Archive for Haiti Earthquake

Outrageous Salaries For Charity Bosses

Posted in America, Britain, Canada, England, Haiti, Modern World, News, Theft, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 12/10/2015 by floroy1942

When the charity boxes rattle in front of you and you are asked for a donation it might be wise to think twice these days. It has been revealed that charity organization bosses are earning six-figure salaries from the money that you give to help others, and to me that is not right.

Helping Others

Helping Others

People give donations thinking that the money goes to help those who are suffering, but much of it is siphoned off to pay these bosses exorbitant salaries among other things. It is sad that charities are now a business just like any other and a way to make money, instead of being a scheme to help those afflicted with terrible illnesses, people in Africa who are starving, and those struck by natural disasters.

Harpal Kumar - Laughing All The Way To The Bank!

Harpal Kumar – Laughing All The Way To The Bank!

It has been revealed that nine executives at Cancer Research UK receive an annual salary higher than that of the Prime Minister, which includes chief executive Harpal Kumar who pockets up to £240,000 a year. He lives in a luxury £1.6m home in north-west London with no mortgage.

Another such person is Peter Wanless, CEO of the NSPCC, who earns £162,000 per year – £40,000 more than his predecessor Andrew Flanagan.

Olive Cooke, 92

Olive Cooke, 92

These are two of many charities that bombarded Olive Cooke, 92, herself a charity worker, with requests for money before she killed herself last month in sheer desperation. Personally I think that people who make a living from those who donate money for good causes is despicable.

While I do not deny that these organizations do give help to the needy, they are not as effective as in years gone by, and much of the money does not get where it’s needed. In very many cases people give generously thinking the money goes to help such people, but these days they are often having ‘the wool pulled over their eyes’ as the saying goes. While those doing the collecting and working in the local offices are unpaid, there are people who make a good living from charity work.

Haiti 2010 - Utter Devastation.

Haiti 2010 – Utter Devastation.

There is much wrong with charity organizations today as was evidenced by the scandals that barely made the headlines a year after the Haiti earthquake five years ago which killed more than 230,000 people and injured over 300,000. It also caused 1.5 million people to be displaced. In all $13.34 billion were donated by governments worldwide and by charity organizations. Governments and charity organizations were quick to step in after the capital Port Au Prince was flattened, but over time much of the aid money never materialized. Two years after the catastrophic event very little of the debris had been cleared and the people were still living in cardboard shelters. So much for many of the charitable donations!

It has been shown that many charities collected millions world-wide for this disaster but eventually much of the money so generously donated was siphoned off and put in bank accounts to accrue interest instead of going to the people who desperately needed it. The entire idea of charity work is a long way from what it was forty years ago, which is sad.

Roy.

When Disaster Strikes – Haiti Versus Japan

Posted in Britain, Environment, Europe, Haiti, Oceans, Pacific, UK, United Nations, USA with tags , , , , , , , , on 17/04/2011 by floroy1942

Whenever disaster strikes, a media frenzy ensues followed by countries scurrying to offer the most money for reconstruction and humanitarian aid.

It has almost gotten to the stage where it has become a game among the richest nations to see who can ‘pledge’ the most. The offers are well intended, but the country that is suffering rarely gets to see all the money that is initially promised. It is worthy to note that some South American states and Arab nations made no effort whatsoever to donate or assist in the disaster while even tiny countries like Andorra managed to raise funds.

This Guardian report shows the amount of donations by country:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2010/jan/14/haiti-quake-aid-pledges-country-donations

A Haitian Victim

This scenario was nowhere more evident than the earthquake that hit Haiti, where pledges were in excess of $14 billion for immediate aid on the ground, and cash donations to help in the recovery. Much of the money has still to materialise, and probably never will.

Many nations considered the cancelling of debts owed to them by the Haitian government to be a sufficient donation to rebuild the country, which sadly was of no use to the Haitian people at that time when thousands were dead, and with their capitol razed to the ground.

Haiti Earthquake:

Emergency Aid Team – Haiti

The response of individuals, charity organizations, and rescue teams was immediate and their contribution gratefully received, but alas, the flow of money from countries making huge pledges for clearing the rubble and rebuilding left much to be desired.

