Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti Relief Effort

By now, I'm sure we've all heard of the disaster in Haiti. The news out of Haiti is just catastrophic. It's shaping up to be one of the worst humanitarian disasters of our time. I will cut straight to the chase and provide links to a variety of reputable organizations that desperately need our help. Haiti is already the poorest country in the Western hemisphere. They were ill-equipped to take care of their citizens in the first place, and this earthquake has devastated what little resources they had. You've heard it before, but it is true: even one dollar can help. Do you know how much money could be raised, if even a quarter of the US population donated just one dollar? I don't, but I bet it would be a lot. Just keep that in mind if you feel bad you can't make a 'substantial' donation or difference.

Red Cross: Priority needs in Haiti are food, water, temporary shelter, medical services and emotional support. Thousands of local Red Cross volunteers are aiding their fellow Haitians. American Red Cross Disaster management specialists are scheduled to arrive today from the United States, Peru and Mexico to join local Red Cross staff already on the ground in the disaster zone. As soon as airports begin accepting relief shipments, tarps, hygiene items and cooking sets for approximately 5,000 families will come from the Red Cross warehouse in Panama.

The American Red Cross has already released $10 million dollars. The Red Cross is
not looking for volunteers or supplies. The best way to help is through a monetary donation. You can also call 1-800-RED-CROSS to make a donation. Donors can designate their gifts to Haiti relief. For an even easier way to donate, donors can text "Haiti" to 90999 on their cell phone to send a $10 donation to support Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti. The mobile giving effort raised more than $3 million by Thursday morning, and all money raised goes to support Red Cross relief efforts in Haiti.

If you go to the Red Cross website, there is a large button in the upper right hand corner. It's hard to miss. Click to donate.


The Red Cross also has a very useful tool for those who have friends and family in Haiti. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is helping reconnect separated families in Haiti through a special web site which enables people in Haiti and outside the country to search for and register the names of relatives missing since the earthquake. In the first twenty-four hours, more than 6,000 people have been registered.

Unicef: You can donate to UNICEF through this form. You can also call this number to donate by phone 1.800.FOR.KIDS (1.800.367.5437). Make a secure, tax-deductible donation to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, supporting UNICEF’s emergency response in Haiti. Any amount you can give will help save lives. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF is absorbing all associated administrative costs so that 100% of every dollar you give to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF will support UNICEF's relief efforts for children in Haiti.

UNICEF has been on the ground in Haiti since 1949. While the UNICEF compound in Port-au-Prince was damaged, we are very lucky that there were no UNICEF fatalities (though we've lost many valued UN partners). UNICEF Haiti staff have been working nonstop since the disaster. But the needs are overwhelming. Last night, a cargo plane landed with $500,000 worth of supplies including tarps and tents for much-needed temporary shelter. Supplies are streaming in from UNICEF's enormous warehouse in Copenhagen, and from Santa Domingo, where a task force has assembled to coordinate UNICEF relief. UNICEF is supplying water, shelter, blankets, therapeutic food, medical supplies… We're coordinating with other humanitarian organizations, and taking the lead on water and sanitation issues.


Support Doctors Without Borders in Haiti


Doctors Without Borders: Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian organization working in more than 60 countries to assist people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect, or catastrophe.

Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) medical teams in Port-au-Prince are treating large numbers of people who suffered fractures, head injuries and other major trauma during and after the January 12 earthquake. More than 1,000 patients have received care in the four tented facilities MSF set up near the damaged buildings in which it had been working. The primary concern at the moment is the overwhelming numbers of people who need immediate treatment and major surgery. An inflatable MSF field hospital, equipped with two operating theatres, is expected to arrive by air in the next 24 hours. Crucial personnel, including surgeons and anesthetists, and supplementary stocks of medical supplies are on the way as well. You can read a Question and Answer article to read more about their efforts. Go here to donate.

Habitat For Humanity: A powerful 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, destroying thousands of buildings and homes. Habitat has been at work in Haiti for 26 years and will use its local expertise and mobilize resources as part of the rebuilding efforts. Habitat has provided more than 2,000 families with housing solutions through a variety of initiatives, including new home construction, progressive building, home repairs and improvements. It also builds capacity in construction skills, disaster mitigation and financial literacy and works in coordination with community and government agencies.

“Habitat for Humanity will mobilize all available resources to address shelter solutions for low-income families affected by the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on Tuesday,” said Torre Nelson, area vice president of Habitat’s Latin America Caribbean office. Donate Here.

International Medical Corps: International Medical Corps’ Emergency Response Team is in Port-au-Prince assisting survivors of the 7.0-magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti Tuesday. The team is providing medical care outside the general hospital near the Presidential Palace where hundreds of people have congregated for help.

“People are afraid to go indoors because of aftershocks, so most of the care is being provided outside,” says Margaret Aguirre, Director of Global Communications for International Medical Corps. “We are working with the few Haitian health workers that are here. The goal is to provide triage and basic treatment with the limited staffing and supplies that we have.” Donate Here.


Those are just a few of the organizations gearing up to help Haiti. You can find hundreds more through google and new sites. Remember what I said: one dollar doesn't seem like a lot, but imagine if only 1/4 of the US population gave only one dollar. If you can't donate--and many can't--keep them in your hearts, thoughts, or prayers. Some believe they are just as powerful as money.





1 comment:

Jason Matthew said...

Haiti Relief Effort is just catastrophic. It's shaping up to be one of the worst humanitarian disasters of our time. and its also already the poorest country in the Western hemisphere.
cash for gold

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