19 January 2010

Still... Haiti

In The Guardian, today: Cruise ships are still docking at private beaches in Haiti so that the vacationers can jetski, go for a swim, or shop for trinkets.

The company that owns the ship defends the decision, saying that they're using the ship to make donations of food and water and donating profits from the visit to relief efforts, and besides, there are 230 Haitians who work inside the resort's twelve-foot fences, so they're all getting paid.

Pardon me while I get sick to my stomach.

Okay, I'm back.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, there are around 230 cruise ships in operation worldwide; they can carry up to 3000 passengers, and the biggest employ hundreds of crew members.

What if each cruise ship company gave just one boat to the Haitians, or to Doctors Without Borders, or the International Red Cross, for the next few weeks? What if each of these boats became a floating hospital, or home to a few thousand Haitians?

Good could come of it... not just hypocrisy.