Friday, January 15, 2010

Despair in Haiti. Please, if you have a conscience, make a donation to the Disasters Emergency Committee Haiti earthquake appeal.

Thousands of people injured in Haiti's massive earthquake spent a third night twisted in pain, lying on sidewalks and waiting for help as their despair turned to anger. Desperate Haitians blocked streets with corpses in one part of Port-au-Prince to demand quicker relief efforts following Tuesday's catastrophic quake, which flattened buildings and killed tens of thousands, leaving countless others homeless. Bodies lay all around the hilly city, and people covered their noses with cloth to block the stench of death. Corpses were piled on pickup trucks and delivered to the General Hospital in Port-au-Prince, where hospital director Guy LaRoche estimated the bodies piled outside the morgue numbered 1,500. More than 48 hours after disaster struck, masses of people clamored for food and water, as well as help in digging out relatives still missing under the rubble.

The Haitian Red Cross said it believed 45,000 to 50,000 people had died and 3 million more - one third of Haiti's population - were hurt or left homeless by the major 7.0 magnitude quake that hit its impoverished capital on Tuesday. The Haitian Red Cross said it had run out of body bags.

...This disaster in Haiti is dreadful. Haiti is the poorest country in the western hemisphere. We sit here in the UK, in our lovely centrally heated double glazed homes, looking in shock at the images broadcast from Haiti onto our television screens. These people have literally what they stand up in, no homes or bedrooms full of clothes. They are suffering from the cruel hand of nature and if they survive, their future is grim. We are lucky in winning the lottery of life and having a home in the UK. Some people, like the Haitians, are born into poverty and when things go bad, like Tuesday's earthquake, their lives become cheap like discarded biscuit wrappers.

There is little the ordinary person here in the UK can do, we feel so helpless. For the British we have lives of hope, joy and a future. For the people of Haiti they must wonder if they will see the sun rise tomorrow from this living nightmare that they have been thrown into. Rather than sit back and think "lucky for us", Gail and I have today made a donation to the Disasters Emergency Committee Haiti Earthquake Appeal. If you are as touched by this disaster as we are, then maybe you can see your way clear to making a donation to this appeal.
Steve, my friend I make a donation every week to disaster funds like this through my income tax and national insurance contributions.

This terrible government sends billions, yes thats right, BILLIONS, of our money to Africa and such places every year!!!!!!
Our democratically elected government has trebled the amount of money it is giving in aid to the Haiti disaster to more than $32m (£20 million). The DEC Haiti Earthquake Appeal total now stands at £15m with £10m raised in the space of 24 hours from Friday. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said there were still no official estimates of the death toll because unofficial figures of 100,000 may turn out to be too low.
The problem seems to be that all the aid is just piling up at the airport and unable to go anywhere. Haiti, never the most stable place at the best of times, and following the maxim that civilization in two meals away from barbarism, is about to become even more of a hell on earth than it is now. If the aid agencies do manage to get the stuff out of the door in pretty short order they are going to find themselves held up at gunpoint (if they are lucky, if not they'll simply be shot) and their aid looted.

Somalia is going to look like a walk in the park compared to this.

Rather than the understandable and natural reaction to throw money at the suffering in Haiti now (as your earlier commenter mentioned our unelected Prime Mentalist is doing that with my money right now) where it will effectively end up in the pocket of some herbert with a gun it might be better to more carefully target a donation to help rebuild the country, or better give someone there an education, in the future.
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