US Ambassador to Indonesia Cameron R. Hume has praised the Indonesian government for sending aid to earthquake-devastated Haiti.
“Yet this week Indonesia is making generous contributions to the people of Haiti in their greatest need. Indonesia's extended hand is not a mere gesture. It is a significant act of leadership,” Ambassador Cameron said in his statement published on the official website of the US embassy in Jakarta, Monday.
The aid for Haiti, in many ways, was similar to Indonesia's pledge to fight climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions, a pledge that triggered positive promises from other governments, he said.
“Indonesia is playing a key role in creating a world community ready to respond to the challenges of the 21st century,” he said.
Fate and geography make Indonesia uniquely vulnerable to natural disasters. The Aceh tsunami of five years ago made an indelible impression on the entire world, but other events as recent as last year's earthquakes in western Java and Padang reminded the people of Indonesia's vulnerability, Hume said.
The US ambassador said that Haiti lacked basic infrastructure even before the earthquake.
The roads, port, electricity grid, water and sanitation service, and communications are broken or destroyed by the earthquake.
“Little wonder that delivering assistance the last meter to a victim is so hard,” he said. The United Nations, including its Brazilian-led peace-keeping force, is at the center of international efforts to help Haiti. The organization has its own reasons to grieve the loss of so many able and dedicated staff.
According to the envoy, Indonesians should be proud of their government's actions to help Haiti.
“Although Haiti is a small, poor country on the other side of the world, our future depends on leadership that brings together global responses to what might appear as local needs. Indonesia is playing its part to provide that kind of leadership, both on the ground in Haiti and at the conference tables of the climate change talks, the G-20, and elsewhere. Indonesia's leadership makes it an important partner for the United States,” he said.
'Men anpil, chay pa lou' is a Haitian proverb which means, with many hands, the burden is light. “Indonesia is lending an impressive hand to the Haitian relief effort,” he added.