Home / Word News / Sexualised atmosphere among aid workers in Haiti disturbed me | Phoebe Greenwood

Sexualised atmosphere among aid workers in Haiti disturbed me | Phoebe Greenwood

I was among thousands flown in after the 2010 quake, and was unsettled by the atmosphere

I arrived in Port-au-Prince a few days after the earthquake in 2010. I was a spokesperson for Save the Children and my job was to help set up an emergency communications team.

It was my first experience of a humanitarian catastrophe and I was overwhelmed by the scale of the disaster. I’d never seen anything like it. Neither had many of the aid veterans. The scale of the devastation and death – and need – was staggering. But what surprised me most was the huge appetite for debauchery among the foreigners who had flown in to help. I’d been expecting death. Perhaps I was naive, but I hadn’t been expecting sex.

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