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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Please Help Haiti

Except for a 19 year-long occupation, we've studiously ignored Haiti. We've strenuously turned a blind eye to their neverending poverty, have impassively watched dictatorships plunder the island of its natural resources and no matter which political party is in charge, Haiti just never seems to be even at the bottom of our list of priorities while we continue bloating Mideast nations through oil imports and sending $3 billion annually so Israel can continue committing its terrorist acts.

However, we finally need to start focusing on Haiti's plight now. Yesterday, a 7.0 earthquake hit Haiti about 10 miles southwest of the capital, Port-au-Prince. It was the deadliest earthquake to hit the poorest nation in the western hemisphere in 200 years. It destroyed many of the homes of the 1.8 million inhabitants in the area as well as the National Palace and the UN peacekeeping HQ. Thankfully, the main airport in the capital is still operational and planes filled with emergency personnel and relief supplies have begun flooding in.

In fact, the international response, thankfully, has been swift, although I imagine not swift enough for the Haitians who are stuck under the rubble or are trying to help rescue loved ones or are trying to find their way to a safe shelter before the aftershock. Even as I write this, President Barack Obama is now making a statement outlining our own official humanitarian efforts. What follows below is just a partial list of charities that have already jumped in with an impressive international rescue effort:

* The Red Cross has directed $200,000 for immediate assistance.

* AmeriCares has pledged to send staff and $5 million in relief aid.

* Doctors Without Borders/Medecins Sans Frontieres will be deploying additional staff to help at severely damaged medical facilities.

* UNICEF will provide supplies to allow access to adequate sanitation, safe water and basic health care. Their phone is 1-800-4UNICEF.

* The Inter-American Development Bank, a Washington-based agency that focuses on Latin America and the Caribbean, will provide $200, 000 in immediate aid for food, water, medicine and temporary shelter.

* Venezuela plans to send food, medicine, water and 50 rescue workers.

* Mexico has pledged to send doctors, search and rescue dogs and infrastructure damage experts.

* Italy is sending a field hospital and emergency medical personnel.

* France is sending 65 clearing specialists, rescue dogs and a team of medical personnel.

Doctors Without Borders needs help not just for the Haitians but themselves. Their own buildings have been devastated by the earthquake.

Haiti.911.com makes it wicked easy to donate $5. Just text "Yele" to 501501. This is done through Wyclef Jean's organization Yele Haiti so I know it's legit.

Partners in Health (PIH) is also looking for help, as is Mercy Corps. Their toll-free number is 1-888-256-1900.

You can also donate to DirectRelief online through this secure server.

Oxfam America also provides a secured server if you wish to donate to them.

International Medical Corps is also putting together a response effort to help the victims.

Here's the link to Save the Children's website.

Just remember, every little bit you can do helps. For now, it's still a rescue effort but the longer time passes, the more likely it will become a recovery effort.


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Blogger Barry said...
For all those who work for decent-sized corporations, please take a moment to check whether your company matches charitable donations in cases like this.

My company does, but they don't advertise it, so do your homework. You might be able to double your contribution with very little extra effort.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
Hey folks, it's Breakfast for Bonehead!

Anonymous wet wipes said...
I found your blog on Google and read a few of your other posts. I just added you to my Google News Reader. Keep up the good work. Look forward to reading more from you in the future.

Blogger Barry said...
I kind of like the name "Breakfast for Bonehead," actually. I'm getting ready to launch a blog that will be entirely bereft of meaningful content, and I may appropriate it if no one objects.

Anonymous Adrian said...
Please Help the people who have suffered the worst disaster of the century. Donate some money to help the victims

Blogger missy said...
I'm donating 100% of gross receipts from my Etsy shop til the end of January to Dr. Paul Farmer's organization, Partners in Health if you want to make a donation and get something spiffy for your Valentine to boot. I'm going to make the donations daily, whatever cumulative sales I have that day, to keep the money flowing throughout the month. I'll also do my best to post more items this weekend that are ready to go but I haven't had a chance to photograph yet.

I'll post my paypal receipts over at my blog, no fish, no nuts, so you know this is legit.

Anonymous Anonymous said...
This is natures way and we should not interfere. haiti is a cesspool that needed a thorough cleansing. We keep sticking our noses where they don't belong. Look at Africa, after trillions of dollars in aid, it is still a disgusting, primitive disaster. Evolution is trying to solve these problems for us, let mother nature do her work!!!

Blogger missy said...
Hey, "anonymous," white folks like you and me and all of Western Europe and the U.S. have been fucking with Haiti for 350 years, first enslaving it literally and then through corporate colonization, stripping that country of its natural resources hand in hand with the Duvaliers. We tut-tutted while Papa and Baby Doc imprisoned, tortured and murdered anyone who mentioned that maybe the people of Haiti should get more than slave wages for all that bauxite they mined for Alcoa, while the Duvaliers relaxed in air-conditioned splendor and stole 99 cents of every dollar the bauxite brought in. (Of course, the Duvaliers sold Haiti's main source of income, and the labor to get it out of the ground, for a pittance compared with its actual value, so long as the aluminum companies made sure the proceeds went straight to the dictators' Swiss bank accounts.)

The U.S., mainly through the CIA, is the reason Haiti remains the most impoverished nation in the Western hemisphere, no matter what Pat Robertson says (but of course he's the last of the old-school rape-and-pillage colonists himself). We may not be responsible for the plight of those formerly colonized African nations you so blithely toss to the dogs (talk to the French, the Belgians, the Dutch, the Germans, the Italians, and the British about that), but Haiti's been our baby since the French were bitch-slapped back to Versailles.

And mother nature is doing her work; she'll do her best to kill off the human parasites heating the planet while the more adaptable species survive her wrath. Unfortunately, the non-industrialized peoples of Africa and the Caribbean - those black folks you were so careful not to identify as such in your racist screed - will be riding that train to hell right along with us as collateral damage.

Anonymous carl said...
Thanks for blogging about and providing so much information about Haiti. I have blogged about it twice myself since the quake. The important thing now is to make sure that people do not grow apathetic. Help will be needed for some time to come.