Tag Archives: review

In Search Of The Red Cross’ $500 Million In Haiti Relief

Special Report: The American Red Cross

When a devastating earthquake leveled Haiti in 2010, millions of people donated to the American Red Cross. The charity raised almost half a billion dollars. It was one of its most successful fundraising efforts ever.

The American Red Cross vowed to help Haitians rebuild, but after five years the Red Cross’ legacy in Haiti is not new roads, or schools, or hundreds of new homes. It’s difficult to know where all the money went.

NPR and ProPublica went in search of the nearly $500 million and found a string of poorly managed projects, questionable spending and dubious claims of success, according to a review of hundreds of pages of the charity’s internal documents and emails, as well as interviews with a dozen current and former officials.

The Red Cross says it has provided homes to more than 130,000 people, but the number of permanent homes the charity has built is six.

The Red Cross long has been known for providing emergency disaster relief — food, blankets and shelter to people in need. And after the earthquake, it did that work in Haiti, too. But the Red Cross has very little experience in the difficult work of rebuilding in a developing country.


This story was reported in partnership between NPR News Investigations and ProPublica, an investigative journalism organization. Read more from ProPublica: How the Red Cross Raised Half a Billion Dollars for Haiti and Built Six Homes (lire en Français).

 

“Five hundred million in Haiti is a lot of money,” says Jean-Max Bellerive, who was prime minister until 2011. “I’m not a big mathematician, but I can make some additions. It doesn’t add up for me.”

On a recent day, Bellerive was sipping coffee in his living room, high above Port-au-Prince, with Joel Boutroue, who was the United Nations deputy special representative in Haiti before the earthquake and an advisor to the Haitian government afterward. Boutroue says he can’t account for where the nearly $500 million went either.

They considered the Red Cross’ claim on its website and press releases: That all the money went to help 4.5 million Haitians get “back on their feet.”

“No, no, not possible,” Bellerive says. “We don’t have that population in the area affected by the earthquake.”

“You know,” Boutroue chimes in, “4.5 million was 100 percent of the urban area in 2010. One hundred percent. It would mean the American Red Cross would have served entire cities of Haiti.”

It’s not unheard of for the Red Cross to make such a claim. Not long ago, the charity hired a group of consultants to review one of its projects in the north of the country. They found the charity’s math unreliable when it came to counting people it helped. There was double-counting, undercounting, and in one instance the Red Cross claimed to have helped more people than actually lived there.

David Meltzer, the Red Cross’ general counsel and head of the international division, says the charity helped millions through trying and difficult circumstances, including a cholera outbreak and a government in disarray.

“The Red Cross has provided clean water, sanitation, vaccinations, disaster preparedness, cholera prevention,” he says. “All of the money that has been spent has been focused on benefiting the people of Haiti.”

Meltzer says the Red Cross took the almost $500 million and split it into sectors. For example, the organization spent $69 million on emergency relief, $170 million providing shelter and $49 million on water and sanitation efforts.

The Red Cross also has outlined over the years some of the projects it has funded, such as millions of dollars given for new hospitals, vaccination programs, and disbursement of tents and water tablets. The charity says it has done more than 100 projects in Haiti, repairing 4,000 homes, giving several thousand families temporary shelters and donating $44 million for food.

But the charity will not provide a list of specific programs it ran, how much they cost or what their expenses were.

Meltzer says the public can see in the organization’s five-year report: a pie chart showing the percentage of the money that went to each sector. But he will not provide greater detail about where the money went.

https://www.npr.org/2015/06/03/411524156/in-search-of-the-red-cross-500-million-i

Department of Conservation Independent Poisoned Cow Investigation – nothing “independent” about it (GrafBoys)

So the authorities have finished investigating themselves … three weeks it’s taken for a truly ‘in depth’ report passing all of the blame predictably, onto the victims of the said drop.

Thanks to the GrafBoys for their truly independent coverage of this issue.

Published on Oct 23, 2018

The Department of Conservation has initiated an ‘independent” investigation following the death of 8 cows killed in its recent aerial 1080 poisoning operation. But is the independent investigation really independent?

