Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

American Red Cross Leaves Many Questions Unanswered

This past week, the American Red Cross (ARC) attempted to answer questions about how and where its money was spent in aid to Haiti. Now, after demanding these crucial answers, Iowa senator Charles Grassley is still frustrated with ARC’s lack of transparency and cooperation. In some instances, the ARC refused to give concrete answers, and, in others, it gave only indirect responses. The ARC claims that its contracts with nearly 50 aid groups, which the ARC hired to complete tasks on the ground, prevent the ARC from disclosing certain financial information to the public. Additionally, some responses contradict internal assessments and other investigations, giving rise to even more questions in an already questionable situation.

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Senator to Red Cross: Where’s the Transparency on Haiti?

Justin Elliot, ProPublica

July 23, 2015

The American Red Cross met a deadline this week to answer congressional questions about how it spent nearly half a billion dollars donated after the 2010 Haiti earthquake, but the group says details can’t yet be released publicly.

And the senator who posed the questions is not satisfied.

“I still have a lot more questions for the Red Cross,” said Sen. Charles Grassley in a statement. “I have other questions about the spending numbers and how they add up and the overhead costs for both the Red Cross and the grantee organizations. Also, I’d like to see more details of the results achieved from each of the partner organizations.”

After taking out a slice for overhead, the Red Cross passed on much of the donated money to nearly 50 other aid groups to do the actual work in Haiti. The Red Cross gave details to Grassley about that money, but it asked the senator not to release the information.

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