Now, some 20 months after the disaster, Haitians are not much better off than they were a year ago. Less than 5% of the rubble has been cleared, and tens of thousands still live in makeshift emergency camps.

Haiti – One Year On:

And now we have another world catastrophe on our hands in the form of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Once again a country needs the assistance and monetary help of others to overcome a disaster, although to a much lessor degree than Haiti.

Japan Tsunami:

Japan Earthquake Aftermath

Naturally, Haiti and Japan are poles apart when it comes to wealth, and I might add, importance. Haiti is an impoverished island in the Caribbean, while Japan is a major player on the world stage with an economy Haitians can only dream about. As always, a huge effort was made on the part of individuals, organizations, and in some cases governments, from across the world after the initial impact. Much was done to rescue people from the rubble left by the huge  wave that hit the coast.

Japan Relief Effort:

The United States military among others were mobilised to bring initial aid to the survivors in a coordinated effort with the Japanese. Most of the aid money pledged to the Japan disaster relief effort appears at the moment to be coming from private sources with celeb’s and sports stars etc. making donations.

It is true that as Japan is among the world’s most successful economies, there is no requirement for massive donations of cash to aid the recovery. For the most part, I think the nation has received what it needed most, and that was experts on the ground to help with the immediate aftermath.

Aid Teams In Japan

Like Haiti, Japan now has many thousands of its citizens living in emergency accommodation and like Haiti, a huge area of devastation must be cleared before new houses, shops and other businesses can be built. The one big question that comes to mind is , how will Japan cope in comparison to Haiti?

It’s my bet that all signs of this latest disaster will have long disappeared in Japan while the citizens of Haiti are still trying to clear the rubble of their country’s capitol. Personally, I doubt if they will be over their troubles in five years time, such is the shortness of memory of world governments as they move on to the next catastrophe.

It is clear that Japan’s infrastructure is far better able to cope with such an event than that of Haiti, but also, on the world scene Japan is of much more importance than poor impoverished Haiti, and this will be reflected in how quickly the two countries get back to normal.

All nations who have economic ties with Japan will certainly want to see the country back on it’s feet quickly so that business can get back to normal. As for Haiti, well that’s something else isn’t it?

Roy.

Related post:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2010/07/18/haiti-what-happened-to-all-the-money/

Haiti – What Happened to All the Money?

Posted in Britain, Environment, Haiti, Insanity, Modern World, Somaila, UN, United Nations with tags , , , , , , , , on 18/07/2010 by floroy1942

In times of crisis countries and governments are quick to offer aid and funds to people inflicted with disaster, as happened in Haiti on January 12th of this year. But now, six months on, has the lot of the Haitian people improved much? The sad answer is; No!

Devastation to Port Au Prince

Devastation to Port Au Prince

Country after country that has suffered a natural disaster, and the indescribable hardship to its population, face the same barren fact that the rich countries seldom live up to their promises. People made homeless, such as the Haitian population of Port Au Prince, continue living in makeshift shanties made of cardboard and wood scraps. So why are the Haitian people still living in shanty towns?

1 Billion Dollars

The EU promised $474m; Brazil $210m; The UK $32.7m; France $10.4m; the USA $100m, and Canada $131.5m. This is only the tip of the iceberg, for many smaller nations also pledged money for the relief of the suffering in Haiti.

In total, some $5.3 billion from 60 nations was pledged to help the Haitian people get their infrastructure back in some sort of working order, of that only 10% has actually been delivered, and most of that as cancelled debt. This means that very little has actually arrived to repair the devastation to the country’s infrastructure, in which little has changed. So why have the pledges not been fulfilled?

It would seem that after the disaster dropped from the world headlines, many governments took a second look at the huge amounts of money they had donated in haste, and the whole question of paying the pledges dropped into the quagmire of politics and bureaucracy, and will of course in time, be totally forgotten. 

Shanty Town

In the last 50 years the world has reeled to 33 natural disasters, everything from famine, drought, earthquakes, hurricanes and epidemics and the total number of casualties registers in the billions. When disaster strikes it is natural for countries to seek outside help, for no one country has the money or resources to battle such an event alone. Even the United States was offered, and accepted, outside help for Hurricane Katrina.

