Wednesday, 04 August 2010 15:28
There was a tremendous outpouring of goodwill in the aftermath of the earthquake, it is estimated that nearly half of all US households donated for Haiti relief. The totals are outstanding, over a billion dollars from Americans alone. Yet over 6 months since the quake, much of that money is sitting in the coffers of the largest aid organizations. As we have noted numerous times before, many aid agencies are choosing to save much of your donations for longer term projects as opposed to immediate relief. Writing for the 6 month commemoration, ABC news reported that of the $1.138 billion donated to the 23 largest charities, "At least 62.7 percent, $714.3 million, has been allocated for future Haiti relief efforts or is unassigned." Yet the situation on the ground remains dire, over a million Haitians still have only the most basic form of shelter, and even that is barely able to hold up under the increasing rain.
Writing in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, John Elliot notes the importance of returning the world's attention back to Haiti. In the immediate aftermath of the quake Elliot set up AidWEST a small organization to help provide relief in Haiti. Elliot writes:
But now the topic of post-earthquake Haiti has been supplanted in the media coverage by other crises. Haitian victims have been practically forgotten. The general impression of my fellow American citizens is that things have greatly improved, and the country is on the mend. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
Elliot concludes with a plea:
Helping hands and loving hearts are what’s best for Haiti, not simply writing a check. Yet if you cannot personally participate in a direct-action, humanitarian relief group like AidWEST, then you can easily pick up the phone and call your representative in Congress. Urge them to apply pressure on the various international agencies charged with distributing food and hiring medical professionals. Only by public outcry will the rest of the funds be moved to the Haitian people.
If you donated to a large humanitarian organization like the American Red Cross or CARE, contact them today and demand that the other 90 percent of the donated money be moved to Haiti sooner rather than too late.