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December 27, 2004

How to help/pass it on
Posted by Teresa at 11:59 PM *

The South-East Asia Earthquake is an instant blog focusing on “short news and information about resources, aid, donations and volunteer efforts.” They’re blogging everything: news updates, theoretical articles on tsunami, contact numbers for relief agencies, current death tolls, and, especially, information on how to help.

Please help. This is dreadful beyond words. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the entire island of Sumatra was moved 100 feet to the southwest. In the lightly populated Andaman and Nicobar islands alone, there are three thousand confirmed dead, 30,000 missing, 15 villages still under water, and several islands nobody can raise on the radio. The extent of the damage around the shores of the Indian Ocean is like thousands of miles of 9/11, in some cases stretching miles inland, from Sumatra to Somalia. Children were hit hard. So were the small indigenous fishing fleets, which would have been out doing early-morning fishing when the waves came. This is world-class bad.

The South-East Asia Earthquake says:
How you can help:

1. Please pass this URL around.

2. You can use THE COMMENTS SECTION OF THIS POST to post any info you have on:
where to send money, what kind of help is needed,
aid organisations,
helplines,
infolines,
email addresses,
phone numbers
news updates
3. If you’re a blogger, and would like to help us out by taking up posting duties, the same post has email addresses of the current contributors who can send you a blogger invitation. It would be nice having people around the world taking this up in shifts.
They also say:
I’m also looking for 2 friends and their 4 year old son who were on Phuket. Kumudhinee Samuel, and Chandraguptha Thenuwara and their son Charudatta Thenuwara. If there’s any news of any Sri Lankans in Phuket anyone please drop me a word at sanjaythelostboy@gmail.com
Do what you can.

Here’s another piece on how you can help.

Comments on How to help/pass it on:
#1 ::: Paula Helm Murray ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2004, 01:17 AM:

I just moved the links on to KAaML, our local news group. Hope it helps. The tsunami thing is Awe-ful beyond all reckoning.

#2 ::: Linkmeister ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2004, 01:31 AM:

Other sites with links to aid groups include:

World Changing and Command Post, in case the Tsunami Help blog linked above has server troubles (I've seen it linked more times than I can count).

#3 ::: Suzanne M ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2004, 02:49 AM:

Posted it to my LJ with a link back here in case people start chiming in with more links and suggestions. I don't exactly have a wide readership, but... well, it's something.

#4 ::: Jurie ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2004, 05:01 AM:

If you're in Austria and want to know how you can spend, go here:

http://fm4.orf.at/connected/189494/main (towards the bottom)

#5 ::: Michael Weholt ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2004, 07:34 AM:

God... reports this morning are that the death toll is approaching 40,000.

There is a note from Sir Arthur C. Clarke on his foundation's page for those who may not have seen it yet.

#6 ::: Michael ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2004, 10:33 AM:

Posted to my blog, emailed to friends and coworkers. What amazes me is the talk that a warning was possible but not sounded...I wonder if that's true and if it's not I wonder why. We certainly have the technology.

#7 ::: Andrew Plotkin ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2004, 12:10 PM:

"According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the entire island of Sumatra
was moved 100 feet to the southwest."

I apologize for being nitpicky about tragedy, but is there a source
for this?

The USGS page on the quake
(http://neic.usgs.gov/neis/bulletin/neic_slav_ts.html) says "...it is
likely that the average displacement on the fault plane was about
fifteen meters." And it's not obvious that that this is movement of
Sumatra -- they're talking about relative movement between the India
continental plate and the "microplate" which supports Sumatra.

#8 ::: PiscusFiche ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2004, 12:15 PM:

I didn't find out about this until I was in the airport flying back from Utah, but I did wonder about the Andamans--one of my favourite geographically obscure places ever since reading M.M. Kaye's Death in the Andamans. I was near tears in the airport lavatory after seeing some of the pictures they broadcast.

Thanks for the link. Will do what I can.

#9 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2004, 12:22 PM:

For those interested in the US base at Diego Garcia, BIOT, there was apparently no damage, per a story in the Washington Post and ABC News Australia.

#10 ::: Greg Ioannou ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2004, 12:29 PM:

The closest thing to a co-ordinated response I can find in Canada is through the Red Cross, which has apparently already sent some relief supplies and is urgently raising money to send more.

For Canadians wishing to make a financial donation to quake relief:

-Canadian Red Cross online at www.redcross.ca, toll-free at 1-800-418-1111 or contact local Red Cross office.

-World Vision toll-free at 1-800-268-5528 or www.worldvision.ca.

-UNICEF Canada at www.unicef.ca, toll-free at 1-877-955-3111 or by mail at UNICEF Canada, 2200 Yonge Street, Suite 1100, Toronto, ON, M4S 2C6.

-Oxfam Canada at www.oxfam.ca or toll-free at 1-800-466-9326.

-Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace, toll-free at 1-888-664-3387, at www.devp.org, or cheque payable to Development and Peace, marked for tidal wave disaster mailed to Development and Peace, 5633 Sherbrooke St. East, Montreal, H1N 1A3.

#11 ::: xeger ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2004, 12:58 PM:

Michael wrote:
Posted to my blog, emailed to friends and coworkers. What amazes me is the talk that a warning was possible but not sounded...I wonder if that's true and if it's not I wonder why. We certainly have the technology.

Michael - the problem was distributing the warning. Those nations that are a part of the Pacific tsunami warning system did get the warning message - and by all accounts there were frantic efforts to contact -anybody- that could be of assistance in the areas in the path of the tsunami. I can imagine - and wish that I couldn't - the sheer misery of knowing that your warning isn't going to make it on time.

Quoting a bit from a US scientist in that article:

It takes a substantial investment and long-term commitment to set up a 24-hour communications infrastructure, operational capabilities and specialized training, he added, declining to estimate the cost.

A cost that's non-trivial to a first world nation is outright cripling to less wealthy nations.

Tsunami are also extremely rare in that area. I'll cheerfully admit that my reaction to earthquake (being in an area that isn't subject to tsunami) doesn't involve listening for a tsunami warning - although my hawaiian friends certainly do!

#12 ::: Charlie Stross ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2004, 12:59 PM:

Lost in the noise is what may very well be the worst railway disaster ever, anywhere. A railway in Sri Lanka parallels the coast -- the entire train was swept away, with an estimated thousand people on board. Two known survivors (guards from the guard van at the rear of the train).

Just trying to get a handle on the scale of this disaster is dizzying. The Guardian is reporting the death toll now exceeds 50,000. Worst tsunami -- in human consequences -- since at least 1883, if not earlier.

This is ghastly.

#13 ::: Allen Baum ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2004, 02:09 PM:

Another aid organization to consider:
Mercy Corps (http://www.mercycorps.com).
Donya found them yesterday, and today my company has announced they will match contributions (from an employee) made to them.

#14 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2004, 02:44 PM:

Send money. Money is portable.

Doctors Without Borders website is overloaded. I mirrored their homepage and other links over at my place

#15 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2004, 02:53 PM:

Wikipedia is maintaining a list as well.

Here it is, consider mirroring it.

#16 ::: Toni ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2004, 03:44 PM:

Two organizations based here in Portland, Oregon, that have much experience in disaster relief and are taking donations:

http://www.nwmedicalteams.org/
http://www.mercycorps.org/splash/

#17 ::: JamesG ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2004, 04:44 PM:

I have posted the information on my blog and notified everyone that I could think of. I hope it helps.

#18 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2004, 06:39 PM:

Andrew, it wasn't moved as in the rock underneath moved 100 feet, it was moved as in the tsunami took 100 feet off one end of the island and deposited 100 feet of sand on the other end. (This is common for tsunamis in the Pacific, although not usually quite that much movement.) The problem is that all the people & property that were on the near end of the island are all gone.

#19 ::: Patrick Connors ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2004, 07:31 PM:

I've mirrored Wikipedia's page on the quake here.

It will refresh no more than hourly; use refresh.php at the same place to get an update.

#20 ::: James D. Macdonald ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2004, 08:14 PM:

This story says that the tectonic plates that hold the Nicobar Islands and Simeulue Island have moved by up to 30 meters.

#21 ::: Greg Horn ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2004, 11:33 PM:

The important stuff first
http://www.guardian.co.uk/tsunami/story/0,15671,1380498,00.html
A nice list of international organizations doing relief work in the area.

Secondly, and much less importantly, the movement of 30m in the CNN headline appears to be an upper limit on the motion at the fault plane where the magnitude 9.0 earthquake occured about 30 km below the surface of the Earth. The USGS preliminary report estimates an average of 15m displacement on the fault plane. This is NOT an indication of surface movement. I cannot find a source that says the entire island of Sumatra has moved 100 ft to the southwest. Some of the islands off the coast of Sumatra have been moved, "slightly shifting... an unknown distance" (CNN). The actual distance is not known. Although I will say in defense of it, such a huge earthquake can cause massive displacements at the surface (Anchorage, 1964, magnitude 9.2 and absolute vertical displacements of up to 15 m and down to about -3 m over mind numbingly huge areas, from USGS). I hope that clears up the jargon a bit.

And in addition, um...wow, there have been 45 aftershocks of magnitude 5 or greater in the area, with the largest being a 7.5 (data on USGS list of recent quakes).

#22 ::: Calime ::: (view all by) ::: December 28, 2004, 11:53 PM:

Around 60,000 now. I'm going to do what I can, even though I haven't got heaps of money to donate.

#23 ::: Alan Hamilton ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2004, 12:00 AM:

I'll second the "send money". Most of what's needed can be purchased in Asia, without the waste of shipping it across the Pacific.

Also, if you work for a large company, many will match donations. Check with your HR department.

#24 ::: S Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2004, 01:51 AM:

Direct Relief International does primary medical relief for disasters and 3rd world crisis spots, shipping huge amounts of donated pharmaceuticals and other medical supplies, along with coordinating medical relief teams. They'e been at it since 1948, and are incredibly efficient at it. FEDEX is donating the rapid transportation of med supplies to the region to DRI. But cash is still helpful.

Over the next few weeks, medical supplies and teams are going to be critical in keeping that death toll from doubling (or worse) from cholera, typhus, dysentery and other nasties.

The American Red Cross has a direct donation link at Amazon.com. It's on the top of their front page should the link get kicked.

#25 ::: suman ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2004, 04:56 AM:

It is heartening to see you guys so earnestly working towards contributing to the relief measures.

#26 ::: Maines ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2004, 08:45 AM:

I gave money to a couple aid organizations that I know have people on the ground in the area, and since then have been busy haranguing everyone I know who claimed to vote their "moral values," or who's said this is a "Christian nation," or who went to church for Christmas, to practice what they preach and do some serious donating too. (Handy Bible passage to use: Matthew 35:34-40.)

This is going to be a long-term need; it will take a long time to rebuild an infrastructure that will give people in these devastated areas the means to their own food, shelter, livelihoods, etc. (According to The New York Times: "Victims of the earthquake in Bam, Iran, a year ago are still living in tents because permanent aid, as opposed to emergency provisions, has not materialized in the amounts pledged, aid officials said.") I notice Mercy Corps has a way you can set up a standing monthly donation, and I expect other NGOs do too. Worth doing to whatever degree each of us can manage.

Boring Diatribe posted a wish for how our government would respond. I fear he will be disappointed.

