Letter to CBC Vancouver: Medical Conditions in Haiti

Vancouver BC, June 23, 2010

To: CBC Vancouver, BC Almanac

Re: Haiti story on today’s broadcast

Hello CBC Vancouver,

Thank you for the interview today on BC Almanac with Dr. Christina Stewart of the Christian aid agency Impact Nations.

Ms. Stewart reported to you from Carrefours, a poor, sprawling, seaside district in the Port au Prince region. She said that the demolitions of destroyed buildings in Carrefours are being carried out by ordinary Haitians with few tools and equipment and little to no outside help; that little of the rubble left over from the earthquake has been removed from Carrefours; and that the camp of several thousand where she is volunteering has no water whatsoever, potable or not.

Her report on her medical work also suggested that the camp residents have received little medical assistance.

Ms. Stewart echoes what many international and Canadian news agencies and many relief and assistance organizations are saying about the international relief effort, namely, a great many Haitians have received little or no assistance. We are posting these and other reports about the situation in Haiti on our website, www.canadahaitiaction.ca. We also have links there to some of the most informative sources that are connected to the post-earthquake situation.

Your interview begged some important questions not ventured into by your program host. I hope that CBC Vancouver and CBC national programming will address these in the coming weeks, including:

* Why are so many Haitians still without shelter and adequate food, water and medical care? Where is the promised aid?
* The Canadian government has pledged hundreds of millions of dollars of aid to Haiti, and it has promised to match funds donated by Canadians, notably to the Red Cross. The Red Cross itself received several hundred million dollars from Canadians. How much of that money has been sent or spent for Haiti, and what is it accomplishing? Why do Canadians know so little about all this money donated in our name?
* Canada’ Foreign Affairs Minister Lawrence Cannon visited Haiti in early May and the spending announcements that he made were for the training of police and the construction of prisons. Why is Canada funding police and jails in Haiti with “matching” funds that Canadians thought were to be spent on humanitarian relief?
* The Canadian Red Cross recently announced it will spend tens of millions of dollars of earthquake relief money for temporary shelters that will be entirely built in Quebec and then shipped to Haiti for final assembly. Why are these shelters not being built in Haiti, with all the possibilities for training and paying of salaries to Haitian workers? Is it a policy of the Canadian government that “aid” money be spent in Canada and not in Haiti?

We look forward to more reporting from you.


Roger Annis

Haiti Solidarity BC,  Member committee of Canada Haiti Action Network