RE: January Twelve, 2012: Two Years Later
Haiti: Two years after the earthquake, where did the money go?
...In the year following the 2010 earthquake, things were no different.
In fact, of the $1.14 billion allocated to Haitian Rebuilding and Relief in 2010 by the US Congress, according to the US Government Accountability Office (or GAO), only $184 million had been actually "obligated to projects" at the end of 2010. Today as the guys with the green eyeshades get more deeply involved, it becomes clear that in the wake of the Haitian earthquake of 2010 the US government began to pay itself back for its humanitarian graciousness as much as it actually helped the people of Haiti.
Of the original $1.4 billion allocated by Congress, according to a most recent GAO report, $655 million in funds was reimbursed to the Department of Defense (which, admirably, spent its own money to put ships offshore, drop food and medical aid to those who needed it, bring in troops to secure the airport at Port-au-Prince and provide emergency medical services).
Another $220 million went to repay the US Department of Health and Human Services (which gave goods, food and grants to Haitian evacuees for food and shelter); $350 million went to disaster assistance (an umbrella term that includes everything from medical care to sanitation); $150 million to the US Department of Agriculture (for emergency food and forward-thinking agricultural programs in Haiti); and $15 million to the Department of Homeland Security for Immigration fees and aircraft fares for the lucky few Haitian refugees brought to the United States.
Expanding the picture doesn't change it. The UN Special Envoy for Haiti reported that of the overall $2.4 billion pledged by the UN for humanitarian efforts in Haiti, 34 percent (or $864 million) of those funds were given back to donor civil and military organizations, 28 percent (or $672 million) was laid out to UN and non-governmental humanitarian projects such as housing and health-care, 26 percent (or $624 million) was given to contractors for things like road-building and infrastructure, and 5 percent ($120 million) was given to various international Red Cross/Red Crescent societies.
Not that the people of Haiti didn't benefit from all this money and assistance.
But, really, over the last two years, the effort to assist post-earthquake Haiti has mostly benefited -- or at least subsidized -- the aid and relief institutions and private corporations that nominated themselves to help Haiti in its 2010-based time of need.
"In the end," says Robert Fatton Jr., professor of government and foreign affairs at the University of Virginia and a son of and authority on contemporary Haiti, "if you read the reports -- the UN Report and so on -- you'll see that actual Haitians got less than 1 percent of all the American money pledged."
In other words, Fatton explained, "99 percent of [the US money spent] went back to the US military, the State Department, NGOs and contractors.
The money was clearly intended for Haiti, but it ended up returning to the same place it came from." --Globalpost
The haitian people are still living in tents, there are no more cameras; the mission of the media is finished. Haiti...Return to Message List