Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Haiti still has no relief money

Six months ago Haiti was rocked by a 7.0 earthquake that killed more than 200,000 people, left more than 1.5 million homeless and destroyed the country's capital and surrounding areas.  The charitable outpouring for Haiti has been huge. To date, Americans have phoned, texted and mailed in more than $1.3 billion, according to The Chronicle Of Philanthropy.

But charitable-giving experts say people need to keep an eye on where their money goes. Some of the top organizations that donated funds for emergency relief to Haiti are: The American red Cross, Catholic Relief Services, Doctors Without Borders U.S., World Vision USA, The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and the Clinton Foundation Haiti Fund. These would seem like reputable companies whom people can trust if money is donated for a specific cause. Would you agree?

        (above: Port-au-Prince street in Haiti)

Well, it has been six months and no clean up effort has been done yet. Why is that so? Hundreds of thousands of buildings and homes lay collapsed and crumbled with their steel and wooden frames tattered, twisted and broken as if the hurricane just happened a week ago. Why has no clean up effort been done yet? Are systems in place to manage resources, people and program capacity to engage in a disaster like this one? Here's an idea for you, instead of having them sit around doing nothing there can be a cash for work program in progress to clean up the debris and torn down structures. That way the victims can rebuild their communities and earn wages and at the same time help ease the pain on the way to recovery.

Another question, why are there no big industrial equipment such as bulldozers, backhoes and dump trucks available on site to speed up the process and perform excavation  and backfilling operations that humans cannot perform?
How many groups/organizations will be working and helping in Haiti after the public has stop giving donations and has stopped paying attention to the whole ordeal?

Rubble removal is moving at a snail's pace and not enough land has been secured to build replacement housing. Haitian Prime Minister, Jean-Max Bellerive said that there are some organizations who are too independent and are not distributing the money appropriately and certain organizations are not informing the Haitian government about their intentions there in the country. (pictured below: the Presidential Palace as it lay in ruin.)

The U.S. and other donor countries pledged more than $9 billion to Haiti at a U.N.-sponsored donors' conference in March, but to date they have delivered only a fraction of the money pledged. Haiti's former prime minister, Michele Pierre-Louis, says aid groups working in the country need to be more visible. "If you come to help, show us that you are really helping, that the Haitian people, especially the poor, the destitute, those that most need this help, are the ones really getting it," she says.
Amid the recovery, there is a lot of finger-pointing going on in Haiti and nobody is blamed. Why is that so, especially in African and African descent countries? Meanwhile the situation remains difficult with so many people still living in terrible conditions.

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund and the Clinton Foundation Haiti Fund refuse to answer questions regarding this despite repeated phone calls and emails from noted news organizations such as CBS. These two charitable organizations say they collected 51 million donor dollars but have only spent about only $7 million which is about 1/7 th of the relief fund. That's despicable, that's just like America "despicable me"(and not the hollywood movie). [ to view the CBS video click here ]

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) has collected $165 million of emergency funds committed to Haiti. Out of that relief fund $2.5 million was spent on food and $1.28 million went to emergency shelter which totals $3.78 million......where is the other $161.22 million huh? That means no more than 8% actually went to Haiti. These big non profit organizations and billion dollar corporations need to be spending the money RIGHT NOW because it is  for EMERGENCY RELIEF.

So, as I started off saying in the beginning of this article about keeping your eye out on these major non profit organizations fortune 500 companies is because they are to blame. The people trust the companies to use the money for a specific cause and that is was not and is not being done which therefore violates the trust of the donors. What are these big reputable companies doing with the money? Is it diverted and/or transferred to other divisions or programs possibly? or even diverted to a bogas account and then used for lavish living or used for personal living expenses like mortgages, bank loans, car loans, shopping sprees, vacations, etc.

It seems to me that these big so-called reputable corporations, charities and non profit organizations just collect the working class's money give a very small percent to the actual cause and
keep the remaining lion's share for themselves to keep their rich class level status.

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