Achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals

This blog's purpose is to connect in an every widening and deepening manner with others across the globe in support of the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals.

Let's be the first generation to end poverty by 2015 with the United Nations' Eight Goal Millennium Campaign.
1. End Hunger 2. Universal Education 3. Gender Equity 4. Child Health 5. Maternal Health 6. Combat HIV/AIDS and other diseases 7. Environmental Sustainability 8. Global Partnership.

Learn more about what this weblog is trying to accomplish at the new PBworks Wiki.

Speaking Out for the Millennium Development Goals


What If - Millennium Development Goals Ending Poverty 2015

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Progress in Haiti are Lessons for the Millennium Development Goals

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Today is the day that bloggers participating in the Bloggers Unite for Haiti event submit their posts. Their badge is at the right hand column. I already did a couple of posts but with this one I want to try it more directly with the Millennium Development Goals.

The events in Haiti are now moving from the emergency response stage to the rebuilding stage. Numerous problems arose during the massive effort to respond to the disaster that will be the source of lessons to take forward. The biggest issue to my mind was that again it was using a pound of cure instead of an ounce of prevention which would have been the case if the Millennium Development Goals had already been made a reality. It is not only a matter of how well developing countries would be able to address major disasters themselves but how well a global cooperative effort would be able to do so.

One of the problems was the cessation of planes from the United States carrying earthquake victims to Florida hospitals. SHAILA DEWAN of the New York Times wrote about the Cost Dispute Halts Airlift of Injured Haiti Quake Victims: The United States has suspended its evacuations of critically injured victims until a dispute over who will pay for their care in Florida and other states is settled. The number and complexity of the cases the medical care was costing the state of Florida millions. Florida Governor Crist’s requested the federal government to shoulder some of the expense

“Florida stands ready to assist our neighbors in Haiti, but we need a plan of action and reimbursement for the care we are providing,” Mr. Ivey spokesman for Mr. Crist said.

I am not going to fault Florida because I agree that this and similar issues should be addressed at the national and global level. It is an inefficiency of the system that it overburdens a component of the system with relatively limited resources. The structure necessary to bring about the Millennium Development Goals would not only help developing countries to establish their own economic and infrastructure systems to weather disasters, it would also help establish a more robust cooperative system between nations.

The ongoing funding of the relief efforts is also penny wise pound foolish. The idea now is to forgive Haiti's debt. ONE is organizing an international campaign ONE | Help Haiti: Drop the Debt to persuade world leaders to cancel Haiti’s $1 billion international debt and give the country a chance for significant and lasting recovery. This blog also supports a similar effort by whose widget is at the right hand column if anybody wants to add their support.

Tom Hart, Director of Government Relations at ONE, personally delivered more than 150,000 ONE member petition signatures from to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) urging debt cancellation for Haiti. Because of this effort and others, the IMF, Inter-American Development Bank, U.S. Treasury and other key players say that they want to find a way to cancel Haiti's debt. At least one has spoken up is support of this.

IMF: Haiti needs a Marshall Plan
The International Monetary Fund says Haiti will require an effort along the lines of the Marshall Plan for long-term reconstruction.

"My belief is that Haiti -- which has been incredibly hit by different things: the food and fuel prices crisis, then the hurricane, then the earthquake -- needs something that is big," the managing director of the Washington-based International Monetary Fund said.
"Not only a piecemeal approach, but something which is much bigger to deal with the reconstruction of the country -- some kind of a Marshall Plan that we need now to implement for Haiti," he said, referring to the US initiative launched in 1947 to rebuild war-ravaged western Europe. Google/Agence France-Presse

ONE wants to raise the number of signatures to 200,000 and deliver it to the world financial leaders when U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and other G7 finance ministers will be meeting in the Arctic Canadian town of Iqaluit. Right now, they are at 175,377 signature.

The question is how much more effective would those dollars have been if they had been invested before the disaster to build Haiti rather than rebuilding a shattered landscape. There isn't really all that much of a commitment coming from the G7 since Haiti was extremely poor before and now is devastated and its ability to repay the debt is basically nil. Fulfilling the promise of the Millennium Declaration would have far more lasting effect.

I am not going to try to claim that the Millennium Development Goals will solve the world's problems or eliminate the tragedy of disasters but they would help the world by making both the ability to withstand them and to address them more equitable and more efficient.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

From UNICEF: Haiti: Earthquake Situation Report, 15 January 2010 (OCHA)

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As a follow up of yesterday's post, I am forwarding a message to those who donated to UNICEF received from Caryl M. Stern, President & CEO of U.S. Fund for UNICEF. Ms Stern told us that:

... we've decided to take the unprecedented step of sharing UN internal situation reports so you have the latest information from the ground. These reports provide extraordinary, first-hand detail to show you some of the work being done to save the 2 million children at risk. Already the U.S. Fund for UNICEF has committed over $11 MILLION in relief to Haiti.

