Who is giving to Haiti?

The last several days have governments, companies and rich people thinking about what they can do for Haiti. As of yesterday evening, donations to Haiti from Americans topped $210 million. About half of that amount came from the Red Cross alone. The world’s largest company, GE, has already given $2.5 million and at least for Canada (perhaps everywhere else too, I have no info on that right now) GE said that they would match all of their employees’ donations. For GE and other companies that have given substantial amounts, this is not only about being socially responsible but it is also plain good business. People admire and respect companies that are socially responsible and this creates brand equity in their products and services. It also helps to attract top employees because everyone wants to work for a company that they can be proud of.

This also goes for celebrities and other public figures. When you see them on TV during a telethon for Haiti you may remember them the next time one of their movies come up. Their presence will also be mentioned by the tabloid media as a good publicity. For events as large as the tragedy in Haiti, almost all the celebrities are out there doing something. When this occurs then it puts pressure on the ones that did not want to partake in helping out because then there is a chance that someone will notice the one celebrity who did nothing and that will hurt their brand. After all, Hollywood celebrities are corporations. In fact, many of them actually have companies named after them and they use that company in contract negotiations for movies instead of their personal entity.

Governments have a huge role to play in helping out other member nations during times like these. They have more resources so they can give more than just money but man power and supplies as well. Some countries give more than others which is completely understandable given the various levels of economic prosperity, population and availability of resources. The US leads the way as they should and many other wealthy nations are doing their respective parts as well, like Canada and the UK just to name a couple. Israel sent out people with supplies and erected the first portable hospital that has already treated hundreds of victims and also saved two people from the rubble after it was thought that they would not survive the ordeal due to the amount of time spent trapped. China also sent over troops to help out. The wealthier Chinese people should be giving more money however. I really did not want or plan to single out any person, company or government in a negative way but, as one of the world’s largest economies they can do better than $255,000 or so in total donations, not including corporate or government money. In defense of the Chinese, there may be other countries that are not exactly holding up their end and I would talk about them too, but right now this type of information is hard to come by and the Chinese at least put an effort to publish their figures in an honest way.

Anyways, there is still time for everyone to keep giving as this effort to get Haiti to a reasonable level (which is relative because they were never in good shape being the poorest country in the western hemisphere) will take A LOT of time.