Haiti aid effort was disorganized

Conflicting priorities hampered response to devastating earthquake

A post-mission report on Canada’s relief effort in Haiti shows that members of the Disaster Assistance Response Team, or DART, were sent to the Caribbean nation without adequate gear, protection, or training. The report also revealed that members of the media were allowed to board military flights headed for earthquake-ravaged Haiti ahead of medical aid. Much of this was due to the fact that many groups were involved in the relief effort, and priorities were constantly changing and conflicting. The document also suggests the political imperative of appearing to help Haiti confused certain responses. “In many cases critical DART stores were bumped from flights altogether,” the report says. “The push to deploy rapidly may have satisfied the strategic objective of appearance that Canada was doing something. However, it adversely affected the operational objective of providing rapid and effective humanitarian aid.”

The Globe and Mail