Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

American Red Cross donations and local organizations

After the 2010 earthquake, many donors were pained to learn how little of their contributions actually went to Haiti. The American Red Cross was a prime example, according to an investigation by ProPublica and NPR. “The reputation of the Red Cross in Haiti is very negative,” Nicole Phillips of IJDH said. In the same way consumers “shop local,” the solution is to give local. Rather than donating to foreign NGOs with high overhead costs to help Haitians after Hurricane Matthew, Edwidge Danticat and others advocate for organizations based in Haiti. Nicole Phillips, who lives in Haiti, said, “By giving money directly to the Haitian network, you’re cutting out a huge sum of cost that otherwise would have to pay for the middleman, for plane tickets, accommodations, et cetera  — it’s going directly to Haitians.” Local organizations, and NGOs with a proven track record, are […]

Red Cross used donations meant for Haiti on own expenses

A recent report released by the office of Iowa senator Chuck Grassley found that the American Red Cross used approximately one quarter of the donations it received to aide Haiti (about $125 million) to cover its own internal expenses. The report also found that the charity impeded government efforts to obtain information on the Red Cross program in Haiti, and understaffed and underfunded its own internal investigation unit, which is responsible for looking into incidences of misconduct and abuse within the organization. Red Cross mismanaged money meant for earthquake relief in Haiti RT America 6/21/2016   Click HERE for the original video.

After Haiti Earthquake Donation Misuse, Red Cross Needs to Win Back Trust

The American Red Cross needs to “make every effort to win [donors’] confidence” back after reports have revealed gross mis-spending of the money donated after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. For example, 25% of the donations were spent on administrative costs and fundraising though those are usually reported at 9%. Senator Charles Grassley has been investigating this issue since a 2015 report by ProPublica and NPR called attention to it. Trust Deficit at the Red Cross Editorial, The New York Times June 17, 2016 After calamities, people donate millions of dollars to the American Red Cross, believing it is uniquely equipped to provide prompt humanitarian aid. The latest evidence that their faith has been misplaced came this week in a report by Senator Charles Grassley about the charity’s poor response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. The earthquake killed an estimated 160,000 people and left much […]

Senator’s Investigation Reveals Problematic Spending of Haiti Earthquake Donations

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley has lead an investigation into the American Red Cross use of donations in the 2010 Haiti earthquake campaign. Receiving little to no feedback or answers to his questions, Senator Grassley has had a hard time finding information about the internal spending even though American Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern has claimed to work with the investigation. Though met with subpar communication, Grassley found that the organization has spent around 25 percent of the Haiti donations on internal expenses with ambiguous and unfounded titles such as ‘program expenses,’ a discovery that stands in direct violation of McGovern’s claim that all but 9 percent of donations go to humanitarian aid. The lack of support for internal policing mechanisms by the organization may hold a piece of the blame. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full article. … Report: Red Cross […]

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 […]

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 […]

Contact IJDH

Institute for Justice & Democracy In Haiti
15 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116

Telephone: (617) 652-0876
General Inquiries:
Media Inquiries: