Haiti, the world's first black independent nation, the scene of the first successful slave rebellion in western history, is currently the poorest country in the western hemisphere. It has been plagued with a history of dictatorship, human rights abuses and natural disasters, including severe hurricanes in 2004 and 2008 (Hurricanes Katrina and Ike respectively), the effects of which were aggravated by years of deforestation.
On January 12th, 2010, hundreds of thousands of Haitians, along with people from many other countries lost their lives by the near absolute devastation of a major earthquake, with its epicenter in the most populated area of the capital, Port-Au-Prince. The cityâ€™s already weak infrastructure (particularly its roads and electric grid) has been damaged in such a way that it severely impedes humanitarian efforts. While the scope of the disaster is still not clear, extraordinary stories of children and adults surviving several days under collapsed buildings keep emerging.
However, from contacts and friends in the United Nations (who have lost 37 of their own personnel in the earthquake), we have learned that medical aid is not reaching the people in need. Amputations are being performed with hacksaws and without anesthesia. There is an acute shortage of qualified physicians to tend to the victims. There is no timeline on this situation. Donations to Doctors Without Borders and International Red Cross are essential. Even a contribution of $1 makes a tremendous difference. Please follow the links below to help.
Doctor's Without Borders (International)
Doctor's Without Borders USA (Haiti Donation Page)
Doctor's Without Borders UK (Haiti Donation Page)
International Red Cross (Donation Page)