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.
This is the official Facebook page for the relief efforts.
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.