Haiti: heroism and humanity

January 17, 2010

Haiti.

Mothers’ faces wretched in agony as they stumble through debris crying out their children’s names. Despair. My stomach tightens in fear for them.

Little ones, no older than my youngest, crouching bewildered, jostled by surging crowds. Soft, tear stained, skin sprinkled with concrete dust. Frightened. I close my eyes in prayer.

The shaky steps of the frail and disorientated, searching for anything, anyone familiar. Lives ebbing away.

A primeval howl of loss. The fragile frame of a tiny girl collapses onto a lifeless body. She clings. She clings.

Yet even as the earthquake has shaken us to our core, heroism and humanity strengthen the foundations of our global family. Courageous, exhausted, rescue workers, scramble through crippled neighborhoods, digging with their hands, refusing to give up on life. A worldwide outpouring of compassion and generosity now laps at Haiti’s shores, quietly defying nature’s brutality.

Jordan was not spared the tragedy. Three of our peacekeepers, part of the international humanitarian mission, died, and many more were injured.

But Jordan’s commitment to the people of Haiti continues; our country was among the first to deliver relief to quake-stricken areas: a military hospital, specialist medical staff, essential medical supplies, six tonnes of aid, as well as a rescue team to join in the search efforts for survivors. We are one of many. Long may it be this way.

The impact of the earthquake is devastating, but the emotional and physical reverberations will wreak even more havoc if we don’t increase humanitarian aid now.

Can you help?

UNICEF, in coordination with all other UN agencies on the ground, is supporting Haiti’s most vulnerable by providing access to sanitation, safe water and basic health care.  Please donate what you can: www.supportunicef.org

And remember the people of Haiti in your prayers. May God give them strength in the days and months ahead.