One Web 2.0 based factor I am going to make special note of is Tracing Family Members in Haiti through ICRC Website ICRC has activated a website [] for tracing family members within Haiti.

She also asked us:

P.S. Remind those you know that if they would like to help, the U.S. Fund has waived all administrative fees for anyone donating to Haiti relief efforts, so that 100% of every dollar donated will go directly to save the children of Haiti.


The following report from the Office of Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has been edited to remove internal contact information and to clarify abbreviations and subject headlines.

The mission of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors.

Haiti – Earthquake
Situation Report #4
15 January 2010

This report was issued by the Office of Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), New York. The next report will be issued on or around 16 January 2010.

-- Logistics and the lack of transport remain the key constraints to the delivery of aid. Needs are still being identified as access becomes possible and as assessments begin to take place.
-- Displaced populations are currently scattered across multiple locations where there is open space. Temporary shelters urgently need to be established.
-- Fifteen sites have been identified for distribution of relief items. World Food Program reached 13,000 people today with food, jerry cans and water purification tablets (provided by International Office for Migration (IOM)).
-- 26 search-and-rescue teams are on the ground and deployed to priority sites. No additional urban search-and-rescue teams should be deployed at this stage.
-- A Flash Appeal for US$562 million was launched in New York today to cover 3 million people for six months.


180 Tons Delivered
Flights carrying humanitarian aid are arriving in Port-au-Prince with medical supplies, medical teams, search-and-rescue teams, food and non-food items. A total of 180 tons of relief supplies have arrived in-country so far. Operations are heavily constrained due to the lack of fuel, transport, communications and handling capacity at the airport. Some flights are being re-routed through Santo Domingo airport, which is also becoming congested.

Focus: Search and Rescue
Response efforts are focused on search and rescue, medical assistance, the disposal of dead bodies and providing temporary shelter. There is also a need for food and water purification tablets. Fifteen distribution centres have been identified in Port-au-Prince for the distribution of relief aid, including high-energy biscuits and ready-to-eat meals.

Field Hospitals Coming Online
Twenty-six search-and-rescue teams are on the ground and deployed to priority sites. No further teams are required. It was also announced there are sufficient offers of field hospitals. Two field hospitals arrived in-country yesterday. Three more were expected to arrive today from Colombia, Jordan and Brazil. Two US field hospitals will arrive in the coming days one on Saturday that will be deployed next to the Coast Guard clinic at Killick and the other will arrive on 19 January with a 25 bed, two operating room unit with surgical teams.

Identification of bodies remains a problem, in conjunction with assigning responsibility for the recovery of bodies. The Government is identifying various grave sites. No reliable figures are available on the extent of fatalities.

Lack of Clean Water and Sanitation
World Health Organization considers water and sanitation a priority, given that only 50 percent of Haiti's population normally has access to clean water. There are 13 trucks of bottled water, courtesy of a Brazilian private company, arriving from the Dominican Republic today. Hospitals have been badly affected by water shortages, according to ICRC.

An unidentified number of hospitals are still functioning, but structural damage assessments need to be conducted to establish if the constructions are safe. ICRC workers in Port-au-Prince distributed medical assistance to five major hospitals and clinics, and to smaller facilities set up by local doctors in areas with a high concentration of earthquake survivors.

Makeshift camps for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are scattered throughout the affected areas. UNICEF is collaborating with World Food Programme to share cargo space on a flight that will leave on 16 January from Dubai,

All Schools In Port-au-Prince Have Collapsed
The Government reported that all schools in Port-au-Prince have collapsed, so a 15-day school closure has been announced. Re-establishing radio transmission capacity is a priority to reach approximately 80 percent of the Port-au-Prince population.

Tracing Family Members in Haiti through ICRC Website
ICRC has activated a website [] for tracing family members within Haiti. The aim is to accelerate the process of restoring contact between separated family members. It is managed by ICRC, in cooperation with the tracing services of the Haitian Red Cross Society and of National Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies throughout the world.

Haiti is currently at UN Security Phase 3. This will implicate ongoing operations in terms of limiting the ability to move around the city and work at night (which is also hindered by the lack of electricity). Patrols reported that the situation is calm in general, but there are reports of stone throwing at passing vehicles, looting and acts of vandalism. ICRC has inspected several prisons. The central prison was completely destroyed, meaning up to 4,000 prisoners have escaped.

International Office for Migration (IOM) staff at Haiti's border with the Dominican Republic report that although the situation is calm, traffic is increasing. International Office for Migration (IOM) reports a 10 percent increase in the number of Haitians trying to cross the border at the Jimaní border. A similar influx of people has been witnessed in the northern Haitian cities of St Marc, Gonaives and Cap Haitien, which were less affected by the earthquake.

