Skip to comments.Unbelievable! US government pays itself generously for Haiti relief?
Posted on 01/13/2012 2:08:04 PM PST by NYer
Government pledged over $1 billion only to spend most of the money on itself.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - US relief to Haiti totaled more than $3 billion. Actual Haitian people, the victims of the disaster who needed the most help - got less than 1 percent of that money. That means 99 of every 100 dollars sent to relieve the suffering of the Haitian people and rebuild the country, ended up in the hands of people for whom it was never intended.
Instead, the US government has used the disaster to pay itself.
Most will be quick to blame notoriously corrupt Haitian government officials and profiteers who swooped in to capitalize on the disaster for personal gain, but ironically, much of the money went to the US government, aid organizations, various other NGOs, and contractors.
Virtually none made it to the people.
Very little of the money pledged by Congress in the Haitian Rebuilding and Relief Act was allocated to the Haitian people by the end of 2010 according to the Government Accountability Office (GAO).
Of the 1.14 billion $655 million was allocated to the Department of Defense to reimburse them for relief efforts and the deployment of troops.
Another $220 million was sent to the US Department of Health and Human Services, $350 million for "disaster assistance" which could be anything from medical care, to food, to sanitation. An additional $150 million went to the US Department of Agriculture, and a final $15 million was given to the Department of Homeland Security for immigration fees and airfares.
All this means that the US government spent most of the money allocated to Haitian relief on itself.
(Excerpt) Read more at catholic.org ...
That’s not a surprise....the real question is how much was siphoned off to private parties once it was in the hands of the agencies.
Actually, no, it doesn’t. It means that disaster relief included sending PEOPLE to perform tasks, and those people were PAID with this money.
You might as well say that if you gave all the money to Haiti, and they spent it on food shipped in from another country, that ALL of the money went to foreigners. You’d be technically correct, but miss the point.
The Haitians didn’t need dollar bills they needed food, medicine, and bodies to provide assistance.
The author seems to be implying that the ideal situation would be the U.S. Government’s handing cash to “the Haitian people.” What does he or she imagine Haitian people would do with it? Go to Home Depot and buy lumber to build themselves houses? Go to Walmart and stock up on toilet paper, cases of bottled water, and 50-packs of Top Ramen?
In a trashed economy - which Haiti was even before the earthquake - cash isn’t as much use as if they’d simply given out toilet paper, which they probably did, through some of the agencies and relief efforts the article complains about.
...what was Clinton’s cut?
I’ll betcha the Congressional Black Caucus is making money off Haiti’s misery as well.....
Dumb, the military spends money from the defense budget, it gets reimbursed from the funds allocated for the job. Same for the rest of it. Someone does not know how accounting works.
In paragraph 7:
“Of the 1.14 billion $655 million...”
What happened to the 1.86B between the paragraphs?
Then after paragraph 7 they list expenses to the DoD, HHS, etc. Those expenses then were to reimburse departments and/or provide goods and services.
The article says:
“Another $220 million was sent to the US Department of Health and Human Services, $350 million for “disaster assistance” which could be anything from medical care, to food, to sanitation. An additional $150 million went to the US Department of Agriculture, and a final $15 million was given to the Department of Homeland Security for immigration fees and airfares.”
I think that their conclusion that the US spend the money on itself is not a fair or appropriate conclusion.
I agree. With such large sums moving around, there was certainly waste, fraud, and, "Hey, this doesn't add up!", but the basic premise of the article is simply foolish.
Of course the money has to flow through government hands. How else can everyone get their cut?
But the economy of rice in Haiti says everything about the condition the country is in. The U.S. government subsidizes and donates ton after ton of rice in Haiti and in so doing has through the last several decades completely undercut Haitian rice farmers and left them destitute and migrating into cities where they live in hovels that were destroyed by the quake.
As recently as the early 1980s, Haiti was producing just about all of its own rice. Now more than 60 percent is imported from the U.S., making it the fourth largest recipient of American rice exports in the world. That was before the quake and now with donated rice coming in as well, Haiti is even more awash in rice while American agribusiness makes billions of dollars every year through generous government subsidies.
There is perhaps some bitter irony here that the subsidies were promoted in large part by President Clinton to help his home state of Arkansas, the largest rice producing state in the U.S., thereby crippling a sector of the economy in Haiti where Clinton has worked so tirelessly to help with the recovery.
You might say it is a perfect metaphor for what is wrong with aid to Haiti, says Marc Cohen, a senior researcher for Oxfam, one of the largest non-government organizations (NGOs) in the world, which raised approximately $106 million for a three-year response in Haiti and finds itself struggling to deliver the aid effectively.
Instead of bringing subsidized rice in on ships from Miami, we could be helping Haiti grow rice in its own fields, adds Cohen, who worked for many years in Haiti with the International Food Policy Research Institute and studied the broad economic impact of U.S. rice subsidies, or Miami rice, as it is known here.
Would have been nice to see the account of how much Slick skimmed.
It costs a lot to run a reelection campaign, did you expect Zero to solicit his various foreign and domestic sponsors? Thanks NYer, additional: