With the latest death toll estimated to be as high as 50,000 in Haiti, 48 hours after a powerful earthquake ripped through its capital, Port-au-Prince, crushing its infrastructure, leaving bodies submerged in the rubble, and residents without critical electricity, water, and phone service, mayhem, bordering on anarchy, has engulfed this Caribbean state the likes of which it hasn't witnessed in at least 200 years.
The BBC quoted the director of Port-au-Prince general hospital as saying 1,500 bodies were stacked up inside and outside the mortuary, while wheel barrels of the dead were being dropped off. The New York Times reports 7,000 others have been buried in a mass grave.
Meanwhile, relief efforts worldwide are being put into operation at an accelerated pace.
President Obama has pledged $100 million in emergency aid (more possibly to come later) with 5,500 U.S. troops dispatched to the distressed region.
Most humanitarian international agencies have been raising record amounts of money at lightning speed that will be directed toward relief efforts in Haiti.
In addition the $10 million the American Red Cross has already released, the humanitarian organization received $35 million in donations since the earthquake struck, more than half through online contributions.
According to Eric Porterfield, spokesperson for the Red Cross , "The response to the emergency in Haiti has been impressive and moving, and the donations to the American Red Cross have exceeded the totals amounts received in the first 48 hours of both Katrina and the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami.''
Bettina Luescher, chief spokesperson for the World Food Programme, said that they have received $19 million of timely confirmed contributions, which includes $18 million from the United States, $724,000 from Italy, $289,000 from Greece, $200,000 from Luxembourg. "Food is needed urgently, Luescher said, and we still have substantive needs to fund. ''
The United States Fund for UNICEF has released $3.4 million toward relief efforts but says more funding is needed to provide basic medical and health supplies, family kits/shelter and water hygiene and sanitation supplies.
What follows is a breakdown of other relief agencies, U.S. corporations, and individual countries that have pledged relief to the battered country of the West Indies.
- Walmart operations around the world, along with the Walmart Foundation announced they were donating500,000 to the Red Cross to their relief efforts in Haiti. Food donations additionally valued at100,000 will be donated by the discount department store chain.
- Bank of America announced a1 million commitment to aid the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. The commitment includes a500,000 grant to the American Red Cross for the Haitian Relief and Development Fund.
- Catholic Relief Services is shipping food and other aid to help families affected by a powerful earthquake. CRS has committed an initial5 million (US) to help survivors of the devastating quake.
- Direct Relief International has raised420,000, including sending 40-foot and 20-foot containers containing essential medicine, supplies, and nutritionals.
- Google, the Mountain View, California. Internet search engine company announced on its website that it was donating $1 million to organizations on the ground, those still trapped, while providing clean water, food, medical care, and shelter to UN Organizations and non-governmental organizations.
- Go Daddy, the Scottsdale Ariz. web hosting company sent a $500,000 check to Hope for Haiti, a nonprofit organization based in Naples, Fla, dedicated to improving education, nutrition, and healthcare in Haiti.
- The UPS Foundation has donated $1 million that will be divided between the American Red Cross, CARE, UNICEF and other organizations; $500,000 in cash and $500,000 of in-kind services for the shipment of needed supplies.
- The General Motors Foundation announced on its website that it has approved $100,000 donation that will be sent to the American Red Cross to help with Haiti's relief efforts.
- YumiBrands Inc, a restaurant company, based in Louisville Ky, announced it was directing $500,000 from its World Hunger Relief program to provide food for earthquake victims in Haiti.
Individual Country Contributions
- Private (individuals & organizations) $18,251,893 ($10,000,000 in uncommitted pledges)
- Australia: $8,992, 806
- Brazil: $5,000,000
- Norway: $4,939,341
- Netherlands: $2,886,003
- Germany: $2,164,502
- Switzerland: $1,941,748
- Denmark: $1,939,394
- Finland: $1,803,752
- Italy: $1,548,002
- Guyana: $1,000,000
- Russian Federation: $700,000
- Belgium: $651,876
- Japan: $327,154 ($5,000,000 in uncommitted pledges)
- Czech Republic: $288,600
- Inter-American Development Bank: $200,000
- Greece: $144,300
- United Kingdom: $96,476 ($10,000,000 in uncommitted pledges)
- Slovenia: $72,150
- Sweden: $61,848
- United States: $50,000 ($100,000,000 in uncommitted pledges)
- Bolivia: $0
- Canada ($4,913,295 in uncommitted pledges)
- Caribbean Development Bank ($1,000,000 in uncommitted pledges)
- Others: ($121,427,946)
- Grand total: $57,234,845 and $258,191,241 in uncommitted pledges.
- Over 80 percent of people in Haiti live in abject poverty
- Over half the population lives on less than a dollar a day; 76 percent live on2 or less per day.
- 81 percent of the national population and 87 percent of the rural population do not get the minimum daily ration of food as defined by the World Health Organization.
- Less than 45 percent of Haitians have access to portable water.
- Life expectancy in Haiti is 53 years-old.
- Only one in every 100,000 Haitians have access to a physician
- More than two-thirds of the population do not have formal jobs
- Telecommunications infrastructure is one of the least developed in Latin America and the Caribbean
- Haiti has one million Internet users.
Earthquake Quick Facts:
- The world's deadliest recorded earthquake took place in China in 1556, killing an estimated 830,000 people
- The largest recorded earthquake worldwide was a magnitude 9.5 in Chile on May 22, 1960
- The largest recorded earthquake in the United States was a magnitude 9.2 that struck Prince William Sound, Alaska on March 28 (Good Friday) 1964
- It's estimated that there are 500,000 detectable earthquakes worldwide each year, 100,000 of those can be felt and 100 of them causing damage.
- Alaska is the most earthquake-prone U.S state, which records a magnitude 7 earthquake almost every year
- Save the Children
- American Red Cross
- World Food Programme
- Doctors Without Borders
- International Rescue Committee
- Charity Navigator
Websites to keep in mind:
Follow Bill Lucey on Twitter: www.twitter.com/wplucey