To the Editor:

Re “Bringing Relief to Haiti’s Poor, on the Backs of Mules” (Week in Review, June 6):

We appreciate your description of the work of Save the Children and other nongovernmental organizations in response to the devastating floods in Haiti. But it’s important for your readers to understand that private relief agencies like ours are by definition nongovernmental and do not seek to replace the important functions of government.

In Haiti, in fact, we want and need a capable government enjoying the long-term support of the United States.

The real challenge in Haiti, once the current crisis is over, is creating an environment where many partners ? the United States, the United Nations, the government of Haiti, major corporations, private relief and development agencies, local community organizations and the Haitian people themselves ? can all work together to help bring real and lasting change to the most impoverished country in the Western Hemisphere.

President, Save the Children
Westport, Conn., June 7, 2004