LIRNEasia is a regional ICT policy and regulation think tank active across the Asia Pacific

The power of love (and technology)

Foreign Policy magazine calls it “The Unluckiest Country” and Haiti has hardly anything to defend. History of the Western Hemisphere’s second-oldest republic has been dominated by coups, dictators, and foreign interventions. Disastrous natural calamities were never in short supply either. And now it’s the earthquake.

The world has answered. Personal donations are pouring in at dramatic volume in this Caribbean island. Thanks to modern telecoms technologies like tweeting and texting. The American Red Cross has received more than $35 million  within 48 hours. That included more than $5 million through text messages, an amount that eclipsed the previous total for a campaign using that technology.

New technology has made giving easier than ever. Hundreds of thousands of people have donated by text-messaging. By texting a code word such as “Haiti” to a designated number, people can donate $5 or $10 that will be added to their phone bills. A big chunk of GlobalGiving’s donations came though Twitter. Oxfam America officials were surprised by the volume of money it received through Facebook. Read more.


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