Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Gustav's aftermath, and how to help

More news coverage: The Herald reports from Pinar del Rio, and has a gallery of wire service photos including the first I have seen from Isla de la Juventud. El Nuevo looks at the impact on agricultural production. Cuban media are reporting 100,000 homes damaged or destroyed.

Cuban human rights monitor Elizardo Sanchez and, separately, the Partido Liberal Nacional Cubano (PLNC) appealed for aid to victims of Hurricane Gustav, and they called on the Cuban government to accept all aid that is offered, regardless of political criteria. The PLNC announced that its members are giving of their own resources, and they asked the international community, “especially Europe and the United States” to chip in.

How to help: U.S. government regulations severely limit what Americans can do directly, but we can work through two fine charities, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Caritas Cubana. CRS, the international aid arm of the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops, has long supported the work of Caritas, Cuba’s nationwide Catholic charity, in a variety of humanitarian tasks including disaster relief. Caritas has requested assistance to help Gustav’s victims, and CRS is receiving donations for this purpose. If you want to help CRS respond to Caritas’ appeal, you can make a donation to CRS and designate it for “Cuba hurricane relief,” the code is 2770-1284 – you can do it on-line at the CRS donation page, or by mail (Catholic Relief Services, PO Box 17090, Baltimore MD 21203-7090), or by calling 1-888-277-7575.

[AP photo from Batabano.]


Anonymous said...

Peters, not sure what you mean by "U.S. government regulations severely limit what Americans can do directly." what disaster assistance is ever provided "directly" by American citizens? Do you mean personally trucking a container to a port, then arranging shipping to a location, then distributing it yourself? where does that happen? It's nearly universally done through NGOs and PVOs and you go on to name two that can do the job, so what's the point of your potshot at "US government regulations"? Seems to me if you want to help Cubans, you can, despite "US government regulations."

Phil Peters said...

If you read U.S. regulations that limit travel, remittances, and gift packages, and if you think of what you might consider doing if you were inclined to help a friend or relative in the areas ravaged by Gustav, you will see what I mean.

Anonymous said...

I found Its a way to donate without the restrictions. Right now there are a couple of projects to help rebuild Haiti and the one in Cuba is to help resupply the hospitals that were damaged.