#27 ::: fidelio ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2004, 10:01 AM:

I'm afraid that this will sound cold-blooded, but all the same I think it needs doing. Contact your elected representatives, and beseech, nag, berate and bully them to see that not only is adequate emergency relief sent, but that our governments not only promise but also provide adequate assistance for reconstruction. It's not just the decent, humanitarian thing to do--this area is an important one in the struggle with Islamist terror groups. Banda Aceh, in Aceh Province of Indonesia, has been a focal point for Islamist separatist groups for some time--the city itself is a place where sharia prevails--and while some groups like GAM/ASNLF want to separate Aceh, from the rest of Indonesia, groups like Jemaah Islamiya want to see not only Indonesia but also Malaysia, parts of Thailand, and so on incorporated into the reborn Caliphate Osama bin Laden is planning for. This is a less macho, more time-consuming approach, one that's not likely to have the dash and glamour to appeal to Bush, but it can't be neglected if we want to win. Write, call, fax, whatever. This is a real front in the real war, and it can't be won with words, or with any weapons but kindness and generosity.

#28 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2004, 10:20 AM:

What fidelio said. It's how everyone responds to this kind of thing that shows the world what their rhetoric & professed values are actually worth. And if it can be sustained, not just have a wave (erm...) of warm fuzzy feeling, followed by forgetting as the next thing comes up - as pointed out by Maines in the NY Times about last year's Iranian earthquake.
Anyway, something self-referential:
Web users pitch in to global relief effort
by Jesse Hogan, The Age Online, December 30, 2004

As distressed Australian relatives trawl the hospitals of tsunami-affected countries, the internet is proving an unlikely tool in their quest to find friends and relatives.

With telephone hotlines often engaged and the language barrier making information-gathering even harder, many of the most valuable volunteers helping reunite people have not even had to leave home to do so.

A dedicated band of internet bloggers and website creators are providing people around the world with phone numbers for hospitals and embassies in tsunami-affected countries, and a database of missing people ...

Locally, some news websites have urged overseas readers to submit stories and pictures of the tsunami, with ABC Online providing a collection of eyewitness accounts. The Age Online has done likewise, and has created a bulletin board for people trying to contact relatives overseas ...

and has a listing of " Disaster blogspots":
tsunamihelp.blogspot.com - A detailed blog that offers list of aid agen cies responding to the disaster, how to donate, and a list of contact numbers for emergency services in each country.
www.lankapage.com - A site for Sri Lankan expats that details the situation in Sri Lanka.
news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/talking_point/4130565.stm - Many postings from people looking for loved ones.
www.disaster.go.th - Mostly in Thai, but has English link to a regularly updated list of hospital patients.
www.p-h-u-k-e-t.com/forum - Mostly messages from Scandinavians looking for relatives, plus a section for other nationalities.
2bangkok.com/quakes.shtml - Regularly updated mix of local news reports and Thai Government information.

More information and updated advice from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at www.smarttraveller.gov.au

Sending donations from Australia
PLAN: Vist www.plan.org.au or call 1800 038 100.
CARE Australia: 1800 020 046 or www.careaustralia.org.au
Australian Red Cross: Call 1800 811 700, visit www.redcross.org.au or post a cheque to GPO Box 9949 in capital cities.
Oxfam: 1800 034 034 or www.oxfam.org.au
Medecins Sans Frontieres www.msf.org.au
UNICEF: 1300 884 233, 1300 732 240 or www.unicef.org.au
World Vision: 13 32 40 or www.worldvision.com.au
Baptist World Aid Australia: Call 1300 789 991, by mail to Baptist World Aid Australia, Locked Bag 122, Frenchs Forest NSW 2086, or www.shareanopportunity.org
Caritas Australia: 1800 024 413 or www.caritas.org.au

Some banks are also allowing donations to be made to various charities at their branches.

This is truly looking like an absolutely horrific disaster, spread over so many places, even to deaths on the East African coast. There were even people washed out (and recovered safely) in Busselton (near the south-western tip of Western Australia) and very weird tidal surges in Tasmania, on the south-eastern side of the continent! Check maps to see the distances involved.

It's probable parts of our north-west coast were hit, but it's very sparsely inhabited, and perhaps oil-drilling platforms at sea just get a milder surge in the deep water. I've seen no reports about it.

