Sunday, January 17, 2010

Compassion for Haiti

Veganism is all about compassion. I don't know why this particular disaster really got to me, but I am pretty worked up about the Haiti earthquake. I know you are probably overloaded on reports from Haiti, but there is a reason for that: the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere just suffered an enormous natural disaster that shattered their unbelievably inadequate infrastructure.

If you are able, please make a donation to the relief efforts.

Help for Haiti: Learn What You Can Do

Or visit the donation sites of the American Red Cross or Habitat for Humanity. Or Wyclef's organization Yele Haiti. I know I'm a little slow to to post this, and I'm sure my compassionate readers have already made some donations.

In a week or two, this disaster will fade from the headlines, but millions of Haitians will still be living a nightmare.

Some statistics via the Huffington Post:

Current death estimates: The Red Cross says 45,000 to 50,000 people have died. The Pan American Health Organization puts the number between 50,000 and 100,000.

Bodies collected for disposal so far: 9,000. An additional 7,000 corpses were reportedly placed in a mass grave.

People needing help: 3 million.

Percent of buildings damaged or destroyed: Up to 50 percent.

Hospitals or health facilities in Haiti damaged, forced to close: eight.

Patients treated by Doctors Without Borders initially: more than 1,500.

Search-and-rescue teams on ground or en route Friday: 38.

Homeless people in Port-au-Prince: at least 300,000.

Water needed daily: 6 to 12 million gallons (enough to fill 18 Olympic sized swimming pools a day).

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