Don’t give money to Haiti

By Felix Salmon
January 15, 2010
Twitter campaigns and the telethons and the corporate donations and therecord sums raised through text messages, you can be sure that an enormous amount of cash is going to end up being raised to help Haiti. This is not necessarily a good thing.

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Between the Twitter campaigns and the telethons and the corporate donations and the record sums raised through text messages, you can be sure that an enormous amount of cash is going to end up being raised to help Haiti. This is not necessarily a good thing.

For one thing, right now there’s very little that can be done with the money. There are myriad bottlenecks and obstacles involved in getting help to the Haitians who need it, but lack of funds is not one of them. For the next few weeks, help will come largely from governments, who are also spending hundreds of millions of dollars and mobilizing thousands of soldiers to the cause. But with the UN alone seeking to raise $550 million, it’s going to be easy to say that all the money donated to date isn’t remotely enough.

The problem is that Haiti, if it wasn’t a failed state before the earthquake, is almost certainly a failed state now — and one of the lessons we’ve learned from trying to rebuild failed states elsewhere in the world is that throwing money at the issue is very likely to backfire.

What’s more, charities raising money for Haiti right now are going to have to earmark that money to be spent in Haiti and in Haiti only. For a Haiti-specific charity like Yele, that’s not an option. But as The Smoking Gun shows, Yele is not the soundest of charitable institutions: it has managed only one tax filing in its 12-year existence, and it has a suspicious habit of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on paying either Wyclef Jean personally or paying companies where he’s a controlling shareholder, or paying his recording-studio expenses. If you want to be certain that your donation will be well spent, you might be a bit worried that, for instance, Yele is going to be receiving 20% of the proceeds of the telethon.

Meanwhile, none of the money from the telethon will go to the wholly admirable Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors Without Borders, which has already received enough money over the past three days to keep its Haiti mission running for the best part of the next decade. MSF is behaving as ethically as it can, and has determined that the vast majority of the spike in donations that it’s received in the past few days was intended to be spent in Haiti. It will therefore earmark that money for Haiti, and try to spend it there over the coming years, even as other missions, elsewhere in the world, are still in desperate need of resources. Do give money to MSF, then, but if you do, make sure that your donation is unrestricted. The charity will do its very best in Haiti either way, but by allowing your money to be spent anywhere, you will help people in dire need all over the world, not just in Haiti. Here’s the message on MSF’s website:

We are incredibly grateful for the generous support from our donors for the emergency in Haiti.

MSF has been working in Haiti for 19 years, most recently operating three emergency hospitals in Port-au-Prince, and is mobilizing a large emergency response to this disaster. Our immediate response in the first hours following the disaster in Haiti was only possible because of private unrestricted donations from around the world received before the earthquake struck. We are currently reinforcing our teams on the ground in order to respond to the immediate medical needs and to assess the humanitarian needs that MSF will be addressing in the months ahead.

We are now asking our donors to give unrestricted funding, or to our Emergency Relief Fund. These types of funds ensure that our medical teams can react to the Haiti emergency and humanitarian crises all over the world, particularly neglected crises that remain outside the media spotlight.

The last time there was a disaster on this scale was the Asian tsunami, five years ago. And for all its best efforts, the Red Cross has still only spent 83% of its $3.21 billion tsunami budget — which means that it has over half a billion dollars left to spend. Not to put too fine a point on it, but that’s money which could be spent in Haiti, if it weren’t for the fact that it was earmarked.

It’s human nature to want to believe that in the wake of a major disaster, we can all do our bit to help just by giving generously. And if there’s a silver lining to these tragedies at all, it’s that they significantly increase the total amount of money donated to important charities by individuals around the world. But if a charity is worth supporting, then it’s worth supporting with unrestricted funds. Because the last thing anybody wants to see in a couple of years’ time is an unseemly tussle over what happened to today’s Haiti donations, even as other international tragedies receive much less public attention.

Update: Saundra Schimmelpfennig has a great list of what to do and what not to do when you’re making donations in the wake of a disaster; it includes, of course, that donations should be unrestricted. And the Philanthrocapitalists suggest that you “match fund what you have given to Haiti with a gift to someone suffering just as much, but less dramatically, elsewhere in the world”.

