Major Failures of Red Cross in Haiti Detailed in New Report

The Red Cross came to help in Haiti after the disastrous 2010 earthquake, but their efforts are criticized in a report by the ProPublica organization and NPR. (AP)
The Red Cross came to help in Haiti after the disastrous 2010 earthquake, but their efforts are criticized in a report by the ProPublica organization and NPR. (AP)

With the lack of reconstruction and continued homelessness in earthquake-ravaged Haiti as a backdrop, the nonprofit ProPublica investigative journalism organization and NPR last week outlined major relief failures of the Red Cross, which reportedly received about $500 million in donations after the 2010 disaster.

“How the Red Cross Raised Half a Billion Dollars for Haiti — and Built Six Homes,” a report prepared by Justin Elliott of ProPublica and NPR’s Laura Sullivan, examines the deluge of donations to the Red Cross, close to a half-billion dollars, and the lack of results for Haitian survivors hurt hardest by the 7.0 earthquake.

“The (Red Cross) group has publicly celebrated its work. But in fact, the Red Cross has repeatedly failed on the ground in Haiti. Confidential memos, emails from worried top officers, and accounts of a dozen frustrated and disappointed insiders show the charity has broken promises, squandered donations, and made dubious claims of success,” said the report.

“The Red Cross says it has provided homes to more than 130,000 people. But the actual number of permanent homes the group has built in all of Haiti: six,” read one of numerous examples of inaction and mismanagement in the report.

But the report was quickly criticized by the Red Cross, which said the document lacked “balance, context and accuracy.”

According to CNN, the Red Cross said, “Despite the most challenging conditions, including changes in government, lack of land for housing, and civil unrest, our hardworking staff — 90 percent of whom are Haitians — continue to meet the long-term needs of the Haitian people. While the pace of progress is never as fast as we would like, Haiti is better off today than it was five years ago.”

Read the full ProPublica-NPR report here.

SOURCE: JARED MCCALLISTER
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS