October 28th, 2010
11:35 AM ET

Blindsided in the Third World

[cnn-video url=http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2010/10/28/dnt.gupta.haiti.cholera.aid.cnn]

By Sanjay Gupta
CNN Chief Medical Correspondent

I visited one of the largest warehouses in Port-au-Prince yesterday. It is a large structure behind a big blue gate and a handful of security guards. I went to get a better understanding of how lifesaving supplies are distributed in the middle of a cholera outbreak. Outside, workers from aid organizations were also waiting to take supplies to patients in St. Marks, the epicenter of the outbreak.

It quickly became clear that it was going to be a long day. One of the workers told me she had been waiting for several hours to pick up the supplies despite the fact that she had all the necessary paperwork and authorizations. No one was available to help her. After sitting there frustrated nearly the whole day, she eventually left empty-handed, telling me this wasn’t at all unusual. “Typical Third World red tape,” she added.

I eventually made my way into the warehouse, where I expected to see the shelves bare from the recent demand for supplies to treat thousands of patients with cholera. Instead, the warehouse was almost full, with boxes of lifesaving IV fluids sitting there since July, as evidenced by their packaging slips. I asked to speak to someone in charge of the warehouse, and was told I would need to wait a few more hours. I waited.

Three hours later, I met the health management adviser. “We are doing the best we can,” he started. “Look, we saved thousands of lives with supplies,” he added. That was true, yet it still was baffling to me that so many simple lifesaving supplies were in a warehouse in Haiti, had been there for months, and were still sitting there, while hundreds of people died. “ We were blindsided,” he admitted. “No one expected a cholera outbreak.”

There hadn’t been a case of cholera in Haiti for many decades and it is still not clear why one is happening now. “But, still, the supplies are sitting there in tens of thousands of boxes. Why didn’t you distribute them?” I asked. “We have to plan ahead,” he said. “We can’t simply send all of our supplies to one area. What if Port-au-Prince was hit tomorrow?”

And, therein lies one of the big challenges with aid distribution. Trying to meet the immediate need in a disaster while also anticipating future demands. I have seen it happen over and over again in Haiti since the earthquake. It is a bitter irony. People die for lack of lifesaving supplies, even though the supplies were right there in front of them.

Of course, in this case, the supplies in question were not expensive medicines or difficult to transport technology. In this case, it was simple and cheap. It was rehydration packets and IV fluids. In the year 2010, there are still people on their hands and knees begging for clean water.

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soundoff (276 Responses)
  1. Life

    Why not give out the supplies and order more? Save who you can now, try to stop the spread of the disease, worry about the future after you take care of the present. How sickening that this person is watching people die and can save them, but will not.....

    October 28, 2010 at 12:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Rick

      The jerk, Mr. Christian Morales, running the warehouse has supplies dating back to July. Holding them so he doesn't run out. This guy does NOT have any common sense. And the World Health Org. is the worst. They don't have people in place that know what they are doing. Do not donate to this organization. your money is being wasted.

      October 28, 2010 at 12:16 | Report abuse |
    • Decayous

      If only things were as simple as "order more", the bigger fear is if they gave out the supplies to everyone, ordered more and more never came. It's not like they're burdened with an abundant cash flow to replace supplies, heck they have no industry anymore. Would you sell merchandise to someone knowing they wouldn't be able to pay for it?

      October 28, 2010 at 12:26 | Report abuse |
    • Sidney Julius

      I agree. Please distribute what you have. I have donated to Haiti relief and I'd like to know that my donation is being used correctly and meaningfully. When you need more supplies, I'll gladly give again. I would think that people who have donated in good faith would like to know that their donation is being used for the purpose it was intended. This inaction is what turns donors off. Can Haiti really afford to do this?

      October 28, 2010 at 12:27 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      What everyone here fails to understand is that these third world countries are fueled by corruption and graft. If those in charge are not getting paid to distribute these supplies, they will wait until they can sell them. Do not confuse this with any other red tape issues. It is corruption plain and simple.

      October 28, 2010 at 12:28 | Report abuse |
    • confidential

      Kind of distracts from the corruption of Big Pharma.

      October 28, 2010 at 12:39 | Report abuse |
    • gibler

      It may look like that from the outside ,but it is very possible that its not as easy as ordering more as if its alwasy free and readily available.It can also be that it may not be up to him to release the supplies, most likely those who own those supplies are non-government organizations

      October 28, 2010 at 12:58 | Report abuse |
    • MichelleS

      Jesus Christ. What is wrong with our government and people with a title? If it happened in Bel-Air, better believe it would be distributed. Where is the CDC and I would like to know their foreign aid policy. Why cant we enforce ours?? I guess our country doesnt know how to enforce distribution...............................................

      October 28, 2010 at 13:00 | Report abuse |
    • MikeyNYC

      Who are you talking to? No one posting here is in Haiti, nor does anyone who may be reading this have any influence whatsoever in regards to what is distributed at what time. The US government has absolutely no influence either, so if you could let us know to whom you are speaking, maybe that invisible bureaucrat can cure AIDS, too!

      October 28, 2010 at 13:10 | Report abuse |
    • Rusty

      It's a shame that this reporting is so biased and uninformed. First, let me clear the air that there are lots of doctors, nurses, Water Sanitation experts (Watsan) and other medical personnel at the are of the cholera outbreak that brought their own supplies. So my question is....What "aid organzation" shows up to "help" the suffering people of Haiti without any supplies? Next question is what is the government doing? We hear a lot about what aid organizations are not doing, why not focus on the people who are supposed to providing the support? Lastly, Dr. Gupta has been on the air (written and TV) numerous times investigating and reporting on the shortcomings of Aid workers and thier organization......if Dr. Gupta spent half as much time trying to fix what is broken, maybe he would have so much negative things to say about the amazing efforts of thousands of humanitarians.

      October 28, 2010 at 13:14 | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      Greedy Big Pharma, backed by even greedier Republican politicians fed by millions of special interest groups. I hope they all contract cholera.

      October 28, 2010 at 13:21 | Report abuse |
    • readnvote

      I was in Haiti in the early '80's. Nothing has changed, it's still thug rule.

      October 28, 2010 at 13:26 | Report abuse |
    • astuartgirl

      "If only things were as simple as "order more", the bigger fear is if they gave out the supplies to everyone, ordered more and more never came."

      What makes the people that he is "saving" it for more important than the people that need it NOW!?

      October 28, 2010 at 13:29 | Report abuse |
    • writingmomma

      This is an outrage! This is totally appalling and unexceptable! Whoever is allowing this medication to sit and not help these people should be visited by every spirit that has passed on!

      October 28, 2010 at 13:29 | Report abuse |
    • OnTheRoad

      The warehouse manager and the government official in charge of the warehouse are waiting to be paid under the table before they hand out the medical supplies!!

      October 28, 2010 at 13:34 | Report abuse |
    • hotepk

      When knowledgeable persons assert the world is controlled by secret societies (who control institutions such as the World health Organization, the IMF, CIA,ect) they are generally castigated for being 'conspiracy theorists' for believing the world's elites have decided to eliminate 80% or more of the worlds' population via wars, creating economic distress and pandemics and,deliberately withholding lifesaving medicines to those in distress....I sent money to Haiti to assist rebuilding homes; and along w/ the WHO(who had a big role deliberately spreading HIV to kill of black people)and jackasses like Bill Clinton preventing reconstruction efforts, once again the demonic and devilish nature of the elite white classes is on full display.

      October 28, 2010 at 13:35 | Report abuse |
    • bailoutsos

      The Dominican Republic should expand its border West to include Haiti. No more Haiti. Issue resolved.

      October 28, 2010 at 13:46 | Report abuse |
    • Informed

      Not defending the WHO, or the shameful amount of supplies in the warehouse when there are 4,000 patients in need of them, just wanted to point out that the person in the video is from Sean Penn's organization, JP HRO. Why wasn't this fact pointed out in the video? Not that she should have been denied the supplies. Not at all. They are on the ground helping and should get the supplies they need.

      October 28, 2010 at 13:49 | Report abuse |
    • Damian

      As an expert in reading between the lines and a professional spiritualist I am positive greed and the desire to kill is the answer to this dilemma. This area is well know for its abuse of humanity. Those who run things need more death, they need a body count a soul count. Power is derived from stealing life force. To starve thousands will have a resultant force for the group who murders these souls. Think of a soul like a credit in a game. The more credits you have the more power you maintain. The powers that control life and death on a grand scale have been playing this game for tens of thousands of years. These souls were promised to a power source and now this is the delivery process. War has always been about power. What if the souls of the dead are the source of the power? This thinking keeps me illuminated. May it illuminate others.

