US criticised over Haiti aid as reconstruction talks begin
After two days of observations Mr Bertolaso told a RAI television interviewer that the relief effort showed that the international community was unable to mount an adequate disaster response and called for the appointment of a civilian international humanitarian co-ordinator.
He said the aid organisations, including United Nations bodies, wrongly thought Haiti was “another humanitarian catastrophe like Cambodia or Rwanda. They thought they could bring something to eat and drink and the problem would be resolved.”.
He added that the US military effort was “inefficient” and that troops were not trained to run an aid or disaster relief operation. “No-one is giving orders,” he said.
Asked by Lucia Annunziata, the RAI interviewer, if the rescue effort had been “a flop”, Mr Bertolaso — who holds Cabinet rank — said that the American decision to send large quantities of troops, cargo planes and aid was commendable. “However, when confronted by a situation of chaos, they tend to confuse military intervention with what should be an emergency operation, which cannot be entrusted to the armed forces. We are missing a leader, a co-ordination capacity that goes beyond military discipline.”