Send Aid to Haiti
The January 12, 2010, 7.0-magnitude earthquake in Haiti unleashed a global outpouring of help. However, the need continues to outweigh the resources. According to the Inter-American Development Bank, the earthquake cost the already impoverished nation $8-14 billion, with an estimated death toll of 200,000 – 250,000. Due to severe overpopulation in the city of Port-au-Prince, about 2 million individuals were living in the zone of moderate to heavy damage at the time of the earthquake. For Haitians living with diabetes and other chronic health conditions, the situation was even worse, with hospitals in ruin and medical care virtually non-existent.
Two years after the earthquake, many Haitians still lack basic needs. As of early 2012, 634,000 people live in displacement camps. A cholera outbreak that began in October 2010 has, as of February 2012, left 7,000 dead and over 500,000 sickened. 80 percent of the population lives in poverty, with over 50 percent living in extreme poverty (less than $1.25 per day). A fraudulent election in November 2010 left many disillusioned with the government.
Although the international community made significant financial pledges following the earthquake, foreign aid has slowed. Less than half of the money promised has been delivered. Reconstruction of infrastructure has also slowed, with many buildings, roads, and sanitation facilities still unrepaired. Food shortages are prevalent and malnutrition rates are high: once a predominately agricultural society, Haiti now imports half of its food. Many lack access to clean water. The cities continue to be plagued by unemployment, with about two-thirds of the labor force lacking formal employment. The healthcare system has not recovered, as many hospitals and medical centers are still in shambles. Access to healthcare remains limited: individuals living with chronic conditions and/or earthquake-related injuries and pregnant mothers and children often do not receive the medical care that they need.
dLife got involved. You can too. Many amazing organizations are working to improve the situation in Haiti. To contribute, visit one of these sites.
AmeriCares is a nonprofit disaster relief and humanitarian aid organization which provides immediate response to emergency medical needs – and supports long-term humanitarian assistance programs – for all people around the world, irrespective of race, creed or political persuasion.
Direct Relief International provides medical assistance to improve the quality of life for people affected by poverty, disaster, and civil unrest at home and throughout the world.
- Doctors Without Borders
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) is an international medical humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists in France in 1971. In the two years since the earthquake, MSF has supported a Ministry of Health hospital and built 4 other emergency hospitals in the affected area. Following the October 2010 cholera outbreak, MSF began the largest intervention in the organization's history. MSF spent about $45 million treating one-third of the 500,000 patients affected. Its cholera treatment and intervention efforts are ongoing.
- dLife Foundation
The dLife Foundation supports individuals who are in need of diabetes supplies, education, and motivational programs through organizations, foundations and camps. The dLife Foundation also funds diabetes organizations who share our goals of helping those in need.
- Insulin for Life
Insulin For Life (IFL) is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit company registered in the state of Victoria, Australia that was established in 1999. It evolved from the 20-year program at the International Diabetes Institute, Australia. The organization collects and donates insulin, syringes, test strips and other supplies to people in urgent need, including victims of natural disasters such as the Haiti earthquake.
- International Diabetes Federation (IDF)
The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) is an umbrella organization of over 200 national diabetes associations in over 160 countries. IDF is engaged in action to tackle diabetes from the local to the global level—from programs at community level to worldwide awareness and advocacy initiatives. IDF has established a Diabetes Trust Fund for Haiti to assist people with diabetes in the country affected by the devastating earthquake.
- Partners in Health
PIH was founded in 1987, two years after the Clinique Bon Sauveur was set up in Cange, Haiti, to deliver health care to the residents of the mountainous Central Plateau. PIH co-founders had been working in the area for years. The Clinic was just the first of an arc of successful projects designed to address the health care needs of the residents of the poorest area in Haiti. In the 20 years since then, PIH has expanded its operations to eight other sites in Haiti and nine additional countries. PIH began a cholera vaccination campaign in March 2012 in an attempt to control the epidemic.
- Red Cross
Since its founding in 1881 by visionary leader Clara Barton, the American Red Cross has been the nation's premier emergency response organization. As part of a worldwide movement that offers neutral humanitarian care to the victims of war, the American Red Cross distinguishes itself by also aiding victims of devastating natural disasters. Over the years, the organization has expanded its services, always with the aim of preventing and relieving suffering. You can also help the Red Cross with an instant donation by texting "Haiti" to 90999. 100% of your $10 donation will go to earthquake relief efforts in Haiti.
- Sustainable Organic Integrated Living (SOIL)
Founded in 2006, SOIL is a nonprofit dedicated to providing sanitation services to the poorest communities in Haiti's overpopulated cities. SOIL seeks to promote sustainable growth by converting waste into resources. SOIL is currently providing services to over 14,000 people living in displacement camps in Port-au-Prince, as well as 10,000 people throughout northern Haiti.
UNICEF was created with this purpose in mind – to work with others to overcome the obstacles that poverty, violence, disease and discrimination place in a child's path. The organization has mobilized to provide basic medical and health supplies, family kits/shelter and water hygiene and sanitation supplies to victims of the Haiti quake. UNICEF provides community-based nutrition programs and care to pregnant mothers and children in order to combat malnutrition and nutritional deficiencies among Haiti's youth. UNICEF also offers HIV and AIDS care throughout the region.
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A few years ago, I wrote about a friend whose struggles with Disability left him without insulin for weeks at a time. Today, I ask those of you who follow the tradition to light a blue candle for "Tiny", who passed from this world yesterday morning. From what I know, this young man (he was no older than 37, and may not have even reached the age of 30) had early onset type 2...