Haiti declares an end to its rescue operation

January 26, 2010
Photo by Ed Kenney

The tragic reality after every natural disaster is that there’s a point where search and rescue has to end. At 11 days post-quake, the Haitian government has reached that point. Even with this news and the difficult decisions that have arisen because of it, we’re seeing a people as resilient and alive as ever. We are seeing hope.

It is now 11 days after the earthquake, and the Haitian government have declared an end to the rescue operation. It is a sad day for many people as the awful realization sinks in – whoever has not been found alive by now, never will be.

What strikes me, is the acceptance of this tragedy by so many people, ‘this is gods will’ they say, but is it? Over the last 11 days the only chance I have had to really think about this atrocity is when I sit down to write this blog. My head starts swimming and I think of all I have seen during the day, conversations I have had, comments I have heard and it is difficult to digest it all.

Concern nutrition officer Imacula Pierre with a patient.

Concern nutrition officer Imacula Pierre performs a MUAC measurement on 2-year-old Richard as 28-year-old mother Josephine looks on. They will be among the first patients at Concern’s newly reopened nutrition unit.

One man lost his wife and three children, he had no place to bury them and so had to wrap them up and place them out on the street to be taken away. How does someone deal with that, move on from that? These are questions I cannot answer but somehow every Haitian is dealing with it.

It is a sad day for many people as the awful realization sinks in – whoever has not been found alive by now, never will be.

I have spoken before about the sheer resilience of these people but it really is admirable. This country has been through so much yet they dust themselves off and try again each time.

The earthquake quite literally shattered this country, from slum dwelling to the Presidential Palace, but it has not shattered Haiti’s soul.

Today, Saturday, everyone turned up for work. Work began on our latrines, which will benefit 15,000 people, water distributions continued as did our emergency nutrition scale up and distribution of critical medical supplies.

Concern is committed to Haiti and the people we work with are committed to us. Together we can and will build a future for them. YOUR donations are allowing us to do that.

The earthquake quite literally shattered this country, from slum dwelling to the Presidential Palace, but it has not shattered Haiti’s soul.