890 million. Amount of international debt that Haiti owes creditors. Finance ministers from developing countries announced they will forgive $290 million. Source: Wall Street Journal.
644 million. Donations for Haiti to private organizations have exceed $644 million. Over $200 million has gone to the Red Cross, who had 15 people working on health projects in Haiti before the earthquake. About $40 million has gone to Partners in Health, which had 5,000 people working on health in Haiti before the quake. Source: New York Times.
1 million. People still homeless or needing shelter in Haiti. Source: MSNBC.
1 million. People who have been given food by the UN World Food Program in Port au Prince – another million in Port au Prince still need help. Source: UN World Food Program.
300,000. People injured in the earthquake, reported by Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive. Source: CNN.
212,000. People reported killed by earthquake by Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive. Source: CNN.
63,000. There are 63,000 pregnant women among the people displaced by the earthquake. 7,000 women will deliver their children each month. Source: UN Populations Fund.
17,000. Number of United States troops stationed on or off coast in Haiti, down from a high of 22,000. Source: AFP.
9,000. United Nations troops in Haiti. Source: Miami Herald.
7,000. Number of tents distributed by United Nations. Source: Miami Herald. President Preval of Haiti has asked for 200,000 tents. Source: Reuters.
4,000. Number of amputations performed in Haiti since the earthquake. Source: AFP.
900. Number of latrines that have been dug for the people displaced from their homes. Another 950,000 people still need sanitation. Source: New York Times.
75. An hourly wage of 75 cents per hour is paid by the United Nations Development Program to people in Haiti who have been hired to help in the clean up. The UNDP is paying 30,000 people to help clean up Haiti, 180 Haitian Gourdes ($4.47) for six hours of work. The program hopes to hire 100,000 people. Source: United Nations News Briefing.
1.25. The U.S. is pledged to spend as much as $379 million in Haitian relief. This is about $1.25 for each person in the United States. Source: Canadian Press.
1. For every one dollar of U.S. aid to Haiti, 42 cents is for disaster assistance, 33 cents is for the U.S. military, 9 cents is for food, 9 cents is to transport the food, 5 cents to pay Haitians to help with recovery effort, 1 cent is for the Haitian government and ½ a cent is for the government of the Dominican Republic. Source: Associated Press.
- Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog has a great post on agricultural diversity, intensification, and centers and peripheries in the Amazon basin. More confirmation regarding the importance of peripheries to innovation and centers. Go. Read.
- Global Guerrillas (John Robb) has today’s must-read: on “Brand America” and how talking about “Brand America” is a major sign that we live in a “hollow state.”
- HaitiAnalysis has unsurprising, but depressing news on how the Haiti Earthquake of 2010 victimized the poor first and worst. Haiti’s Classquake
- Also on Haiti, anthropologist Keith Hart (over at his site, Keith Hart’s Memory Bank) discusses how current events in post-quake Haiti seem to confirm Naomi Klein’s thesis of ‘Disaster Capitalism.’ “Is Haiti To Be Another Victim of Disaster Capitalism?“
- And somebody is selling Beethoven’s skull. I can’t believe this is still legal. Weird.
- And still more about aid for Haiti. Bhikkhu Bodhi has a few words, in an interview with Rev. Danny Fisher. [link] Also, if you are, like me, concerned with labor rights and thinking ahead to resisting the inevitable, constant, recurring attempts of foreign businesses to turn this human tragedy into yet another business opportunity, please read this appeal, and consider giving your aid monies to the rank-and-file union Batay Ouvriye.
BATAY OUVRIYE is an organization that regroups factory unions and committees, workers’ associations and militants, all struggling in Haiti for the construction of an independent, combative and democratic union movement, and to organize wage-workers, self-employed workers as well as the unemployed for the defense of their rights. Theorganization is an alternative to the traditional bureaucratic, corrupt union movement that upholds the dominant classes’ power amongst the exploited masses of Haiti. Not only does it take the initiative of developing spontaneous direct issue struggles, but also it incites the working class to fight and to organize themselves to defend their independent interests. Batay Ouvriye also links these particular struggles with those, more wide-ranging, of the people. In this sense, it takes part in all types of popular democratic struggles by encouraging the involvement of workers.
[text from Miami Autonomy & Solidarity]
I’ve avoided mentioning Pat Robertson’s energetic kick to his own tonsils here, for the same reasons I avoided mentioning Brit Hume’s awesome attempt to evangelize Tiger Woods – it’s obvious, and the world doesn’t need more commentary on such obvious bone-headed racism and arrogance. Still, found this via anthropophagus, and thought it represented my own thoughts on the matter rather nicely, to wit:
The racism implicit in Robertson and those like him both secular and New Age is obvious. If a nation of black slaves threw off the shackles of imperialism and slavery, they did so only by a pact with the devil. They are a nation of cursed, wretched people who are worthy of only a sort of detached, preaching pity.
