a natural disaster that isn’t even yet predictable. What could be done is to implement earthquake engineering and seismic retrofit in buildings, as is done all over the world.

Alexander Kunev
U3 Mechanical Engineering


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