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Campeche is a neighborhood that sprawls along a steep slope in Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s capital. The trash is never collected and goats are rumbling in it. Children kick a deflated volleyball in a dusty lot below a wall with a hand-painted logo of the American Red Cross.
The Red Cross began a massive project in late 2011 to rebuild the area that was devastated by Haiti’s earthquake the previous year. This project, called LAMIKA (an acronym for “A Better Life In My Neighborhood”, in Creole), was primarily focused on building permanent housing.
Campeche has not built a single home since the 1970s. Many residents live in shacks made of rusty sheet metal, without access to drinkable water, electricity or basic sanitation. When it rains, their homes flood and residents bail out mud and water.
The group has publicly celebrated its work. In reality, however, the Red Cross in Haiti has failed repeatedly. 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.
Gail McGovern, CEO of the Red Cross after the earthquake announced ambitious plans for “development brand-new community”. None had ever been built.
After the devastating earthquake that struck Haiti, one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere, aid organizations around the globe have been struggling to help. ProPublica’s and NPR’s investigation has shown that the Red Cross is responsible for many of Haiti’s failures. They are also part of a larger pattern in which the organization has botched delivery of aid after disasters such as Superstorm Sandy. Despite its difficulties, the Red Cross remains the charityof choice for ordinary Americans and corporations alike after natural disasters.
Judith St. Fort wrote in a 2011 memorandum that the Haitian program was failing and senior managers made “very troubling” comments disparaging Haitian workers. St. Fort, who is Haitian American, wrote that the comments included, “he is the only hard working one among them” and “the ones that we have hired are not strong so we probably should not pay close attention to Haitian CVs.”
Lacking the expertise to mount its own projects, the Red Cross ended up giving much of the money to other groups to do the work. The groups withdrew a portion of each dollar for overhead and management. Even on the projects done by others, the Red Cross had its own significant expenses – in one case, adding up to a third of the project’s budget.
What happened to the half-billion dollars raised for Haiti? Red Cross refuses to say.
The charity stated that “like many other humanitarian groups responding to Haiti, the American Red Cross faced complications related to delays in government coordination, disagreements over land ownership and delays at Haitian Customs. We also had difficulty finding staff qualified and in high demand due in part, because of the shortage and scarcity of such personnel.”
After St. Fort’s memo, the group responded swiftly to concerns within. It hired an expert who trained staff in cultural competence. The Red Cross will not provide details of the projects it’s done, but they have said that there are more than 100. The projects include repairing 4,000 homes, giving several thousand families temporary shelters, donating $44 million for food after the earthquake, and helping fund the construction of a hospital.
“Millions of Haitians are safer, healthier, more resilient, and better prepared for future disasters thanks to generous donations to the American Red Cross,” McGovern wrote in a recent report marking the fifth anniversary of the earthquake.
The claim is not backed up with any details. Jean-Max Bellerive – Haiti’s Prime Minister at the Time of the Earthquake – doubts this figure. He points out that the entire country has only 10 million people.
Bellerive replied, “No,” to the Red Cross claim. “It’s impossible.”
The Red Cross kept soliciting money well after it had enough for the emergency relief that is the group’s stock in trade. Doctors Without Borders on the other hand, ceased fundraising after the earthquake when it felt it had sufficient money. Red Cross donations helped to erase the more than $100 million deficit.
In the end, The Red Cross raised more money than all other charities combined.
McGovern said that the Red Cross will use donations made a year after the earthquake to have a long-lasting impact on Haiti.
We asked the Red Cross to show us around its projects in Haiti so we could see the results of its work. It declined. We went to Campeche earlier in the year to check out one of their signature projects.
“What the Red Cross told us is that they are coming here to change Campeche. Flaubert said, “Totally change it.” Now I don’t understand what they mean by change. “I think that the Red Cross works for itself.”
The Red Cross’ initial plan said the focus would be building homes — an internal proposal put the number at 700. Each would have finished floors, toilets, showers, even rainwater collection systems. These houses should have been finished by January 2013.