      October 28, 2010 at 13:56 | Report abuse |
    • Chatarri

      Reading thru this.....So many people blaming the United States Government and even directing the anger at Big Pharma and the Republicans (Scott) – did you not read the article???????

      This happened at, and I quote, "one of the largest warehouses in Port-au-Prince" – not in the US, not US controlled, not Big Pharma controlled and sure as hell not Republican controlled.

      October 28, 2010 at 14:02 | Report abuse |
    • Holly

      Decayous, it's saline and glucose solution. It's not difficult or expensive to obtain or make. Supplie shouldn't be limited of such a simple treatment, if it's sitting there and people are dying NOW they should send it out NOW.

      October 28, 2010 at 14:33 | Report abuse |
    • Jim Bob

      It's Bush's fault!

      October 28, 2010 at 14:44 | Report abuse |
    • Soon to be raptured

      wait...wait...let's all go to Hollywood for a sing-off THEN supplies will come. Welcome to the new king of the mountain. MEDS

      October 28, 2010 at 17:12 | Report abuse |
    • joeinalabama

      The place was corrupt, dis functional before the earthquake, why would it be any different now, just more to steal.

      October 28, 2010 at 18:08 | Report abuse |
    • M.Power

      From a former Medical Supply NCO, USArmy. It is as simple as shipping it out and ordering more. As a matter of fact, the supplies in the warehouse are "shelf life" items and will expire if they are not already expired. Once they expire they may or may not be any good for anyone.

      October 28, 2010 at 19:00 | Report abuse |
    • Improve Concentration

      This is a travesty!
      I cant believe these things are just sitting there!

      But maybe he does have a plan – what if he knows that he wont get anymore product until 6 mos down the line?!

      how to Improve Concentration

      October 30, 2010 at 14:19 | Report abuse |
    • Pam Cook

      Yes, I agree. Use what is available now, to help all those who are ill and in need now and stop the spread of the disease. Request more of what is essential to restock supplies. But beyond donations for these supplies, who is immediately able to use what is given. Who can most effectively and actively make use of it. Commenting seems rather ineffective. What can we do, Dr Gupta, to really get these supplies distributed and put to use? Thank you for bringing the facts to our attention – is there more we can do?

      November 20, 2010 at 11:01 | Report abuse |
  2. bailoutsos

    Those in control are keeping the supplies for their families, friends and military. They are going to let the general population die.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • alc26

      Totally agree with you on that

      October 28, 2010 at 12:17 | Report abuse |
    • nowaybro

      No supplies leave that warehouse unless the 'warehouse manager' or the guy he works for get paid. Any other reason given for not releasing those aid supplies is pure BS.

      October 28, 2010 at 13:34 | Report abuse |
    • Martin

      Another reason not to donate to relief efforts under this completely corrupt regime.

      The only relief aid gets to the rich.

      October 28, 2010 at 14:53 | Report abuse |
    • Improve Concentration

      Yup its terrible!

      how to Improve Concentration

      October 30, 2010 at 14:20 | Report abuse |
  3. alc26

    Just horrible

    October 28, 2010 at 12:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Improve Concentration

      I dont know who is in control here – or how they got to be!

      Improve Concentration

      October 30, 2010 at 14:25 | Report abuse |
  4. seflish

    All i can say they r selfish and probably looking for some kind of money to able to release the supposedly life saving items for people who are in need.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Improve Concentration

      I dont get why or how something like this could even be possible

      how to concentrate

      October 30, 2010 at 14:30 | Report abuse |
  5. KG

    That is messed up. People are dying and they worry about the future. There won't be a future if you don't take care of the present.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • luckystar1990 Why are supplies sitting in a warehouse when it could be distributed to stop this disease from spreading? Stopping it at the source with warehoused supplies and you won't be needing to keep a supply on hand for "emergencies".


      October 30, 2010 at 14:33 | Report abuse |
    • Improve Concentration

      well put

      Improve Concentration

      October 30, 2010 at 14:35 | Report abuse |
  6. John R

    In a previous life, I worked in emergency response for around 10 years with a couple of large non-profits you all know the names of. This problem in this article is all too common...call it the FEMA effect. You have people in cubicles making administrative or executive decisions based on the feedback of a few, or following a rigid process that was designed in advance and does not allow for input of new problems at hand.