And, if that weren’t enough, go read Tenured Radical‘s response to the way this is being covered in the MSM:
This poster is sold signed. Half of the proceeds goes to Partners in Health for earth quake relief. PIH is the grassroots organization established in Haiti by Dr. Paul Farmer. It is Haitian-led and provides direct assistance in Haitian communities without the costs of an administrative bureaucracy. [link]
Morales is a famous local printmaker and artist, whose work you may very well have seen previously. He’s recently opened up a new operation, after the previous one with which he was affiliated closed its doors.
KI-Media consolidated a series of youtube clips from a French-language documentary film about the Khmer Republic under Lon Nol, from 1970-1975. Very worth checking out, especially if you can understand French. [link]
Whenever the topic of the Khmer Rouge comes up, you’re bound to hear someone impugn Noam Chomsky as a Khmer Rouge apologist. Here’s a new review of the evidence, which seems pretty evenhanded to me. Check it out. [link]
Milton Osborne wrote an essay on “The Mekong River Under Threat” for Asia-Pacific Journal, reprinted here in Japan Focus. Milton Osborne, “The Mekong River Under Threat,” The Asia-Pacific Journal, 2-2-10, January 11, 2010. [link]
Important statements from Chea Mony, president of the Free Trade Union Workers of the Kingdom of Cambodia (FTUWKC), on the reason why there were fewer labor actions in this last year:
The president of the Cambodian Free Trade Union of Workers stated that there were more than 100 demonstrations and strikes held by workers in 2009, but this number is less than in previous years. However, the decline in numbers is not due to better working conditions, but due to restrictions imposed by the government on demonstrations and strikes, especially due to suppression of workers movements by the local authorities. [Daem Ampil, translated by the Mirror. link]
Mony has also written to the US government asking for them to drop all export tariffs from Cambodian goods to the US. [link]
The International Republican Institute (IRI), rather infamous among those who pay attention, even rising to the level of international scrutiny during the US 2008 presidential election (McCain is a booster), declares that Cambodia’s government just keeps getting better. Read it here. [link]
Thich Nhat Hanh has finally spoken out forcefully, laying the blame for the violent evictions of students, monks, and nuns in Vietnam, upon mobs for hire at the command of the Vietnamese government. This is important; wait for more. [link]
Another positive review of Anne Hansen’s excellent book How To Behave, by Craig Reynolds. [link] I reviewed Hansen’s book previously for the Journal of Asian Studies, 67.3, pp. 1123-1127.
Of course, the biggest news of the week is the unimaginable devastation ongoing in Haiti. It’s unbearable. Please consider giving money to worthwhile organizations. William Easterly, the most prominent critic of bad development aid and proponent of effective aid, has a blog called “Aid Watch.” Over there, Laura Freschi has published suggestions. Please take a moment. [link] Avaaz has other good suggestions [link]. You might also read Anthroman’s reflections on Pat Robertson’s horrific comments.
Not that this is really news, but the World Food Program announced the other day that of all the world’s hungry people, three-quarters are the rural poor. [link]
I’m digging on the Middle Mekong Archaeological Project’s weblog. Check out these two posts: Guano and sacrificial pigs, and A family in every pot. The latter includes this awesome, death-related, photograph.
Oh yes, Google might stop helping the PRC censor its citizens. [link]
Sharon Stone, who is understandably pissed off about China’s repression of Tibet, has decided that the Sichuan earthquake, which has taken the lives of horrific numbers of lives, was the result of Karma. I learned about if from this post, properly titled “Not everyone who says something stupid about a natural disaster is a Christian.”
A father, while “playing” with his 5 year old son decided it would be a hoot to play “inflate my kid.” I don’t know if any of you are familiar with this game but it is the one where the retarded Cambodian father sticks an air hose designed to fill car tires in his 5 year old’s anus. Unfortunately the game was cut short when Daddy learned that kids don’t inflate. Don’t worry, the kid (Sok Sambo is his name) suffered a distended stomach but received medical attention and will be just fine for about 15,000 miles before he may need to be re-inflated and possibly rotated.
My favorite part of the story is that the police have decided not to arrest the man because his only offense was “pure stupidity, against which there is currently no law.” The article was silent on whether the legislature was trying to change that…and how many pounds of pressure a properly inflated 5 year old Cambodian boy’s stomach should achieve.