Tsunami Relief

You know, one of the cool things about using a real blogging service is the RSS feed it automatically produces. (Read this to learn about RSS.) Of course, I personally know of only one other person who is keen on RSS, and that’s my homeboy Andrew Currie; but if you’d like to enter this brave new world, it helps to get a newsreader like SharpReader.

The changes on this site continue to mount. If you do some careful browsing, you’ll find new link styles, a change in content, and even more writing samples (though be warned that everything here is copyrighted, so I’ll sue your ass off if you misuse my stuff.)

Back in the real world, our tsunami relief efforts are continuing. It’s nice to see that the USA has been shamed into increasing its support to ten times its initial response… which still puts its per capita donation at less than that of Canada’s ($1.20 vs $1.23, not counting the exchange rate). It also means the World Bank is no longer the single biggest donor in this effort, so maybe the bank wil take this as a challenge and increase its contribution?

The organization I’m part of is called The Canadian Committee for Relief to Eastern Province, and is focusing solely on providing medical aid to a specific region of Sri Lanka. The big donors are providing other materials and have a more diffuse effort. But this region of the island is underserviced due to several factors, including the Sri Lankan government’s unwillingness to help areas which are ostensibly under “rebel” control. Also, the ubiquitousness of land mines in the region means that aid trucks are less likely to arrive there.

The committee is made up of scientists and health professionals, all of whom (except me) have relatives or other contacts in that region. So we have our own mini distribution network which, once we get the supplies to send, means that items will get transported faster and more directly to where they are needed.

If you’d like to help, please visit canrelief.org (which will have content any minute now) and consider making a donation. Or attend one of the fundraising events we’ll be hosting in Toronto and Ottawa in coming weeks.