Another former official who worked on the Campeche project said, “Everything takes four times as long because it would be micromanaged from DC, and they had no development experience.”
Flaubert, when shown a press release in English from the Red Cross’ website was shocked to discover that the project had a budget of $24million — and it would be ending next year.
Flaubert added, “I’ve just learned that [the Red Cross] is going to leave next year.” I don’t understand that.” (The Red Cross says it did tell community leaders about the end date. It also accused us of “creating ill will in the community which may give rise to a security incident.”)
The project has since been reshaped and downscaled. The road construction is underway. In addition to earthquake strengthening, some schools and existing houses are also being repaired. Some solar street lights have been installed, though many broke and residents say others are unreliable.
The group’s most recent press release on the project cites achievements such as training school children in disaster response.
A Red Cross effort to save Haitians from cholera was crippled by internal issues. A Haitian official said, “These people did not have to die.”
In January 2011, McGovern announced a $30 million partnership with the U.S. Agency for International Development, or USAID. The agency would build roads and other infrastructure in at least two locations where the Red Cross would build new homes.
But it took more than two and a half years, until August 2013, for the Red Cross just to sign an agreement with USAID on the program, and even that was for only one site. A land dispute led to the cancellation of the program.
In a report by the Government Accountability Office, delays in Haiti were attributed to “problems in obtaining land titles and due to turnover of Red Cross leadership”.
Asked about the Red Cross’ housing projects in Haiti, David Meltzer, the group’s general counsel and chief international officer, said changing conditions forced changes in plans. “If we had said, ‘All we’re going to do is build new homes,’ we’d still be looking for land,” he said.
What are your ideas for the remainder of my money? (Besides the wonderful helicopter idea? McGovern sent Meltzer an email in November 2013, which ProPublica, NPR and ProPublica obtained. Can we finance Conrad’s Hospital? “Can we fund Conrad’s hospital?” “Any more housing projects?”
McGovern’s helicopter plan was never implemented. It is unclear what McGovern meant by the idea. The Red Cross would say only that her comments were “grounded in the American Red Cross’ strategy and priorities, which focus on health and housing.”
So much bad feeling built up in one area that the population “rejects the project.”
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According to the Red Cross, 91% of all donations were used for Haitian aid. It’s simply not true.
Failures of the group went beyond infrastructure.
In May 2011, the Red Cross director for Haiti wrote a memo that “internal problems” were preventing the Red Cross from distributing soaps and salts to rehydrate the mouth.
The cholera continued to kill throughout the year. According to an internal report, even after the death toll surpassed 6,000 in September 2011, the project remained “very behind schedule”.
In a press release, the Red Cross stated that it has been assisting millions of Haitians with its response to cholera, which includes a vaccination program, for many years.
But while other groups also struggled early responding to cholera, some performed well.
The people who died were not the ones that should have been dying. That’s what upsets me,” said Paul Christian Namphy, a Haitian water and sanitation official who helped lead the effort to fight cholera. He says early failures by the Red Cross and other NGOs had a devastating impact. “These numbers should have been zero.”
A congressional staffer, who was involved in the reconstruction of Haiti, said that “they collected almost half a million dollars.” “But they had a problem. The problem was they were completely unqualified.
Lee Malany took over the Red Cross shelter program for Haiti in 2010 and was responsible for it. In Washington, he recalls an autumn meeting where the officials didn’t seem to know how to use millions of dollars that were set aside to build housing. Malany said the officials were interested in which projects could generate positive publicity and not necessarily which ones would produce the greatest number of homes.
“When I walked out of that meeting I looked at the people that I was working with and said, ‘You know this is very disconcerting, this is depressing,'” he recalled.
The Red Cross said in a statement its Haiti program has never put publicity over delivering aid.
Malany resigned the next year from his job in Haiti. “I told them there was no reason to keep me here. I got on the plane and left.”
Red Cross officials said that vacancies and turnover are inevitable due to “security, the separation of international staff from their families, and the demands of work.”
