The Global Community gives humanitarian help to the people of Haiti.
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by Germain Dufour
Spiritual Leader of the Global Community
Federation of Global Governments
The Global Community gives its support to the people of Haiti. By birth, we are all members of the Global Community. We all belong and depend to this much larger group, that of the Global Community. The Global Community is this great, wide, wonderful world made of all these diverse global communities. Today, our hearts go out to everyone in Haiti and all their loved ones around the world. The earthquake devastation in Haiti is heartbreaking. The Global Community and its organization, the Federation Emergency, Rescue and Relief Centre, offers hope for a stronger community to the people of Haiti.
Historically, the people of Haiti have suffered poverty, political infighting and insurrection. It is the poorest in the Western Hemisphere, with four out of five people living in poverty and more than half in abject poverty. Deforestation and over-farming have left much of the country eroded and barren, undermining subsistence farming efforts, driving up food prices and leaving the country even more vulnerable to natural disasters. Its long history of political instability and corruption has added to the social struggle. Since 2008, the country's situation has worsened dramatically, as it faced food riots, government instability and a series of hurricanes that killed hundreds and destroyed the economy.
A massive 7.0 magnitude earthquake in the Caribbean struck Haiti on Jan. 12, about 10 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince, the country's capital. Haiti sits on a large fault that has caused catastrophic quakes in the past, but this quake was the worst in the region in more than 200 years. More than 30 significant aftershocks of a 4.5 magnitude or higher rattled Haiti through the night of the 12th and into the early morning.
About three million people, a third of the country's population, have been directly affected by the quake.
Port-au-Prince, layed in ruins, and thousands of people were found dead in the rubble of government buildings, foreign aid offices and shantytowns. Schools, hospitals and a prison collapsed.
The poor squatted in the streets, some hurt and bloody, many more without food and water, close to piles of covered corpses and rubble.
But while world leaders pledged hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of troops, delivering on these promises was a logistical nightmare. On Jan. 14, aid was arriving only in a trickle to those thought to need assistance.
Power was still out and telecommunications rarely functioned. Most medical facilities were damaged or destroyed. Supplies of food and fresh water were dwindling. Ships could not bring easily their cargos of supplies into Haiti's damaged port; the airport was functioning with severe limits; roads were blocked not only by debris but also by people with no safe shelter to retreat to.
In the early days, emergency aid has begun arriving in Haiti. The Red Cross federation estimated that between 45,000 and 50,000 people might have died in Tuesday's deadly quake. Later this estimate was found to be around 200,000. Emergency aid from around the world began arriving in Haiti on Thursday as the frantic search for survivors continued in the rubble-filled streets of devastated Port-au-Prince.
We are asking all our members of the Global Community to continue in helping those in need of help. Please do contact those you know need our help. The Global Community will do all it can to help those in need of help. Let us know your concerns or problems. We will do all we can to help you.
Friends and family are desperated to learn the fate of loved ones. In many cases, our website can bring good news. The Global Community website is a good resources centre and a source of help for all. Check our website for more details: http://globalcommunitywebnet.com/Federation/FERRC.html and the Global Community February Newsletter at http://globalcommunitywebnet.com/GIMProceedings/GNewsFebruary2010.htm
Let us know if any of you, a relative, or a friend was an earthquake victim. The Global Community will do what it can to help you.
Aid agencies from around the world geared up to help. Agencies already in Haiti opened their storehouses of food and water, and the World Food Program was flying in nearly 100 tons of ready-to-eat meals and high-energy biscuits from El Salvador. The United Nations said it was freeing up $10 million in emergency relief funds, the European Union pledged $4.4 million, and groups like Doctors Without Borders were setting up clinics in tents and open-air triage centers to treat the injured.
Supplies began filtering in from the Dominican Republic, as charter flights were restarted between Santo Domingo and Port-au-Prince. But efforts to administer emergency services and distribute food and water were halting, and in some places seemingly nonexistent. Fuel shortages emerged as an immediate concern as motorists sought to find gas stations with functioning fuel pumps.
The Global Community is encouraging donations to the international fund of the Red Cross to support relief efforts in Haiti.
Medical organizations based in Haiti before the quake are struggling to cope with its aftermath. Doctors Without Borders reports it has treated thousands of people on the ground and has appealed for support. Partners in Health, a major non-governmental health care provider in Haiti, operates clinics in Port-au-Prince and is also soliciting donations.
Food stocks needed should include the following canned dehydrated food:
Applesauce, Apple Slices, Banana Slices, Flavored Apple Flakes, Strawberry Flavored Apple Flakes, Green Beans, Carrot Dices, Sweet Corn, Garden Peas, Chopped Onions, Tomato Powder Potato Dices, Vegetable Stew, Hash Browns, Potato Granules, Instant Milk, Cheese Powder, Shortening Powder, White Cream Sauce, Margarine Powder, Egg Mix, Whole Egg, Beef Bits, Chicken Bits, Bacon Bits, Taco Bits, Sausage Bits, Cornmeal, Spaghetti, Elbow Macaroni, Refried Beans, Small Red Beans, Small White Beans, White Rice, Pinto Beans, Way Rolled, Grain Cracked, Quick Oats, Pearl Barley, Peach Drink, Cocoa Mix, Popcorn, Turtle Beans, Bean Soup Mix, Beef Bouillon, Chicken Bouillon, Iodized Salt, Baking Soda, Baking Powder, Hard Red Wheat, Small Red Beans, Hard White Wheat, Pinto Beans, Small White Beans, Sugar, Yeast, Cooking Oil, and Honey.
Related disaster relief supplies needed should include:
Medical supplies, hygiene products, assorted sundries, N-95 masks, tools, food preparation, safety gear, and comfort items.
Haitians are a very courageous people. Shortly after the earthquake, with much of the infrastructure and government services destroyed, Haitians have relied on each other for the relief efforts, working together to pull their neighbors, friends and loved ones from the rubble. There was no widespread violence. A few days later, US corporations, private mercenaries, Washington and the International Monetary Fund have been seen using the crisis in Haiti to make a profit, promote unpopular neoliberal policies, and extend military and economic control over the Haitian people. What Haitians need are: doctors not soldiers, grants not loans, a stronger public sector rather than a wholesale privatization, and critical solidarity with grassroots organizations and people to support the self-determination of the country.
Long term help starts now. The rebuilding of Haiti infrastructures and homes is our challenge, and will require help of the Global Community. Everyone helps, rich or poor. Everyone must be given employment. This time Haiti will be rebuilt with green jobs, green energy, green farming, green technologies. New hospitals, schools, training facilities and a university will focus on offering the best of global society.