Haiti continues to break our hearts. I received this email from Irfan Akram, the Director of the Muslim Writers Awards and part of Muslim Hands, a UK charity that focuses on development and aid. He’s been out in Haiti for ten days. Here are his words from the front line:
“Haiti, it’s impossible to exaggerate the horror. Animals eating bodies on the streets, bodies wrapped in rugs or stuffed suitcases and left to rot. The stench is unbearable. The camps are made up of survivors who will most likely die as soon as there is no water. Even if they get past that, then disease will kill many more than have already died.
It’s hard to stop crying most of the time while distributing aid, but we are getting food and water in and are racing hard to upscale the operation by liaising with the UN to facilitate the receipt of ships and more convoys, and to provide security for these incoming shipments As a Muslim charity, we are taking advantage of the mosque infrastructure to distribute to everyone regardless of religion. Again, we are working to build the capacity of Muslims in Santo Domingo and in Haiti itself, to ensure that local communities of whatever background are supported with the essentials. Staff and offices are in place too.
Security-wise, it’s very scary – you need support to distribute safely and effectively while the UN machine gets geared up. Most of the worst-hit are not receiving aid: the World Food Programme needs 100 million food packages and has access to only 15 million in the pipeline, and there is a 2 week waiting time for hospitals. People are so desperate that un-coordinated food distribution in the street would lead to riots. Gangs are looking for opportunities to steal.For the scale of the disaster, the funds we’re getting in are woefully inadequate. We need help to get the messages out.
We want to do more work, get more food, more shelter, re-instate some basic services. But we need help.”
If you’d like to donate to Muslim Hands (or any other charity of your choice) so they can continue with their work, you can make a contribution.
The link to Muslim Hands donations is here: http://www.muslimhands.org