    This happened too in 2004 when we were all told of a flu-vaccine shortage, so flu shots were rationed to only those who were perceived to need them. By March of 2005, there were 36,000,000 wasted doses of flu-vaccine. Curiously, the same thing happened with the H1N1 flu vaccine for most Americans, who could not get it until spring of the next flu season. After the horrendous 2004 Asia/Pacific earthquake, there is still money that was donated that has not been spent yet...all due to bureaucracy. Some red tape has a place, actually. But there's far too much of it when the time comes to release supplies.

    The reality of it is that during disaster response, the very individuals who want to help and make a difference fall victim to being overwhelmed, their own ego, sympathy for one group (hence holding up supplies for them if/when needed), or simply lack of updated information. After Katrina, only a handful of groups were going in to rescue people and animals. If you should ever read the story of those groups, you'll see they basically had to ignore 'authority' and cross yellow tape zones. What I never understood, and I suffer a lasting bit of frustration over this, is why administrators in government and agencies, no matter how well intentioned, think they can tell professional responders that "an area is too dangerous, you cannot go in yet". I think that's a decision that emergency response personnel can make, since they do it everyday.

    I will never know for sure, but my guess is this warehouse is under the control of a disjointed body of people who push paper. Even with the reporting of this article, it probably won't get fixed. Recall that we saw an article around 2 months after Haiti's earthquake noting the exact same thing....warehouse full of supplies just sitting there while people dying. If this problem still isn't fixed 8 months later, I'm not too optimistic it will be fixed any time soon.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • minmo

      Excellent post, John. I hope you're high up in decision making somewhere.

      October 28, 2010 at 12:34 | Report abuse |
    • Canadian two cents

      I agree – it is so frustrating to see this tragedy and waste. A friend was in Haiti with a NGO helping after the Haiti earthquake. He was just explaining how his medical camp meals conisted of rice and beans, while the UN camp had a full cafeteria and open bar for their staff. Doesn't sound appropriate to me!

      There should be some way to manage appropriate relief in crisis situations that helps the people that need it right then – every human deserves help if it is available.

      October 28, 2010 at 13:28 | Report abuse |
    • astuartgirl

      and yet billions are 'lost' in Iraq ...' :-/

      October 28, 2010 at 13:33 | Report abuse |
    • Carole Clarke

      By holding up the process these people justify their position and blind themselves to the negative outcomes. What we need is an experienced aid organization that can go in and fire the slackers and clear up the process and, in effect, administer a huge laxative to the pipeline. But who?

      October 28, 2010 at 13:53 | Report abuse |
    • Robert

      I have been working in Haiti for 4 years. I also have seen warehouses filled with medicine and supplies that are not released to patients in need. The Haitian government is in great need of training and modernization. Their problems are not entirely due to corruption. Government programs need administrators with incentives that foster a sense of urgency when disasters strike. If you might be punished for "running out" of supplies you will hoard them rather than use them. I expect such problems to continue for a long time. Maybe the next generation of Haitians will be educated differently. In the meantime the world needs to continue to aid the poor of Haiti. They are innocent and worthy of our efforts.

      October 28, 2010 at 16:48 | Report abuse |
    • Improve Concentration

      I agree – hope you could help them out some

      How to Improve Concentration

      October 30, 2010 at 14:38 | Report abuse |
  7. No aid, just AIDS

    Another reason not to send aid to Haiti. It all just goes to waste. The next thing we'll be hearing about is that all of the cholera supplies have passed their expiration dates and have to be thrown away. The will destroy all of the supplies and throw them into the landfill next to the camps filled with people dying of cholera.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Joseph-Ohio

      I could not agree with you more. I am a very very giving person, but this is just one of the many reasons I tend not to donate that much to these types of efforts. There always seems to be some selfish idiot with too much authority or power working that does not follow through with passing out releif materials that they had nothing to do with paying for!!!!!!!!!!!!

      October 28, 2010 at 12:52 | Report abuse |
    • Improve Concentration

      This is a great way to waste while people suffer

      Improve Concentration

      October 30, 2010 at 14:40 | Report abuse |
  8. Kevin D.

