With 40% of it’s national annual budget coming from foreign aid (The U.S. of course being the largest donor) and it’s external debt of $1.3 billion being forgiven by the World Bank in 2005, 80% of the Haitian population lives below the poverty level with a 65.9% literacy rate. They’re apparently not to great with money either, because when they had an earthquake, guess what they needed more of? I bet you’ll never guess! Us Magazine reports:
The victims of Haiti’s devastating earthquake are getting a major, major leg up from Hollywood and the general public worldwide. By Saturday evening, Friday’s all-star “Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief” telethon has raised more than $57 million! [UPDATE: $58M as of today] That sets a new record for donations made by the public through a disaster relief telethon — and the money keeps coming in from around the world. The impressive preliminary figures account for donations made via phone, online and mobile; iTunes sales and large corporate donations are still being tallied.
Please keep in mind that the chief exports of Haiti are Wyclef Jean and zombies, so I’m not sure there was hope for Haiti before the earthquake. Not really sure what they’re expecting now. Pumping in millions of dollars hasn’t worked so far, so what’s rebuilding gonna do? Oh, I know, rebuilding means celebrities can go on television and pretend to care and you can get a wristband and a bumper sticker. And really, why wouldn’t you want to do that? Texting $10 to help a guy with a car door for a roof is way more cooler than buying groceries for a family in Detroit. Telling your friends about the displaced family in Michelle Obama’s Red Cross commercial will make you look way more important than telling them about the displaced family you saw on your way to work. Sending a card to a man with an amputated leg in Haiti is way more trendy than sending one to an Iraq veteran in Walter Reed. Because screw that guy. If if he wasn’t trying to diffuse that car bomb, he’d still have a leg!