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Just a few hours ago pantherq brought this community the frightening news of a Richter 7.0 earthquake just outside Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Two hours ago a little-noticed but very important diary by Septima opened the discussion of how we can help: by donating to the estimable Dr. Paul Farmer's Partners in Health, which provides medical services Haiti both on an ongoing basis and for emergency relief. (Link now to earthquake relief page.)
We do not yet know the scale of the damage or the number of casualties in today's earthquake, but we do know that the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere will need a lot of help. Please use this diary as a resource, and add your suggestions for how we can help the tragedy's victims. I have no special knowledge or expertise regarding Haiti, but I know a lot of Kossacks do. I hope they can help us decide how best to direct our donations and our efforts.
UPDATE: At 2300 Eastern, Rachel Maddow quotes an aid official as describing the situation in Haiti as "total devastation and chaos." An interviewee in Haiti reports rumors of casualties numbering in the hundreds of thousands. Please give what you can.
UPDATE: Americans seeking info on family members in Haiti, call 888-407-4747. (Thanks, Rachel.)
AM UPDATE: Haitian ambassador says Port-au-Prince is mostly destroyed. Prayers and best wishes are needed as well as donations.
Direct Relief International has already sent a 40-foot container of ongoing aid to arrive today (if it can be unloaded.) As Relief Web states:
Direct Relief's partners in Haiti include Partners in Health, St. Damian's Children's Hospital, the Visitation Hospital, Christian Aid Ministries, and Feed the Children. St. Damian's and Partners in Health are particularly active in emergency response and have received pre-positioned materials for hurricane season, which ended November 30, and are designed to support ongoing patient care if needed. Since 2000, Direct Relief has provided more than $60 million in medical material aid to Haiti.
Oxfam International provides assistance to victims of emergencies and ongoing disasters throughout the world. They are mobilizing to provide emergency assistance to victims in Haiti, and your donations will also help people in places like Darfur as well.
I haven't been able to find a link to direct your donation specifically to Haiti on their website. UPDATE: tbird contributes a direct link to support Oxfam's Haiti relief effort.
Doctors Without Borders (aka Medecins Sans Frontieres or MSF) is an international group of medical professionals who work in chronically underserved countries, emergency sites and refugee camps around the world. They have not yet announced plans to go to Haiti, from what I can find, but they certainly will. With the collapse of the hospital in Port-au-Prince, their help will be especially needed.
The International Committee of the Red Cross is of course a standby of emergency response throughout the world. Though the US Red Cross took a hit for administrative costs in the wake of Katrina, few NGO's have the reach or the resources of the ICRC.
Please add your ideas and your knowledge of Haiti, and tell us how we can help. And please donate to help the helpless victims of the Haitian earthquake if you can.
To those having trouble commenting because of a rogue CNN embed, my apologies. I'm trying to get the tech wizards to fix it. Patience, please, and donate if you can. Thanks to the tech wizard who fixed the problem, and apologies to those who were inconvenienced.
***Thanks to SallyCat, consider also ShelterBox USA, which provides prepackaged shelter.
***NEW TexMex has a diary up coordinating Kossack contributions for ShelterBoxes to Haiti. They've raised the $1000 for one box and are working on their second. Go help!
***betson08 contributes a statement from Partners in Health regarding their Haitian relief plans.
**laderrick recommends Portlight Strategies, gearing up to help Haitians with disabilities in the wake of the disaster.
***Daily Activist reports that cell carriers will
contribute $5 send on a $5 donation on your account if you text YELE to 501501. Wyclef Jean has apparently verified this on CNN (with video). Easy and can raise a lot of money if we all do it.
***The State Department has set up another cellphone donation link: Text "HAITI" to 90999 and you will be charged for a $10 donation to relief efforts. (Courtesy Rachel Maddow)
***2laneIA tells us the excellent Mercy Corps is preparing an aid mission. Mercy Corps also allows you to donate through PayPal, Google Checkout and Amazon Payments, if this helps. They are actively moving to help already.
***The lovely noweasels has offered to match up to $200 in donations. Please reply to her linked comment to claim your match.
MORNING UPDATES: Thanks to all those who have donated, and to all those who have made suggestions. This community is one I am proud to be a part of. Won't be able to update later today, but perhaps someone else can keep up the effort in a follow-up diary?
***Richard Cranium emails two lists of NGO's you can donate to: one on
The Rachel Maddow Show website, the other at alertnet.
***Kossack parryander is OK, working in Haiti and recommends this group which runs orphanages in Cite Soleil and Titanyen.
***cybernun recommends two faith groups already on the ground in Haiti: Catholic Relief Services and World Vision, where you can also sponsor a Haitian child under their care.
***LNK recommends the Quakers' American Friends Service Committee, with its stellar track record of aid.
***drmah recommends the United Methodist Committee on Relief which uses 100% of donations for relief.