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January 15, 2010
Outpouring of emotion for Haiti tragedy far from Caribbean

On Friday’s special edition of Worldfocus, we look at multiple aspects of the Haiti earthquake’s aftermath.

The images from Haiti are difficult to watch, especially for Haitians living abroad who are left to wonder about the fate of relatives and friends back home.

After the earthquake, life has become a struggle for many of those who survived the disaster.

Sebastian Walker of Al Jazeera English has more from Port-au-Prince:

And, while most of the attention is focused on getting help into the Port-au-Prince area, there is another part of the equation. Some of the injured are making their way across Hispaniola to the Dominican Republic.

Rob Reynolds of Al Jazeera English has more:

We invite you to give us your reflections on the tragedy unfolding in Haiti.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Please be respectful and on-point. Malicious or offensive comments will be deleted, and repeat offenders will be banned.

For more Worldfocus coverage of Haiti, visit our extended coverage page: Haiti’s Poor.

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Where ae are the internationally contributed transit vehicles, body bags, troops stationed in the streets to ensure order and safety ? Where’s the The Roman church and the Vatican that has so much contributed to the over population by discouraging birth control and ever anxious to add numbers to their already inflated membership roles! This is apalling evidence of misplaced trust and tbe danger of people remaining only understandably hostile of their deplorable circumstances yet not being taught to live cooperatively! The nations and institutions that could have exemplified such traits have obviously failed to do so! Now look at what’s happened!


I hate to say it but the UN will eventually screw
up as they do around the world.




Jim # 20 how about this for a criterion
“lets judge people not by the color of their skin
but by the content of their character”.
Toronto, McKay


Dear Alistair # 19 – sorry that you feel that I am a so called little racist – quite to the contrary. It’s all about (Culture) you are correct that skin color has no place – however, one cannot deny that these people are of Black Skin and being so – should compel the Blacks with money in American to step up to the plate. Every time in America some one (particularly whites in America) says one thing about so called African Americans – we’re automatically labeled as racist – come on now the fact is that we have for years poured billions of dollars into Haiti and what has it resulted in – the money was sent there to improve the lives which included rebuilding the infrastructure. Yes, I am aware that French had it’s place in Haiti in history – but we’re talking about “culture” and who needs to step up to the plate – so we may call it African French – but what ever – skin of color is what it is! No where did I say that only people with black skin should send money – I said that since these people are of black origin be it French or what ever and since people like Bill Crosby and other are for taking care of black people only – then they ought to step up to the plate. It might interest you to know that I too have made a contribution!!! how about that Alistair. Those people need help from all sources – stop defending and mis interpreting what I am saying – my friend! Jim @ USA


Come on # 15 Jim. A very novel idea.
But these people are not exactly the same,
only because they are Black. These people are of french decent. Also this is like saying British should help USA or Canada if they had a disaster because they came from Britain way back.
Slightly Racist. Skin color should not be the factor for giving.


again us money give to hatti big dogs living like king people nothing why dont we see where is the aid going


It has been widely reported that much of the aid that has arrived at the airport in Haiti is not getting to the Haitian people. Could our (the U.S.) military station themselves at every major street intersection in the cities that have been hit, for example, and people could line up and receive supplies at those stations while the stations themselves are being constantly resupplied by vehicles from the airport? Perhaps some of the troops at each station could then travel on foot throughout the surrounding blocks to hand out water or supplies to those who cannot move themselves. If some of the roads are clogged with debris, then perhaps the debris could be removed enough to make some of the roads passable.


as a side note and a little off topic but…
bear w/ me. now that this tradgedy has occurred in haiti do you think you’ll see even as high as a 1% money and help donation level as you see the american govt. give ISRAEL on a yearly basis? the u.s.govt. subsidizes ISRAEL w/ BILLIONS of dollars on a yearly basis. i wonder why? so far the general population of this country has given greater than 10 million.


I think it is a real tragedy and those people need help. And, since the marjority of the Haitians are of African Decent – I think it is only proper that African American Professional Sports Athelets give a lot of money. Not only the African American Sports personalities – but black television personalities like Bill Crosby, Oprah Wenfre, Tyra Banks, Black entertainment etc. Now step up the plate and put your money where your mouths have been. Jim @ USA


Brea has it right-it is a scandal what the Catholic church has taught these people-they should be made to take responsibility for their enslavement of these poor souls……


Your coverage of world events is the best there is on TV. I especially appreciated the Al Jazeera piece on Jan. 14 on the history of Haiti. Excellent!


