By Chris Keohane, 10 February 2010
The President of Global Association of Billionaires and Millionaires, Mr. Mark Paulsmeier, has revealed that GABM members have raised $20 million in relief funding for the Haiti earthquake victims.
The catastrophic earthquake with a magnitude of 7.0 struck Haiti on January 12, and has subsequently demolished approximately 250 000 homes and 230 000 people are feared to be killed. Almost a similar amount in lost of life as in the Asian Tsunami.
Global Association of Billionaires and Millionaires is well known for their financial support to disaster victims all over the world. GABM has previously also donated $10 million to the Asian Tsunami victims as well as $10 million to the Hurricane Katrina disaster.
Mr. Paulsmeier has said that although GABM is very sympathetic to the plight of disaster victims, a special effort is required from the international community to support the Haitian victims due to the country being one of the poorest nations in the world and due to the lack of infrastructure available to manage the humanitarian crisis that has arisen. The Red Cross estimates as much as 3 million people may be affected by the earthquake.
According to Mr. Lane Hartill, an Africa based Catholic Relief officer, the need for food and medicine is overwhelming and all the international efforts appear to be insufficient in terms of what is really required.
The US Geological Survey says the Haitian area is known for its deadly earthquakes, which is due to Haiti being situated on the Enriquillo-Plantain Garden Fault Zone. The last major earthquake in the region took place in 1946.