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  1. #1
    Senior Member lorrie's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    ‘Disaster capitalism’: Why Haitians prefer local NGOs over American Red Cross

    ‘Disaster capitalism’: Why Haitians prefer local NGOs over American Red Cross

    **Click below link to see video

    Published time: 12 Oct, 2016 21:32

    Hurricane Matthew has left hundreds dead in Haiti and thousands in need of immediate relief. However, Haitians have not been making calls for American Red Cross donations. Former Haiti development worker France Francois explained why to RT.

    In a report, ProPublica revealed that the American Red Cross basically raised half a billion dollars to aid Haiti after it was devastated by a monster 7.0 earthquake in 2010. It had only built six houses out of the promised 700 by 2013.

    The problems remain to this day, former Haiti development worker France Francois told RT. She said Haiti became her last humanitarian posting, after which she left the industry altogether out of frustration with the lack of results.

    “I think the American Red Cross is a good example of disaster capitalism,” she said, using the expression that was coined in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks.
    “There are a lot of other organizations that I am personally familiar with that have a terrible track record in Haiti … but the American Red Cross specifically is an example of an organization that does not have the capacity to do large-scale disaster relief and reconstruction correctly, but continues to collect resources and money to do so.”

    After Hurricane Matthew, the situation in Haiti has quickly grown to resemble the previous crisis: deadly cholera cases are on the rise as the death toll has passed 1,000, while the government estimates that some 350,000 people are in need of urgent assistance.

    Meanwhile, the US Red Cross said in a statement on its website that it deployed its teams to the affected areas in Haiti and is now “distributing a first round of life-saving relief supplies, including hygiene (cooking) kits, and cholera-prevention kits.”

    It also claimed that it “is playing a key coordination role with local authorities and international humanitarian organizations to ensure life-saving support and supplies reach all those in need as soon as possible.”

    At the same time, Haitians took to social media to urge people not to donate to the US Red Cross and to give the money only to local Haitian groups instead.
    “In the coming days, many of you are going to write and ask me how you can 'help Haiti'. Here are my suggestions: 1. Don't give the American Red Cross…” a woman from Haiti wrote in a Facebook post.

    People also shared a 2015 report by NPR and ProPublica, which said that the US-based charity wasted more than $500 million that was supposed to be for aid after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

    Back in 2010, the problem didn’t start with the earthquake, Francois says. And if the faulty aid narrative is to be corrected, what Haiti needs is professionals who understand what the country had been before the quake, and continues to be to this day.

    “Even before this disaster hit, what we Haitians wanted to do was take back the disaster-capitalist narrative, which always paints Haiti as waiting for a handout, waiting for the West to save us, and that’s not at all the case,” she told RT, adding that there are powers – the government among them – just waiting to “mobilize before the disaster hit, and will be there long after the cameras leave.”

    The money, she says, “balloons” into huge packages full of benefits and privileges for the underprepared NGO staff – people who often don’t even have the language skills to connect with the locals.

    READ MORE: Emails show State Dept. helped Clinton Foundation donors get contracts for 2010 Haiti quake — report

    Indeed, the 2015 report points to a trend of not hiring enough locals. More money went into paying high international salaries for arriving staff.
    The local organization would not only have the know-how and capacity and language, but would be a lesser drain on finances.

    “There are very, very few examples of quality housing built after the earthquake” these days, Francois says. There are still people living in tent cities, the long-term plan never came to fruition. And water-sanitation is visibly not prioritized, just as housing built to withstand future disasters.

    “The earthquake was a lost opportunity for us Haitians where we thought the loss that came with the earthquake would give us the opportunity to really build a country able to withstand climate change, able to withstand all the effects of the impacts that Haiti continually faces,” Francois said.

    The American Red Cross has continued to defend its work in Haiti, and blames the damning accounts of its work on bad reporting, while its chief Gail McGovern claims that “millions of Haitians are safer, healthier, more resilient, and better prepared for future disasters thanks to generous donations to the American Red Cross.”

    For Francois, the recommendation not to give to the American Red Cross is not so much centered on that the Red Cross being incompetent, but on the fact that there are other organizations, local and otherwise, with a proven track record of working on the ground that would ensure there is less money spent on administration costs, and more going to the people who depend on the aid.

  2. #2
    Senior Member lorrie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Redondo Beach, California

    Emails show State Dept. helped Clinton Foundation donors get contracts for 2010 Haiti

    Emails show State Dept. helped Clinton Foundation donors get contracts for 2010 Haiti quake — report

    Published time: 12 Oct, 2016 03:54
    Edited time: 12 Oct, 2016 21:25

    Former U.S. President Bill Clinton (C) chats with staff members during a tour to Kreyol Essence, a Haitian women owned and operated
    company in Mirebalais February 23, 2015 © Andres Martinez Casares / Reuters

    International efforts to help Haiti following the 2010 earthquake have come under scrutiny recently, specifically those involving the Clinton Foundation. By combining aid groups and the private sector, the foundation may have given its friends special treatment.

    Emails released by ABC News show that the State Department assisted friends of the Clintons in facilitating government contracts and aid groups. Friends of Bill Clinton were flagged for special treatment by the State Department, while others who offered aid were redirected to a general government website.

    RT America ‏@RT_America Aug 29
    Clinton Foundation donors given special treatment while Hillary was
    DoS head - emails reveal

    One example is billionaire and Clinton Foundation donor Denis O’Brien. When the 2010 earthquake hit, his Jamaica-based telecom firm Digicel wanted to fly supplies into Port-au-Prince and get his employees out.

    An email from Amitabh Desai, the director of foreign policy for the Clinton Foundation, had the subject “Close friend of Clintons” and referred to Bill Clinton by his initials WJC.

    This WJC VIP just called again from Jamaica to say Digicel is being pushed by US Army to get comms back up but is not being cleared by [the U.S. government] to deploy into Haiti to do so,” Desai wrote.

    RT America Verified account ‏@RT_America

    Who HASN'T donated? ​Clinton Foundation received $50,000-$100,000 in donations from #FIFA

    The request was then pushed up the chain of command by the email’s recipient, Caitlin Klevorick, a senior State Department official at the time.

    O’Brien defended the email, telling ABC News, “I don’t see any problem contacting anybody in the United States if I’m bringing in emergency aid where people are dying on the street because of lack of medical attention.”

    I make no apologies for that,” he added.

    The Clinton Foundation has released a statement in response to ABC News that denied any wrongdoings, saying, “These e-mails were sent to pass on to the U.S. Government and U.N. the hundreds of incoming offers for help for those entities to handle as they deemed appropriate,” and, “The alternative would have been to do nothing to mobilize resources.

    In addition, a large building industrial park was built with Clinton Foundation money and became home to many businesses that donated to the Clinton Foundation, such as Gap and SAE-A, a Korean garment company that became the anchor tenant of the park, according to ABC News.

    Hillary Clinton was still the secretary of state when the park opened in 2012. At the opening ceremony, both she and Bill gave special thanks to Clinton’s chief of staff Cheryl Mills.

    I want to thank our friend Cheryl Mills because it was her determination, her sheer will to work through every obstacle that made this possible,” Bill Clinton said.

    Hillary also praised her, saying “my chief of staff, Cheryl Mills, who has been, as others have already said, a real driver of our government’s support for everything that we see here today.

    #ClintonFoundation files three years of missing tax forms

    However, Mills left the State Department in 2013 and was later pictured at a SAE-A company event in Costa Rica where she represented the Black Ivy Group, a firm that prides itself on building commercial enterprises in sub-Saharan Africa and focuses on “building and leveraging a vast network of global and local relationships spanning the public, private and government sectors.

    One of the initial investors of Black Ivy was identified on their website as Woong-ki Kim, chairman of SAE-A, ABC News reported. That page has since been removed. The Clinton Foundation has denied any involvement in the decision to build the industrial park, recruiting SAE-A as its anchor tenant and denied persuading former donors to establish factories in the industrial park.

    A statement from Bruce R. Lindsey, chairman of the board of the Clinton Foundation, denies wrongdoings, saying, “the Clinton Foundation did not have a role in building the Caracol Industrial Park and has never invested any funds into the park.

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