A Flash Appeal was launched today in New York for $562 million to assist an estimated 3 million severely affected people over the next six months. It presents a rapidly developed initial response plan and funding requests, based on available information, estimates and inference. Twelve NGOs, 16 UN organizations and the International Organization for Migration are included in the appeal.

Acting Special Representative Edmond Mulet has arrived in-country and has assumed full control over MINUSTAH. Assistant Secretary General Tony Banbury will serve as the deputy SRSG. MINUSTAH and the humanitarian community will begin joint daily media briefings at the logistics base starting on 16 January.

The country team in Haiti has already mobilized five clusters: Logistics (Lead: World Food Program); Camp Coordination and Camp Management (Lead: International Office for Migration (IOM)); WASH (Lead: UNICEF); Health (Lead: World Health Organization); Food (Lead: World Food Program). In addition, it is planned to mobilize the following clusters: Agriculture (Lead: Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)) [it is expected that Food and Agriculture will merge in-country to form the 'Food Security Cluster']; Protection (Lead: OHCHR); Nutrition (Lead: UNICEF); Education (Lead: UNICEF); Emergency Telecoms: (Lead: World Food Program); Early Recovery (Lead: UNDP).

Global clusters are in the process of deploying dedicated coordination capacity to Haiti. All clusters have been requested to coordinate the movement of goods through the Logistics Cluster to avoid a backlog of goods at the airport. It is also critical to ensure harmonization of needs assessment, within and between clusters.

The US military is dispatching a Navy aircraft carrier and large-deck amphibious ship, as well as military transport aircraft and assessment teams to Haiti. The ship is expected to arrive today carrying, among other items, 12 helicopters. It will assume control of air traffic.

The Logistics Cluster recommends that Santo Domingo is used as the primary entry point for humanitarian relief destined for Haiti due to Port-au-Prince airport operating at diminished capacity. Some flights have been diverted to the Dominican Republic and Turks and Caicos Islands. There is no fuel available. Aircraft should plan at least one hour of holding fuel and enough extra fuel to get to a secondary airport after departing.

1) Health (World Health Organization), Logistics (World Food Program) and Telecomms (World Food Program) have already deployed large teams which are scheduled to arrive with equipment in Port-au-Prince in the next 24-48 hours, access permitted; WASH (UNICEF) and Emergency Shelter (International Office for Migration (IOM)/Red Cross Red Crescent (IFRC)) are deploying smaller teams and have stand-by teams ready; Protection (OHCHR) will send a cluster-coordinator, while Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC) is dispatching a three-person team to support protection activities; Camp Coordination and Camp Management (International Office for Migration (IOM)) has deployed a specialist to look into Camp Coordination and Camp Management issues given the likelihood of this sector to be established.

The mission of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors.

2) Three hangers of warehouse space have been identified at the Port-au-Prince airport for storage and inventory of relief items.

The port remains non operational. The seaport in the Dominican Republic is being assessed for its suitability for receiving relief supplies. Panama is also likely to be used as a logistics hub.

Main urban roads in Port-au-Prince (including the airport road) are being cleared by MINUSTAH and the Brazilian battalion. Major axes are open. The road from Jacmel to Port-au-Prince is passable for "all terrain" vehicles (i.e. 4WD). The road from Santo Domingo to Port-au-Prince is becoming congested with the movement of personnel and cargo.

The World Food Program, United Nations Humanitarian Air Service (UNHAS) is launching a project to provide air support to the humanitarian community (proposal for 2 helicopters, 2 passenger fixed-wing aircraft and 1 cargo aircraft).

At the request of the Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator, World Food Program has submitted a formal request to MSB (former SRSA) for base-camp modules to support UN humanitarian workers due to the destruction of the UN compound. MSB is arranging for the equipment and support staff to run a 200-person camp. It is scheduled to arrive in Port-au-Prince on 16 and 17 January.

The Logistics Cluster will co-locate a liaison officer within the MINUSTAH EJOC for the duration of the emergency to facilitate coordination.

World Food Program distributions today included high-energy biscuits, jerry cans and water purification tablets (provided by International Office for Migration (IOM)) to 13,000 people in the following areas: Place Boyer, Champs de mars, Delmas 33 and Hospital de la Paix. There remains an urgent need for ready-to-eat foods (Meals-Ready-to-Eat and High-Energy Biscuits). World Food Program aims to assist 1 million people in the next 15 days.

World Food Program national staff have done assessments in the areas where they live, providing reliable information on people in need and distribution locations.

World Health Organization has deployed specialists to establish supply chains, and water and sanitation engineers to help restore shattered water and sanitation networks, communicable disease specialists, experts in trauma care, and public-health officers World Health Organization can advise on the management of dead bodies. At least 13 countries in the Americas have confirmed the deployment of medical teams.

Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization is establishing a field office in Jimaní (Dominican Republic) to serve as a permanent bridge between this border city and to Port-au-Prince (approximately a 90-minute journey). The office will be a staging/transfer point for emergency humanitarian supplies and personnel needed in the Haiti response operation.

Warehouses in the Dominican Republic lack space for supplies, and new donations are coming in rapidly. Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)/World Health Organization has been collaborating with USAID and Management Sciences for Health (MSH) to exchange logistics information regarding medicines and medical supplies. The LSS/SUMA humanitarian supply management system will be installed in Jimaní to handle the management and distribution of resources.

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) participated in a joint UN mission to hospitals along the border on 13 and 14 January. Patients are crossing the border to get treatment, but services are insufficient. United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is concerned with the lack of supplies, especially for pregnant and delivering women. United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is working to strengthen the capacity of these overstretched facilities with health kits and support staff, including midwives, nurses and doctors.

It is estimated that one quarter of the impacted population are women of child-bearing age, with thousands of pregnant women among them. Haiti has the highest rate of maternal death in the region: 670 deaths per 100,000 live births. With limited or no access to health facilities, pregnant women are at an even greater risk for complications and death related to pregnancy and childbirth.

The mission of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors.

WASH coordination has been established in Port-au-Prince. Meetings are taking place every day at 3 p.m. local time at the DINEPA (Direction Nationale de l'Eau Potable et Assainissement) office in Port-au-Prince. One WASH Cluster response team member has arrived in Port-au-Prince. One WASH specialist from UNICEF is in the Dominican Republic. No further information about WASH activities is available at this time due to communications constraints.

International Organization for Migration (International Office for Migration (IOM)) reports that the urgent needs for shelter are tents, jerry cans, aquatabs, kitchen and hygiene kits, mosquito nets, plastic sheeting, water bladders and tools, which should allow for the quick establishment of temporary settlements for the displaced.

Phone communication remains difficult in most of the capital. However, text messages are getting through. Internet connections are possible in some areas, but constant access remains difficult.

Ericsson Response is planning to repair the mobile network system, with the support of DFS/DPKO and World Food Program. Ericsson Response volunteers will deploy shortly to ensure proper installation and service delivery for approximately 1,000 subscribers to be connected. OCHA will take the coordination role for service allocation for the humanitarian community.

At the global Protection Cluster meeting, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC)) was asked to support the OHCHR in its role as leader of the Protection Cluster in Haiti. The OHCHR is planning to send a protection team of three to four Human Rights Officers. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC) will contribute with three additional protection staff. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHRC)'s role will focus on protection, including border monitoring.

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) says that it is crucial to put mechanisms in place to prevent and address gender-based violence. In Haiti, 27 percent of women are reported to be victims of some type of physical violence. Sexual and gender-based violence are often exacerbated in these extreme situations, posing a serious concern for women and young girls affected by the earthquake.

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) office remains intact. Ten cars are available in Les Cayes, Fort Liberté, Gonaïves, Hinches and Jimani. Two experienced staff will arrive in Port-au-Prince on 18 January to begin Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)'s agriculture sector assessment activities and contribute to coordination activities. In the coming week, more emergency personnel will arrive in Haiti to support the current Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) team.

The Humanitarian Country Team, under the United Nations Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General /Humanitarian Coordinator, holds primary responsibility for the coordination and provision of humanitarian assistance by the UN and partners. In the context of the integrated mission, MINUSTAH's operational capacity may be drawn upon in order to support the UN's operational response to natural disasters and other major humanitarian emergencies. The level of casualties sustained by Government civil servants and the damage to public buildings has significantly reduced the capacity of national authorities to lead and coordinate the response.

Concerns are raised that a large incidence of unsolicited and uncoordinated influx of humanitarian personnel and supplies entering into the country could stretch limited, critical logistical resources and impact the delivery of assistance. NGO consortia have been asked to play a role in monitoring and assessing the capabilities of voluntary organizations wishing to help.

The United Nations Disaster Assessment & Coordination (UNDAC) team continues to coordinate the On-Site Operations and Coordination Center (OSOCC) that has been established near the MINUSTAH logbase. A Senior OCHA Civil-Military Coordination Officer has been dispatched to Washington to discuss coordination efforts with USAID and the U.S. military.

The mission of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is to mobilize and coordinate effective and principled humanitarian action in partnership with national and international actors.

The Haiti Flash Appeal for US$562 million was launched today in New York. The appeal was prepared in coordination with Haitian authorities. It represents 12 NGOs, 16 UN organizations and the International Organization for Migration, and is based on their need to assist an estimated 3 million severely affected people over an initial period of six months.

