The earthquake that struck Haiti last week has left an already fragile nation in turmoil and it has put our lives bluntly in perspective. I've found myself glued to the news, as I'm sure we've all been, watching images of disaster flash across the screen. I'm sickened and heartbroken by the thought of the tens of thousands who have lost their lives and the millions more who are without even the most basic necessities. In good times, the people of Haiti had little...now they have nothing.
I certainly don't claim to be an expert in development or know how to begin rebuilding an entire nation. But as an Ambassador for the global health organization PSI and its child health and safe water program, Five & Alive, I do know that there are small, inexpensive things we can do right now to help the people of Haiti.
Last year, I traveled with PSI to Southern Sudan, a region marked by poverty, violence and disease. A weak infrastructure and harsh geography make the delivery of critical health products an incredibly challenging undertaking. But PSI is doing it. I was inspired by their ability to reach people in the most remote areas with water purification products, malaria nets and treatments for diarrheal disease. Having seen PSI in action, I'm confident it will be able to get essential supplies to survivors of the disaster in Haiti. The period that follows a disaster like this earthquake is crucial. With devastated resources, an overwhelmed health care system, and thousands of people displaced, diarrheal and other waterborne diseases will be a major concern in the coming days, weeks and months.
PSI's top priority is making sure that there is a constant supply of clean, safe drinking water in the hard-hit capital of Port-au-Prince. Before the earthquake, only 54 percent of the Haitian population had access to clean, safe drinking water. I can only imagine how much worse the situation is now.
The people of Haiti are resilient. As a developed nation and their neighbor, we have a responsibility to help them recover from this devastation. Please, join me and support PSI as it mobilizes efforts to get products that will provide drinking water to the people of Haiti.
It doesn't take much - for as little as 50 cents, PSI can provide safe drinking water to a family of four in Haiti for an entire month. Just think, for $6 you can provide a year of clean water for a family in need.
Visit www.psi.org/donate and give hope. All donations will help PSI provide water-purification products and general humanitarian relief for the earthquake victims.
Please watch my video appeal: