Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

New Bill Demands Red Cross Accountability

A new bill, the American Red Cross Sunshine Act, is currently pending approval in the House of Representatives. The bill would demand more oversight of how the Red Cross uses its funds, including audits by three inspectors general, and an annual report done by the Department of Homeland Security. The bill was sparked by the Red Cross’ resistance to an inquiry by the Government Accountability Office, requested by Representative Bennie Thompson after the Red Cross’ failed responses to Hurricane Katrina, the earthquake in Haiti, and Superstorm Sandy. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. ‘American Red Cross Sunshine Act’ Would Open Charity to Outside Scrutiny A House bill is being released today along with a government report citing a lack of oversight about how the charity spends the millions of dollars donated by Americans. Justin […]

How Foreign “Help” Hurts Haiti

More than 5 years after Haiti’s 2010 earthquake, many are still asking “where did all the money go?” This article analyzes the effects of aid efforts that don’t acknowledge the opinions or needs of the local population and end up hurting more than helping, like the Caracol Industrial park built in the north of Haiti. Supposedly, the park was part of the Clintons’ efforts to “build back better” but it hasn’t lived up to any of its promises and even resulted in subsistence farmers losing their fertile land. The article also discusses food insecurity in Haiti. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Haiti shows how wealthy countries ‘continue to cause disaster’ Workers get paltry wages at foreign firms that ‘extract the profits from their labour,’ researcher says Nicola Luksic & Tom Howell, CBC News September 15, […]

How the Post-Quake Response Could’ve Improved…But Didn’t

As part of the investigation and public release of Hillary Clinton’s personal emails by the State Department, a telling memo from Chelsea Clinton has also become public. The memo, inspired by a visit to Haiti soon after the 2010 earthquake, reveals the incompetence and lack of accountability of many of the organizations on the ground who were supposed to help Haiti with relief and recovery. While her mother seemed more focused on preserving the US image of “success” in Haiti, Chelsea was very frank about the need to include Haitians in the recovery effort and the unwillingness of the aid organizations to do so. Unfortunately, her recommendations showed a similar disconnect to that of her parents when she recommended increasing their power over the relief efforts in order to improve them–something which did happen later but made no improvement in the […]

Chelsea Clinton Memo on 2010 Earthquake Response

Among the recently-released Hillary Clinton State Department emails is a very detailed memo from Chelsea Clinton which describes the many failures of the international response to Haiti’s 2010 earthquake. In the memo, Chelsea describes the utter incompetence of many who were supposed to be helping Haitians, a great number of which were UN agencies. Chelsea ends the memo with recommendations on how to make the post-quake response more organized and effective, including working with local partners, having more centralized oversight of the response, and working with the Haitian government rather than undermining it. Click HERE for the full text. ———————- To: Dad, Mom Cc: Cheryl, Doug, Justin There is a context section at the bottom, which is longer than I would like, but I think it is important to articulate what I saw and whom I spoke with (and what I […]

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. Click HERE for the original article. Senator to Red Cross: Where’s the Transparency on Haiti? Justin Elliot, ProPublica July 23, 2015 The American Red Cross met […]

New documents show, Red Cross doesn’t know where half billion dollars of Haiti aid were spent

In new internal Red Cross documents released by ProPublica and NPR on their continued investigation into the spending of post-quake aid, lack of oversight and slow response are outlined as main contributors to why the Red Cross is unaware of where the nearly $500 million has gone. Of the half a billion dollars raised, a large portion was passed on to other groups contributing to aid in Haiti. However, the Red Cross kept almost no oversight of these groups, at least one of which has been proven to have mismanaged funding. Due to a lack of assessment of the effectiveness of projects and poor management from American Red Cross headquarters in Washington, D.C., the spending has not been tracked, leaving everyone to wonder where the donations have gone. Confidential Documents: Red Cross Itself May Not Know How Millions Donated for Haiti were […]

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