What is a suitable Welsh response for Haiti?

When I heard about the disaster in Haiti I was saddened, but then I heard about the USA’s response of active and vigorous action and I felt proud that some people in the world were able to do something really useful. I wish we were with them.

Television footage of people suffering and cities destroyed, or is that people destroyed and cities suffering? Whatever way you looked at the early reports the news was almost beyond understanding. But eventually we understood, or at least I thought we did. This is a natural disaster in a country that has a history of dealing with man made and natural disasters.

But understanding meant nothing: people have been killed, so there’s not much one can do for them, but millions still live and it is the living that are suffering. Millions in need of help, millions without the basics of life: shelter, water, food and security. Beyond that they are now in a state that had no means of control, no communications and certainly no means of dealing with the challenges they face.

What can we do, what should I do, why should I do anything?

All questions that ran through my soul, deeply. If only I were younger I could “volunteer”. But I’m not young, so maybe they need my money: but will it get there? And anyway: why should it come to me to give or do something? We’ve a department of Government that deals with international aid, can’t they take care of it all for me, for us, for them?

The more I saw TV footage from Haiti, the worse I have felt.

The suffering is beyond understanding, and the sense of frustration about the slow progress of international aid is growing. And the talk is now about money.

To hear today that the First Minister of the Welsh Assembly Government has suggest that we, in Wales, should give money to the Disaster Emergency Committee has left me seriously disappointed. The cause is so obvious that is hard to imagine anyone in Wales objecting to Government action.

There are 3 million people in Haiti affected by this disaster, roughly the population of Wales. A well lead country would stump up a valuable and immediate donation at a rate of at least £1 per head.

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