Haiti needs help from all nations

Haitian President Rene Preval released a statement Wednesday confirming that approximately 170,000 people had been killed in the country’s January 12 earthquake that struck near Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince.

Officials within the Haitian government estimated that nearly 250,000 people sustained injuries and a total of 1 million people were left homeless as a result of the catastrophe.

This tragedy claimed the lives of people from all walks of life.

And yet, most of the stories that run in the news feature stories on what the U.S. is doing to help Haiti.

President Barack Obama initially pledged $100 million in earthquake relief, but that number has since been raised to $379 million.

More than 16,000 personnel from all branches of the U.S. armed forces have been sent to Haiti to aid in the recovery, as were a number of U.S. Coast Guard and Navy vessels.

But other prominent nations have been doing their part to help Haiti as well.

Brazil has pledged $210 million to aid in Haiti’s recovery efforts, as well as a contingent of rescue workers.

After announcing that it would match the donations of its citizens, Canada has thus far raised $150 million in funds.

The Netherlands’ government pledged only $4 million, but a group of Dutch radio and television hosts held a one-day pledge drive and raised an additional $110 million (that’s right, the group of private individuals came up with 27 times as much money as its government).

But after the United Kingdom’s commitment of $32 million, the list of who has given what begins to taper off.

So what about China and Russia?

To date, China has donated $8 million and sent approximately 100 workers, while Russia has provided four planes and some equipment for use.

While the saying does go “It’s the thought that counts,” China and Russia may have been better served to simply send each person affected in this tragedy a “get well soon” card.

Talk about a Band-Aid for a bullet wound.

It should be amazing that two-fifths of the United Nation’s Security Council members don’t seem to care about a tragedy of this magnitude, but the U.N. has almost no credibility, so it’s really par for the course.

There is no excuse for two of the most supposedly developed nations in the world to sit back while everyone else does the work.

Help doesn’t necessarily have to come in the form of funds.

France, while not committing a significant monetary contribution, has sent a great deal of rescue workers to Haiti, along with a host of planes, helicopters and naval ships.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, President Barack Obama and other heads of state need to call on these two superpowers to provide more assistance and support in this critical time of need.

We all need to do our part to help.

Alan Dennis is a communication senior and may be reached at [email protected]

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