Update 2: Sophie Delaunay of MSF USA responds in the comments. And in case this blog entry isn’t clear, let me be explicit: DO give lots and lots of money to MSF’s Emergency Relief Fund. Give now, because the tragedy in Haiti is in the news and because you want to do something to help; MSF is there and is helping and is a great cause. And then continue to give in the future, because there are many other equally tragic situations elsewhere in the world, where MSF is doing just as great a job, but there isn’t the same degree of media coverage and there’s much less money flowing in. Earmarking your funds for Haiti in particular is not helpful. But that’s no reason to give nothing at all.

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90 comments so far

On the contrary, you should http://givemoneytohaiti.com – unrestricted donations of course.

Posted by dpmarshall | Report as abusive

Wyclef Jean is on Oprah Show today denying that he has ever taken money from the (his) foundation. How much proof do you have regarding the statements above?

Posted by SocialSea | Report as abusive

This is a very well-expressed sentiment that matches mine exactly. After a 20-year career of raising funds for worthy causes, I can say that there are hundreds operating under the media’s radar that need your help more than any one charity in the international limelight. Sensationalized philanthropy, while it may seem politically correct, is overkill and wastes charitable instincts. Allow the masses to overdo it and remember that the most satisfying giving is close to home and heart.

Posted by janq1214 | Report as abusive

Well, either way, Yele has a lot of expenses and it is important to donate to a charity where your $1.00 reaches that person and does not get caught up in the charities expenses. Certain organizations are very good at this. Partners in Health, Aga Khan Development network, doctors without borders, and others which rely on volunteer labour and donations of anything to make a business run are perhaps the ones to donate to.

Posted by jkyk | Report as abusive

I am utterly appalled by this posting. The truth is that if individuals and groups are morally persuaded to give to a particular cause, country or crisis, they should do so. In all actuality, a half a billion dollars is not that much in terms of international development aid programs. Just because reputable organizations have not yet finished spending money after the Tsunami (five years later) is not a compelling argument to stop or limit Haiti earmarked funding. It could take 15 years or more to rebuild Haiti to what it was initially, and why not use the power of a unified voice of willing individuals to rebuild it stronger than it ever was? Haiti has always deserved all of the money it is receiving now and the real moral question is why does it take a ‘natural’ disaster to move us to commit to charitable acts that should be given to developing countries in constant health, economic and political crises even if the crises are not deemed ‘natural’–as if we are marking and labeling all other aspects of ill-economy and ill-health ‘unnatural’?

Posted by WorldAnthro | Report as abusive

Sorry I always like to post my contact information for the purpose of promoting communication debate with others:

Maya N. Vaughan+Smith, Ph.D student
Anthropology Dept.
Brown University
maya_vaughan-smith@brown.edu

Posted by WorldAnthro | Report as abusive

I agree with the general sentiment of this article as the best and most accountable charitable groups know best where to allocate the funds at any point in time. Medcine Sans Frontier is my favorite due to their great coverage in world disaster areas and to their low expense to donation ratio. I encourage everyone to donate according to their individual capability.

Posted by Brunia | Report as abusive

I agree with the comments left here. I just would like to add, why not keep the money in the U.S. and why wasn’t this system set up to keep these funds in the U.S.
if these funds were divided to each and every stae based on its level of unemployment and homeless. Basing the percentage on that.. For instance as I heard earlier, It was up to $57,000,000.00 Let’s say that it was spread even that would be over $1,000,000.00 per state.
But dividing it according to what state needs the most .
Everyone in the US who is at or below the povery level could get a boost in these tough times.
I can not believ that the elected officals and their wives can ask the Americans to give funds to another country when we desperately need it here.
I know alot of people who feel the way that I do and I feel this is going to come out when it’s time to vote again.
P.S. why not text 5 or 10 dollars to a homeless shelter or to a battered woman so she could have a safe place to stay with her children. Why not send it to the chidren in the US that are going hungry in our great country.
People are losing their homes and you are asking us to help them build their homes..Does that seem right ??
And if it does in someones eyes in this great nation.
There is a much huger problem that we will ever know

Posted by cheymoore67 | Report as abusive

I find it funny how some say America save the world. Look at this link
http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/ 2010/jan/14/haiti-quake-aid-pledges-coun try-donations

You will notice per capita here in Canada we are giving much more per person from the gov. An come close to what the US is giving in total to Haiti.