If this message was forwarded to you, please join us! Subscribe to U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Haiti: Tragedy and Heroism of the MDGs under a Microscope

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One of the positive aspects of this blog is that it helps to put our (my) personal problems into perspective. Work in the "Real World/Day Job" is getting pretty rough because of the current economy and California budget situation. Compared to what is happening in Haiti or for many in other countries including the United States it is a small matter. Still it has required me to spent more time on municipal financial and development issues than on this blog. Now its the weekend and we are all dealing with a massively large challenge - the earthquake in Haiti. All means everyone from governments, to non-government aid organizations, to individuals, even slacktivsts.

The story of the challenge and the response is overwhelming so I decided to take just the last couple of days and make a list of how others are seeing and reacting to this disaster. We chose UNICEF as our means of responding.

$890 million for Haiti

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has the power to help make that happen. Please click the link below to join me and send Secretary Geithner this urgent message:

As Haiti rebuilds from this disaster, please work to secure the immediate cancellation of Haiti’s $890 million debt and ensure that any emergency earthquake assistance is provided in the forms of grants, not debt-incurring loans.

Thank you,

Sheila Nix
U.S. Executive Director, ONE

Los Angeles Times Science & Environment Friday, January 15, 2010

By Shari Roan
The poor nation has long suffered from a lack of medical care and rampant disease. With the earthquake, aid agencies must build a healthcare system on the fly. >>

By Cara Mia Dimassa and Alexandra Zavis
The earthquake was a massive, shallow eruption beneath a heavily populated area that lacked stringent building standards, resulting in catastrophe. >>

We just received this message from the UN Foundation’s Dr. Daniel Carucci, who traveled to Haiti to deliver medical supplies and assess the situation on the ground in the aftermath of the 7.0 earthquake. I wanted to pass it along right away to give key supporters like you a firsthand look at how relief efforts there are unfolding. His message is a grim reminder of the devastation and urgent needs on the island.

Dan will continue sending updates from the field. We encourage you to follow them at our Haiti Earthquake Response page. Thank you for your support as we assist the UN’s work and help the people of Haiti.

-Kathy Calvin, CEO, UN Foundation

Click here to support the UN Foundation’s critical work by donating to the Central Emergency Response Fund

January 15, 2010 | News covering the UN and the world

Hard-hit UN calls for $550 million in Haiti aid

UN Special Envoy to Haiti and former U.S. President Bill Clinton said the earthquake might be the most devastating disaster to have befallen the UN, citing the deaths of 16 employees and disappearance of at least 56 more. UN aid agencies are launching an appeal for $550 million in emergency aid. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said 17 search-and-rescue teams have been deployed in Port-au-Prince, with six more on the way to assist in searching out pockets of survivors still trapped in the rubble. Reuters (1/15) , ABC News (1/15)

The earthquake in Haiti has been catastrophic. More than three million people have been affected, and estimates are that over 50,000 have died. The human suffering is unimaginable.

That's why I'd like to pause from our usual conversation and ask for your help.

A number of organizations are already engaged in critical relief efforts, and I urge you to support as many of them as you can. One of them, Oxfam America, has an emergency response team of more than 200 people already on the ground. The need for clean water and critical public health services is massive and immediate -- and our donations can help save lives.

Make a donation to Oxfam's earthquake relief effort in Haiti:

Or, for a list of other organizations to donate to and ways to make a difference, see

Let's make sure the people of Haiti do not face this disaster alone. Thank you for taking action in the face of this tragedy.

Al Gore
Alliance for Climate Protection

Words fail: up to two million children are at risk in Haiti right now.

Separated from their families. Trapped under rubble. Countless newly orphaned. Desperate.

Every moment matters: donate NOW and 100% of every dollar to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF will go directly to fund child-saving relief efforts in Haiti.

We can save these children. I say this because I've seen your generosity and I've seen UNICEF's response. Less than 48 hours ago, UNICEF delivered to Port-au-Prince:

  • 10,000 tarpaulins
  • 4,600 water containers
  • 5.5 million water purification tablets
  • 556,000 oral rehydration sachets

Caryl M. Stern
President and CEO
U.S. Fund for UNICEF

P.S. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF is absorbing all administrative fees associated with handling your donation, so that you can be confident 100% of every dollar you give will go directly to relief efforts.

Right now, the International Rescue Committee has deployed its Emergency Response team to help earthquake survivors. Our first priority is to rush medical, water, and sanitation support to local relief groups in Haiti, who are overwhelmed by the scale of this catastrophe.

Your support is urgently needed to help us rescue lives in Haiti. Please donate now. Immediate funding needs to support our response are $1.5 million.

