Target: Gail McGovern, President of the American Red Cross
Goal: Provide housing that was promised to Haiti and donors.
The American Red Cross is leaving Haiti at the end of the year, with empty promises of providing the citizens there with homes, water and sanitation. After the 2010 earthquake devastated the country, the Red Cross raised $500 million in disaster relief aid, yet most of the affected Haitians are still without proper shelter. Those in Haiti are confused as to where the relief money has gone since there’s been no improvements made in their communities.
Although the Red Cross promised donors in 2011 to provide tens of thousands of Haitians with permanent homes and develop brand-new communities, four years later and they’ve only built six houses and no communities. The neighborhoods in Haiti that were promised homes, water and sanitation systems and health clinics are still filled with tents, shacks, and piles of trash and human waste.
The Red Cross claimed in a press release that the donated money went to helping 4.5 million Haitians get back on their feet. There’s no information on how exactly the money was spent, though. There also weren’t even 4.5 million Haitians affected by the earthquake, meaning the Red Cross inflated their numbers. Their own documentation shows that a third of the money was frivolously wasted on management fees and for hiring other charities to do the hands-on work in Haiti. Their internal memos show that problems in the relief effort were due to internal delays, staff changes and cluelessness on how to spend the money. Other charities, run by Haitians themselves with much less funding than the Red Cross, have already built almost 9,000 homes in the region.
Despite what their intentions were, the American Red Cross has already wasted millions of dollars in relief money and made Haitians wait years without any significant recovery. Urge the organization to use their resources efficiently and build the homes they promised Haiti.
Dear Gail McGovern,
The organization you run is going to leave Haiti with empty promises. The Haitians in the communities devastated by the 2010 earthquake haven’t seen any of the homes, water or sanitation systems that the allotted donation money was supposed to be spent on. Neighborhoods are still filled with tents, trash and hopelessness.
The money you raised after the earthquake was one of the most successful fundraising efforts ever, yet the spending of the money is one of the worst executions. You claimed to have allotted $170 million of the money to provide shelter, yet only six homes have been built. Your donors gave you money to provide significant relief in Haiti and you’re obligated to fulfill your promises.
The people in Haiti desperately need homes and you are failing them. Please do not leave Haiti at the end of this year with your responsibilities left in the hands of the Haitian Red Cross and other charities. I urge you to build the homes and communities you promised to Haiti and your donors.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Marcello Casal Jr.