Haitian Rehabilitation Efforts Need to Pick Up, US Official Says

Despite billions of dollars in aid pledged for Haiti, earthquake victims in the impoverished Caribbean nation have yet to see how foreign aid has improved their living conditions, a U.S. official says.

Donors in March pledged some USD10 billion to rehabilitate Haiti. The funding includes USD2.01 billion pledged by 55 public donors, of which some USD1.28 billion, or 63.6 percent, has so far been disbursed, according to a new analysis by the United Nations Office of the Special Envoy for Haiti.

>> UN Report: In 2010, Public Donors Disbursed USD1.28B for Haitian Rebuilding

“[T]he people of Haiti heard of this money promised, and haven’t seen much of it,” Thomas Adams, the State Department’s Haiti coordinator, was quoted by the Miami Herald as saying. “We need to pick up the pace.”

InterAction, an alliance of U.S.based aid groups, said it will launch Tuesday (Jan. 11) a website that will track how nonprofit groups are using donations to Haiti.

“The NGOs still have something to respond to about their accountability, because there is a lot of cash out there,” said Nigel Fisher, the U.N. chief humanitarian officer in Haiti. “But what about the $1.5 to $2 billion that the Red Cross and NGOs (non-governmental organizations) got from ordinary people, and matched by governments, etc? What’s happened to that? And that’s where it’s very difficult to trace those funds.”

About the author

  • Ma. Rizza Leonzon

    As a former staff writer, Rizza focused mainly on business coverage, including key donors such as the Asian Development Bank and AusAID.