Some of this criticism is valid, but some of it sounds like hearsay or the "he told me that she told me that they told them" type of stuff.
And some - maybe not here as much but I've heard and read it elsewhere - is simple cynicism with no support or evidence. Especially when it comes to Doctors Without Borders/Medicins San Frontieres (MSF).
I give to Doctors Without Borders - they have an excellent reputation and are in it to help the poor with medical care that would otherwise be impossible to receive. On any given day, more than 25,000 workers - local and international - are giving medical and other support aid to victims of floods, wars, famines and other natural and man-made catastrophes around the world.
Both acknowledged sources and people I know whom have traveled extensively say that Doctors Without Borders are doing precious work in many places - Haiti being prime amongst them.
One of the criticisms of organizations like MSF is that they are ineffective - but sometimes it isn't the fault of the organization, it is simply the overwhelming scope of the disaster and the completely ineffective local and international governmental organization that makes the job nearly impossible for the Red Cross, the UN or MSF (Oxfam, etc.,) They are often simply left to fend for themselves, without help of any kind, in trying to stem a tide of disease, injury and plain and simple incompetent administration in the area. And even the biggest NGO cannot act in all capacities at all times in situations that usually are at least chaotic if not in total anarchy.
Organizations like MSF don't function well as police, or as local bureaucrats, or as anything else but caregivers - but they often have to act in capacities like that just because there is no one else doing it. So they may seem mixed up in local or international corruption or in incompetence when they are on their own often merely trying to exist and function day-by-day in a situation that is often complete chaos (like Haiti was in the days following the quake and what it is still far too often found in even now.)
. This will help give you an idea. Also browse over to the PBS website and watch the Frontline episode on the situation in Haiti now
- it will open your eyes WIDE about the scale and nature of the Haitian disaster and the challenge of helping a country like Haiti recover from an unprecedented earthquake.
Give in whatever way you can - if you can volunteer, then go and volunteer. If you have money, then give that as well. Sometimes even items (diapers, powdered milk, sheets, towels, etc.,) are accepted if neither of the first two are options.
Anyone aware of the situation in Haiti knows it is awful - and the sad thing is that the earthquake occurred just when it seemed the country was finally starting to emerge from decades of poverty, hurricanes and disease. Whatever you give does help - do some research (which I did) and give to those who do help - like Doctors Without Borders.
If you've gotten this far, thanks for reading this.
ACQEdited by ACharmingQuark - 3/9/11 at 7:16pm