• disaster response;
  • NGOs;
  • Haiti


The 2010 Haiti Earthquake was the deadliest single disaster in this Hemisphere, ever. International Aid Organizations and Governments rushed to assist the survivors. Among these, the US Department of Defense played a significant role. Alongside DoD however were a large number of NGO volunteers onboard the USNS Comfort hospital ship, which provided critical specialty skills. This partnership, DoD and NGOs, has already demonstrated significant benefit in lives saved and suffering mitigated. Various lessons learned are noted and recommendations for improvement in the way NGOs are sourced and integrated for these missions. However, the greatest benefit could be in future disaster response when synergies developed from combined training and exercises allow DoD and NGOs to respond seamlessly and effectively to another major disaster, together.