The very Govt organization that issues consents for 1080 drops is to conduct the ‘independent’ review of DoC’s recent aerial operation that killed 8 cows

“Waikato Regional Council will undertake the independent review. NZ Herald.

Related: https://envirowatchrangitikei.wordpress.com/2018/09/29/with-an-estimated-158-stock-deaths-pa-in-nz-docs-proposed-independent-review-of-the-waikato-1080-drop-that-killed-8-cows-is-rare-indeed/

This is all very in-house isn’t it? Not unlike how the Police investigate themselves. Or how Monsanto long ago in the 1970s tested Roundup themselves for safety. Also a bit like asking the second hand car dealer to check over the car you are looking to purchase.

Dr Meriel Watts appealed to Environment Waikato (now Waikato Regional Council, WRC) in 2010 to desist from the use of 1080 as they considered the issuing of up to 20 year consents for aerial dispersal of the said product:

“Re: EPRO and EcoFX Resource Consent Applications

Dear Mr Laing,

I am writing to you on behalf of Pesticide Action Network Aotearoa New Zealand to express our profound opposition to Environment Waikato’s anachronistic proposal to allow 10- or 20-year resource consents to EPROand EcoFX to aerially disperse 1080 in the region.

As you are no doubt aware, 1080 is classed by the World Health Organisation as an Extremely Hazardous pesticide (Class 1a WHO). You may not be aware that as such it falls within the category of Highly Hazardous Pesticides for which the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) is seeking a global phase out.

That Environment Waikato is contemplating 10 or 20 year consents to use, let alone aerially disperse, 1080, when a UN agency is promoting a global phase out of all such pesticides is extraordinary. I can only assume that you officers are not aware of the situation.

To issue consents of 10 or more years duration also flies in the face of ERMA’s concern about such on-going widespread dispersal of 1080 in the environment, and their support for more research into alternatives. There will be no room for introduction of alternatives in the EW region if these consents are granted.”

1080 is a broad-spectrum poison: it kills all oxygen-breathing animals and organisms. This alone is reason enough to cease dispersing it into the environment. It indiscriminately kills and contaminates everything from the insects that underpin the native fauna food chain to precious native birds, dogs and farm animals. There are so many recorded instances that there is no need to elaborate on them here. Nor the fact that the suffering of these animals on the way to death is extremely inhumane.

That New Zealand has such a history of poisoning its indigenous species, livestock and companion animals is a shame we have to live with. But we do not need to perpetuate it. Thankfully the era of poisoning everything we don’t like is passing, and intelligent new, targeted approaches to pest management are taking its place.

It is time now for Environment Waikato to move forward with the rest of the world, and introduce alternatives. Trapping has been shown to be an effective method of controlling possums, at the same time utilising a valuable resource for the benefit of the national economy, and trapping technology is continually improving. On the other hand, years of experience of 1080 dispersal has shown that this approach is not sustainable, it has to be repeated at regular intervals, each time with its negative consequences for the environment.

Pesticide Action Network therefore urges you to reject the idea of extended resource consents for aerial dispersal of 1080, and to instead focus your resources on rapid introduction of sustainable, environmentally friendly, and socially supportive alternatives such as trapping.

Yours sincerely,

Meriel Watts, PhD,

Pesticide Action Network

SOURCE

When a PHD & author of 2 well known books* on the effects of poisons on human beings & environments, takes the time to warn those who are mandating widespread poisoning of the environment of the dangers therein, you would think that that authority would heed the warning. But no, not only have they continued dropping 1080, it increases yearly. And the rules have even been changed so that 1080 can be delivered straight into waterways without a consent from council!

Indeed since that time the Government itself has been busy making the product for the country (NZ) that was already using 80% or thereabouts of the world’s supply. Cleverly re branding it to make its image slightly more palatable to the non questioning public.

2openlab

We are expected to now believe that an investigation into this recent incident involving the death of 8 cows (including aborted calves) by the very organization that is not only a branch of the same tree and pro 1080, will be independent? 

They are all under the same Government umbrella!  DoC, Regional Council, Orillion. May as well save themselves the time, money & effort because we can fairly safely bet on what the outcome will be.

*(The Poisoning of New Zealand, 1994 – and – Pesticides and Breast Cancer, 2007)