Yes, something must be done regarding the huge population growth.


looks like the chatholic religion and birth control have worked well. i of course feel very sorry for these people but it amazes me how the catholic church continues to denounce birthcontrol. it strikes me as odd as well how the entire population just lives in such a complete state of squalor. can they not do ANYTHING for themselmes, like remove trash, stop the gross pollution of your own environment?

it is indicative sadly as well of the lack of collective effort of americans to help ourselves resolve our own self created problems. are humans no longer capable of concious collective effort to help themselves w/out the involvement of government?




All the care givers, keep up the good work! Thank God for them!


Looks like years of colonial exploitation by Spain,France and the U.S. has come home to roost.


What could, possibly, be done…more than, already, is being done?
I refer not to the ideas that could come from mere speculations but to what could be done…as of Now…even in the incipient Stages Of Now.

Speculation as to what can be done in the Future is irrelevant…because Now, in all its Ruins, is intruding on anything that might whisper from the graves of an Eventual Future.

All that can be done for this country is, already, being done and all of what is, Now, being done is what will, still, be done in the first dim stages of the “Now-ness” of any potential Future…perhaps, when some early Dawn breaks to reveal what is, yet, to be repaired or restored from whatever Ruins, still, are making up vast Psychological Portions of the Physical Landscapes.


Haiti, like other countries in the Western hemisphere, suffers from a long legacy of slavery and colonial exploitation by the European powers and the United States. Your program reviewing the history of the country observes that the IMF and World Bank, as customary with those institutions, nail their loans to conditions which guarantee continued impoverishment for the economically depressed debtor nations (similar, though on a larger scale, to unrepayble debts foistered on struggling people in this country by the major banks, mortgage companies and credit usurers). And, it was illuminating to learn that France, whose principles suposedly are “liberty, equality and fraternity” imposed such a huge and disabling debt on Haiti, after that island broke the yoke of slavery, that it took 129 years to repay.
A great many Americans still do not question the fact that the U.S., constituting betweeen four and five percent (4-5%) of the world population, has for many years consumed 25% of the world’s energy supply. This disproportion is simple; it derives from arrogance and an attitude of superiority and racism, combined with the by far largest military force on the planet and the habit of using it when and where the “national” (read corporate) interests determine.
All the peoples on this planet belong to one family–the human family–regardless of language, color, nationality. And this family is interdependently connected with all our fellow species in what the first peoples call the Web of Life.
The earthquake may have been a natural disaster, but the poverty in Haiti, as in other countries of the so-called third world (a term which illustrates perfectly the arrogance referred to), lies as the doorstep of the rich nations–the empire.
Haiti needs to be rebuilt in a manner which guarantees the dignity and basic human needs of everyone in the Haitian society, and provides a local, sustainable and environmentally compatible economy.
This is Not charity. This is justice and compensation for centuries of exploitation, appropriation and enforced misery.
A new Haiti can be an example and model for the new society based on caring, cooperation, non-militarism and non-violence, and a life-favoring ethos supplanting that of greed, competition and hostility. Live and let live, in the words of Gandhi.


The World Bank should sell a large holding of gold to rebuid Haiti in the future.


I think it is good that aid organizations are getting together and helping the haittian people.


Rarely do we see anything the likes of this. For these people who lived in abject misery to be thrown into this unheeded turmoil is tragedy’s new denotation.

At last attention is being paid to the diaster that uprooted the worst disaster already extant in the western hemisphere. At last food. At last compassion. Why did it take an earthquake?


About thirty years ago, I visited Haiti for a little over a week. It was an extremely poor, overpopulated, dirty, and sad place then, and the recent tragedies (hurricanes and the earthquake)has made the situation much worse. I do not believe that any amount of aid will ever help these people until there is a major effort to curb the growing poputation in this country

The median age of the population is 20.2 years, and many of these people are uneducated and unemployed. However, many women still have large families that they cannot afford to feed, clothe, shelter, or educate. This situation can breed only more misery and political and social unrest.

The developed world should demand that Haiti work to curb its population growth before any more aid is wasted.


I think the media is an embarassment to us as they immediately run around and ask everyone if they are happy with the aid they are getting. Get serious there are millions of people involved. They find one angry person and play it over and over. Are they just trying to tear everything down and create negative stories that may buy more listeners?

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