“Aid officials in Haiti complained of the lack of co-ordination between the UN, the US and aid agencies and were enraged when the airport was closed on Saturday so that Mrs Clinton could visit.”
Aid agencies and donor countries accused the US military of giving its own aircraft priority. Outside the airport, aid and rescue workers protested that nobody seemed to be in charge as looting and lawlessness rose sharply on the streets of Port-au-Prince.
Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) complained that it had had five aircraft carrying medical supplies and doctors diverted to the Dominican Republic since Saturday, and that the earliest landing slot it could secure at Port-au-Prince for a relief aircraft supposed to leave today was January 26.
MSF said that the US military, which is running Port-au-Prince’s airport, had skewed priorities and it declared: “Priority must be given immediately to planes carrying life-saving equipment and medical personnel.” Forty per cent of incoming flights since last Tuesday have been military.
Alain Joyandet, the French Co-operation Minister, called on the UN to investigate America’s dominant role in the relief effort and protested: “This is about helping Haiti, not occupying it.”
Aid officials in Haiti complained of the lack of co-ordination between the UN, the US and aid agencies and were enraged when the airport was closed on Saturday so that Mrs Clinton could visit. “I don’t really know who’s in charge,” said Benoît Leduc, MSF’s operations manager in the capital.