Archive for Caribbean

When Disaster Strikes – Haiti Versus Japan

Posted in Britain, Environment, Europe, Haiti, Oceans, Pacific, UK, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , , , , , on 17/04/2011 by floroy1942

Whenever disaster strikes, a media frenzy ensues followed by countries scurrying to offer the most money for reconstruction and humanitarian aid.

It has almost gotten to the stage where it has become a game among the richest nations to see who can ‘pledge’ the most. The offers are well intended, but the country that is suffering rarely gets to see all the money that is initially promised. It is worthy to note that some South American states and Arab nations made no effort whatsoever to donate or assist in the disaster while even tiny countries like Andorra managed to raise funds.

This Guardian report shows the amount of donations by country:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/jan/14/haiti-quake-aid-pledges-country-donations

A Haitian Victim

This scenario was nowhere more evident than the earthquake that hit Haiti, where pledges were in excess of $14 billion for immediate aid on the ground, and cash donations to help in the recovery. Much of the money has still to materialise, and probably never will.

Many nations considered the cancelling of debts owed to them by the Haitian government to be a sufficient donation to rebuild the country, which sadly was of no use to the Haitian people at that time when thousands were dead, and with their capitol razed to the ground.

Haiti Earthquake:

Emergency Aid Team – Haiti

The response of individuals, charity organizations, and rescue teams was immediate and their contribution gratefully received, but alas, the flow of money from countries making huge pledges for clearing the rubble and rebuilding left much to be desired.

Now, some 20 months after the disaster, Haitians are not much better off than they were a year ago. Less than 5% of the rubble has been cleared, and tens of thousands still live in makeshift emergency camps.

Haiti – One Year On:

And now we have another world catastrophe on our hands in the form of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Once again a country needs the assistance and monetary help of others to overcome a disaster, although to a much lessor degree than Haiti.

Japan Tsunami:

Japan Earthquake Aftermath

Naturally, Haiti and Japan are poles apart when it comes to wealth, and I might add, importance. Haiti is an impoverished island in the Caribbean, while Japan is a major player on the world stage with an economy Haitians can only dream about. As always, a huge effort was made on the part of individuals, organizations, and in some cases governments, from across the world after the initial impact. Much was done to rescue people from the rubble left by the huge  wave that hit the coast.

Japan Relief Effort:

The United States military among others were mobilised to bring initial aid to the survivors in a coordinated effort with the Japanese. Most of the aid money pledged to the Japan disaster relief effort appears at the moment to be coming from private sources with celeb’s and sports stars etc. making donations.

It is true that as Japan is among the world’s most successful economies, there is no requirement for massive donations of cash to aid the recovery. For the most part, I think the nation has received what it needed most, and that was experts on the ground to help with the immediate aftermath.

Aid Teams In Japan

Like Haiti, Japan now has many thousands of its citizens living in emergency accommodation and like Haiti, a huge area of devastation must be cleared before new houses, shops and other businesses can be built. The one big question that comes to mind is , how will Japan cope in comparison to Haiti?

It’s my bet that all signs of this latest disaster will have long disappeared in Japan while the citizens of Haiti are still trying to clear the rubble of their country’s capitol. Personally, I doubt if they will be over their troubles in five years time, such is the shortness of memory of world governments as they move on to the next catastrophe.

It is clear that Japan’s infrastructure is far better able to cope with such an event than that of Haiti, but also, on the world scene Japan is of much more importance than poor impoverished Haiti, and this will be reflected in how quickly the two countries get back to normal.

All nations who have economic ties with Japan will certainly want to see the country back on it’s feet quickly so that business can get back to normal. As for Haiti, well that’s something else isn’t it?

Roy.

Related post:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/haiti-what-happened-to-all-the-money/

Sorry! Can’t Go to War Today, I Must Feed My Baby!!!!

Posted in Britain, Children, England, Human Rights, Insanity, Modern World, Royal Navy, UK with tags , , , , , , , , on 13/04/2010 by floroy1942

Whatever happened to common sense and commitment? These are two ideals sadly lacking in today’s world, and we are worse off because of it. I read with total shock about a young female Caribbean recruit to the British Army who has successfully sued the Ministry of Defence, and will receive £100,000 in compensation for ‘missing a parade’ because she had to care for her child.

Tilern DuBique

Tilern DeBique, who signed on for the army during one its recruiting drives on the island of St. Vincent, came to England and joined the 10th Signal Regiment in 2001 as a Signals Technician, and had reached the rank of Corporal. When she missed a parade because she had to care for her child, she is a single mother, she was disciplined by her C.O. He told her, quite rightly, the Army is ‘a war fighting machine’, and not the place for a single mother who could not arrange care for her child.

Appearing before the Central London Employment Tribunal she said she feared she would be dismissed from the Army and left. She further stated that she was told she should be ‘available for duty 24 hours a day’. Despite this, arrangements were made by her commanders for her to work between 08.30 and 16.30 weekdays only, but it would appear this was not enough. In December 2006 she missed a training session and was absent on parade in January 2007 due to childcare difficulties. Because she felt she was going to be dismissed from the Army, she left, or as she put it to the tribunal, ‘She was forced out’! The Army said in its defence that she had the choice of an alternative posting which she did not accept.

Part of her case rested on the fact that the Army would not help her bring her half sister across from St. Vincent to care for the child. She was told, correctly, that that was an immigration question which could only be answered by the Immigration Department. Current immigration rules would have allowed the sister to remain in the UK for a maximum period of six months.

Ministry of Defence

The ramifications of this ruling may well be severe for the Ministry of Defence, for like most cases of this kind, it opens the door for any single mother in the Armed Forces to rake in a lot of quick money.

Is the Army now going to be forced to set up Day Care Centres behind the front line when it goes to war? The acceptance of female soldiers into the Forces has always been a contentious issue, but the prospect of single mothers needs to be looked at immediately. The simple rule should be: If you are single and get pregnant, you’re out!

There is a place for women in the Forces, and most of them are very good at what they do, but a single mother does not belong in anyone’s Army unless they can be available for duty 24 hours a day. That is one of the basic conditions when you sign on the dotted line, otherwise chaos would reign.

Who knows, maybe wars will only be fought during office hours in the future, but I doubt it.

I have served my time, and I must say that in my day (oh bugger! That makes me sound very old) people did the job they were paid for, without going to tribunals and demanding compensation because military duty hours did not fit in with their life style.

RAF Nicosia Cyprus

In 1965, during a panic when it was thought that Cyprus would be invaded by the Turks, I worked 72 hours straight with only an occasional catnap in a corner because that was what the job demanded. I didn’t complain to my boss that I had to get home to feed my baby, the baby-sitter could only stay until 21.30, or sorry, its the wrong time of the month!!

In times of war or tension, the Army, Navy, and in my case the RAF, require full commitment by it soldiers, sailors and airmen, and if you give short of your best then others will suffer, or at the very least, must carry part of your load.

Always Ready

In this crazy modern world of ‘Human Rights’, ‘Equality’, ‘Political Correctness’, ‘Sexual Discrimination’ and all that other bunkum, the basic standards by which our civilisation became great are getting lost in the cracks. It is sad to see a once proud and all conquering army brought to its knees by a stupid woman who wants it all!

There is little doubt the young lady in question has missed the golden rule of being a member of the Armed Forces; Single parenting and the Forces do not go together! If you cannot commit 100% to the job, find another! The only other alternative is to join the Dutch Armed Forces, they even have a Union and I am sure she would get some sympathy there!

Bah! Humbug!

Roy.


%d bloggers like this: