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lapfog_1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 12:19 PM
Original message
Scale.
Always remember to do the math when presented with facts.

Number of refugees in the immediate area of Port-au-Prince without food, water, shelter... about 3,000,000.

Amount of relief aid currently on the ground in Port-au-Prince (water, food, blankets, medical supplies, tents, everything) - 180 Tons.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20100116/us-us... /


180 x 2000 x 16 (because we are going to need this number) = 5,760,000 ounces of aid on the ground.

5,760,000 / 3,000,000 (people that need aid) = 1.92 OUNCES of food, water, shelter, medical supplies for each person.

For the last 4 days of going without.

Think about that for a moment.

2 ounces of everything you need to live. Not per hour or minute or even a day, but the total for the last 4 days now going on 5. Think about that the next time you bite into a McDonald's Quarter Pounder... the meat in your hamburger is more than twice the amount of EVERYTHING that a Haitian survivor in Port-au-Prince might get in the next day or so.

They need at least 16 ounces (2 lb) per day per person. 8 times as much, per day. For the foreseeable future.

They need 1,440 tons of relief supplies every day. And even that may not be enough.

Scale is always a difficult thing to grasp.
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Motown_Johnny Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 12:23 PM
Response to Original message
1. K&R
thanks for taking the time to do the math
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lapfog_1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 12:36 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. It's an affliction.
Almost bordering on obsessive/compulsive behavior. I always "do the math".

And when I do, it's always revealing in some astounding ways.

This time, it's very sobering. Especially for those "armchair aid workers" who think that this should be a snap to take care of, merely wave your hands and magically nearly 3 million pounds of aid appear on the runway and are distributed to the victims, every day.

Logistics caused more battles to be won or lost in history than any other single factor. (and, no, I don't have the facts to back up that assertion, but I'll make it anyway because I'm fairly certain of it).

That there is less than 8 to 10 times less aid than what is needed is one "fact". Distributing it fairly (not necessarily evenly) to the victims is a whole 'nother kettle of fish.
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
2. K&R
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gristy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
3. 180 tons is a very small amount of relief
You can fit that onto 3 767's. Surely they've landed many, many more planes than that by now.
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tabatha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 12:27 PM
Response to Original message
4. A lot of what has happened recently, has made
me look a little harder at my life. There is a lot of waste in the US.

And then in the context of the numbers in Haiti --- even with the very little they make do with on a daily basis, it is still staggering.

I am sure many in the US could cut out a little - the coffee at Starbucks, the extra snack, and set aside the money for those who need it.


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BeFree Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 12:41 PM
Response to Original message
6. Yeah
Actually there are some structures that APPEAR habitable. I say appear because from here it does, but to the people whose walls came crashing down, they may not want to reenter. They may want to stay in the open.

There were water systems functioning, there are still a few, if there is electricity for pumps.

There was food on the island. Getting it to the people now in the fields is a problem. Problem of delivering water and food and shelter remain.

I hope it doesn't rain for 6 months, except that water catchments will dry up.

All in all, this is the largest human crisis any of us have ever seen, so this is new ground we tread.

What I see is that through all of this Haiti may be able to reform.
And maybe we can help our government to see that reform takes place.

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necso Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 12:43 PM
Response to Original message
7. "16 ounces (2 lb)"?
Food (high energy) alone at 2lbs/day (x3,000,000 people) = 6,000,000lbs/day = 3,000 tons/day ("american" tons: 2,000 lbs).

Using a water requirement of a gallon (128 ozs) per person per day equates (roughly) to 8.34lbs/day (x3,000,000 people) = 25,000,000lbs/day = 12,500 tons/day. Which is why it's so critical to purify and use (distribute) any local water (and other local resources) that can be so purified and used.
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lapfog_1 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-17-10 01:22 PM
Response to Reply #7
8. Yes, I was assuming that water purification systems
would be in the very first relief, along with immediate bottled water.

Shipping in enough water to provide for 3 million refugees is simply not feasible until the port is repaired and the roads are repaired and there is more truck transport.

I should have added that 2lb a day would be the minimum MREs plus medicine. One quart of water weighs about 2 lbs. In a hot environment, especially if you are out and about moving rubble and looking for survivors... you need probably 4 quarts a day, maybe more. Even if you are in a shelter of some sort, 2 quarts a day is recommended minimum.
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