Quote of the week

[Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro] possesses, however, few of his predecessor’s resources, lacking not just oil revenue but Chávez’s surplus of charisma, humour and political skill. Maduro, unable to end the crisis, has increasingly sided with the privileged classes against the masses; his security forces are regularly dispatched into barrios to repress militants under the guise of fighting crime. Having lost its majority in Congress, the government, fearing it can’t win at the polls the way Chávez did, cancelled gubernatorial elections that had been set for December last year (though they now appear to be on again). Maduro has convened an assembly to write a new constitution, supposedly with the objective of institutionalising the power of social movements, though it is unlikely to lessen the country’s polarisation.

Greg Grandin
London Review of Books
19 January 2010

Médecins Sans Frontières Haiti appeal for help

HAITI: Humanitarian Crisis – Médecins Sans Frontières appeal for help

Dear Friend,

Just seven days ago, an earthquake measuring 7.0 on the Richter scale struck about 15 kilometres southwest of the Haitian capital, Port-au-Prince, causing massive devastation, injury and loss of life.

Senior Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF) staff member in Haiti, Stefano Zannini, describes the aftermath: “The situation is chaotic. I visited five medical centres, including a major hospital, and most of them were not functioning. Many are damaged and I saw a distressing number of dead bodies. Some parts of the city are without electricity and people have gathered outside, lighting fires in the street and trying to help and comfort each other.”

This event is truly devastating. As a FRIEND of MSF in South Africa, I’m sure you will be interested in the action MSF is taking.

When natural disasters such as earthquakes hit impoverished states like Haiti, the consequences are often catastrophic with higher numbers of causalities and dire needs for humanitarian support because local authorities are ill-equipped and left without resources.

MSF doctors, nurses, surgeons and logisticians in Haiti are working around the clock fighting against the odds to save lives. Our teams have already treated over 3,000 patients who were in urgent need, while our surgeons have completed over 400 surgical procedures. Our medical staff is treating open wounds, fractured bones, amputations and severe burns. Logisticians are setting up a field hospital with operating theatres and capacity for 100 beds. More is being done and MSF teams will continue to work uninterrupted.

We are now asking donors and supporters to give to our Emergency Relief Fund. These funds ensure that our medical teams can continue their much needed emergency interventions in Haiti and during other emergencies and crises the world over.

Your gift via this website will be earmarked for our Emergency Relief Fund.

Visit www.msf.org.za NOW or send a SMS with your name to 42114 and donate R30.

Or CALL US 011 403 4441/ 011 403 4440 or make a direct deposit or electronic bank transfer to:

Bank: Nedbank
Account Name: Medecins Sans Frontieres South Africa
Account number: 1944209425
Branch code: 194405
Branch: Parktown
Reference Code: your cellphone number +Haiti

Thank you. I will keep you updated with more information on our work in Haiti as the situation becomes clearer.

Please forward this email to your friends, colleagues and family. Help us to save more lives!

Yours sincerely,

 

Sharon Ekambaram
General Director
Médecins Sans Frontières South Africa

Haiti Updates

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