#29 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2004, 11:18 AM:

What fidelio said. It's how everyone responds to this kind of thing that shows the world what their rhetoric & professed values are actually worth. And if it can be sustained, not just have a wave (erm...) of warm fuzzy feeling, followed by forgetting as the next thing comes up - as pointed out by Maines in the NY Times about last year's Iranian earthquake.

Anyway, something self-referential:
Web users pitch in to global relief effort
by Jesse Hogan, The Age Online, December 30, 2004

As distressed Australian relatives trawl the hospitals of tsunami-affected countries, the internet is proving an unlikely tool in their quest to find friends and relatives.

With telephone hotlines often engaged and the language barrier making information-gathering even harder, many of the most valuable volunteers helping reunite people have not even had to leave home to do so.

A dedicated band of internet bloggers and website creators are providing people around the world with phone numbers for hospitals and embassies in tsunami-affected countries, and a database of missing people ...

Locally, some news websites have urged overseas readers to submit stories and pictures of the tsunami, with ABC Online providing a collection of eyewitness accounts. The Age Online has done likewise, and has created a bulletin board for people trying to contact relatives overseas ...

and has a listing of " Disaster blogspots"

More information and updated advice from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade at www.smarttraveller.gov.au

Sending donations from Australia

Some banks are also allowing donations to be made to various charities at their branches.

This is truly looking like an absolutely horrific disaster, spread over so many places, even to deaths on the East African coast. There were even people washed out (and recovered safely) in Busselton (near the south-western tip of Western Australia) and very weird tidal surges in Tasmania, on the south-eastern side of the continent! Check maps to see the distances involved.

It's probable parts of our north-west coast were hit, but it's very sparsely inhabited; see dcubed.blogspot.com for some discussion on how the consequences of natural disasters are amplified by human circumstances.

#30 ::: Tina ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2004, 11:33 AM:

Posted for what it's worth in my small group of readership, since no one else on my f-list has done it.

I had this really surreal feeling when I went to go donate to Red Cross online and then I remembered the last time I'd done that it was for something a little closer to home. (Normally when I donate to organizations it's check or cash.)

Just... horrible. Not that death is ever good.

#31 ::: Michael Walsh ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2004, 03:13 PM:

"Boring Diatribe posted a wish for how our government would respond. I fear he will be disappointed."

Other than the third sentence in Boring Diatribe's wish, it is the path we should be taking.

#32 ::: Mary Anne Mohanraj ::: (view all by) ::: December 29, 2004, 07:16 PM:

Just a note, since some here know that I'm from Sri Lanka, that I and my immediate family are safely in America at the moment.

I don't know at this point whether I'll still be going to Sri Lanka in February as I had planned (for a writing research trip). I also don't know whether various members of our more extended family there are safe.

#33 ::: Lurch Kimded ::: (view all by) ::: December 30, 2004, 08:16 AM:

The Salvation Army is one charity I know of personally that is doing a lot in the region. A link to the international page is:
http://www1.salvationarmy.org/ihq/www_sa.nsf

#34 ::: magentamn ::: (view all by) ::: December 30, 2004, 11:25 AM:

The Google homepage now has a link for tsunami relief. It lists both places to send aid and places for news and information. There is also a link to a CNN site: http://www.cnn.com/2004/WORLD/asiapcf/12/27/quake.aidsites/
with a longer list of places to give money.

I gave Doctors Without Borders a contribution. I hope to give more in the coming days. These places will need money to help in the week, months, years, ahead. Give what you can now, and maybe more next week, and next month.

#35 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: December 30, 2004, 11:49 AM:

NPR has a "Tsunami Relief: Where to Give" page at

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=4248155

The American Friends Service Committee (the Quakers) has a splash page up on their regular website, and the contributions you make there are earmarked. I picked them because I know they won't serve any political agenda, and because the focus on the "between the cracks" people. Doctors Without Borders is another good organization, but I chose AFSC this time.

#36 ::: Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 30, 2004, 11:58 AM:

I'm not a big cable TV news hound, but I'm at my parents for Xmas and my father watches CNN a lot. Horrifying pictures galore, thanks to cheap camcorders . . . and I think that will help with charity efforts. It's harder to ignore disaster and suffering when you see people in distress, live on camera.

This kind of puts the night I spent sleeping on the floor of the Cincinatti airport and eating Christmas chocolates for dinner in perspective.

I usually wait until November to send out a stack of checks to charities; this will happen in January this year, the day after I get back to Oregon.

#37 ::: Zed ::: (view all by) ::: December 30, 2004, 01:59 PM:

The LA Times has corrected their report that Sumatra moved 100 feet. According to this article, quoting a USGS seismologist, "The northwest corner of Sumatra sits on the Burma plate and may have moved southwest several yards."

#38 ::: cheem ::: (view all by) ::: December 30, 2004, 02:20 PM:

Speaking of Burma, does anyone have any idea of what's happening in Myanmar? The lack of news from there is quite unsettling.

#39 ::: Calime ::: (view all by) ::: December 30, 2004, 03:55 PM:

104,000...

#40 ::: Julia Jones ::: (view all by) ::: December 30, 2004, 05:10 PM:

The scammers crawl out of the woodwork...

Last night we received a phone call - "will you accept a reverse charge [collect] call from Ann on 0800 ******". Other half, who answered the phone, assumed it was a scam, put the phone down, and asked me if I knew anything about it. The scam is of course that 0800 (and 1-800 in the US) numbers *aren't* free when a collect call is accepted. They can in fact be a very expensive premium rate number.

This is the first time we've encountered this. I have a nasty suspicion that someone has decided that people are more likely than usual to accept a reverse charge call at the moment. :-( Be aware of the possibility.

#41 ::: Paul Walker ::: (view all by) ::: December 30, 2004, 05:57 PM:

The link which is included in every BBC report here is the "Disasters Emergency Committee", http://www.dec.org.uk/ - the front page says it's a bit overloaded, but the donation page is hosted by BT, so it should have enough bandwidth for all.

#42 ::: Claude Muncey ::: (view all by) ::: December 30, 2004, 08:13 PM:

There is a new video out of the tsunami flood itself at Phuket -- astonishing and frightening stuff.

Catholic Relief Services (the US branch of the Caritas International confederation) just announced that is was releasing $25 million to allied groups in the disaster areas. Unfortunately, CRS's own site seems to be down right now, perhaps from the load.

What this does point out is the need to be thoughtful, consistent, and generous in our support of these kinds of organizations. When disasters like this occur, these groups only have the money, staff, and supplies already gathered to respond with -- there often is not time to wait for the money to roll in. Find the group or groups whose aims and methods you can agree with and support them well so they will be there and ready when something like this happens.

#43 ::: CHip ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2004, 10:31 AM:

Julia -- it's not just phone calls; I've gotten at least two pieces of spam claiming to be from tsunami relief organizations. (They came in on an account with a toy mailer, so I didn't risk opening to see whether they were Nigerians or porn.)

#44 ::: Alma Alexander ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2004, 04:21 PM:

every time you think it can't get worse, it does. now they're talking hundred*S* of thousands. in the plural.

i'm not computer savvy so i can't mirror sites or anything like that; i sent off what i could in terms of financial aid, but i can only imagine what life must be like out there right now.

#45 ::: Ted Kocot ::: (view all by) ::: December 31, 2004, 04:40 PM:

What fidelio said.

When I realized our initial pledge represented less than 0.1% of what we spent occupying Iraq this year all I could think was, "Well, I know what Al-Qadea's next recruiting poster is going to look like."

#46 ::: mayakda ::: (view all by) ::: January 03, 2005, 10:17 AM:

Our parish gave out envelopes yesterday, which will be collected next Sunday for Catholic Relief Services for the tsunami disaster, and the company I work with will match donations to the International Red Cross, so those are two orgs I'm giving to. I'm pretty sure they'll use donations effectively.

#47 ::: sGreer ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2005, 02:50 AM:

FYI, Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) has announced that it's accepted enough donations for the time being to successfully manage its foreseeable costs dealing with the post-tsunami issues. Read more at http://doctorswithoutborders-usa.org/donate/index.cfm .

They're asking that folks be willing to contribute to their Emergency Relief Fund instead, from which they'll be able to draw on now and in the future for both the Southeast Asia crisis, as needed, as well as their other ongoing efforts around the world. They'll get my money every time, for having the integrity to announce such openly. (Then again, the CEO of MSF is reimbursed only on those days she has to travel on the organization's behalf; the rest of the time she works as a nurse full-time. Compare this to the $400K+ salary for the ARC's CEO. One guess who gets my support.)

Other orgs at work in Southeast Asia that are quality: UNICEF, CRC, and Mercy Corps.

#48 ::: Thel ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2005, 12:03 PM:

The coffee shop just down the street from me (Firehouse Coffee, 2622 NW Market Street in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, if anyone else is near and would be interested) announced that they will match donations their customers make to Mercy Corps. As an added incentive, if you donate $150 or more they'll give you a card for 10 free drinks. Since my employer (a non-profit) isn't able to match gifts, I was happy to find a way to double our contribution.

#50 ::: sGreer ::: (view all by) ::: January 04, 2005, 12:28 PM:

ARC, sorry: American Red Cross (as distinct from IRC, International Red Cross). If I recall correctly, the two are separate entities, although ARC answers to and follows IRC bylines.

#51 ::: Dave Luckett ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2005, 06:57 AM:

I see that the Australian government has now promised $A1 billion aid for Acceh, about $US750 million. Australian private donations to the main charities has now (5 Jan) topped $A100 million. This is in addition to all our military field hospitals, all our water-distilling plants, our only self-discharging sea transport, and most of our service helicopters. We are a nation of twenty million people, total. We have more troops assisting the aid effort than we ever had in Iraq. As a condition of their deployment, they are unarmed.

I'm glad of every cent and every item.

And what do we have from Muslim governments in the region? Malaysia escaped damage. From them, two or three million. From Brunei, the home of the richest man on the planet, the Sultan of Brunei, zip. (I travelled once on the Sultan's private airline. I recall we had prayers on taking off - very reassuring - and an indicator in the cabin continually showing the direction of Mecca. No alcohol was served. Bah.) From Saudi Arabia, a grudged few million. The Gulf States were generally a bit better, but considering their enormous wealth, not wonderful.

Sorry, but it means something.

#52 ::: Epacris ::: (view all by) ::: January 06, 2005, 10:48 PM:

The link below is to an image of a map showing the most recent available figures for government (?) assistance promised to areas damaged by the Indian Ocean tsunami. To get a good comparison between them, you'd need to factor in things like the GNP and population of the different countries - a point more clearly made by the parable of "the widow's mite".

( world-responds.jpg )

A local news article Australia had learnt valuable lessons from the 1998 tsunami in Papua New Guinea, the Sydney Olympics and the Bali bombings. Bonds had been established across departments, between state and federal bureaucracies, and with counterparts in Asia ... AusAid's country director for Indonesia ... sent a staff member to Aceh on Tuesday, after it had become clear that local and international aid agencies had pretty much been wiped out themselves with the disaster. The words of the employee when he reached Aceh ... were: "This is Hiroshima."
Indeed, the way things had been wiped out right down to the foundations, leaving a sort of ghostly map, have been reminding me of pictures of Nagasaki & Hiroshima, but here there is this immense drift of everything just smashed apart and mashed up together, whereas vast quantities of the bombed people and cities were completely burnt away.
#53 ::: Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: January 13, 2005, 11:31 AM:

I suppose it was inevitable. I'm so fucking tired of this.

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