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Haiti

Half hour for Haiti: Hurricane disaster relief

The situation in Haiti is truly horrible – Faye, Gustave, Hanna, Ike. Haiti Action has an appeal out for donations to help those in Gonaïves and elsewhere in the country. Paul Farmer who started Zanmi Lasante Hospital, describes the situation…

The need is of course enormous. After 25 years spent working in Haiti and having grown up in Florida, I can honestly say that I have never seen anything as painful as what I just witnessed in Gonaïves–except in that very same city, four years ago. Again, you know that 2004 was an especially brutal year, and those who work with PIH know why: the coup in Haiti and what would become Hurricane Jeanne. Everyone knows that Katrina killed 1500 in New Orleans and on the Gulf Coast, but very few outside of our circles know that what was then Tropical Storm Jeanne, which did not even make landfall in Haiti, killed an estimated 2000 in Gonaïves alone.

We’re faced with another round of death and obliteration. Haiti’s naked mountains promise many more unnatural disasters. We know that a massive reforestation program and public works to keep cities safer are what’s needed in the medium and long term. But there’s a lot we can do in the short term to help out with disaster relief.

Gonaives 4 years ago after Hurricane Jeanne.

haiti_flood2005.jpg

Haitians have had to deal with rising food prices over the past 12 months and now with the hurricanes most of the rice crops are ruined which will inevitably lead to more price hikes and more food crisis. If the aftermath of 2004 is anything to go by things will not be easy Blog de Port au Prince doesn’t hope for much after this last series of hurricanes……

I made contact with my mother’s neighbor, a women of fifty, later that day:

“Everybody is being moved to the mountain,” she said “We are now in the mountain. You cannot arrive in Gonaives without a helicopter. Our situation is very complicated, It is a desperate -no hope for us in Gonaives.”

She then explained what made her feel worse than anything:

“…they won’t help us. They will take the aid money for their own businesses as they did in 2004….our situation can be better that it is now. It is worst than Jeanne.”

Gonaives 2008

haitiflood_2008.JPG


Donations are desperately needed and can be made through Zanmi Lasante / Partners in Health
or through the Vanguard Foundation [Danny Glover and Harry Belafonte]

Links:
Interview with Paul Farmer on Democracy Now
Haiti Liberte

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