Helping Haiti

Written By: - Date published: 6:31 am, January 15th, 2010 - 9 comments
Categories: International - Tags: ,

The enormity of the disaster that has hit Haiti is becoming more apparent by the hour. It is thought that tens of thousands, if not 100,000, are dead and many more are injured, trapped, or homeless. It is estimated that 60% of buildings in the capital, Port-au-Prince, have been destroyed. All infrastructure is heavily damaged. The government, already weak, has itself been devastated by the earthquake and is in no position to carry out the rescue and relief effort.

The peacekeepers and other UN organisations along with Doctors Without Borders are leading the life-saving efforts on the ground but have also been badly affected. Many of their staff are dead, injured, or trapped and their buildings are heavily damaged. Relief needs to come from abroad and it is heartening to see the US has immediately taken leadership in this but a lot more is going to be needed.

The relief organisations are going to need a lot of money to help the Haitians through this. Our government has donated $1 million and said ‘there’s nothing we can do’. I think we can do better than $1 million. If you haven’t already, you should donate some money to help the relief effort.

Here are some video and images from the tragedy:

Obviously, don’t try to donate to the sources suggested in the video. I gave to Oxfam, you can too here.

9 comments on “Helping Haiti”

  1. lprent 1

    Sounds like the relief effort is kicking in. They are starting to have air control issues. National radio is reporting that there was nearly a collision between two hercs. The tower and much of the control infrastructure was destroyed.

    Gave oxfam a donation yesterday.

    But this looks like it will be one of the worst earthquakes in terms of destruction and death. Up there with Lisbon in the 18th for effect. The epicenter was just too close to an unprepared town and really shallow at 8km

  2. Its nice to see, people donating and countries coming to the aid to the poor people of Haiti. The death toll will get worse and worse.

    Hats off to the USA for leading the relief effects.

    • DeeDub 2.1


      Kudos for the sentiment, but ‘relief effects’??? All done with CG and green screen, eh? I assume you meant ‘efforts’? LOL

  3. When making a donation, ask your bank how much of it they are going to cream off in ‘transaction fees’ etc.

  4. Opps, bad spelling.

    But its great to see the world is paying attention to Hatai. Haiti.

    [lprent: Totally ironic (unless I missed some context). I corrected your spelling ]

  5. Jenny 5

    John Key has donated $1 million to Haiti. I think that is very generous, but I am sure with his $50 million dollar fortune he can afford it.

    Oh, what’s that you say.

    It’s not a personal donation.

    Surely you’re joking.

  6. Bill 6

    There is an informative wee piece in The Guardian, (quoted and linked below) for anyone who wants an understanding of what is compounding the effects of the earthquake.

    The noble “international community” which is currently scrambling to send its “humanitarian aid” to Haiti is largely responsible for the extent of the suffering it now aims to reduce. Ever since the US invaded and occupied the country in 1915, every serious political attempt to allow Haiti’s people to move (in former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide’s phrase) “from absolute misery to a dignified poverty” has been violently and deliberately blocked by the US government and some of its allies.

    Naomi Klein also recovered a deleted pro-corporate ‘Opportunity Knocks’ piece calling for the disaster to be the door which opens Haiti to rabid right wing economic and government ‘reform’ which I linked to here before I noticed a post on Haiti had been put up.

  7. T 7

    “GPS-constrained block models with elastic strain accumulation give ~8 mm/year of slip rate on the fault. Since the last major event in south-central Dominican Republic was in 1751, that yields ~2 meters of accumulated strain deficit, or a Mw=7.2 earthquake if all is released in a single event today.”

    Mann, Paul; Calais, Eric et al. 2008

    With information like that available you’d think the UN and NGOs would have been better prepared. Or have we so forsaken science?

    Aside, here’s a 3 minute summary of Haiti’s history of hardship:

    • Bill 7.1

      That was a very jam packed 3 minutes. Good stuff.

      It also contains the answers to the question you posed about the unpreparedness.

      There is no money for infrastructure.
      In the face of weak government, private business interests had a veritable field day…. no regulations on building standards for example or where buildings could be constructed.
      The UN presence is dubious.
      Farmers forced off the land had no option but to go to Port-au-Prince and the export zone sweatshops the US had located there.


      edit. NZ has contributed 0.0000077% of GDp in aid. $1 million. Wonder how much tonights lotto winner will get?

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