Monday, November 19, 2012

What Happens to Your Donated Money? (Part 1)


Haiti Earthquake Relief was a Boondoggle
November 27, 2012
by Bill Quigley and Amber Ramanauskas
(Abridged from Counterpoint by
Jan 3, 2012
Almost none of the money that the general public thought was going to Haiti actually went directly to Haiti.
The Illuminati control charity and relief efforts, and profit from disaster.
Haiti, a close neighbour of the US with over nine million people, was devastated by earthquake on January 12, 2010. Hundreds of thousands were killed and many more wounded.
The UN estimated international donors gave Haiti over $1.6 billion in relief aid since the earthquake (about $155 per Haitian) and over $2 billion in recovery aid (about $173 per Haitian) over the last two years.
Yet Haiti looks like the earthquake happened two months ago, not two years. Over half a million people remain homeless in hundreds of informal camps, most of the tons of debris from destroyed buildings still lays where it fell, and cholera, a preventable disease, was introduced into the country and is now an epidemic killing thousands and sickening hundreds of thousands more.
It turns out that almost none of the money that the general public thought was going to Haiti actually went directly to Haiti. The international community chose to bypass the Haitian people, Haitian non-governmental organizations and the government of Haiti. Funds were instead diverted to other governments, international NGOs, and private companies.
Here are seven places where the earthquake money did and did not go.
One. The largest single recipient of US earthquake money was the US government. The same holds true for donations by other countries.
Right after the earthquake, the US allocated $379 million in aid and sent in 5000 troops.
The Associated Press discovered that of the $379 million in initial US money promised for Haiti, ... 33% was actually given directly back to the US to reimburse ourselves for sending in our military.
Forty two cents of each dollar went to private and public non-governmental organizations like Save the Children, the UN World Food Program and the Pan American Health Organization. Hardly any went directly to Haitians or their government.
The overall $1.6 billion allocated for relief by the US was spent much the same way, according to an August 2010 report by the US Congressional Research Office:
$655 million was reimbursed to the Department of Defense;
$220 million to Department of Health and Human Services to provide grants to individual US states to cover services for Haitian evacuees;
$350 million to USAID disaster assistance;
$150 million to the US Department of Agriculture for emergency food assistance;
$15 million to the Department of Homeland Security for immigration fees, and so on.
Two. Only 1 percent of the money went to the Haitian government.
Less than a penny of each dollar of US aid went to the government of Haiti, according to the Associated Press. The same is true with other international donors. The Haitian government was completely bypassed in the relief effort by the US and the international community.
Three. Extremely little went to Haitian companies or Haitian non-governmental organizations.
The Center for Economic and Policy Research ...analyzed all the 1490 contracts awarded by the US government after the January 2010 earthquake until April 2011 and found only 23 contracts went to Haitian companies.
Overall the US had awarded $194 million to contractors, $4.8 million to the 23 Haitian companies, about 2.5 percent of the total.
On the other hand, contractors from the Washington DC area received $76 million or 39.4 percent of the total. As noted above, the UN documented that only four tenths of one percent of international aid went to Haitian NGOs.
Four. A large percentage of the money went to international aid agencies, and big well connected non-governmental organizations (NGOs).
The American Red Cross received over $486 million in donations for Haiti. It says two-thirds of the money has been contracted to relief and recovery efforts, though specific details are difficult to come by. The CEO of American Red Cross has a salary of over $500,000 per year.
"The NGOs still have something to respond to about their accountability, because there is a lot of cash out there," according to Nigel Fisher, the UN's chief humanitarian officer in Haiti. "What about the $1.5 to $2 billion that the Red Cross and NGOs got from ordinary people, and matched by governments? What's happened to that? And that's where it's very difficult to trace those funds."
Five. Some money went to for profit companies whose business is disasters...
Six. A fair amount of the pledged money has never been actually put up.
In March 2010, UN countries pledged $5.3 billion over two years and a total of $9.9 billion over three years in a conference March 2010. The money was to be deposited with the World Bank and distributed by the IHRC. The IHRC was co-chaired by Bill Clinton and the Haitian Prime Minister. By July 2010, Bill Clinton reported only 10 percent of the pledges had been given to the IHRC.
Seven. A lot of the money which was put up has not yet been spent.
Nearly two years after the quake, less than 1 percent of the $412 million in US funds specifically allocated for infrastructure reconstruction activities in Haiti had been spent by USAID and the US State Department and only 12 percent has even been obligated according to a November 2011 report by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO).
The performance of the two international commissions, the IHRC and the HRF has also been poor. The Miami Herald noted that as of July 2011, the $3.2 billion in projects approved by the IHRC only five had been completed for a total of $84 million.
The Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC), which was severely criticized by Haitians and others from its beginning, has been effectively suspended since its mandate ended at the end of October 2011. The Haiti Reconstruction Fund was set up to work in tandem with the IHRC, so while its partner is suspended, it is not clear how it can move forward.
Bill Quigley teaches at Loyola University New Orleans. Bill can be reached at
Amber Ramanauskas is a lawyer and human rights researcher. A more detailed version of this article with full sources is available. Amber can be reached at