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Donations for Haiti disaster relief

January 14, 2010

Via Feministe

Two recommended smaller charities from the comments:

Partners In Health (PIH):  who are already on the ground in Haiti with staff, equipment and infrastructure.

and Shelterbox:

We instantly respond to earthquake, volcano, flood, hurricane, cyclone, tsunami or conflict by delivering boxes of aid.

Each box supplies an extended family of up to 10 people with a tent and lifesaving equipment to use while they are displaced or homeless. The contents are tailored depending on the nature and location of the disaster, with great care taken sourcing every item to ensure it is robust enough to be of lasting value.

The cost of a box is £490, including delivery direct to those who need it. Each box bears its own unique number so as a donor you can track your box all the way to its recipient country via the website

Highly trained ShelterBox Response Teams distribute boxes on the ground, working closely with local organisations, international aid agencies and Rotary clubs worldwide.

Since its inception in 2000, ShelterBox has firmly established itself at the forefront of international disaster relief, providing emergency shelter for the people who need it most on every continent.

Also from the comments:

yay for the PIH recommendations – i really admire them and their work in general and have no doubt they’re doing everything they can to assist with disaster.

my other suggestions:
1) Get ready for a long haul. Usually, disasters like this see a huge outpouring of cash and interest in the immediate aftermath, which almost all disappears within the first 6-12 months. This disaster was large enough that it is going to take years, if not decades, to rebuild. The most important thing you can do moving forward is to keep thinking, writing, and talking about Haiti as we move past the immediate impact. They will need help and resources for quite a while to come.

2) Get interested in global poverty issues. This earthquake was so destructive in large part because of the extreme poverty in pre-earthquake Haiti, which meant that buildings weren’t reinforced, disaster preparation wasn’t done, and the barely adequate medical system was completely overwhelmed. These are situations that exist in lots of other countries that could be affected by disaster – we can do work NOW to make sure they’re better equipped to survive such an event.

3) Learn about US political involvement in Haiti and policies toward Haiti. We’ve been – for lack of a better term – fucking around in their country since it became independent and have occupied it for significant lengths of time. We’ve trained their dictators, influenced their elections, and encouraged some of their destructive policies. Some of this is on our head as a nation. We bear responsibility. Learn about it, talk about it.

The natural disaster was unavoidable, but the severity of the damage and loss of life were.  I’m listening to The World Service at the moment and estimates are currently of half a million deaths, and very little aid and help is getting into Haiti yet. 

For more see Democracy Now.

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