— Diane Paul is Nonresident Senior Fellow on Natural Disasters and Human Rights, Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement at The Brookings Institution. The views expressed are her own. —
As the world rushes to Haiti’s aid, we should remember some of the lessons of the Asian tsunami and Hurricane Katrina. Protecting vulnerable people is as important as giving them water, food, or medical care. Children, women, the elderly, and the disabled all have particular vulnerabilities that must be taken into consideration when relief is provided.