Another Quake...Another Devastation
Of course they are bound to occur. Natural disasters are usually unaviodable. Humans attempt to build structures to stem the effects of hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, etc. We try to take precautions and prepare people so that they can take specific steps that will help them save their lives and belongings during such disasters. But there is only so much individuals can do.
Governments of course have a role because we entrust them with providing us security and stability in our lives, including during natural disasters. But not all governments are equal. Not all states have similar resources.
So why not creat an international force that can leap into action at the first signs of an earthquake, tsunami, or hurricane?
This would be a neutral, strictly humanitarian coalition of professionals including doctors, nurses, paramedics, rescuers, engineers, etc who would be trained in dealing with disaster stricken areas of all kinds. At the first sign of such a disaster, the affected nation would immediately contact this UN sponsored committee and ask for assistance.
Without too much paperwork and bureaucratic strings attached, this international force would leap into action and be ready to go within hours of notification. They should arrive at the disaster zone no later than 24 hours from the time of contact and shall be equipped with all necessary equipment for them to do their work efficiently. Their work is saving lives. Period.
The amount of people who are afflicted with disease, hunger, malnutrition, etc in the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster can be significantly diminished if such a force existed to help with food distribution, setting up temporary homes, and make-shift hospitals.
I realize that when such disasters occur, many governments around the world extend their hands in assistance with money, manpower, medicine, food, etc. However, this usually takes a few days before individuals are deployed to the disaster zone. An internationally sanctioned humanitarian force would be more efficient and more powerful in numbers and tools to do the work they need to do.
If such an entity already exists, then I am not aware of it as I did not see it put to work during the earthquake in Iran, the tsunami in East Asia, Hurricane Katrina, and many others.
The devastating earthquake in Indonesia is a sad reminder to us all. For the sake of thousands that have already died, and the many others that have been displaced and injured because of these disasters, will someone please do something?
UN Security Council jocks, are you listening to me?!
[photo of Indonesia earthquake aftermath, Reuters]
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Labels: humanitarian disasters