The FP Morning Brief: Security deteriorates as desperation grows in Haiti

Top story: While the international rescue operation is beginning to swing into full gear, desperation is growing for Haiti and the security situation is beginning to deteriorate. Looters in Port-au-Prince broke into a U.N. warehouse stocked with 15,000 tons of provisions. Elsewhere, people formed roadblocks with the bodies of victims to demand faster aid. With Haiti's national police nowhere to be seen, international troops must be relied on to keep order.

From FastCompany Haiti Earthquake Disaster: Google Earth, Online-Map Makers, Texts "Absolutely Crucial"

Just before 5 p.m. on Wednesday, January 13, a magnitude-7 earthquake struck Port-au-Prince, Haiti, flattening hundreds of buildings and killing as many as 100,000 people. (Related slideshow: Haiti Earthquake: A Bird's Eye View of the...


EDITOR'S NOTE: The tragedy in Haiti has captured us all; the Web is full of stories and aid resources. Of course our community is no exception. We’ve offered plenty of material and several ways to take action. We’re also continually updating the How to Help Haiti. Let us know if we’ve left something out; we’ll continue to update you.

All the best, Cindy

Cynthia Samuels
Managing Editor

The Boston Globe's Daily Headlines

[Slashdot] Stories for 2010-01-15

| Disaster Recovery For Haiti's Cell Phone Networks |
| from the what-the-world-needs-now dept. |
| posted by CmdrTaco on Thursday January 14, @12:01 (Communications) |

The immediate needs for survivors of the Haiti earthquake include first-aid supplies, clean water, body bags and emergency food rations — and we need your help to rush lifesaving aid to Haiti now. Even a small gift can make a big difference. For example:

  • $10 can provide 1,000 people with clean water for a day
  • $35 can provide a high energy meal for a family of five

Your donation of $10, $35 or more can help CARE deliver emergency aid as soon as possible.

CARE has been working in Haiti since 1954, when we helped survivors recover from Hurricane Hazel. After the earthquake struck, CARE was among the first to respond.

Remember, clean water and emergency food rations are urgently needed. Please give now to help CARE deliver emergency aid to the people of Haiti as soon as possible.


Helene D. Gayle, MD, MPH
President and CEO, CARE

We just got our first communication from our staff in Port-Au-Prince, Haiti.
This crisis is like nothing we've seen before and we desperately need your help.

Please make an emergency donation TODAY – help Plan save as many children in Haiti as possible.

Thank you so much for anything you can do to help our efforts in Haiti.

Lisa Ledoux
Internet Marketing Manager
Plan USA

From: Tesfamariam, Rezene
Sent: Thursday, January 14, 2010 1:43 PM
Subject: The situation in Haiti

I just got the possibility of communicating with you through the internet...

The damage of the quake of Tuesday is beyond one's imagination. Although it is very difficult to determine the exact figure, I have seen bodies all along the main street of Port-Au-Prince. I have heard the voices of children trapped in the rubble of their schools.

A major part of the city Port-Au-Prince has been destroyed. Schools, churches, hospitals, and market places are destroyed. Our office in Jacmel, Croix-des-Bouquet and a part of the Country office in Port-Au-Prince are seriously damaged. This is also true for the houses of some of our staff and the residences of our internationals. All communication systems including internet connections were down until today. The quake has left thousands of families without homes and the city has turned into a collection of makeshift camps. In my professional life I have worked with refugees running for their lives and provided support to communities swept away by flood, but not like this. The situation requires quick and well-organized response.

Yesterday morning we drove through some parts of Port-Au-Prince and Croix-des-Bouquet to assess the immediate needs of those affected by the Quake.

We will immediately start providing water, food and hygienic materials to those in the various makeshift camps here in Port-Au-Prince and Jacmel.

We have already formed teams and are addressing the emergency in an organized manner.

We are thankful that other Plan offices are sending us support. Those who are coming will join the team of their specialty.

Thank you very much indeed for your concern and support.

From the New York Times: Patience Wears Thin as Haiti’s Desperation Grows
Aid workers struggled to deliver relief supplies on Friday to survivors increasingly desperate for food and clean water.

There are two ways that you can help with Haiti relief today:

1. Give a Haiti relief charity gift to a Facebook friend.
When you give a charity gift on Facebook, you are buying a specific item needed on the ground in Haiti. We have several new gifts in the Facebook Charity Gift Shop, including:

Visit the Facebook Charity Gift Shop to see all the Haiti relief Gifts.

2. Join and donate to a cause.
Many nonprofits have started fundraising projects, with funds specifically for Haiti relief, such as:

Thank you for donating at this important time to those who need it most.

The Causes Team

We’re approaching the critical 48 hour mark after the devastating quake struck Haiti. EVERY MINUTE COUNTS: please give now to ActionAid’s relief efforts so we can save as many lives as possible.

The latest news is gut-wrenching. An estimated 3 million people impacted. Tens of thousands likely dead. Even more still trapped under rubble, severely injured, desperately in need of water and care.

