Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Children dying in Haiti

Hi, Impeachment Person,
I pass this article on to you--and the next one--because I believe every human being has a right not to suffer malnutrition and the diseases it causes. Henry Shue, in his book "Basic Rights" argues with perfect logic that human rights create obligations for every one of us to create the institutions that will actually deliver human rights.
In the 1970's this country committed itself to giving 0.7% of our GDP in official development aid. We have never delivered more than 20% of that, and we have spent the money primarily on supporting US military bases abroad--building things like golf courses--while making sure that 80% of the money goes to US corporations. The article below chronicles a typical result of our neglect. 
If you want to help immediately, you can of course donate to
www.doctorswithoutborders.org. But that's mere charity. It makes life a PRIVILEGE for which one is supposed to beg, and every time one again falls into destitution, one is supposed to again find the wherewithal to again find and notify the right person to beg from. These children are not supposed to be dependent on whether a few of us notice their plight and condescend to help a little. These children have a RIGHT not to die this way and we have the OBLIGATION to prevent their deaths. Please write to Obama and tell him you are sick and tired of our avoiding our obligations and that you want us to stop death by hunger now and for good. 
Richard Duffee      

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: <a.gronowicz@att.net>
Date: Tue, Nov 25, 2008 at 9:27 AM
Subject: USGP-INT Children dying in Haiti
To: usgp-int@gp-us.org

Aid workers: 26 malnourished children die in Haiti

Published: 11/20/08, 11:48 AM EDT
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (AP) - At least 26 severely malnourished children have died in recent days in Haiti, and aid groups fear many more deaths unless more help comes quickly to this impoverished Caribbean country.

At least 65 other severely malnourished children have been treated on site or evacuated to hospitals, said Max Cosci, who heads the Belgian contingent of Doctors Without Borders in Haiti.

Hunger contributed to deaths likely caused by diarrhea, fever and other conditions over a two-week period but medical teams arrived too late to determine how each child died, Cosci said. The doctors did rule out a disease epidemic, however.

One evacuee, a 7-year-old girl abandoned by her family, died while being treated, Cosci told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

"The situation is extremely, extremely fragile and dangerous," Cosci said.

At a makeshift malnutrition ward at a Doctors Without Borders hospital in Port-au-Prince, about 10 emaciated children with swollen stomachs, sunken eyes and bleached hair are being given emergency care. Several have swollen faces, typical of kwashiorkor, a protein-deficiency disorder.

Five-year-old Mackenson Duclair teetered around the concrete floor on broomstick legs. He weighed just 9 kilograms (19.8 pounds), and that was after days of drinking enriched milk. Doctors weighed a girl with a wide yellow bow in her hair, her emaciated arms and legs dangling as she hung from a strap attached to a scale.

Haiti, the Western Hemisphere's poorest country, has been hit by spiraling food costs, which resulted in riots last spring, and then hurricanes and tropical storms that crippled food production.

U.N. World Food Program spokeswoman Hilary Clarke said she fears many more could have died in isolated parts of Haiti. Workers from the U.N., Haiti's government and other aid groups are visiting towns accessible only by foot or donkey, searching for pockets of malnutrition. "The question is how many of these pockets are there," Clarke said.

Copyright 2008 Associated Press. All rights reserved.
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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