Haiti and the Philippines: Indecent comparisons – InterAksyon.com

Too many journalists are asking us to compare Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) and the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. Many of us here were in Port-au-Prince in 2010 and we all agree: the two disasters have nothing in common, and any comparison would be indecent.

Already, before 12 January 2010, Haiti faced many disadvantages: poor public services, political instability, urban crime and widespread poverty. The earthquake hit a state that was already in the midst of a humanitarian crisis. MSF teams had been working on the ground for years and were able to start operating straight away.

Before 8 November 2013, the Visayan archipelago was a touristy destination, popular with divers, backpackers, eco-friendly tourists, honeymooners and sexual predators (though I wish we didn’t have to mention those). The Filipino state emergency response agencies worked almost full-time for years, moving from typhoon to earthquake to volcanic eruption. While it took MSF almost a week to get there, the agencies’ response mechanisms were set in motion instantly. via – InterAksyon.com



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