    Why Haiti is Haiti

    October 28, 2010 at 12:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. GoodNews316

    Our world is paralyzed by fear. Every day you turn on the news and see evidence of our impending doom. Pretty depressing stuff! Fortunately, there's good news! There is hope. See for yourself, visit: Story4.Us/2050.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. TMH

    Dr. Gupta, just bring out the truth behind the corrupt activities going on there! There is no need to get a WHO representative to provide a reasonable explanation for why this needs to be planned. The only thing that matters is that people are dying and all the billions of dollars in aid are being pocketed by unscrupulous individuals.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Dana Tartaglione

    This is what happens when Gov't runs things

    October 28, 2010 at 12:22 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Guest

      And who besides the gov't should run this or could run it better?

      October 28, 2010 at 12:35 | Report abuse |
    • Improve Concentration

      not sure a private company would want to touch this at all – even for pr

      Improve Concentration

      October 30, 2010 at 14:42 | Report abuse |
  12. DeeDee

    I have a feeling we are not hearing the whole story, as usual. Either way, I am sick to hear that supplies are not being readily given out as needed. And then you see that some of those boxes have a December expiration date. They have got to get those supplies used.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jacques

      Its time for the International community to take over Haiti and the day to day running of the Govt. Thse people are incapable of running that country. It is dispicable to see people dying and some idiot runs the warehouse and would not release medicine which will save life. This is unacceptable. Lots of people have donated millions and where is that going ?????? Probably nobody knows ...

      October 28, 2010 at 13:02 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      So what other side you need to see or here. CNN is showing what is happening right now. There are too many incompetent workers at this warehouse. If they need help distributing supplies the Haiti government should be helping, Over 6 billion was donated to help Haiti, and they have only received less than 900 million. This is a year later, Where is the money?

      October 28, 2010 at 13:56 | Report abuse |
  13. ScottyB85

    I don't quite understand. The people who are sick tomorrow are more valuable than those that are sick today? What if another outbreak does NOT happen?

    October 28, 2010 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Andrew

    Very disheartening. Mindboggling. Give them the treatment and figure out the red tape later. These people will have this on their conscience for a lifetime

    October 28, 2010 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. I dont like CNN

    I don't like CNN or any of the main stream media outlests that much anymore. I mostly just check to see what it is they call front page news and then criticize it to feel better about myself or something. But here i have to give credit to CNN and to Gupta. They showed the opinions from both sides but still asked a tough question that sort of leans in a certain direction, why can't we get cheap clean hydration to people in the year 2010?

    October 28, 2010 at 12:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Andrew

      Just read and enjoy the literature. News will always be tainted somehow.

      October 28, 2010 at 12:27 | Report abuse |
    • babblin' bob

      We got it to them, its on the shelf.

      October 28, 2010 at 14:00 | Report abuse |
  16. Scott

    It also would help if the Republican filibuster of the Haiti aid would end so the aid promised after the earthquake could start getting to the people of Haiti who need it the most. Sounds crazy but maybe that aid could be used to help the outbreak if cholera!

    October 28, 2010 at 12:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mark

      The United States has not donated one penny yet to Haiti, due to the Republicans. It is scary if they get in power again.

      October 28, 2010 at 13:57 | Report abuse |
    • Unconscious

      Didn't you read the article? They got all the supplies, they are just not distributing them. What good is sending them more money going to do? Might as well set the money on fire.

      October 29, 2010 at 20:02 | Report abuse |
  17. Melissa L.

    Hello Dr. Gupta,

    It is great what you are doing in Haiti. You might also want to take a look at the link below. It gives reasons as to why the Cholera outbreak happened in the first place. While you are down there you might want to take a visit to the cite. I hope you can share this on CNN News.


    October 28, 2010 at 12:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chastity K

      Melissa L
      Thanks for sharing this video.

      October 28, 2010 at 12:36 | Report abuse |
    • Melissa L.

      I had to share. I have been trying to share this video all morning. I hope Dr. Gupta or someone goes over there and ask questions as to why these people wastes are being dumped in the near by river. Something must be said!!

      October 28, 2010 at 12:40 | Report abuse |
    • WhatUTalkin'BoutWillis

      And we let the inefficiency of the UN dictate what we do for what reasons? While I strongly believe that the UN started out as a great thing and it can be a great thing...there are some major problems with it and we as a nation may need to act on a more individual basis and demand that the UN clean up its act.

