Tag: Haiti

Death In The Time Of Cholera

Haiti, ravaged for centuries and suffering long before its enormous, destructive earthquake, now braces for a huge cholera epidemic.  The cholera epidemic on Saturday had already killed more than 200 and there are more than 2600 reported cases.  Today the news is still bad.  The NY Times reports:

Diarrhea, while a common ailment here, is a symptom of cholera. And anxiety has been growing fiercely that the cholera epidemic, which began last week in the northwest of Haiti, will soon strike the earthquake-ravaged Port-au-Prince metropolitan area.

Haiti and does anyone REALLY care?

Is there any news these days that is not either heartbreaking or so totally disgusting, that you feel sickened inside, or a combination of both?

The “forgotten” people of Haiti, are dying of cholera — so far 150 deaths, and some 1,500 cases reported as of today.

A woman holds her young daughter while receiving medical attention at St. Nicholas

Hospital in St. Marc, Haiti, on Friday.

It amazes me, to some degree, that the Wall Street Journal seems to have been among the first to report this outbreak:

The area, north of the heavily damaged city of Port-au-Prince, was spared most of the wrath of the earthquake, which killed more than 300,000 people. But it did absorb many of the displaced and has long suffered from a lack of clean water. Purifying the water system is difficult in the area because homes are spread relatively widely geographically. [Emphasis mine]

Health officials said they had seen at least one report indicating that the epidemic may be spreading to the Port-au-Prince area, where about 1.3 million people are still living in crowded camps. [Emphasis mine]  A woman near Port-au-Prince was reported to have experienced severe diarrhea and vomiting after visiting a local market and died within the same day. . . . .

and, this, from Reuters

Zero US Aid Delivered to Haiti 9 Months After Earthquake

This is the sort of unbelievable fuck-up that I really want to see confirmed from multiple sources, and you can read all about it here, here, and here, and from many other sources, and it’s always exactly the same story.

Not a cent of the $1.15 billion the US promised for rebuilding has arrived.

NONE of the promised 1.15 billion in aid from the U.S. has materialized.

After nine fucking months? Can’t this clown get anything right?

And meanwhile in Haiti…

People are coughing, sniffling and their eyes watering. Quiet babies are the norm. Many have skin rashes and vaginal infections. There are several volunteer clinics, but usually only the very sickest are seen because so many people need help. The biggest camps now have some toilets, but not enough. Drainage is a big problem especially now during the rainy season.

Violence against women and girls is widespread. Women who go to the latrines at night are attacked. Some women talk of carrying rape babies. Others will do anything for the crudest abortion.


The Nation of Refugees

Haiti, September 22, 2010…

With 1.3 million displaced people in 1,300 camps, homelessness is the new normal here.

Some of the residents of those 1300 tent-cities have been writing letters to humanitarian organizations through letter-boxes set up by the International Organization for Migration.

I don’t have work, my tarp is torn, the rain panics me, my house was crushed, I don’t have money to feed my family, I would really love it if you would help me,” wrote Marie Jean Jean.

M te konn renmen lapli, says a child in a tent. “I used to love the rain.” But now…

Rain means that the floor on which he sleeps turns to mud. Rain now means sometimes standing up all night long in fear of floods.

Pakistan, September 22, 2010

The outside world cannot foot the entire bill for Pakistan’s recovery from devastating floods and the Pakistani government must do more, US special envoy Richard Holbrooke said on Monday.

The day after world donors raised aid pledges to almost two billion dollars, Holbrooke said the eventual cost of the monsoon disaster could run into the “tens of billions of dollars.”

The same article mentions that now 12 million people in Pakistan need “emergency food aid.”

About 105,000 kids younger than 5 are at risk of dying from severe acute malnutrition over the next six months, UNICEF estimates.

“You’re seeing children who were probably very close to the brink of being malnourished, and the emergency has just pushed them over the edge,” says Erin Boyd, a UNICEF emergency nutritionist working in southern Pakistan. “There’s just not the capacity to treat this level of severe acute malnutrition.”

So many children were already on the brink of severe malnutrition before the floods, and I guess their parents always hoped for a better tomorrow, but now what can they really hope for?

A jobless father of five who lost his house in Pakistan’s floods killed himself by setting himself on fire in front of the prime minister’s house, relatives and officials said.

Mohammad Akram, 30, doused himself before scores of people in front of Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani’s family residence in the eastern city of Multan Sunday. Mohammad Asif, Akram’s brother, said he had been looking for a job for several months.

“We had a mud-brick house which was washed away by the floods and now we are homeless.”

Defeating Privilege, Challenging Assumptions

I’ve written before about the rather limited reach of privilege.  A conversation with a fellow writer and friend from Australia showed me yet another area where a lack of infrastructure, wealth, education, and crucial connections leaves people out.  Oversights like these which yell out for alleviation are all too common, but not terribly sexy in the way only a massive disaster can be.  While we were discussing LGBT issues, she mentioned a topic very enlightening and thought-provoking.  To preface, my friend identifies as bisexual herself and so she listened intently, and with much interest, to the words and phrases I’d been throwing around regarding my own identity and its many nuances.  Her immediate response raised another issue pertinent towards the need to spread resources beyond our liberal borders.  

World Refugee Day: 20 June 2010

Angelina Jolie Speaks Out for World Refugee Day

Please Remember Haiti

My son just got back from a week in Haiti.  Haiti was impoverished beyond belief before the earthquake.  And now it is difficult to describe the pervasive suffering.  His descriptions bring me to tears.

And then there’s this:

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas (AP) — After the Haitian national soccer team couldn’t eat another bite of chef-prepared pork or ice cream, and before going back to its cabins at a Texas resort, coach Jairo Rios asked for a favor.

Tents. As many as they could haul back to Haiti.

”I eat well here. I sleep well,” forward Charles Herold Jr. said in French, speaking through a translator. ”But I cannot help but think of my friends and family who don’t have that. I can’t get that off my mind.”

I can’t get that off my mind either.  I hope you won’t be able to get it off your mind.  The futbol players can’t get it off their minds, either:

Players are already wrestling with the guilt of their relatively better fortunes. Forward Eliphene Cadet, 29, escaped from his house in Port-au-Prince after the roof caved on him and two children.

Leaving Haiti meant leaving his family in a tent in a field, near where his house once stood. Other players left their families in similar conditions.

”All the guys talk about it,” Cadet said. ”I know that they’re here. There are still tremors now. That’s our biggest worry.”

So as the rains come, shelter is extremely important.  And of course medical aid continues to be important.  And, of course, drinking water and sanitation are critical.

There are so many of us, and we have so much.  Can we use this essay to develop a list of organizations that will accept our small donations to continue aid in Haiti?  Can we work together on this?  Can we make some donations?


simulposted at The Dream Antilles and dailyKos

Haiti: Three Months: Up Date

UN Donor Conference on Haiti

Tomorrow in NYC the UN Donors’ Conference for Haiti which will discuss the current and future needs of Haiti after the devastating Earthquake on January 12.

Tonight on Frontline they will air the documentary The World is Coming to an End

On Jan. 12, 2010, one of the most devastating earthquakes in recorded history leveled the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince. Those responsible for handling the catastrophe, including the Haitian government and the United Nations, were among the victims. FRONTLINE correspondent Martin Smith bears witness to the scale of the disaster and takes viewers on a searing and intimate journey into the camps, hospitals and broken neighborhoods of Port-au-Prince. Featuring never-before-seen footage of the moments after the earthquake and interviews with top officials from Port-au-Prince to Washington, The Quake ultimately asks, how will the world respond?

The crisis for the Haitian people is still happening and getting worse with the rain. I don’t want to think of the catastrophe that awaits with the hurricane season but I must, so must the world.  

Haiti: One Of The Undeveloped Mineral Wealth Treasures On The Planet

Why was the US so quick to send so many troops into Haiti after the earthquake? Why were there so many fears from around the world of US militarism and exploitation in Haiti?


F. William Engdahl is an economist and author and the writer of the best selling book “A Century of War: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order.”, and has written on issues of energy, politics and economics for more than 30 years, beginning with the first oil shock in the early 1970s.

Here Engdahl talks with Paul Jay of The Real News, says that geophysics suggest there could be massive oil and mineral deposits in Haiti and that the US may be motivated by the desire to strategically deny oil deposits in Haiti to the rest of the world.

ENGDAHL: Well, if you look at a geophysical map of Haiti and the Caribbean, it jumps out that Haiti and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, lies right along the conjunction of what are called tectonic plates, but three separate tectonic plates. If you can imagine a China vase that falls off the table and gets broken in many pieces and you glue it back together, well, these tectonic plates are a bit similar in terms of images.

But three of those converge right at the land area that’s called Haiti, and generally where we have such a conversion of tectonic plates, we have a great amount of geophysical motion, energy, and so forth. They tend to be along-in the Pacific you have the Ring of Fire, which is literally the ring of vulcanic activity-. Indonesia is in one such zone; Saudi Arabia and the giant oil fields of the Middle East, from Kuwait and so forth, the Persian Gulf, are another such convergence of such plates.

And up until now there’s been very little talk about petroleum and Haiti, but it’s not because there hasn’t been interest in petroleum in Haiti. My take on it is that there are-according to geophysicists knowledgeable about the geophysics of the Caribbean basin-you probably have large multinational oil companies, US, British oil companies and their allies, who are aware that with a little bit of exploration onshore and offshore, that there are probably enormous oil finds.

And you just had, two years ago, offshore Cuba, just north of Haiti, a giant-supergiant, actually, oil discovery, with several billion barrels of believed reserves of oil there that the Russians are helping the Cubans to exploit. So it stands to reason that the same geological fault line of these tectonic plates-the Caribbean plate, the North American plate, and the South American plate-they all converge north of Venezuela and in the area that’s called Haiti.

That also makes Haiti ripe for other unusual minerals, such as uranium, gold, and so forth. And my own sense from talking with geophysicists on this whole Haiti question is that Haiti is probably one of the undeveloped treasures of mineral wealth on the planet… full transcript here

The Real News Network – February 19, 2010

Haiti: We Are The World 25

Sometimes something happens that is astoundingly right.  This video feels like one of those things.  So I thought I’d put it up.

The question, the eternal question about this is, and remains: how do you take the energy of this performance into the world and keep it going?  How do you make it bloom?  How do you keep it new?  How do you ride it to a better world?

You may say I’m a dreamer

But I’m not the only one

I hope someday you’ll join us

And the world will be as one


simulposted at The Dream Antilles  

For Your Consideration: Up Dated

On Wednesday, February 10 will conduct a special teleconference that will be streamed live on line.

MSF Conferenece 2/10

Hear first-hand how our medical teams set up makeshift clinics to triage patients on the grounds of destroyed hospital structures; how we accomplished complicated surgical procedures in an inflatable hospital and tents; and the future of our work as we continue to address medical challenges the Haitian people are facing.

Find out how donations are being put to work. Ask your questions.

   * Location: Online at Ustream – Haiti Earthquake Update

   * Date: Wednesday, February 10, 2010

   * Time: 12 noon EST / 11 am CST / 10 am MST / 9 am PST / 8 am AST / 7 am HST

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