Haitian government infrastructure has been crippled, and public services are barely available. United Nations agencies, donor governments and relief organizations still face major obstacles in accessing and distributing supplies. Our ActionAid office in Port-au-Prince has been badly damaged, so our team has now gathered in a private home to coordinate their relief efforts and prioritize next steps.

I'm sending the latest transmission we received from Haiti.

There is no good way to report the news. Thousands have died. Tens of thousands more – especially children – are at risk and may not survive without our immediate help.

Please give NOW – 100% of every dollar you give to the U.S. Fund for UNICEF will be sent directly to UNICEF to support emergency relief efforts.

The initial response to yesterday's appeal has already saved countless lives, but the need continues to overwhelm our available resources. The children of Haiti are relying entirely on international assistance to survive. The Haitian government has little to no means to respond to the crisis.

We are committed to doing whatever it takes to save these children. Please join us.

Thank you,

Caryl M. Stern
President & CEO
U.S. Fund for UNICEF

The damage is catastrophic; more than 2 million people have been affected, but the human toll is still unknown.
Haiti's president has said the impact on the country is "unimaginable" and estimates that thousands have died.

Donations are urgently needed to rush aid to the area – please give now >>

The initial earthquake struck just before sundown and as many as 28 powerful aftershocks continued throughout the night – the darkness made initial recovery efforts nearly impossible.

Oxfam has four offices in Haiti and over 200 highly-experienced aid workers on the ground. They are already responding to the situation where our assistance is most needed, but we need your help immediately.

Thousands feared dead as major quake strikes Haiti
Dazed and injured Haitians sat on darkened streets pleading for help Wednesday and untold numbers were trapped in tons of rubble brought down by the strongest earthquake to hit this poor Caribbean nation in more than 200 years.
Haiti quake updates & aid effort launched New!
Quake buries 8 Chinese peacekeepers
Chinese rescue team depart for Haiti

U.S. retail chains among those aiding earthquake relief
The nonprofit arms of Publix Super Markets and Wal-Mart are among a slew of U.S. companies and foundations pledging aid to earthquake-torn Haiti this week. The Wal-Mart Foundation has pledged $500,000 in cash and is sending $100,000 worth of food, and Publix Super Markets Charities is donating $100,000. San Jose Mercury News (Calif.)/The Associated Press (1/13)

How the Haiti aid campaign overcame slacktivism
Groups raising money for disaster relief in Haiti have managed to overcome social media's reputation for "slacktivism" by using text messages to collect donations, writes Pete Cashmore. Social campaigns often struggle to convert buzz into concrete action, he writes, but the Haiti campaign's low barrier for entry has helped bring in more than $4 million in donations. "Hitting a button to blast out a message to your friends is easy, but when faced with a credit card payment form, many Web users shy away," Cashmore notes. "Text message donations coupled with the word-of-mouth buzz provided by Twitter and Facebook are proving a powerful combination." CNN (1/14)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Committment to Global Food Security Sadly Lacking

Sphere: Related Content This post is made up from a number of sources provided by Avaaz, which sometime ago sent a request to join in the call urging world leaders to make good on their promises to tackle the world food crisis by delivering a strong agriculture and food security package for developing countries.

Zunia provided a link to E-Learning: Food Security Information for Action. The link leads to information on the work that the FAO and European Union are doing together on Food Security Information for Decision Making. The goal is the Linking Information and Decision Making to Improve Food Security. The program offers self-paced e-learning, developed by international experts to support capacity building and on-the-job Training and Workshops at national and local food security information systems and networks. You can try a sample lesson "What is Food Security?"

This is one of the times that the effort did not reach its goal either in numbers or in effect. World leaders who met in Rome in November of 2009 for the World Food Summit, backed out on a pledge to fund lifesaving food production. The countries of France, Germany, UK, Italy and Japan all backed out on a $20 billion promise made earlier this year. Only $3 billion or Only 15% of G8 pledge was new money, according to Reuters.

The BBC reports Global Hunger worsening, warns UN's annual report on global food security which confirms that more than one billion people - a sixth of the world's population - are undernourished. This is a scandal with literally millions facing life-threatening hunger especially when the economic crisis has only made the situation wors and billions were found to help out the banks. Although the world produces enough food to feed everyone, according to this report for World Food Day: There is enough food grown in the world for everyone (Op-ed), Oxfam International: chronic hunger across the planet has reached the record-high figure of 1 billion this year., even more recently shifted the focus back to the United States and President Obama with the message: Feed the Hungry Instead of Wall Street

Most of the time, broken promises from politicians barely raise an eyebrow.

But what if a broken promise condemned one sixth of the world's population to chronic hunger?

