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The Effect of the Earthquake in Haiti: Global Issues

By sashii052 Feb 19, 2013 982 Words
GLOBAL ISSUES

Simply hours after the impact in Haiti, nations all over the world such as the United States, the United Kingdom and Venezuela were pledging “unwavering support” (Matt Frei, 2010). The United States of America immediately dispatched Navy Ships and smaller boats to Haiti while the US Agency for International Development (USID) sent specialised teams with rescue equipment. Similarly, Israel sent two planes with a field hospital and around two hundred and twenty (220) emergency personnel while Canada readied two warships, helicopters and planes with supplies (Aislinn Laing and Nick Collins, 2010). International bodies, such as the United Nations, were already organising financial aid; they themselves were sending 10 million dollars. Even international entertainers donated to Haiti; Beyonce donated 10 million dollars to a fund simply for Haiti. Food and supplies were being gathered by organisations such as the Red Cross and UN Food Programs. The earthquake in Haiti impacted more than just locals. Tourists, UN peace members from China, Brazil, Jordania and others also died in the earthquake. Persons in other countries who had family in Haiti were also affected. This added to the global aspect of the Haitian earthquake. Responses were not only international. Regional efforts were also seen directly after the earthquake. According to a CARICOM press release (2010), the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA), led by Jamaica, was already providing assistance to Haiti from approximately twenty-four (24) after the impact. Assistance measures included search and rescues, treating the injured and supply relief. As stated in the release, nine thousand, two hundred (9200) persons were treated by the CARICOM mission. Thirty-six relief supply operations were carried out and approximately 275 tons of supplies including water and canned food items from CARICOM Member States were distributed. Member States of the Community, such as Barbados, also gathered funds to aid Haiti. By March 4th 2010, the sum accumulated was approximately US$9.4 million dollars. Efforts did not simply stop after the earthquake. Months after the damage, countries such as Canada were still working consistently to rebuild Haiti and provide any relief from its growing problems. “Oxfam-Québec”, a Canadian institution which was funded five hundred thousand Canadian dollars, was sent to provide clean water as regions in Haiti battled Cholera. Meanwhile, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities implemented a project to restore Municipalities in Haiti. These cities included Port-au-Prince, “Léogâne”, “Gressier”, “Petit-Goâve” and “Grand-Goâve” (CIDA, 2010). Indeed the earthquake did not only receive global attention due to its size and strength but also because of the damage it caused and the lives it affected. The massive destruction, brought down more than just houses and buildings, it also cut down barriers as it brought nations around the world together all in an effort to aid Haiti. Despite cultural and political differences, the entire world responded to Haiti’s cry for help. The United States of America, which is known for its western culture of individualism, was one of the first to take action. Despite the economic affairs and the current depression, nations gave freely, donating everything to aid Haiti. With the increased use of technology due to globalisation, medical aid, food, water, supplies and such were able to be transported via warplanes, helicopters and ships. The speed of communication alerted the entire world of the catastrophe simply minutes after it occurred. The internet, live news broadcasts and social networking sites kept persons informed and up-to-date. Donations can be sent to the Red Cross by electronic methods such as texting support numbers. There are no limitations. Everyone around the world can aid in the relief effort due to advances in technology. International trade also came to a standstill. The country’s capital and its business central, Port-au-Prince was completely devastated. There was nothing left of local businesses, which sent importing and exporting schedules awry. All access to Haitian ports was restricted to emergency aid. This set back international businesses, such as those in the United States of America and Canada that were especially dependent on Haitian imports such as mangoes, peppers and cotton (Workman, 2010). This again shows the level of integration that has resulted due to globalisation. Haiti’s infrastructure, which depended heavily on its international trade, was now destroyed and due to globalisation and the emergence of one global market, businesses across the world suffered alike. Therefore, Oxfam, in an effort to help Haiti rebuild itself, called for a shift in International Trade. It asked trade partners such as the USA and Canada to “prioritize agricultural investment in plans to rebuild Haiti after the devastating earthquake” (Oxfam Media Unit, 2010). The agency encouraged trade partners to be understanding and to provide donations to the $772 million dollar agricultural plan the Haitian government is desirous of implementing. It also discouraged trade policies which could restrict the process of rebuilding and further damage progress such as trade barriers on Haitian exports. In a Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) news release, plans to aid in rebuilding Haiti’s infrastructure placed the great emphasis on the agricultural aspect. These include initiatives such as Increasing Employment and Incomes for Haitian Farmers and Reinforcing Food Security in Haiti. Other intended efforts of the Action Plan include aiding in the rebuilding of schools and a police headquarters, the creation of the FAITH program to ensure first aid is a number one priority. The list is extensive as Canada has spared no expense to aid Haiti. This is representative of how close globalisation has brought nations. Supporting foreign nations is no longer an idea but a concept which is embraced and carried out. Without a doubt, the effect of globalisation can truly be seen in the extent to which nations responded to Haiti. The impact of the 2010 earthquake has been felt all over the world. Individual countries became one global force in order to rebuild the completely devastated nation.

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