Constant upheaval has taken its toll. Internal documents refer to repeated attempts over years to “finalize” and “complete” a strategic plan for the Haiti program, efforts that were delayed by changes in senior management. A March 2014 internal update, four years after the start of a six year program, cites “a revised strategy” that is still waiting for “final approval.”
The Red Cross says it provided homes to more than 130,000 Haitians. But they didn’t.
Those plans were further undermined by the Red Cross’ reliance on expats. Noailles, the Haitian development professional who worked for the Red Cross on the Campeche project, said expat staffers struggled in meetings with local officials.
“Going to meetings with the community when you don’t speak the language is not productive,” she said. She recalled that sometimes expats would avoid such meetings.
The Red Cross said it has “made it a priority to hire Haitians” despite lots of competition for local professionals, and that over 90 percent of its staff is Haitian. It said that it hired a local firm for human resources to assist.
Five current and ex-Red Cross employees as well as lists of staff obtained by ProPublica & NPR show that very few Haitians are in the top ranks.
The compensation for an engineer in Haiti, the highest local post at that time, was $42,000 per year. That’s less than a third of what a top international position would be.
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Shelim Dorval, a Haitian administrator who worked for the Red Cross coordinating travel and housing for expatriate staffers, recalled thinking it was a waste to spend so much to bring in people with little knowledge of Haiti when locals were available.
Dorval stated that “for each of these expats they received high salaries, stayed in fancy houses, and got vacation trips to their home countries.” “A lot of money was spent on those people who were not Haitian, who had nothing to do with Haiti. “The money went back to the United States.”
McGovern, CEO of the Red Cross, announced that the organization would ensure donors know exactly where their money went soon after the earthquake.
It has declined repeated requests to disclose the specific projects, to explain how much money went to each or to say what the results of each project were.
There is reason to doubt the Red Cross’ claims that it helped 4.5 million Haitians. An internal evaluation found that in some areas, the Red Cross reported helping more people than even lived in the communities. Other times, figures are low and double counting is not corrected.
The Red Cross combines different aid types in its descriptions, which makes it difficult to evaluate the efforts of the charity in Haiti.
For example, while the Red Cross says it provided more than 130,000 people with homes, that includes thousands of people who were not actually given homes, but rather were “trained in proper construction techniques.” (That was first reported by the Haiti blog of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.)
The figure includes people who got short-term rental assistance or were housed in several thousand “transitional shelters,” which are temporary structures that can get eaten up by termites or tip over in storms. It also includes modest improvements on 5,000 temporary shelters.
Is Cvs bathrooms clean and accessible?
You know what a bad experience it is to use a public toilet that has been soiled. How clean are the CVS restrooms since they are public toilets?
The bathrooms at CVS are usually clean and easily accessible. Overall, the pharmacy chain is committed to providing clean public restrooms for its employees and other users through regular cleaning and maintenance.
The store has strict sanitation standards for its restrooms. The following are some of the most important:
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What are the Bathrooms in Cvs like?
The bathrooms at CVS are typically located near the end of the store. They are clean and well maintained. Here are some suggestions on where to find a bathroom in your CVS.
Violations Of Zillow’S Listing Guidelines
Zillow, one of the largest online platforms for real estate information, provides users with detailed data about available properties. Zillow, just like other platforms, has a set of rules that its users are required to follow when they list a property. Unfortunately, some individuals and real estate agents overlook or knowingly violate these guidelines, which can have serious consequences. In this blog post, we will explore the violations of Zillow’s listing guidelines and the impact they can have on both users and the platform itself.
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One of the most common violations of Zillow’s listing guidelines is the inclusion of incomplete information. Users are expected to give accurate and detailed information when listing their property. This includes the location, amenities and price. Some individuals, however, may forget to include important details such as square footage or the type of property. This not only creates confusion for potential buyers or renters but also undermines the reliability and usefulness of Zillow as a platform.
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Refining Your Search For Duplexes On Zillow
It’s crucial to use advanced search filters on Zillow to narrow down your results when searching for duplexes. You can use these filters to find what you are looking for, regardless of whether you want a certain location, a price range or specific features. These tools will help you save time, and reduce your search options so that you find the duplex which meets your requirements.
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