Thursday, January 14, 2010

Help Haiti

Here are some links on donating money to help Haiti. Most important tip, I think, is to give to an organization that already has a presence on the island and whose staff members are skilled in providing needed relief. I fear that millions of dollars in well-intended giving will worsen chaotic conditions there as other aid orgs show up and, in effect, tragically compete with ones already on the ground.

Here's a list of charities that have been helping Haitians and are prepared to use new funds responsibly. I got it from Daily Beast.
The Red Cross: You can give $10 to the Red Cross’s International Response Fund by texting HAITI to 90999. 100 percent of your donation benefits the Red Cross, and you can print a receipt through mGive, a foundation that helps non-profits take advantage of mobile technology.

UNICEF, the United Nations Fund focusing on children, has worked on the ground in Haiti since 1949, so has the expertise to make a difference. You can donate here.

Doctors Without Borders is also present in-country. One senior staff member reports, “The situation is chaotic. I visited five medical centers, including a major hospital, and most of them were not functioning.” Donate to support public health efforts here.

MADRE, the international women’s rights NGO, partners with the Zanmi Lasante Clinic on the ground in Haiti. “The most urgent needs right now are bandages, broad-spectrum antibiotics and other medical supplies, as well as water tablets to prevent cholera outbreaks,” MADRE reports. Donate here.

Action Against Hunger has had a team in Haiti since 1985, and is ready to fly planeloads of emergency supplies from Paris to Port-au-Prince. Food is one necessity, but so is sanitation; in some Haitian towns, 70 percent of homes do not have plumbing. Donate here.

Mercy Corps has a history of deploying aid to regions affected by catastrophic earthquakes, such as Peru in 2007, China and Pakistan in 2008, and Indonesia last year. They are deploying a team to Haiti, and you can support their efforts here.

Partners in Health is the NGO founded in Haiti in 1987 by Dr. Paul Farmer, the celebrated physician and anthropologist who focuses on international social justice. The group’s emergency response focuses on delivering medical supplies and staff. Louise Ivers, PIH’s clinical director in the country, sent the message, “Port-au-Prince is devastated, lot of deaths. SOS. SOS.” Donate here.

• The International Rescue Committee, which in the past has resettled Haitian refugees in the United States, is deploying an Emergency Response Team to assist overwhelmed local aid groups. It will focus on critical medical, water, and sanitation assistance. Donate here.
This list doesn't include any religious organizations and thus omits one that I respect. Catholic Relief Services has been in the country for more than 50 years and has a substantial presence there. Here is a link to the CRS online donation form. The CRS blog reports that you can donate from your mobile phone by texting RELIEF to 30644.

See also:
Aid Workers Scramble Amid Haiti’s Chaos

How to Make Sure Your Donation Helps Haitian Earthquake Victims

How To Spot Dubious Haiti Charity Pleas

Help the Victims of the Haiti Earthquake

How to Help Haiti

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