The CEO of Irish charity Goal said today that access is one of the biggest problems facing aid organizations in the Haiti earthquake disaster.
Irish people have given generously. Concern has raised $1 million, Unicef $315,000, Goal $500,000 and Trócaire $130,000 in three days, according to the Irish Times.
But in Haiti, many roads are inaccessible and the main port has been damaged. Haiti’s one airport is operating sporadically and planes bringing dozens of aidworkers to the country have been turned back. The US military is handling air traffic control, since Haiti airport’s system has completely broken down.
The result is a delay in bringing help to those who need it.
"You can have all the money in the world, but how are you going to put that money to work unless access and security has been sorted out?" Goal CEO John O’Shea told the Irish Independent.
“We have a fairly formidable and substantial team ready to join Darren Hanniffy, who is on the ground, and we're not able to get them in. Lots of organizations are the same. Planes are being turned back," he added.
In the meantime, millions are in need of food and water, and looting by gangs has begun.
Survivors are desperate, and they are growing angry. “I feel an injection of urgency should be brought into this situation," O’Shea told the Independent. "From what I hear from Darren on the ground, they're piling dead bodies up to draw attention to their anger."
Countries worldwide have pledged hundreds of millions of dollars to help the Haiti government, but the government itself is struggling, having suffered massive damage to its basic infrastructure. The president’s palace has been crushed and government offices destroyed.
One cabinet minister, Edwin Paraison, pointed to his laptop and told a New York Times reporter. “This is it. My offices are gone."