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.
- A film about Melville J Kerskovits (1865-1963), Herskovits at the Heart of Blackness, aired on PBS stations last week. Should be available online soon, I hope, if it’s not already.
- BoingBoing has been developing an interest in the work of Wade Davis on Haitian Vodou, which has taken on new resonance in the wake of the earthquake that has devastated the Western Half of the island and so profoundly affected the entire diaspora. Davis’ work has the potential to play a large role in ongoing discussions about trance and possession.
- Boa Sr, the last speaker of the Bo language, and the last member of the Bo group of the Andaman Islands of India, has passed. Her passing was noted by many news organizations, from New Mandala, Gáldu (Resource Center for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples), , and the Asian Sentinel, which reprinted this picture from the article published by Survival International.
- Somewhat happier, the Asia Society exhibit on the Arts of Ancient Vietnam: From River Plain to Open Sea, is open! Whoo hoo!
[catalog available from Amazon]
- A strange place to find usage of anthropological reflection on the practice of gift-giving, I’m continually surprised by the reflections of John Robb, security analyst consultant for the DOD; this post poses a question previously asked in a sustained way by Georges Bataille, in his The Accursed Share, vol. I.
- 8,000 year old human remains discovered in Malaysia.
- 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.
Man I love Jay Smooth. He also quotes from Wordsworth’s stunning poem to the great Haitian revolutionary Toussaint L’Ouverture (referenced in the video above). I’m going to quote the whole poem:
TO TOUSSAINT L’OUVERTURE
TOUSSAINT, the most unhappy of men! 1
Whether the whistling Rustic tend his plough
Within thy hearing, or thy head be now
Pillowed in some deep dungeon’s earless den; –
O miserable Chieftain! where and when
Wilt thou find patience? Yet die not; do thou
Wear rather in thy bonds a cheerful brow:
Though fallen thyself, never to rise again,
Live, and take comfort. Thou hast left behind
Powers that will work for thee; air, earth, and skies;
There’s not a breathing of the common wind
That will forget thee; thou hast great allies;
Thy friends are exultations, agonies,
And love, and man’s unconquerable mind.