Haiti is not within my typical geographic area of interest, but it is (and should be) impossible to ignore the catastrophe there: as many as 100,000 people killed by a 7.0 earthquake which occurred on January 12. As many as 1/3 of Haiti’s 9 million people are in need of aid. For a country that already lives in dire poverty, an earthquake is doubly devastating.
There are plenty of resources out there, and advice on where to donate, but in case this is your first stop, I’ve compiled info on a few organizations doing effective work in Haiti:
- Yele: A relief organization rapidly erected by musician Wyclef Jean (who is Haitian). Yele accepts donations online, but you can also text “YELE” to 501-501 to donate $5. 100% of donations are said to directly aid relief efforts (in other words, the org has almost no overhead costs).
- Partners in Health: This Boston-based organization is accepting donations and looking for doctors–especially orthopedic surgeons–to volunteer.
- The American Red Cross: Send a $10 Donation by Texting ‘Haiti’ to 90999 or donate here (note: although Haiti is a current priority, donating online does not guarantee your money goes to relief in Haiti). The Red Cross will also soon have information on finding family and loved ones.
- Islamic Relief: This faith-based organization operates in several countries and is collecting donations on their web site.
- The Clinton Foundation is accepting donations via text message: text HAITI to 20222.
- Oxfam America‘s site opens with a donation box.
- To give to long-term rebuilding efforts, check out the Open Architecture Network, which is also looking for volunteer architects.
- Here are some ways to donate your frequent flier miles.
For more information from Haiti, Global Voices Online has put up a special coverage page. A number of journalists have made it to Haiti, including CNN’s Anderson Cooper. Many journalists, activists, NGOs, and average citizens are tweeting information from the ground as well; I’ve compiled some of them in this Twitter list.
Finding Family and Loved Ones in Haiti
- The ICRC’s Family Links web site aims to connect families.
- The Red Cross should have info on their site soon.
- Some people are using this New York Times Lede blog post to connect with family.
- You can get information on Haitian nationals who’ve been identified by calling 1-202-332-4090.
- For info on US citizens currently in Haiti, call 888-407-4747. Outside the U.S. & Canada, call 202-501-4444. The U.S. Department of State’s Twitter feed has more info.