Even worse is this I believe will be a immense waste of money. It will take very intrusive re-education and cultural changes to actually make a difference in Haiti. The fatality of the voodoo religion must be removed for starters. It will take a very intrusive approach to actually help that country.

An I believe in giving at home first. Look at your American cities. Detroit among a few has become a waste land. Louisiana was never rebuilt to its old standards and we both have ghetto’s and children in soup kitchens.

Yes we need to help Haiti, but please that country had more Christian organizations than any other before the earth quake, with large sums of money entering it. San Diego had a 7.0 not that long ago. Look at the difference in loss of life.

Stop letting this be the flavor of the moment give at home. Yes they need help but pouring billions down the drain like this is not it.

Also here in Montreal the Haiti conference is going on. They will be asking for 3 billion donation and the international community is looking at forgiving a 1 billion debt.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/01/26/world/ americas/26haiti.html

We need to look at long term goals (yes they need the immediate medical and food).

Agricultural
Mineral resources
Education
Birth control
Values
Morals

If that cannot be accepted by them or met by them so sorry so sad.

Posted by judge34411 | Report as abusive

All I have to say is that when or if you’re ever in the same situation as those in Haiti, let’s not help you by donating money to help you? People donate their money to help those in Haiti, not to spread within ourselves. I know that there are homeless families in our own countries, and our economy’s not good right now, but the people of Haiti have just lost over 150,000 people and more that are homeless, sick, and dying, within one event. It’s sad to see how there are still some people who think that we should take the donated money to use for ourselves. Also, donations through American Red Cross has specific organizations that you can put your donations through.

Posted by Flabfab09 | Report as abusive

Please very carefully re-read what I have said, including my links and education comments. I do hope If I need help I will get it. But as a well educated working person I will get off my ass and provide for myself once I can. I was given the tools to do so. They do not have the tools to do so, and money spent this way will not give them such. Go take a trip to New Orleans and you will be shocked.

Yes they need help, but just tossing money will never solve the problem.

Oh and a news flash that has been happening for years. People dye on the streets for years there. Just this event and all the stars coming out and news reporters grabbing headlines brings it to the front.

An shame on anyone that does not help their own first.

An on the sad point of sad to help our own. For years the Americans have tried tossing money on a problem and failed even at home. Finally they gave up and tried an intrusive program in certain areas in NY and guess what it worked. Yes it involved money but it went to install pride and values, education and such.

An yes again please read what I said, they do need help but do not toos such a huge amount of money.

Posted by judge34411 | Report as abusive

In response to Maya N. Vaughan+Smith, Ph.D student (a few comments above mine):

“Haiti has always deserved all of the money it is receiving now and the real moral question is why does it take a ‘natural’ disaster to move us to commit to charitable acts that should be given to developing countries in constant health, economic and political crises even if the crises are not deemed ‘natural’–as if we are marking and labeling all other aspects of ill-economy and ill-health ‘unnatural’?”

Why does Haiti deserve the money so much? What makes them so deserving of everyone’s money or their support (well except from a moral obligation that is)?What makes this crisis different than all the other crises/atrocities in the world today?

Oh and corrupt governments only makes things harder.

Just a couple of questions that popped up when reading through.

Posted by Rflkt | Report as abusive

What about the intrest on the .5 Billion, is it earmarked too?

Posted by whomever | Report as abusive

They say Canada has donated the most per Capita. That’s great for those individuals who can afford this. The government donations are another thing. That’s taxpayer money.
It seems everytime we turn around our Canadian government is giving away money to other countries. Why & why so much? There is enough poverty & despair right here in Canada they you don’t need to look elsewhere!

I am the fourth generation in Canada. I work very hard as my previous generations & still we have very little to show. We grew up in make shift housing , obviously no plumbing in our house & with very little food. No, this wasn’t very long ago as I’m only 30 years old.

