You are here: Home

Haiti Relief Operations Highlight Humanitarianism

Adjust font size:

Within seconds, the magnitude-7.3 tremor that hit Haiti on January 12 pushed the Caribbean country into a deep abyss.

Within hours, the international community acted swiftly to launch rescue and relief operations, including countries thousands of miles away such as China.

In the past 30 days, the operations in Haiti have highlighted the spirit of humanity, the courage of human beings and the unity of the international community in the face of massive natural disasters.

It is beyond all doubt that the Haiti earthquake has almost paralyzed the poverty-stricken country and brought enormous pain and suffering to its residents.

The latest data estimates the tremor has killed more than 212,000 people, injured more than 200,000, and left millions homeless.

Among the dead are more than 80 peacekeepers from the United Nations, including eight from China, their names enshrined in the monument of international humanitarianism.

Natural disasters have long inflicted pain on humankind. About 2,000 years ago, Pliny the Younger, a Roman writer and naturalist who investigated the eruption of Vesuvius volcano, dreamed of "magic power" to save its victims.

But 2,000 years later, humankind has not only striven to help each other, but also displayed a capacity for rescue operations of which Pliny the Younger had never dreamed.

Immediately after the Haiti earthquake, the international community began a coordinated worldwide response using advanced rescue and relief equipment and facilities.

The result is that, in the past 30 days, many survivors have been pulled from the rubble, thousands upon thousands of wounded residents have received medical treatment, and millions have received relief supplies.

And concern and support from across the globe has brought opportunities to reshape the devastated country.

The rescuers, relief workers, medical workers and volunteers from all corners of the world have exerted every effort to help the local people.

So far, the reconstruction of the nation is on track and the victims have begun to find hope for a new life.

The Chinese government and people have also made their due contribution.

Right after the tremor, a 60-strong search-and-rescue team from China was among the first to land in Port-au-Prince, the capital of Haiti.

China also provided medicine, tents, and other emergency supplies for the Caribbean nation.

On January 25, China sent its second team to Haiti. During its stay, the team, consisting of 40 military medical professionals, treated more than 4,000 wounded Haitians.

All in all, the rescue and relief operations in Haiti were timely and effective, but some problems have still emerged, such as robbery, coordination problems and children trafficking, which demonstrates the complexity and challenges of conducting disaster relief operations.

In retrospect, we can see that it has become commonly accepted that the international community should unite to take on the responsibility of fighting natural disasters. Similar examples can be found in the relief efforts following the Indian Ocean tsunami in 2004, Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008.

It was unthinkable in the human history, from ancient times to the Cold War, that the world would forsake ideological, religious and racial differences, and override boundaries and borders to jointly fight disasters in far-flung places.

The international community's efforts in Haiti demonstrate the progress of humanity in the era of globalization that we, as members of communities, should value.

(Xinhua News Agency February 11, 2010)

Related News & Photos