Haiti Tent City

I am still of the opinion that an international organisation should be set up for the immediate, and long-term recovery of nations struck by natural disasters (I refer you to my blog Haiti Earthquake – Why Was the World Not Better Prepared? of 25 January 2010).

A Caribbean Hurricane

We are of course to blame, for our reliance on fossil fuels and our desperate need to own a car will be our undoing.

Meanwhile, the people of Haiti, Bangladesh, Africa and many others, continue to survive in squalor because nations cannot live up to their promises.

It is time for a change of strategy for YOU may be next!

Roy.


Why is the World Not Better Prepared For Disaster?

Posted in Environment, Modern World, Security Council, Summit, UN, United Nations with tags , , , , , on 25/01/2010 by floroy1942

Haiti has shown yet again that the world is totally unprepared for natural disasters, and tens of thousands die as a result. One has to ask, of the 150,000 plus people that died, how many could have been saved if the aid had arrived within a day instead of a week?

Throughout the history of man, the world has witnessed a succession of catastrophes from Tsunami’s, volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, floods, drought, pandemics and famines that have cost the lives of tens of millions of people across the world. Advances in methods of transportation in the last fifty years now allow aid to be sent to these areas, but it is still extremely slow to reach the victims due to the logistical methods currently employed. Instead of being prepared for the inevitable, we are forced to react after the event.

The various organisations and governments slowly gear up to send supplies and specialists to the scene, but it all takes time before we see ‘feet on the ground’ as it were. Governments promise millions of dollars to the relief effort, but this again takes time to organize. In the meantime, just as in Haiti, the lost souls cry out for aid that will arrive, eventually, but far too late for some.

Disasters, some cataclysmic in nature, have been part of Earth’s history since the planet first formed. It is the way of things. The first such event recorded by science was the disappearance of the dinosaurs, and since then man himself has been struck many times.

The last one hundred years alone has seen ten major earthquakes, three volcanic eruptions, seven hurricanes, cyclones and floods, and nine pandemics and famines, all of which can be classified as major disasters. The cost in human lives of these tragedies is conservatively estimated at 1.7m for earthquakes, 73.000 for volcanic eruptions, 1.5m for hurricanes, cyclones and floods and 74.6m for pandemics (not including AIDS) and famines. The total estimated death toll from these events is almost 78m people, but the true figure will never be known.

Haiti is just another chapter in the long tale of woe and heartbreak suffered by the people of the world when nature strikes back at us. For all the good intentions of people and governments, the citizens of Haiti died waiting for the help promised. So why was the world not better prepared?

 

It is easy to be wise after the event, and to criticise from the comfort of your fireside chair, but when all is said and done the people did their best within the current system, and worked with the best intentions. I will not criticise the efforts of those who worked to ease the suffering of the Haitian people, but would rather look at what could be done to improve the process of aid to disaster areas.

The UN is often looked to for leadership by many less well-off countries in a crisis such as this, and rightly so, while the richer nations vie to be the first to provide aid and succour to the afflicted.

After a short time the huge aid machine starts into motion as governments and aid agencies begin gathering food, medical supplies and equipment for transportation to the affected area. Charities start the publicity campaigns to raise money for the victims, and governments come forward one by one with promises of cash. It all takes time. Time the desperate people of the affected area do not have. Haiti has amply demonstrated that people were dying for the want of simple things like water. The human body can survive for up to three weeks without food but only a day or two without water, especially in a hot climate like Haiti.

The regularity and severity of natural disasters is increasing decade by decade, and whether this is due to man’s interference in nature is not something I wish to debate here. The important thing is, it’s happening, and we need to be more prepared. So what to do?

Looking logically at what is facing us every few years, and scientific forecasts seem to indicate the time between events will get smaller with time, We need centralised aid and equipment to be ready for shipment anywhere in the world after a single phone call. Yes, I can hear the critics, Impossible!!! But is it?

Why should the UN Council not consult, and decide on strategic locations around the globe for stockpiles of disaster aid equipment, food, water and medical supplies. Many will say, but food and medical supplies have a limited life!!!! True, but what about military rations that stay good for years! Most medical supplies can be kept for a number of years without harm. Usually it is only certain drugs that have a short limited life.

