Thursday, 21 January 2010

Haiti Appeal

It's now 9 days on from the earthquake that devastated Haiti. In amongst the tensions and recriminations that arise from the slow delivery of aid - caused in no small part by the destruction of the country's infrastructure and the effective collapse of the government - it is easy to question the point of donating. Will the money just end up sloshing around and never reach the people it is intended to help?

While this is an understandable (and not entirely cynical) mindset, two things should be bourne in mind:
  1. The problems with aid delivery are not insurmountable and will not last forever. While lessons may have to be learned, mounting such an operation at short notice in such extreme circumstances was always going to be problematic.
  2. The aid will be required for a long time to come, long after the story ceases to be news.
There are now, thankfully, signs that the aid is starting to get through. The main port is reported to have reopened, which should greatly help the aid effort.

This post has been written to urge you to join those who have collectively raised £38m - you can donate here. If you're reading this outside the UK, please donate to your own local appeal, if you can.

You may also like to take further action by signing Oxfam's petition to bring forward the programme to cancel Haiti's international debt. This would give the country a better chance of (re)building its infrastructure and establishing effective governance than would otherwise be the case.


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