Haiti; A Round-up, 9 days Later

The tragedy that occurred in Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, on 12th January puts our own lives into great perspective. The death-toll is as much as 200,000, with more than 250,000 injured in the city with a population of 2 million and 7.4 times the density of London. It is the strongest earthquake in more than 200 years and has potentially destroyed a nation.

earthquake haiti
(Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

The images are horrific and almost unavoidable. But needed.

I’ve compiled a list [thanks to Pete Brook for some links] of sources of photography from Haiti, twitter feeds of those on the ground, ways to donate, how some people/organisations have donated, and organisations you can donate through.

All of this shocking imagery, of death, deprivation has brought to the surface so many underlying tones of the poverty of Haiti, and what the long-term future holds for the country and it’s people.
As the logistic hub of the nation, without money and trade flowing; added to the already corrupt government, help must be given to the thousands suffering. Followed by the task of rebuilding the city, capital to one of the poorest nations.

I’m not sure I could do it, but through the work of the photojournalists on the ground, the importance of their job; to bring the gut-wrenching images to people across the world. I’ve watched televised news reports of the disaster once and they did make me feel terrible – to see, and more-so, hear what was going on was hard to do, though the photographs and written reports, for me, have hit harder.

In a post titled ‘Like Moths to a Flame‘, M. Scott Brauer discusses the other side to this, how photojournalists flock to scenes like ‘a pack of hungry wolves descending on the latest victim to emerge from the rubble.’ A “goat fuck” as it’s been named.

Also on dvafoto, Matt Lutton further considers the role and presence of reporters and photographers when covering “big stories” and “crisis journalism”. Marc Cooper has an interesting tited ‘CNN In Haiti: Disaster Porn?‘.

This latest disaster, which has such an impact on so many people, it makes me grateful each day to be where I am, wIth my computer, coffee, shelter and warmth. I don’t know what to do right now, other than donate some money (but to whom?), though I will be thinking about what I can do, and of photography.

Photography

The Big Picture blog has had three posts of large, emotive images that will stay with me for a long time. [First pictures, 48hrs later, six days later.]

New York Times photo essays:
Katrina Many Times Over.
Prison Break.
Where is the Help?
No End of Trouble. Ever. (Photographs of Haiti from ’86-’90 by Maggie Steber).
Gallery

Wall Street Journal: images 17th Jan.
Wall Street Journal: images 18th Jan.
Wall Street Journal: images 19th Jan.

Denver Post: Earthquake in Haiti
Denver Post: One Week Later

LA Times photo essay.

Washington Post gallery.

Photo essay by Jan Grarup.

Photographs by Alvara Ybarra Zavala

Getty Images photographer, Jonathan Torgovnik, helps a bloodied young boy in the midst of looting.

Photo essay by Francesco Giusti and Samuele Pellecchia.

An interactive map of what is going on in the area.

Twitter lists:

New York Times list of people in Haiti
New York Times – Reports from aid organisations in Haiti
New York Times Reports from media in Haiti and abroad about the aftermath
New York Times – Reports from individuals, news orgs & relief agencies in Haiti.
LA Times – Sources (unconfirmed) who say they are in Port-au-Prince and elsewhere in Haiti
Dr Sanjay Gupta

Events in N. Ireland

In Belfast a benefit concert is being organised with 50 bands over 3 venues on 31st Jan. Tickets are on sale for £10. Details, lineup, stage times and buy tickets here. Tickets going fast.
Join the Facebook group. Follow on Twitter.
belfast4haiti benefit concert

A 5k charity run in the Ormeau Park will take place on the morning of the 31st also. Donations of Water/Energy Drinks & Chocolate Bars and/or a packet of crisps per runner. Contact race@belfast4haiti.com.

An event will be taking place in the Stiff Kitten, Belfast – also on 31st Jan (clashing events?! Someone really should have thought that through.)

A fundraising event will be taking place in The Playhouse, Derry, on 29th January. Details here.

Donation Efforts

praying isn't working - haiti - jesus

As of Monday, the BBC reports that Britons have donated £23m to the Haiti earthquake appeal.

$22m has been donated to the American Red Cross by SMS alone.

Although the US carriers have stated they are “committed to getting donations to Haiti quickly,” payments from mGive, the foundation behind the SMS donations, payments usually take 90 days from the time of the donation to the time it is received by the intended charity. Not such great innovation on such an urgent appeal.

Google, as well as donating $1m is offering free calls to Haiti while Skype has emailed $2 vouchers of Skype credit to its users in Haiti. Though This may not be very useful if there is no internet in the Haiti.

Google have also updated their satellite images of Port-au-Prince.

A Google Earth layer has been published with Hi-res images of the area as of 17th Jan.

John McWilliams (@mcawilliams) has raised €1164.00.

Blogger, English Mum, has so far raised over £3,500 along with other bloggers.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have donated $1,500,000.

Blacknight hosting have set a target of €10,000 [as well as offering discount domains on reaching the target]. donate here.

Facebook has a Global Relief page detailing “efforts on Facebook to help respond to disasters around the globe.”

Photographer Lane Hartwell has created an online magazine consisting images of Haiti before the disaster Onè Respe Issue 1: A Photographic Benefit for the Survivors of the Haiti Earthquake. The magazine costs $12 and is available through MagCloud.

Flickr charity print auctions are taking place. View the images and place bids within the flickr group. All auctions end Sun 14th Feb midnight GMT.

Some Pixie users are also putting on print auctions. Ronan Palliser has a post explaining the details. Details also on the Pixie blog.

Donate to Red Cross via iTunes – unfortunately you can’t pay using outstanding credit.

Where to donate in Ireland?

Oxfam Ireland
Irish Red Cross
GOAL
Unicef Ireland
Médicins san Frontieres Ireland
Trócaire
Concern Ireland

Donating in the UK

Via SMS: Text “Give” to 70077 to donate £5 to the DEC for the Haiti earthquake appeal.
(You pay £5 plus your standard network SMS charge)
Concern UK
DEC (Disasters Emergency Committee) – All donations currently collected will go to the Haiti Earthquake Appeal.
Actionaid
Unicef UK
Salvation Army
Merlin
Save the Children
Action Against Hunger
World Vission
Oxfam
British Red Cross

Under normal circumstances credit card companies would make a profit from charitable donations, by charging 1-3% processing fee on transactions. As instigated by the Huffington Post, in the US American Express (charities listed on this website), Visa, Amex, Mastercard, Discover have said they will waive fees charged on some Haiti-related charitable contributions for the next 6 weeks.

According to The UK Card Association “the card industry as a whole shows its support for charitable causes by waiving interchange fees for cross-charity and disaster or emergency appeals. For many years the UK payments industry has waived fees for appeals which are designated as major international emergencies by the Disasters Emergency Committee(DEC).”

Though where is the money actually going? Looking into many of these organisations, and what people have to say about them, it seems that so many of their systems are flawed. Between fiddling books and paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to celebrities taking more than necessary for administration costs as well as the money taking far too long to get there.

Then there’s the point of how it is used in redeveloping the destroyed cities and the super-capitalist economies it creates, as stated by Steve Lendman.

And as Reuters blogger, Felix Salmon, says in his in a post titled ‘Don’t Give Money to Haiti’, don’t earmark donations just for Haiti. There will be money left over, it should go to the next disaster.