i support haiti

haiti- photo courtesy of the daily mail

I’ve taken a break today on providing some lighthearted story from my past.  I think the events that have taken place in Haiti are too severe to just ignore.  The earthquake on Tuesday was devastating to the people of Haiti and opened millions’ of peoples eyes to a country that is constantly called “the poorest country in the western hemisphere” by the media.  This is very true of a country that is ravaged by malnutrition, poverty, and a sordid past.  I think one thing that is really important for us to understand, however, is what the cause of Haiti’s current economic state has affected it’s ability to not only survive as a nation, but also survive after this huge tragedy that has killed thousands.

Haiti has not always become a poor country.  We are constantly inundated with images by huge corporate charities that flash images of poor and malnourished children to get donations for their cause.  However, Haiti was not always considered the poorest country in the western hemisphere until recently.  Haiti was once a self-sufficient country with its own agricultural system.  Haitian cuisine was filled with foods from both its Spanish and French colonial past and its own cultural development.  Food was created with local products including beef, pork, and goat.  Food had a Spanish twist with rice and beans as staple and many layers of flavor.  In the 1950s, Haiti provided much of the produce for all of the Caribbean.  Now, because of globalization, much of the products are shipped in from the U.S.  Cheap and un-sustainable products are brought in and have killed the agricultural and farming system.  Fruits and vegetables are shipped in.  Milk no longer exists, because there are no cows.  It’s cheaper to ship in beef from the United States, so how would the farms be able to survive?  Because there is no fresh milk, cheaper and less nutrient dried milk is shipped in by the U.S.  The cycle of malnutrition starts at a young age, and usually follows through a person’s life.  Since the affects of globalization and NAFTA, 25% of children in Haiti suffer from chronic malnutrition while 9% are acutely malnourished.  UNICEF says that when the number is 10%, emergency triggers are necessary in order to deem it a crisis and require some immediate attention.  Haiti never gets it.  Turns out money is more important than providing nutritious and sustainable food for a community.

Haiti has been through a lot, and this earthquake has forced the world to see the realities of natural disasters, but even more for a country that has been robbed of its resources, services, and support.  In a country that already faces a lack of services and supplies because of Capitalism and US control on trade, there is even more need for us to come together.  We need to take responsibility for causing many of the problems in Haiti, and help support however we can now.  Many organizations are doing a lot to support the work happening in Haiti, below I list a few that I recommend supporting.  Please, take a few minutes of your day, click a link below, and purchase some supplies or donate some much needed money.

Thank you.

Yele Haiti

Stiller Strong


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