Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Haiti Getting Kicked While Down (Again)

My students were on a mountain in the Dominican Republic close to the Haitian border when the 7.0 magnitude quake struck near Port-au-Prince. They described watching the horizon shake in front of them for a solid 10-15 seconds. Although estimates for the loss of life resulting from this brief episode remain unavailable, they are sure to reach into the tens of thousands.

Last summer, I blogged about field work in Haiti (1, 2, 3, 4). At that time, Haiti seemed like a country in shambles; its denuded earth was washing out to sea before our eyes, roads between major cities were barely passable, electricity was absent even in towns as large as 80,000 people, and clean water was sometimes impossible to come by. Nevertheless, a glimmer of hope accompanied the sense that things were better than they'd been in years. Whatever fragile progress Haiti may have made over the past few years, however, has just crumbled to the ground.

This quake, of course, is just another in a long string of injustices and misfortunes for Haiti and its people. Please consider making a small donation to one of the many aid organizations that are mobilizing to help Haiti through its latest (and perhaps greatest) crisis. Possibilities include Doctors without Borders and UNICEF. Donations are especially encouraged from countries like the United States or France, whose governments that have spent the better part of the last 200 years doing little but destabilizing Haiti.

4 comments:

Susan Perkins said...

I've been glad to have your updates on our field crew today. I definitely second your urging to make a donation to try to help out. The saddest thing may be that there's not even a decent enough infrastructure to get some of the aid where its needed. Will this quake literally be the thing needed to shake up the rest of the world and make them realize that something finally has to be done?

Susan Perkins said...

I just donated some money through Oxfam, another good organization, after reading some comments on NPR.

Glor said...

My brother is in Port au Prince now. He describes the situation as "horrific."

http://www.ehow.com/members/stevemar2-articles.html said...

The situation in Haiti is dire, and will only get worse over time. It is the poorest nation in the western hemisphere, so it is up to wealthier countries to try to lend support. The United States will undoubtedly play a major role in the recovery effort, but I hope everyone remembers that the United States also has its own problems, like a high unemployment rate and Americans struggling to support their families.