The previous generations have racked up a nice little deficit & now my young generation is left with the burden. Start limiting foreign donations & start taking care of your own people!
If its up to me I’d cut off all your pensions right now starting with Government officials. You want to donate, lets donate your pensions.

You keep taxing the working class as hard as you have been there’s soon going to be an uprising!

Posted by FUGOVERNMENT | Report as abusive

I think that a couple of people should read the article again. As for Canada giving the most per capita when there is only 1000 people in the whole country then yes I suppose it does look good. As for the US sending funds they have also sent the military which also becomes a huge cost factor. 114 million from the US is overkill and for those of you who can not figure it out, the goverment is the people, so all those extra dollar lining your pocket that you can’t wait to send down there. You will also see a little less in your check throughout the year. The Pres, nor the Senate, nor the House of Reps pay the bill, but they have no problem spending the money.

Posted by yeahthatsright | Report as abusive

@Rflkt. What makes you think Haiti is not deserving? Even beyond the human loss, the nation’s capitol has been demolished. Infrastructure for development purposes has not just been halted but put back 150 years, perhaps, by this tragedy. A surge in funding could have the same impact that the European Recovery Program had. A program, that by the way was implemented for FIVE years during 1948-1952. This program essentially was a mid-term project to offset and move beyond the damage of world war II. This international project, like many had an ideological premise in addition to an economic one. There are lots of debates about ideologically based funding and economic recovery. I do not believe that especially after a disaster funding should be ideologically driven or insist on any long-term political *reform* that may in and of itself be misguided. Haiti needs a purely economically-driven redevelopment plan designed by engineers, public health practioners, doctors, nurses, teachers and IT specialists. Let’s remove the dogma, subjectivity and *idealism* from development aid. Having hidden agendas merely lead to an inefficient use of funds that could be solely directed towards the necessary site of damage: infrastructure, clean efficient technology and “systems” architecture. An appropriate response, however, should be directed, managed and precision-based solutions, led by expert taskforces–that are not politicians, but literally teams of ENGINEERS and system architects. If Western Europe and the Americas had a united mutlilateral front here so much could be done, an example that might move development and disaster relief programs into the 21st century where they belong.

Posted by WorldAnthro | Report as abusive

I feel sorry for the children – thats ALL I feel sorry for – the rest of them are adults who need to at least HELP rebuild their country instead of sitting by and watching the relief workers – over the last several years weve thrown millions at haiti – what do we have to show for it – its like new orleans – any boob stupid enough to build a house BELOW sea level deserves to get wet-

Posted by mcccmar | Report as abusive

ok let me get straight to the point…anybody who does not want to donate to haiti is pure evil and i swear everything you do to other will happen to you. Now how would you feel if your whole country was ruined almost millions of people were dead yet no one wanted to help and give money you would feel damn right stupid. so anyone who has a fucking problem with giving money to people in need you will no succeed unless you do right by others.

Posted by jihnaca | Report as abusive

http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/ 2010/jan/14/haiti-quake-aid-pledges-coun try-donations

Tracking the ever-increasing pledges of financial aid and other assistance for quake-stricken Haiti is a difficult business, but the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is attempting to do just that. The OCHA has the tricky task of trying to orchestrate the efforts of the dozens of aid agencies either in Haiti or on their way there

$2,022,702,837 Haiti aid pledged

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_po pulation_of_Haiti
In 2008, World Development Indicators measured Haiti’s population at 9,780,064 people.

After the January 12, 2010 earthquake that struck the nation, Haiti’s population decreased by an estimated 200,000 who died. (approximate population post-quake is 9,580, 064) do the math yourself.

The goal is not to give each person in Haiti a cash, but to rebuild the country.

There are too many projects and people in America that are destitute and underfunded to really care what happens in Haiti. That country has been in a constant state of chaos for years. They are obviously unable or unwilling to govern themselves. The population doesn’t care that they live in $**t. The politicians are corrupt. They are breeding children they can’t feed. The world has been giving hand outs to this country for how long? Has it worked yet? What makes you think it will work now?

