Thursday, January 28, 2010

Haiti: Local Staff Update

Thanks to Diplopundit for locating an official update on U.S. Embassy Haiti's local staff. The status so far: six killed, nine injured, and 28 still unaccounted for. Of course, we should add to that the still-unknown number of family members of our local staff who surely were also killed or injured.

The human impact of that loss needs no comment. As an aside, the loss of so many local staff also hinders the embassy's recovery efforts as administrative functions - even such things as processing purchase orders so that emergency funds sent to post after the earthquake can be spent - go undone as the Foreign Service staff and TDYers concentrate on more immediate concerns.

Is there such a thing as Locally Engaged Staff TDYers who could be sent to fill in after a crisis? Maybe, but I suspect that most of our local staff are truly irreplaceable due to their unique personal relationships with and vernacular understanding of the local environment.


Consul-At-Arms said...

Our LES colleagues do sometimes go TDY to assist other posts, most notably in recent years with regards to newly re-opened posts like Baghdad and Kabul, and in support of the Lebanon evacuation a few years ago.

TSB said...