After its January 2010 earthquake, Haiti received millions, if not billions, of dollars to help the country recover and rebuild. Over 5 years later, many are asking where all the money went when signs of progress are few. The US Government Accountability Office recently investigated the US portion of the funds and found that some sectors had some success but construction projects are still struggling to be completed. One reason that plagues USAID in particular was lack of oversight. Read part of this article below.
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U.S. government’s millions having mixed results in Haiti
Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald
June 3, 2015
The U.S. government’s efforts to help Haiti rebuild after its Jan. 12, 2010, earthquake is having mixed results, a new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office shows.
Auditors reviewed 23 reconstruction projects and found that while some in health and agriculture did well, construction projects continue to suffer from cost overruns and delays. Also, in three cases, the U.S. Agency for International Development’s Haiti mission was forced to scratch projects because of poor performance or insufficient Haitian government support, auditors said.
The release of the report by the GAO, which works for Congress, came a day ahead of a visit to Haiti by U.S. congressional staffers from the House Foreign Affairs committee. Led by Eddy Acevedo, senior policy advisor to U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, the delegation plans to visit some of the projects, including empty housing plots, where work stalled because the agencies that were supposed to build the homes on behalf of USAID pulled out.
The findings echo past GAO reports examining how USAID has spent $1.7 billion of U.S. taxpayer dollars in Haiti’s reconstruction efforts. As of Sept. 30, 2014, the agency had allocated more than half to health and food security programs.