Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Britain Comes Up Short on Haiti Aid

By Colum Lynch, TurtleBay The U.N. pledging conference on Haiti raised more than $5.3 billion to rebuild the quake-ravaged island nation over the next two years, well beyond the $3.9 billion sought by the Haitian government. Even some of the world’s poorest countries, including Georgia, Gambia, Sudan, and Montenegro made pledges ranging from more than $10,000 to a $1 million. But not everyone dug into their treasury to help pay for the rebuilding of Haiti. Traditional donors, including Britain and Austria, pledged nothing for reconstruction, according to a donor list produced by the European Union, which provided a total of $1.6 billion to the effort. Greece, still reeling from its own financial crisis, also gave nothing. Poorer European governments, Bulgaria, Hungary, Lithuania, Malta, and Romania, followed the example of their wealthier peers. “Everybody has budget constraints that make it difficult […]

Top U.N. aid official critiques Haiti aid efforts in confidential email

By Colum Lynch Turtle Bay The U.N.’s top humanitarian relief coordinator John Holmes scolded his top aid lieutenants for failing to adequately manage the relief effort in Haiti, saying that an uneven response in the month following the devastating Jan. 12 earthquake was undercutting confidence in the U.N.’s ability to deliver vital assistance, according to a confidential email obtained by Turtle Bay. The email, which provides a rare and highly critical internal assessment of the massive U.N.-led relief effort, portrays an organization that is straining to set up enough shelters, latrines, and other vital services for Haiti’s displaced population. It also warns that a failure of the U.N. system to improve relief assistance, particularly as the country faces the onset of heavy rains, could result in political unrest and mass demonstrations. The criticism by Holmes, the head of the U.N. […]

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