Sunday, October 09, 2005

Natural Disaster after Disaster - Aid Urgently Required

The northern countries of South America, subjected to tropical torrential rain and indiscriminate logging and mining, are very susceptible to mudslides, which do kill. Hurricane Stan just wrecked havoc on a Guatemalan Maya Indian village of Panabaj. The entire 1,400 inhabitants of the village were buried alive on Wednesday as the mudslide hit them while they were asleep. The village was buried in a muddy quagmire of up to 12 metres deep.

Across in South Asia, Pakistani Kashmir suffered 30,000 dead and about 40,000 injured.

All these are heartbreaking but more importantly they require aid of all sorts. Those who can give please do.

However, I recommend credible organizations - credible in the sense of experience, professionalism, international connections, track record, political acceptability, that sort of stuff to guarantee your aid won’t disappear into thin air or remained stuck somewhere and not put to use where they would be sorely needed.

I reckon these would be the International Federation of Red Cross-Red Crescent Societies (with national organizations as well in your countries), Oxfam, Medicins sans Frontieres.

Let’s also see what much Kuwait and other rich Gulf Arab nations will donate to its Islamic brethren in Kashmir. Kuwait just donated US$500 million to affluent USA to help victims of Hurricane Katrina, where around 1,000 dead have been recorded.

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