      October 28, 2010 at 13:06 | Report abuse |
    • Rohan

      Thanks for sharing this video. It’s great to hear and see the truth from real reporters. Asian countries (Malaysia, Indonesia, Nepal etc.) may dump excrement into their rivers because of the size of the countries it’s difficult to trace; but in the Caribbean everyone understands that you cannot pollute the river because that’s where they bathe and drink from. That’s why Caribbean islands are unpolluted the motto is “After God is the Earth!

      October 28, 2010 at 14:25 | Report abuse |
  18. jandha

    So when we donate money, is this what happens with it? I am sick to my stomach about the mentality and completed confused as to who is running that warehouse or for that matter the "warehouses" across the world. Are those supplies donated by different organziations? Can they not go in there and get them? I am glad that Sanjay wrote this blog, but what now what?

    October 28, 2010 at 12:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. again

    Good on him for keeping the supplies. We need more people like this guy in the world. You have to look out for number 1.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JB Cal

      You do realize, that in his mind you aren't no. 1.

      October 28, 2010 at 13:52 | Report abuse |
  20. Joe D

    Every day the population of Haiti increases by about 600. Women are encouraged to have babies by churches, foreign organizations, etc. The population or Haiti will double again in 20 years. Many in the US would like for us to absorb millions of Haitians in the years to come. Is this what we want? Birth control should be the number one priority in Haiti. They should have the same policy as China.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:31 | Report abuse | Reply
    • again

      I completely agree. Good point sir.

      October 28, 2010 at 12:33 | Report abuse |
    • Mark

      the reason for high birth is the Catholic Church has a big population in Haiti, But you don't see the Church helping the sick.

      October 28, 2010 at 14:00 | Report abuse |
  21. JCG

    So now you know what's going on. The real question is, WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT IT???!!!

    October 28, 2010 at 12:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kay

      The Charity workers should storm the stupid warehouse take it and give it to the people dying of Cholera. Lives are at stake!

      October 28, 2010 at 12:46 | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Let me guess you were going to suggest sending more money... for more supplies for the "future"?

      October 28, 2010 at 12:49 | Report abuse |
  22. UhhDuhh

    Paperwork over people. So stupid. Doing the best they can? Hate to see what their "worst" is.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Kayla

    Terreble, I cannot understand how these life saving supplies are sitting in the storage while thousand people are dying? And these uneducated selfish people are keeping them all for themselve. So, are they wating for everybody in Haiti to dye, so they would not run out of the spplies? Sick!!!

    October 28, 2010 at 12:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • again

      Learn how to spell DIE and try again

      October 28, 2010 at 12:36 | Report abuse |
  24. Mary T.

    I was right when I decided not to donate. What Haiti needs is to change the whole system.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Anita

      So you don't want to do anything, absolutely anything, to try to help people who are suffering and in unbelievable need because of the government? I would rather try and fail than not try at all.

      October 28, 2010 at 13:10 | Report abuse |
    • SPT

      No. You had no idea this problem would exist–you simply chose to not donate. At least if you had donated, you could keep faith that it might help someone.

      If you have the means to, than you should always help those in need.

      October 28, 2010 at 13:20 | Report abuse |
  25. Mike C.

    Lets just declare Haiti inhabitable and bring the Haitans to the US so Haiti can be re-built properly..

    October 28, 2010 at 12:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. maak

    People, I am currently in Haiti working on the cholera response, though not associated with the warehouse in question. I can assure you that these supplies are not being sold, being held for rich families or the military, or anything similar. Without making excuses for the UN, I can say that unless you have actually worked in such emergency situations you cannot comprehend the complexities of getting emergency supplies to the people who need them.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • again

      Youre full of it

      October 28, 2010 at 12:39 | Report abuse |
    • Melissa L.

      Complexity?????? What is so complex about taking your trucks and unloading the supplies to hospitals and people who need it? Please explain because I can't seem to understand the complicity part!!!

      October 28, 2010 at 12:43 | Report abuse |
    • Kay

      Well explain these "complexities" then. What are they? Sounds to me it's a bunch of people too afraid to make any decisions to help NOW instead of later.

