A Note on Earthquake Relief

This past year, it seems every time the SAMAR collective has sat down to publish we have been confronted with another new tragedy. Today, we confront the aftermath of the catastrophic earthquake that hit South Asia earlier this month, with the most significant impact felt in Kashmir and Northern Pakistan. Death tolls have climbed as high as 80,000, leaving over three million people homeless, and the advent of winter makes getting much-needed aid to the most affected more difficult by the day—especially those in the remote villages in the mountains of Kashmir.

As we saw before with the Indian Ocean Tsunami and Hurricane Katrina, the affected communities will get hit a second time—by unjust policies, by corporate interests, by existing racisms and classism, by religious right usurpations and by government ineptitude. We see the tragedies and the political aftermath bringing to the surface deep and abiding social and political inequalities that impede the possibility of real and sustainable relief and rehabilitation.

There are, however, interesting elements of hope that have emerged out of these catastrophes. As the experience in New Orleans showed us, the slow and racist response to a predicted disaster in the US inspired a furious debate about the institutional racism that permeates the administration of social services as well as the voice of the corporate media. We might ask if there is a possibility of a similar public revelation about the situation in Kashmir as India and Pakistan sit at a table and agree to open up the Line of Control in just a few days.

Territorial politics notwithstanding, the need in the most devastated and poorest communities remains. In an attempt to support the progressive efforts to provide relief to affected communities in South Asia, we offer this list of websites and articles to help you direct your donations to projects that are trying to provide relief to the most vulnerable survivors of this disaster.

Organizations

Articles

Relief Blogs

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