The Social Benefits of Air Transport – Haiti Earthquake Example

THE SOCIAL BENEFITS OF AIR TRANSPORT Air transport delivers humanitarian aid The example of earthquake in Haiti Air transport provides very important social benefits like sustainable development, access to remote areas, delivering humanitarian aid and widening consumer choice. Although each of them is vital, I have chosen to describe the third one, which is providing humanitarian aid. Aviation is crucial to bringing charitable help. When a catastrophy, war, or a natural disaster occurs, leaving people without food, water and other things that are necessary to survive, immediate delivery is needed.

Rescue teams must arrive somehow, too, and try to save lives of people who are injured. The easiest and the fastest way to transport people and stuff for those in need is to use air transport. It makes possible delivering humanitarian aid to remote areas, that can not be reached in any different way, so everyone gets a helping hand and lives through a hard time. There are many examples of humanitarian missions in the history, but I think that the most interesting one is earthquake in Haiti in 2010. It struck on 12th of February, 16 kilometers away from Haiti’s capital Port-au-Prince.

A massive earthquake measuring 7. 0 on the Richter Scale devastated one of the world’s poorest countries. Most of the historic buildings in the capital was totally destroyed, Presidential Palace among other things. A hospital and a prison were devastated, too. 230 000 people died and about 3 000 000 were injured or lost their houses. Chaos prevailed in Haiti. Wherever you looked, there were victims and hands extending for a help. Such a big loss caused reactions of many countries that were willing to help. First of all, the most important thing was to send people to help those injured.

Polish government, for example, sent rescuers and trained dogs. They also took 4 tonnes of specialist rescue equipment. Unfortunately, before the take off, it turned out that the plane was to heavy and it could not rise into the air, so 10 rescuers and 2 dogs had to stay in Poland. That rescue group going to Haiti had the UN certificate, that confirms high level of training and equipment. Of course, they had to take their own food and water, not to be a burden on a suffering country. Other countries that provided rescue teams were China, USA, France, Quatar, Iceland, Israel, Korea and Dominican

Republic. Thanks to the air transport, providing medical and rescue help to Haitian people was quite easy. Rescue teams and doctors got to Haiti very fast by aircrafts, and many lives were saved because of that. Also, very important was to send food, water, medicines and equipment needed to find victims under collapsed buildings. The neighbouring Dominican Republic was the first country to give help to Haiti, by sending water, food and heavy-lifting machinery. The state made hospitals in the country available, and the airport opened to receive aid that would be distributed to Haiti.

Also, the government sent 8 mobile medical units with doctors and mobile kitchens with cooks that were capable to produce 100,000 meals per day. Another country that sent help to Haiti, was Iceland that dispatched medicines, personnel and materials by plane landing within 24 hours of the earthquake. The government of Quatar sent 50 tonnes of urgent relief materials. Also, what is interesting, an actor, John Travolta, used his own Boeing 707 to transport a delivery of food and medications. Another possibility to help suffering people was to evacuate them.

A lot of Haitians lost their home, family, they were left alone and without a place to live. On 1st of February, USA started evacuation mission to transport injured people. The government of Cuba let American military aircrafts use Cuban air space, what shortened flight from USA to Haiti by 90 minutes. American rescue teams took people from Haiti to Guantanamo for treatment, which was continued in Florida, too. Again, if not air transport, providing medical help would not be so easy only in Haiti, as there was lack of people and space to do it.

To sum up, there are many ways to supply country facing natural disaster with aid, but the most efficient and simply the best solution is to use air transport. It secures fast and certain transport of food, medicines, and people – those who are willing and needed to help like rescue teams, and those who need to be evacuated to safer place. I think that the example of earthquake in Haiti proves this. Bibliography: http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Haiti#2010_earthquake http://news. rediff. com/report/2010/jan/14/countries-dispatch-rescue-teams-to-quake-hit-haiti. htm