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Devastation in the Carribean

by themeslice | January 21, 2010 | Newsletters 0 Comments

Haiti Earthquake Results in Mass Destruction and Loss of Life

Once again, Mother Nature has brought the world to a standstill. On January 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake ripped through Haiti. This tiny Caribbean nation is home to an estimated nine million people. About 80% of them live beneath the poverty level with 54% of them living in abject poverty. What has truly caught the attention of the world is not the force of the earthquake but the deadly aftermath which has already reached an estimated death toll of 200,000.

Financial Times

Financial Times

Relief and financial aid is pouring in from all directions with many major Western nations, including the United States, donating funds as well as providing humanitarian efforts. One of the major obstacles being faced by relief workers is the sheer number of dead bodies that need to be recovered from the rubble. Most of the city lies in desolation with the damaged infrastructure making it extremely difficult for relief work to be carried out.

Charles Dharapak - AP

Charles Dharapak - AP

According to The Washington Post, the grim process of counting the dead has been complicated by the breakdown of government institutions, including the collapse of hospitals and morgues. Many people are still buried under collapsed homes, hotels and government buildings, making a final count premature. The large amount of collapsed buildings is said to have been caused by a failure to comply with architectural safety standards.

In response to this tragedy, Ted Presley, founder of ELI 360 believes that this disaster is a timely “call for global leaders with a sense of ethics to rise up.” What has occurred in Haiti should serve as a reminder for all nations around the world that much of the loss of human lives in Haiti could have been prevented. When all people in all segments of societies comply with approved standards, guidelines and laws, the world becomes safer for everyone. Furthermore, when all people enjoy a decent standard of living, the temptation to “cut corners” is decreased. A similar earthquake of 6.9 magnitude hit the state of California in the U.S. with only 63 casualties. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1989_Loma_Prieta_earthquake)  In view of this, the fight against global poverty is one that needs to be urgently taken up by global leaders who understand this as an ethical and humanitarian responsibility.

“This tragedy also serves to highlight the importance of education as the answer to increasing the wellbeing of a culture and a nation,” said Erik Presley, President of Eli360. He believes that what Haiti needs lies beyond the rebuilding of the nation’s infrastructure. What she needs is “an opportunity to develop the mental and intellectual capacity of her people.” Unfortunately, the current illiteracy rate of the Haitian population is around 45% as compared to the US illiteracy rate of 1%.

In the press release, the founders of ELI 360 expressed their deepest condolences to those who have lost their loved ones in this tragedy. The President urges “all individuals associated with our company to offer support to the Haitian relief efforts in whatever means possible – especially in financial support, and much prayer.” ELI 360 has elected to contribute to a non-profit called Leadership International.

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