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Chile vs Haiti

So, a magnitude 8.8 earthquake has struck Chile. And the reaction from the global community? Nowhere near as quick and large-scale as the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti. Why is that? Yes, Chile is one of the most developed nations in South America, and has quite a stable economy – contrast that to Haiti’s developing-country status. It has more resources to handle a recovery effort on its own. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t need help from non-profit organizations. The flow of money (donated or pledged) isn’t coming in nearly as fast or as much as it did for Haiti. I think the reason is because it doesn’t have a Hollywood celebrity championing their cause. No Wyclef Jean for Chile.

Celebrities have been quiet about this. No impassioned pledges of 1 million-plus dollars. In fact the only celebrity thats been mentioned is Elliot Yamin, who was there at the time of the quake. He isn’t exactly an A-lister, and currently in no position to champion relief efforts like Wyclef Jean is doing for Haiti. The cynical side of me laughs at Hollywood’s huge show of humanitarian aid for Haiti (including redoing We Are the World), and its lack thereof for Chile. Its almost like they’ve filled their yearly quota of humanitarianism, and are settled back to their big-bucks business.



4 thoughts on “Chile vs Haiti

  1. The epicenter wasn’t as close to mass dwellings like Haiti, and building infrastructure was better – if you notice the death toll is much less than Haiti’s. Not demeaning the earthquake or its severity just pointing out some facts. Also, Chile didn’t initially ask for help.

    Posted by Matt T | March 3, 2010, 12:49 am
  2. there are a lot of differences between chile and haiti. the former has is not a failed state and therefore does not lack the political/social/econ. infrastructure to deal with the earthquake whereas impoverished Haiti lacks all the above. Furthermore, Haiti’s capitol where all their ministries/depts were stationed was hit very hard and several of their sr. gov’t members died in the earthquake. Also, the proximity of Haiti to North Am. (namely the US) also evoked the US’ self interest in terms of the influx of refugees and also, the ability to provide aid.
    However, I do agree that people can be very selective on where they put their aid money and what not. it kind of goes with the neoliberal idea of individualistic contributions for social welfare more than state contributions. mm..that’s all. lol

    Posted by Bonnie | March 3, 2010, 4:28 pm
    • mm icic. no clue what neoliberal idea means :P
      this post is mostly aimed at celebrity culture. i don’t know a whole lot about politics and humanitarian aid, just what i read in the papers.

      Posted by bygodsgrace | March 3, 2010, 8:34 pm

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