The world's most powerful leaders, including President Obama, did just that in November when they refused to even show up for the Food Security Summit in Rome.

And just four months after promising $22 billion to fight hunger, the G8 leaders still haven't spelled out how they will fund it.

Don't let world leaders get away with ignoring the problem of global hunger.

Ask President Obama to take the lead and demand world leaders make good on their promise >

- The Team in partnership with ActionAid

They are working with the anti-poverty organisation ActionAid, which brings over 30 years of knowledge and experience in fighting poverty by applying the following principles:

  • Work together with poor people, local partners and organisations in combating poverty
  • Focus on fighting against the causes of poverty, not just the results.
Their efforts are prioritized into five areas of work to make the most difference:
  1. education,
  2. hiv and aids,
  3. food rights,
  4. emergencies,
  5. women and girls and
  6. governance.
Here is ActionAid's HungerFREE Scorecard which sees small scale farming systems being critical in tackling hunger and poverty:
This is an in-depth investigation into what 50 governments (poor and rich) are doing to tackle the billion hungry. Giving them each scores based on their achievements and policies.

While some of the poorest countries in the world have been able to reduce the number of hungry people, many of the richest countries lag shockingly behind.

More information about ActionAid´s HungerFREE global campaign:
  • # The ActionAid HungerFREE campaign aims to put the issue of hunger to the top of the political agenda. The right to food has been sidelined for too long!
  • # We are a global campaign that lobbies governments to deliver on their commitment to halve world hunger by 2015.
  • # We want to ensure that corporations are held accountable for abuses of the rights to food, water, land and seeds
  • # We believe that low-impact farming by small-holder farmers is the best way to tackle hunger. A UN study found sustainable agriculture increased crop yields in Africa by an astonishing 116%.
  • # We’re teaming up with hungry people and communities, individual farmers, farmers’ groups, supporters, celebrities, artists, influencers and sympathetic politicians – all with one thing in common – we are determined to end hunger.

There is growing evidence, like this article from Greenpeace, showing that intensive farming models are not only ineffectual in countering hunger, they have a highly damaging affect on our environment. However, as strange as it may sound to some, an argument could be made that it makes more sense to work with businesses than governments. UN meets with food businesses to discuss food security Reuters(11/12)

Private sector, governments, non-government organisations should work together to solve long-term problems in developing countries and eradicate hunger in the world, said Ertharin Cousin, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N. food agencies in Rome.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Global Health, Gates Foundation, and Giving a Dang

Sphere: Related Content

It is the beginning of a new year and a new decade, making it a good opportunity to look over the past year or so that this blog has been in existence. This continues to be a personal experiment in how to use Web 2.0 for positive affect both personally and globally. This is not where I expected to end up when I started.

My first post was on 24 July 2008 End Poverty 2015 - Millennium Development Goals. This effort grew from what I was doing with My Pathways to New Paradigms blog. Initially, I was only thinking of ways to organize websites solely for my personal use (I had no idea about or diigo). The power of collaborative endeavors made possible by the the Internet not only applied to Web 2.0 but also to the efforts of change-agent (a term borrowed from Seth Godin, an important source of my looking at new paradigms) organizations doing their part to change the world for the better. Back on December 30, 2007, I was posting on a Los Angeles Times article on the Gates Foundation's Best Intentions Unintended Consequences (it was also the post that provided the inspiration to create this blog, due to a comment form Aditi). A couple of months later another post announced that Now, LA Times Recognizes That Africa's Anti-malaria Campaign Is Showing Results.

Recently, I received an even more positive update from fellow ONE member Melinda French Gates, who had visited Tsion, a hard-working young woman in the Ethiopia government's Health Extension Program.

Trained to tend to pregnant mothers, who otherwise would rely on traditional attendants unable to stop internal bleeding or resuscitate newborns, Tsion helped take the terror and fear of death out of childbirth for hundreds of women.

Bill and Melinda Gates are self-declared "Impatient Optimists" and their message was to celebrate successes in global health and especially when it comes to U.S.-funded global health initiatives through their online presentation titled "Living Proof: Why we are Impatient Optimists."

Thanks to 30,000 trained health extension workers like Tsion, access to health care in rural areas is rapidly expanding. And the health of Ethiopian children and women is improving.

That's why, when it comes to global health, Bill and I are optimists—but we're impatient optimists. We need to build on this success now, by expanding it to even more women in Ethiopia and helping families in other countries benefit from what Ethiopia has learned.

Sharing success stories is one of the most important things we can do to motivate and inspire others in the fight against global poverty and disease.

That is what this blog is all about. While the intent was to create something that sought to be transformative in promoting the Millennium Development Goals, its greatest impact has undoubtedly been on myself.

Millennium Bloggers (more at the Wiki)

Global News Sources

The Other Blog - My Pathways to New Paradigms