START A PETITION 25,136,189 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
1,752,892 people care about Human Rights

Haiti After the Quake + How to Help.

Haiti After the Quake + How to Help.

EDITOR’S NOTE:   Although we are offering coverage of our own, we thought we’d also share this from our partners at the Media Consortium.  Some of it links to Care2 posts you may have seen – check and see – and the rest is interesting too.

Over 100,000 people are believed dead after a magnitude 7.0 earthquake struck near the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, on Tuesday afternoon. The quake buried countless buildings, from shantytowns to the presidential palace. All hospitals in Port-au-Prince have been leveled or abandoned. The United Nations headquarters and the city’s main prison have collapsed as well. Thousands of residents are homeless and without food, water, or electricity.

On the ground in Port-au-Prince

Haiti is in a state of chaos, as Kayla Coleman reports for Care2. “The streets…are flooded with the rubble of collapsed buildings and displaced people. … The earthquake has destroyed much of the already fragile and overburdened infrastructure.”

Because all hospitals have been destroyed, there is nowhere to take the injured. According to Coleman, the United Nations says it will immediately release $10 million from its emergency fund to aid relief efforts.

Haiti before the earthquake

And though Americans are now paying attention to Haiti in the wake of this disaster, little to no attention was paid to the “daily chaos and misery” that plagues the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, as James Ridgeway writes for Mother Jones. “It is hard to imagine what a magnitude 7 earthquake might do to a city that on any ordinary day already resembles a disaster area.”

Ridgeway also cites a 2006 New York Times report that details how the Bush administration helped destabilize Haiti in the years leading up to the 2004 coup.

Ridgeway writes:

“For the most part, Europe and the United States have continued to sit by as Haiti has grown poorer and poorer. When I was there you could find the children just outside Cite Soleil, the giant slum, living in the garbage dump, waiting for the U.S. army trucks to dump the scraps left from the meals of American soldiers. There they stood, knee deep in garbage, fighting for bits of food. As for the old, they people every street, gathering at the Holiday Inn at Port-au-Prince in wheelchairs, waiting at the doorway in search of a coin or two. They have no social safety net. And nobody with any money—no bank, no insurance company, no hedge fund, no mutual fund—ever makes any serious investment in the country.”

Will prevailing attitudes towards Haiti change?

At RaceWire, Michelle Chen writes that Haiti, a place “where buildings have been known to suddenly collapse on their own, even without the help of a natural disaster,” was still trying to recover from the severe tropical storms last spring that leveled hundreds of schools and left tens of thousands homeless.

Now the situation is desperate. “There will be an outpouring of sympathy across borders, a spasm of humanitarian aid,” Chen writes. But “will there be an attitude shift in the power structures that have long compounded natural disaster with politically manufactured crisis?”

‘Supporting the right kind of aid’

For those in Haiti, outside help is crucial. The country is in need of search and rescue volunteers, field hospitals, emergency health, water purification, and telecommunications. To ensure that you are supporting the right kind of aid—”the kind that builds local self-resilience, strengthens the local economy, and fosters local leadership,” as Sarah van Gelder details for Yes! Magazine—donate to one or more groups with a proven track record, such as Doctors without Borders, Grassroots International, Partners in Health, and Action Aid, among others.

Hip-hop artist and Haitian native Wyclef Jean has led efforts to help Haiti for years through his charity Yele Haiti. Jessica Calefati at Mother Jones reports that Yele spends $100,000 a year on athletic programs for Haitian children and helps feed 50,000 people a month with food donated by the UN. When Jean received word of the disaster, he immediately acted, sending a “flurry of tweets” for people to donate $5 by texting 501501. He has already returned to Haiti to help.

How you can help

For more details about how you can donate effectively, check out Yes!, Mother Jones, Care2, and The Nation’s roundups. You can also watch Free Speech TV’s action update video for more information.

GritTV aired a segment on Haiti featuring Danny Glover, Marie St. Cyr, and a performance by the Welfare Poets. The video (below) covers the devastation in Haiti after the quake as well as the state of the country prior to the crisis:

 

How not to help

For an example of how not to help in a time of crisis, take a look at televangelist Pat Robertson, who claimed yesterday that the quake was Haiti’s payback for a “pact with the devil” that slaves made to obtain independence from French colonials. As a rebuttal, Afro-Netizen points out how Haiti’s liberation greatly benefited the United States, and Tracy Viselli at Care2 writes that “if there is a god, Pat Robertson is one of the devil’s pied pipers.”

More coverage of the crisis

For more information about relief efforts in Haiti, what you can do to help, and some historical context, check out the below list of coverage by Media Consortium members.

  • Video from the Real News Network on how World Bank policies led to famine in Haiti.
  • Garry Pierre-Pierre of Inter Press Service reports on humanitarian efforts of Haitian-American leaders in New York.
  • Monica Potts explains why Americans should concentrate on our policies toward Haiti for The American Prospect.
  • Erin Rosa at Campus Progress writes about Ansel Herz, a young journalist that is on the ground at Haiti.
  • Video from The UpTake of President Obama’s pledge to send aid.

This post is a special report on Haiti and features links to the best independent, progressive reporting by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.

HAITI INFORMATION AND ACTIONS

INFORMATION

How to Help Haiti

Long-Term Health Problems Facing Haiti After Earthquake

Haiti in Chaos After Earthquake

Help Haiti: a Day Without Pay

Pat Robertson is Going to Hell 

Rescue Dogs Sent to Haiti from Around the World

Haiti After the Quake + How to Help

Animal Victims in Haiti Need Your Help

PETITIONS:

Haitian Earthquake Has Destroyed the Capital City   Mercy Corps

Haiti’s reconstruction by Haitians living aboard     For these noble goals, we ask that the government of the country in which we reside to task our pay check $10 per pay period for the next 50 years so that we can rebuild our dear Haiti.

Pat Robertson: APOLOGIZE

Support the UN’s Response to Haiti Quake Victims United Nations Foundation

Honor UN Peacekeepers in Haiti  Better World Campaign

 

Read more: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

United Nations via Flickr/Creative Commons
By Alison Hamm, Media Consortium Blogger

quick poll

vote now!

Loading poll...

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

28 comments

+ add your own
6:45PM PST on Jan 21, 2010

Audrey K & the like:

Almost anyone can help. If you can afford a computer and internet access I'm sure you're able to donate at least $5 or $10. Despite the excuses, the majority of us are able to make a small difference.

9:05PM PST on Jan 20, 2010

No I haven't donated to Haiti . Yes, I wish that I was able to.
Thank you

6:42AM PST on Jan 19, 2010

thank you

1:36AM PST on Jan 18, 2010

some of my butterfly points just got taken away for nothing, so here I am, hoping to get another 20 for Haiti!

11:13PM PST on Jan 17, 2010

I pray to God to give them strainght and hope.....they need our help!!!

3:51PM PST on Jan 17, 2010

Must not give up on these people. 18 months from now they must not be still waiting for help.

5:03AM PST on Jan 17, 2010

200000 people dead or moribund in Haiti.
No solace. Only action needed.
I offer that I am willing to be with them.
Be joined.
Quick!


BHASI BAHULEYAN
+919947780093

2:54AM PST on Jan 17, 2010

Thanks again!

8:26PM PST on Jan 16, 2010

*candle*

5:30PM PST on Jan 16, 2010

I've donated to Doctors without Borders several times now. They have been in Haiti for years doing medical work.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

ads keep care2 free
Story idea? Want to blog? Contact the editors!
ads keep care2 free



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.