 

So let us surmise that we have set up these UN Depots around the world in say, Buenos Aries to cover South America, Mexico City to cover Central America, Washington for North America, Berlin for Western Europe, Rhiyad for the Near East……….well, you know what I mean! It would become a network of logistical centres covering the globe, stationed for the most part at military airfields to allow rapid deployment using transport aircraft.

Agreements could be entered into with countries having heavy lift capable aircraft, military or civilian, that can be commandeered by the UN in time of crisis. These agreements would also include the use of military vehicles closest to the disaster area that can be used to distribute the aid once it reaches airfields within a reasonable distance from the area affected. The same would apply for helicopters that are so essential to the distribution of aid in many areas. Specialists in disaster rescue would receive equipment flown in from the nearest logistic centre.

OK! So let us put forward a simulated scenario for Haiti.

At 01.00hrs on January 30th a call is received by the UN Disaster Watch office that a 7.8 earthquake has hit Port-au- Prince in Haiti. The nearest Logistic Centre is The Mexican Air Force Base in Mexico City. A call goes out to the Commandant to activate the relief effort at 01,30hrs. He calls in his Base personnel who begin preparations for dispatch, bearing in mind that food, water and basic medical supplies are already palletised.

In the meantime, the UN office calls the Mexican, Cuban, Venezuelan, Columbian and American Military Command structures for transport aircraft, i.e. the closest countries with military transport aircraft. The manufacturing companies of ‘sensitive drugs’ on the continent are requested to supply previously agreed shipments of essential drugs, which may equal one days production for example. These are trucked to the nearest military airfield for onward shipment to Mexico City, or alternatively, the disaster area. The drugs and quantities required would have previously been decided upon by UN medical experts based on previous incidents and location.

In preparation for the arrival of the aid at the nearest airfield, the UN commanders, under its agreement, order trucks from both the Haitian and Dominican Republic Military which are directed to the airfields. Rescue Specialists and Medical Staff from surrounding countries, military or participating civilians, are directed to report to military airfields where they will be flown to Haiti. Their equipment will come from the Logistic Depot.

The required number of helicopters are requested from Cuba, The Dominican Republic, Jamaica and the Bahamas, including any suitable civilian craft of load carrying capacity.

It is estimated that the initial aid carrying aircraft from Mexico City could be on the ground within twelve hours. Also within that time period, sufficient trucks and helicopters should have arrived at the airfield to begin inland distribution. As surrounding nations gear up to the crisis, more transport means and supplies will be forthcoming. The rescue and medical teams from the closest countries could be on the ground within that same period.

I am well aware some will think they have found a flaw in this plan, i.e. that of money. So why does the UN not have a Central Disaster Fund that would be used to finance these operations. The Fund could have a target figure of say ten billion dollars that is administered by the UN Disaster Relief Office. The fund would be topped up when it is used. Richer countries line up to give large sums of money after a disaster, but why not pay a lesser amount annually into the central fund? If the will is there, an agreement could be reached whereby all countries donate to the fund each year based on their GDP. This would mean the affluent nations giving more than the poorer ones, but so what, they can afford it.

As soon as a crisis develops, money from the fund is used to compensate donating nations for their expenditure where required, and more important, help rebuild the damage done by whatever catastrophe has struck the unfortunates. There would be no need to rely on the generosity of gifts by the general public or Aid Agencies, nor governments to donate huge sums at a time when they may have concerns at home that need attention, like the current recession.

To many this will seem like a crackpot idea, and I realise that such an undertaking would require an enormous amount of work, planning, and above all co-operation between countries, but is it outside our capabilities? No I think not! If we are truly intent on relieving the suffering in the world when a catastrophe strikes, we can do it. Such natural disasters transcend petty disputes between nations and could affect us all at some time in the future. No country can hold up it’s hand and say it will never happen to us.

The human race is undoubtedly changing the world, and scientists say not for the better. They predict that we will experience more and more natural disasters in the years to come, and who can say with a certainty they are wrong? For this reason we should do all we can to be prepared. This is one way we can do that.

It is time the UN did something positive for all of mankind.

Roy.

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