      October 28, 2010 at 12:51 | Report abuse |
    • educate us

      Well, educate us, tell us about the complexities in getting the supplies from a warehouse to a water supply?

      October 28, 2010 at 13:03 | Report abuse |
  27. Hebba

    The management system of the warehouses lacks any logic, we are discussing IV fluids and not so expensive products, so what is it that they are lacking? They have had billions of dollars in donations whether as manpower, cash, medications and more, we are talking billions, and they still have an open line to request more if needed, and the manager is saying " we have to plan ahead" ........here is a tip, disperese what you have and make a larger order that for sure will be covered by any of the working organization or NGO at your end!!
    This is the reality, "ligitimate corruption" is what we are looking at here, if anyone wants to cure Haiti in a realistic way, "corruption" is what needs to be treated.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Michele

    This is why so many people are 'tapped out' in terms of responding in donations. There is no oversite from money being collected to turning that same money into necessary supplies to distributing those necessary supplies to people who w/out those same stocked supplies are dying. So yes these same foundations that collect this money from me and other donors need to address why my funds that turn into those supplies are collecting dust on a shelf.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. lee

    this is why none of my money goes to third world nations. Its pointless anyway,when they run out of those supplies, they will be begging for more,not buying.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Mary T.

    Hate to say it, but instead of trying to solve every problem using voodoo, they should just storm the parliament, throw the politicians in jail and start a completely new system. As long as they are singing happily while starving, nothing will happen.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. MiMi

    Stop sending supplies and money.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Jeff

    Why are they anticipating a future that does not exist yet. Why are they not choosing to help the people in the moment that the help is needed. These people are choosing their own fate, so good for them. They can continue to wait for all the what if's and watch their friends and families die in front of them now. Paper work is the worst excuse I have ever heard, these people do not love themselves and each other enough to put all the paper work and Bullshit aside, and just HELP!!!!.

    Human beings are still infants

    October 28, 2010 at 12:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. C

    Good catch. While their loved ones are dying, they're holding back for something that hasn't happened yet. They need to distribute the supplies and save those who are ill and dying. In 2010, the world is ready and willing to step in and donate what is necessary should Port-au-Prince "be hit tomorrow," but will become less willing to help as they see that aid sits in warehouses rather than doing what it was meant to do. Of course they have to plan ahead, but at the cost of lives being impacted now? If it was my loved one, I'd be outraged that they let them go untreated and possibly die "just in case" the disease spreads elsewhere. The sooner they get the infected healed, the less chance of the disease spreading.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Gateway

    There seems to be much conversation about why the supplies are not getting to where they would do the most help. The answer is very simple. Blackmarket... Unless you can pay for the medicine, you will die.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. ormican

    thats how the world is these days. Ppl suffering and they gtting no help! It sickens me! The punk needs to send out the supplies!

    October 28, 2010 at 12:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. does it matter?

    Haiti has a huge cash stockpile right now from all the donations.
    they were given more cash in donations within a short amount of time, than the whole country makes in decades...

    if Haiti, or any country cant figure out how to distribute supplies to thier own people.. well, let nature takes it course.
    If you are foolish enough to keep donating to this country, well, thats your fault.
    how about donating your money to united way or somethign that will help your local community. or hell, branch out and help your own country instead of another 3rd world country. its not like we dont have our own issues, our own homeless, our own unemployed, our own diseases, and sickness.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Dex

    Thinning the herd and we're all standing in line, holding a number. Most of us are considered to be of no value to the global elite. Holding onto these needed supplies is a humanitarian crime and I believe it is intentional. Too bad those people don't have the resources to strong-arm their way to what they need.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Yahoo

    Let's blame this on George Bush

    October 28, 2010 at 12:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Suzi stars n peace

    this is similar to the reason most people came to america so many hundreds of years ago–to cut through red tape and the established way of doing things and start fresh with new ideas and rules for changing times– yet there are not many new lands to escape to and take over and that is not the answer to the problem of the need for change anyways. To find a peaceful solution we need to come together with our minds using our voices and laying down weapons. We need to try to simplify our lives more and share more. This aid needs to be distributed now. If they are so worried about the future they should abandon the rebuilding project anyways because haiti is expected to have another disastrous earthquake 20 or so years from now. Are they trying to say they would be wasting the current supplies on people in the event other people get sick? I like to believe in the goodness of people in that we will come together to help out if it comes to that –like right after the earthquake all that donated

    October 28, 2010 at 12:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Seethelight

    Pay the bribes to the right people and those supplies will fly off the shelf.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Michelle C.