Hollywood types are not using this calamity to make themselves feel better, only to look better. Acts of compassion and charity should be private and not boasted of. Hollywood (and the vast majority of the world) could go the way of Haiti and I would be a happy person.

BTW…don’t bother posting what a hater I am…I really don’t care for your multi-cultural liberal, christian “love everyone” opinion….I hate you to.

Posted by dontyawannaknow | Report as abusive

Ok, I think we should give but not three times. Basically that is what the government is going to do.
1. you donate to your fav cause
2. the gov give your tax money
3. the gov raised taxes to pay for the money the gave away
so now your paying again

I think that if the United States want to give our tax money away to other countries for natural disasters then it should be voted on by every registed voter in the US on how much to give especially in our economy right now. I would say it’s kind of like a family member giving away the farm without consulting the rest of the family. It’s just not right!!!

Posted by kat68 | Report as abusive

ok, well.. first off, to all of you who are in favor of using all of that money donated on ourselves: we are in far better conditions than Haiti. I’m sorry, yeah there are poor people in this country. Just maybe, if you had studied harder, or perhaps didn’t get pregnant before the age of 21 you wouldn’t be in that condition. If you make mistakes, don’t expect not to suffer. Secondly, I’m not totally in favor of donating money, either. They’re not going to be able to fix a country that’s been living in terrible conditions for years, after one scary mishap. They were insanely over populated to begin with, and when there are that many people in an area, situations like this are bound to happen. Donating money isn’t going to change that. If it were up to me, I’d get them to where they were before, and give them all birth control. Maybe I’m not completely sympathetic, or maybe I just know my history.

Posted by corrinaxcorrina | Report as abusive

I, for one, will not be giving more than I already have as a US taxpayor. My involuntary contributions over the last 25 years have been squandered, laundered, stolen, pissed away, lost, inappropriately charged off, not to mention willfully and fraudulently misappropriated. How much has been given ? No one seems willing or able to answer. Do I want to help people in need ? YES. But if you look at the big picture, and specifically look at the money that has been sent to Haiti over the last 25 years, you would realize that every one of the 10,000,000 Haitians should be driving a Mercedes, and living on a yacht that you and I can only dream of.

Posted by dirtboy58 | Report as abusive

Enough on Haiti, it’s played and been so “hip” I am tired, like hearing a top single for a year straight. A million for each life in Haiti raised? YES, start looking at the numbers.
Here is a thought, how about all these corporations (and thanks to them), trendy hip artist (thanks to them), and every other organization in the United States do this for 6 months for all OUR TROOPS fighting for OUR COUNTRY? How about someone with no legs or arms? A citizen in Haiti average income $800.00, now with near a million donated per citizen, they could all move an retire for life! Let’s take care of our own that have given their lives their arms, legs, and even life, leaving their children and spouses alone for life, with very little financial assistance? The Problem, the PRESS has not made something that simple “cool”, it’s not “hip”, but don’t you think we could do better for these kids, some 18 and 19 years old, giving themselves for our country. Let’s change the channel of giving, cause it looks like we can raise money pretty good in this country. We just did it during a recession and the worst unemployment in the world, We could take care of the uninsured for health? Simple answer there isn’t it? The starving in the United States, our Veterans, but it is so cool to give to the 156th our 159 most corrupt countries in the World. Sorry, Haiti is played in my book now, let’s have another “cause” all the time, we have done well, let’s do it for others on a constant basis? Obama, anoint another buddy for this post, maybe Bono can give 8 hours a week? I just don’t need to hear the Jay Z and U2 song a few months from now. How about another cause, does anyone agree? Whether for the War or not, it’s not the politics, just take care of our boys and girls that gave so much for us and the people of other countries! We get little credit for raising the most money for Haiti in the world press. How much did Saudi Arabia give, last figure I saw was ZERO. Think about that for a moment!

Posted by USVets | Report as abusive

The bottom line is that we all have a duty to mankind. Not just people we see everyday. No one person has a life more valuable than another. No one should be denied care and shelter. No child should be left on the streets to die, anywhere. Someone mentioned the adults getting off their asses to help rebuild. Building is not a skill everyone has. The point of rebuilding there is to put in place buildings that would be able to withstand a disaster. There is a reason the death toll is not that high in America when a quake hits. We have better structures on the fault lines. Haiti also has no sewage system and this could lead to some terrible illnesses. They have no room left to bury bodies, which could also lead to health issues. Little kids are horribly injured and all they can do is sit on a sidewalk beacuse the only hospitals were leveled. Haiti has suffered from a hurricaine, a 7.0 earthquake and then a few days late a 6.0 tremor. They are not the only country who suffers. But they are a country people look away from. Relief is almost constantly in Africa. People are always in these places across the world trying to make a change. Haiti should be no different. How can we say we have given too much? It will take years to get them back on their feet. I personally will not miss the 100 dollars that I can give to people in need. And right now They need it. They literally have nothing.

I can also assure that while it is costly to send US troops for relief it is actually a small gesture. I was in the service for Katrina and while yes we deploy troops to countries in need, it is a relatively small number. Sending one ship or a few units to another country is something the service will do anyway. The military is not only for America, it is our duty to help those who cannot help themselves. America is about that. It should be about that.

What is upsetting here is that people are literally saying Haiti doesn’t deserve anything. It is easy to say that when you have lived in a country that affords you opportunities to become great things. Make no mistake that the people starving and dying from illness due to the fact that there are no longer hospitals there, they are all human. Or have we forgotten that humans live all over the world. I guess since it doesn’t happen in your yard it seems less real. Like, Rwanda. We just watch it happen on the news, but it doesn’t really affect us or our families. Butit happens and it is all so real. I will not raise my children in a world that is so selfish.

Isaiah1:17 “Seek justice,encourage the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow.”

“All that is required for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing.”

Posted by brwalze | Report as abusive

That is true because God has also instructed us to give to the poor

Posted by dfaff | Report as abusive

i am raising money to haiti because haiti is a poor country they went threw that earth quake with lyk box houses and whoever said haiti doesnt deserve that SO RAISE $$ FOR HAITI!

Posted by lemonade1313 | Report as abusive

There is only one nation and that is mankind. The reason why Haiti needs the money and American does not is: The whole nation is suffering and only a small amount of American’s are. I would not call having your four bedroom house forclosed on and the family having to live in an apartment suffering. An example of suffering through my eyes while I volunteered in Haiti : people on the street just lying there waiting to die, premature babies being born all day every day, families in the countryside not rebuilding their homes because they believe American’s are going to come and help but look at you guys. You people disgust me saying don’t donate to Haiti. Did you know that a huge part of there economy is selling the stuff that was donated to them. Did you know that the number one way to make money in for Haitians is family members sending money through western union. American’s will never understand unless they go experience it for themselves no headline or comment you read will change your mind because your all so ignorant and believe everything you hear. I used to not believe in God until I went to Haiti and saw that faith in God is the only thing most Haitian’s have and I thought to myself I get it now. People talk to God when nobody else will listen. It would be cruel to the poor to also not believe in God, to not believe in the only thing they have. AAgh I wish I could put you in there shoes having to decide whether to feed your children or get medical care for your tuberculosis because if you die there will be nobody else to feed your children. I agree of course that there are people suffering in the United States but I believe in most cases they have done something to get themselves in that situation. On the other hand the government of Haiti and other governments have made Haiti the way it is. You all need to read some Paul Farmer. There is only one nation humanity.

Posted by Rebeloution | Report as abusive

If we steal that money, God will remember. The big earthquake in Chile was so strong it shorten our days ! Has Time been shorten ? Matthew 24:22 . If he had sent that one to Haiti everyone would be dead , it was not built strong enough . God is already angry Revelation 16:8 . God will not fold, so if we don’t then DUCK .

Posted by Blueeee | Report as abusive

i am trying to think of something to say without being abusive, very difficult…here are a few thoughts
1; to fight injustice is to fight the whole world
2; we all know where the money has gone
3; questions need to be asked like WHERE IS THE MONEY (rhetorical)
4; why do i bother nobody realy gives a toss and no one will read this anyway

Posted by himmih | Report as abusive

I am tired of people donating to other countries, when me and my family go hungry every week, because we cant afford what we need. Especially when the news shows pictures of the hatians and they weigh more than a few hundred pounds. Me and my kids could use some of that weight.

Posted by trina | Report as abusive

To a certain degree I agree with what’s said here, as with all the “billions” of dollars (the majority from people who couldn’t really even afford to give it but did) that has already been given, what exactly do we have to show for it?
Where are the homes and other important buildings that should be up by now, which would greatly benefit the citizens of Haiti? Three Christian organizations are ‘no longer’ allowed to bring food or other supplies into the country, even if it will help those who need it. Is it only me that feels there’s something deeply wrong with this? Why keep food and supplies form your own citizens?
I have yet to see even one ‘valid or solid’ paper trail that will let those who are donating know what’s become of ‘their funds’, but everytime there’s an ‘out cry’ those same people give and give, with NO proof that real help will be given.
So far I’ve only seen three organizations (and two are Christian ones at that), which are still distributing food, clothing, and medical supplies, as well as “building homes” for those who live and reside in Haiti. So,if by chance ‘you’ can prove to me beyond a shadow of doubt, that money given to Haiti can be kept track of, and those funds and what they’re being used for have benefited the people of Haiti, then I will be very glad to give and help where it’s needed.

Posted by tais | Report as abusive

“Since 2002, the American people have provided the
Afghan people with more than $7.9 billion dollars
in development assistance.”
This quote comes directly off the website for USAID. I like how the quote says the American people provided..(However, thru taxes is left out). I’m in Afghanistan, USAID is huge, they’re all over the place and their main purpose is to spend money and complete projects that are many times, useless. However, the last part of the past sentence is unimportant; it’s all about getting numbers. I’ve seen several of these multiple hundred thousand dollar projects built with good intention but devoid of any purpose. A cold-storage facility built on top of a mountain with no electricity, a slaughter facility that now houses single family, mini-hydroelectric plants taken down and sold for parts, a wind turbine built in a windless valley…the list goes on.
My point is there is little accountability in mega charities and NGOs as their budgets can stretch just like our government’s budget.
I say donate! But take the time to look at what the organization is really doing with your money. Look at their expense percentage. If you don’t want to do that then slip that $20 in the jar on the counter and feel good as you believe that you might have made a difference.

Posted by CatM2011 | Report as abusive

You may want to check out Partners In Health and the Solar Electric Light Fund. They are stellar organizations.

See: http://www.holdon4haiti.org

Posted by ChristianS | Report as abusive

Actually, 1)that money sent to Haiti is making the country and roads better (though the president only sponsored 2 soccer games and nothing for the country) 2)Haiti is not a state, it is a small country in the island “Hispaniola” or “Hispañola” containing two republics: República Dominicana & Haiti. Which i know this because i studied Geography and History in Haiti as an elementary student (this is real for those who do not believe me)and now i’m in 5Th grade in the Dominican Republic. Please get your facts straight and i SWEAR don’t you ever talk bad about my country. The worst you talk, the worst things are gonna come back to you. I SAY DONATE TO HAITI SO THE COUNTRY CAN BE BETTER!!!!!!!

Posted by imahaitian | Report as abusive

I read this article and was not pleased. Before you write an article you should consider all avenues of giving and why people give to Haiti. I am do Haitian but as the International Director of Open Hands International “Healing Waters Project”, 1015 Fairwinds Court, Salisbury, Md 21801. We provide direct care to Haiti and all donations are used to keep sub poverty children and families in Haiti and other sub poverty countires alive and stable. Your title is misleading “Don’t give money to Haiti”. I can see that throwing money at any non profit company is not a good ideal unless you have established a relationship or inquiry their motives for providing aid. Here is an statement of what we provide and have done this for over 20 years.

I am the International Director of Open Hand International “Healing Waters Project” Our mission provides needful goods, food, medicines, counselling, bibles, clothing, shoes, insect nets, hygiene, water, dig wells, irrigation, shelters, educational products,international missionary training, and basic supplies to needy children, orphans, widows in sub-standard places. I am an agent of change that provides divine care to the sub-poverty victims in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Africa (Darfur, Sudan,) India and the USA. We believe that it is the Lord’s will for us to help the needy throughout the world to live and know that God cares for all mankind. “The poor in the land shall never cease so I command thee to help the needy throughout thy land and to give them sufficient to their needs” Deu 15:8-11.

Now this my readers is a good way to give not seeking anything in return. For more information write “Healing Waters Project” at openhand@msn.com.

Peace and Goodwill, Dr Marzo

Posted by Drmarzo | Report as abusive

I read this article like others have and thought to respond. As Dr. Marzo stated in his article response “before you write an article you should consider all avenues of giving and why people give to Haiti“. I am not Haitian, but as the CEO of Open Hands International “Healing Waters Project”, 1015 Fairwinds Court, Salisbury, Md. 21801. We provide direct care to Haiti and all donations are used to keep sub-poverty children and families in Haiti and other sub poverty countries alive and stabilized. Your title is a little misleading saying “Don’t give money to Haiti”. I can see that throwing money at any non profit company is not a good ideal unless you have established a relationship or make an inquiry their each agencies motives for providing aid. Our international aid project has provided care for the needy for over 20 years.
Furthermore, Open Hand International “Healing Waters Project” is a strong advocate in helping the needy in Haiti. Our mission provides needful goods, food, medicines, counseling, bibles, clothing, shoes, insect nets, hygiene, water, dig wells, irrigation, shelters, educational products, international missionary training, and basic supplies to needy children, orphans, widows in sub-standard places. I am an agent of change that provides divine care to the sub-poverty victims in Haiti, Dominican Republic, Africa (Darfur, Sudan,) India and the USA. We believe that it is the Lord’s will for us to help the needy throughout the world to live and know that God cares for all mankind. “The poor in the land shall never cease so I command thee to help the needy throughout thy land and to give them sufficient to their needs” Deu 15:8-11.
Now this my readers is a good way to give not seeking anything in return. For more information write “Healing Waters Project” at openhand@msn.com.
Peace and Goodwill, Dr March Sr.

Leí este artículo como otros tienen y pensamiento para responder. Cuando doctor Marzo declaró en su respuesta de artículo “antes de que usted escriba un artículo que usted debería considerar todas las avenidas de dar y por qué la gente da a Haití“. No soy el haitiano, pero como el presidente de Manos Abiertas “Proyecto de Echares agua de Curación Internacional”, 1015 Tribunal Fairwinds, Salisbury, Md. 21801. Proporcionamos el cuidado directo a Haití y todas las donaciones son usadas para guardar a niños de subpobreza y familias en Haití y otros países de pobreza de suscripción vivos y estabilizados. Su título es un poco de engaño que dice “no dan el dinero a Haití”. Puedo ver que el lanzamiento del dinero en alguno no saca ganancia la compañía no es un ideal bueno a menos que usted haya establecido una relación o haga una pregunta su cada uno motivos de agencias para proporcionar la ayuda. Nuestro proyecto de ayuda internacional ha proveído sienten cariño por el necesitado durante más de 20 años.
Además, el “Proyecto de Echares agua de Curación Internacional de Mano Abierto” es un defensor fuerte en la ayuda del necesitado en Haití. Nuestra misión proporciona bienes necesarios, alimento,las medicinas, la orientación, las Biblias, la ropa, los zapatos, las redes de insecto, la higiene, el echar agua, excavan pozos, irrigación, refugios, productos educativos, formación de misionero internacional, y provisiones básicas a niños necesitados, huérfanos, viudas en sitios de calidad inferior. Soy un agente de cambio que proporciona el cuidado divino a las víctimas de subpobreza en Haití, República dominicana, África (Darfur, Sudán,) India y los EE. UU. Creemos que esto es la voluntad del Señor para nosotros para ayudar al necesitado en todo el mundo a vivir y saber que Dios siente cariño por toda la humanidad. “El pobre en la tierra nunca se cesará así mando que thee ayude al necesitado en todas partes de la tierra thy y les dé suficiente a sus necesidades” Deu 15:8-11.
Ahora este mis lectores es un modo bueno de dar la no busca de algo a cambio. Ya que más información escriben “Proyecto de Echares agua que se Cura” en openhand@msn.com.
Paz y Plusvalía, doctor March Sr.

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