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SyntaxHighlighter

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Help Haiti or Apalachia?

A friend of mine on Facebook opined

wonders hwo throwing money at Haiti will fix anything? How about we send that money and that Red Cross aid to the people in Appalachia? They're our own citizens starving and living in hovels. But no, we go to Haiti.....*looks around....steps off soapbox*


I responded:

although it seems as though a lot of people have died in haiti, the real risk is what happens next. if there is no significant help sent right away, then there will likely be more deaths due to shortages of food and water and from epidemics (cholera, typhoid, dysentry, hepatitis) due to lack of sanitation facilities. in 2004, in the aftermath of the indian ocean earthquake, "only" about 200,000 to 300,000 people died because the international response was relatively good. (the usa sent about $2.8bn - which works out to around $9.81 per person).

and it isn't a one way street. in the aftermath of katrina, countries all around the world offered to send aid to the usa in their hour of need.

finally, it isn't a case of either or, is it? most of us could probably afford to send $9.81 to haiti and $9.81 to help people in the slow motion crisis of apalachia.

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