    For the people in complete desperation in Haiti (a lot of people), Can't they take home remedies meanwhile? trying anything is better than dying. I've heard about taking Garlic to kill this disease and many others. And taking that along with a Water, Sugar, Salt Mixture (like poorman's Gatorate)? Wouldn't that help. There's got to be water, sugar, salt, and garlic over there somewhere. Again, anything is good to try when there's not enough medical attention and your other option is to die. Feedback please

    October 28, 2010 at 12:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Donna C.

      There is water but precious little of it is clean. Workers, such as myself, can attest to people gathering water at broken pipes, puddles, etc. Volunteers regularly become ill despite precautions. An open mouth in the shower, a rinsed toothbrush under a faucet – and voila you are desperately ill.

      When temperatures soar, people are desperate. If it were as simple as looking at water to tell if it is contaminated, it would be easier. Try to imagine a world where even tap water can kill you. Then imagine you are a kid who does not know better or a mother desperately trying to care for her ill child.

      It is hard to imagine if you have not been in such circumstances.

      October 28, 2010 at 13:08 | Report abuse |
  42. Melissa L.

    One reason why this might have happened. Please look below and share.


    October 28, 2010 at 12:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Erika


    How about doing a quick graph....we have x many places who MAY need it and we have X that DOES need it.....and distribute SOME at LEAST to those dying. Safe a life NOW.....we can't all just sit back and say "what if"...if we live our lives with "what if" we might as well just not live at all....

    This story is very disturbing...I hope it's print does something to get this aid moving.

    I still think of Louisiana constantly.....our own country couldn't manage to get aid to those who needed it.....back then, I was ready to jump in my car and drive down with supplies.....if several hundred of us did this, it at least would have helped.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Kenny

    Say Wyclef you want to help your people? Then get over there and stop this NOW!!! ( ransom money for supplies that were donated). This will continue to happen until the corrupt government gets out of the way.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. ormican

    the U.N. needs to do they jobs -_-

    October 28, 2010 at 12:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Robyn Smith

    I would not go over there with this going on sean penn and the dr need to run for there lives it is called naturl seleaction the pones that will dye let them go this country needs less people anyway

    October 28, 2010 at 12:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Sam

    I am involved very closely with a releif organazition and it costs us $5000 to get a container to Hati, but another $5000 in payoffs to get the supplies released. I know of at least one other organazation that is holding tons of supplies untill something can be done. All this just shows how totaly worthless the UN is. If it were worth their salt they should be bring pressue down on the Hatian officals.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Wazzup

    Wasn't Bill Clinton in charge with aid relief? I mean, if he's to busy running around to help the liberals in for elections, why did he accept the position? Just because is "cool", political good move and show to the world the human side of the Clinton's?
    People are dying there. This is real life. Put a real leader in charge.

    October 28, 2010 at 12:58 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Kenny

      Bill C. was/is in charge of ensuring the Haitian Gov’t doesn’t squander or line their pockets with the money that is being donated, he is not in charge of getting supplies out of the warehouse(s) and to the hospitals or where they are needed.

      October 28, 2010 at 13:07 | Report abuse |
  49. marinesgt2002

    Another shining example of the corruption that exists in Haiti. I didn't fall for the last relief effort asking for funds, and I won't be donating a dime to this one either!

    The United States has given millions upon millions of dollars to these savages, just to have it be intercepted by their corrupt "government", etc....

    I'll buy a bum on the street a meal at Mickey D's in a heartbeat. At least then I know what my money went towards. All of you pitiful suckers who bought into the crap the mass media spoon-feeds you and sent money to Haiti should feel great: your money did nothing but line some drug lord's pocket!

    October 28, 2010 at 13:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Donna C.

      The US has committed millions to Haiti. Very little of the dollars have actually been transfered to Haiti. It is up to each person whether and how much they give. But saying that the Haitians have wasted the disaster recovery funds is not accurate.

      October 28, 2010 at 13:13 | Report abuse |
  50. wendy

    Im so confused

    October 28, 2010 at 13:01 | Report abuse | Reply
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