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Port-au-Prince Still Buried Under the Rubble of Competing NGOs

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Georgianne Nienaber       (Page 2 of 3 pages) Become a premium member to see this article and all articles as one long page.     Permalink    (# of views)   2 comments

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Read the full DAP report here.

The report examined 196 organizations that solicited donations for Haiti disaster relief. It determines whether they produced regular, factual reports, the accessibility of the reports, and how the monies raised were spent.

"The fact that nearly half of the donated dollars still sit in the bank accounts of relief and aid groups does not match the urgency of their own fundraising and marketing efforts and donors' intentions, nor does it covey the urgency of the situation on the ground. This may be a disincentive for future giving by individuals and other governments," said Ben Smilowitz, DAP's Executive Director.

Over 1.8 million dollars in interest was reportedly raised by just 5 of the survey respondents. 10 groups reported that they did not know how much interest they have raised and the rest (23 groups) did not respond either way, indicating that this figure is likely higher, the report says.

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OXFAM did better than most in response to the questionnaire submitted by DAP. It says that out of $97 million raised for Haiti earthquake relief, $66 million has been disbursed for Haiti relief. 500 staff members are currently working in country. Regarding the interest question, OXFAM says, "current interest rates in secure, short-term investments are at or close to 0%. As a result, no significant income has been generated."

Zero percent?

Another pressing question, given the cholera epidemic, $66 million from OXFAM, the total humanitarian assistance earmarked for cholera from USAID of $40,802,413, and millions donated to other NGOs is: "Where is the infrastructure for clean water and sanitation?"

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Water purification tablets are nothing more than a band-aid.

The answer might lie with the Haitian Grassroots organization, Ayiti Kale Je , which suggests the term NGO is a misnomer, "since many are direct subcontractors of the United States and other governments," making them Haiti's largest employer.

This video on the "cash for work" program is very revealing.

The Clinton Bush Haiti Fund promise of $3.4 million in new grants and investments, if the money enhances the Haitian private sector, offers some hope.

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Gary Edson, CEO of the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund says "While we as a global community must continue to alleviate the Haitian people's unacceptable pain, we must also take clear aim at the country's underlying problems, by offering Haitians the tools and resources they need to build a sustainable economy - one that will help heal their country from within and put Haiti on a path to prosperity."

To date, the Fund has raised over $52 million, of which more than $20 million has been committed, "the vast majority to projects that further the Fund's mission of promoting economic growth and empowerment." A full list of the Fund's grants and investments can be found here.

Honestly not wanting to be cynical and sincerely wanting these programs to succeed--looking at the organizations that "benefit" from the Clinton Bush Fund--one sees the list of usual suspects of foreign NGOs and religious organizations.

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Georgianne Nienaber is an investigative environmental and political writer. She lives in rural northern Minnesota, New Orleans and South Florida. Her articles have appeared in The Society of Professional Journalists' Online Quill (more...)

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