haiti-on-our-minds
Feb 2010 18

The devastation caused by the earthquake has led global society to rally round in such an extraordinary manner. If it was not before, Haiti (the poorest country in the Western hemisphere) is on everybody’s mind at the moment. The vivid extensive media coverage and availability of modern technology has ensured that global society has been able to rapidly coordinate a program of much needed relief through donations of cash and kind. This is a true testament of human empathy – Governments (like Senegal’s have even offered free land for resettlement), along with celebrities and individuals alike whom have also risen to the occasion after having been compelled to respond creatively and give generously. A new report by the Inter-American Development Bank estimates that the total cost of reconstruction from ‘the most destructive disaster of modern times‘ could be as high as $14 billion.

A mixed bag of accounts of; survival after 27 days under quake rubble; vulnerable orphans; outrage at corruption, donor paternalism and false charities as well as tales of the resilience of Haitian survivors and even some conspiracy theories have succeeded in holding our collective attention. It is important that we are reminded of our commonality with the survivors as humans and continue to discuss the matters instigated by the quake.  It is important that Haiti stays on our minds and we continue to act for the long term well being of its people.

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