February 10, 2010
Reports of coupon scam tarnish Haiti aid efforts

Four weeks have passed since the devastating earthquake in Haiti, and the death toll has climbed over 200,000.

And although the story may be fading from the headlines, the crisis continues.

It’s an unfortunate reality that in any disaster, there are those who will seek to profit from the situation — a fact confirmed by allegations that some officials are rigging the system by which food and medicine are distributed.

Rob Reynolds of Al Jazeera English has more on the allegations of corruption:

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Do reports of abuse make you less likely to donate to the Haitian relief effort?

Tell us what you think in the comments section below. Please be respectful and on-point. Malicious or offensive comments will be deleted, and repeat offenders will be banned.

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32 comments

#32

The sad truth is that Haiti will never be free of massive corruption. Dollars and donors will do there best to help them survive large disasters. But the real problem of poverty and theft from the poor by the government will not be solved. Send you aid and help them out. In the end they will still
suffer in the wretched conditions imposed on them by a few corrupt government leaders. If you want a real solution to the problem then it will only be brought about by a revolution which changes the form of government. If the racists in the US wont send in the marines to suppress it.

#31

KD the so called leaders that are already skimming from the people cannot be trusted. You need an outside military to be in the country forever. And look at Bill Clinton. Not much help giving out Construction to his friends. Maybe all non-citizens should leave the place.Thats the money saver.

#30

Alistair Mckay Says:…Colonialism is the only answer.It would be a money saver for all…

He/She is obviously STUPID and IGNORANT. Ask The French, Spanish, British and yes Americans too, if Ayiti can be colonized? With nothing more than Machetes we DEFEATED and HUMBLED those WICKED Governments and their Debased, and Degenerate Troops. Trying to colonize Ayiti would not only cost Americans (or any other nation) countless lives, it will bring about the complete and final collapse of their decaying “GLOBAL ECONOMY” and “NEW WORLD ORDER”. Exhibit A: AIG simple bankruptcy would have “destroyed” our economy. And he-she think, Ayiti can be Re-”Colonized” in 2010? That’s a joke from a joke.

#29

Thank you for reporting the inevitable outcome of what would happen to all the aid moneys poured into a megaproblem money cannot cure. Haiti is a sinkhole of corruption and without very strict moral-legal controls and penalties for stealing or other corrupt practices, money should be withheld, as money alone can only exacerbate existing weaknesses.

#28

Every American has already contributed via Taxes-this is US Government aid-Food,Troops,Hospital ships,helicopters etc.Why make people feel guilty?

#27

Sorry KD but these people are not on the same level as the so called Katrina victims. The Katrina vitims were civilized not animals fighting with machetes for rice. The UN is also as always useless. When Clinton did his thing there when he was in power all was suppose to be hunky-dory.Surprise surprise its not. Makes me think that maybe he left it that way so that he could have a place for work a few years down the road. Colonialism is the only answer.It would be a money saver for all.

#26

Reports of abuse do not make me less likely to contribute to the relief effort, because I give through reputable charities like Catholic Relief Services, not to the Haitian government. All donors – from states to individuals – should do likewise. An earlier panelist on your show suggested that we should strengthen the Haitian government by directing more aid through them, rather than NGOs. This may be a good idea in theory, but not while Haiti continues to have an extraordinarily corrupt government.
I would add that it was cruelly ironic to hear the arrest of the Idaho missionaries cited as the reason why medical (and other) evacuations of Haitian children are being needlessly obstructed. The reverse is true: The 10 amateur humanitarians, along with Haitian children in need of evacuation, are being effectively held for ransom by officials in search of a bribe.
See how this case fits the pattern:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100207/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/cb_haiti_americans_detained

http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE61703220100208

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100209/ap_on_re_la_am_ca/cb_haiti_un_hospitals

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/haiti_true_curse_b2jXL3a8JoXWcLSC8wzuQI

#25

Yes the corruption reports do deter me from giving. But it is more than that… It is the fact that I have not seen even one crane to remove the fallen buildings to rescue ppl. They gave up on survivors so quickly it made my head spin. Even while they were still finding ppl alive! The rescue was so pathetic I had nightmares. Give them money for what? They did not even care enough for their own ppl they did not even use heavy equiptment to find survivors. It is appauling. Furthermore, the lack of any respect for the dead and attemping to give them decent burials. I was horrified! They used a truck to scoop up the dead along with the garbage and toss them into mass gaves. They should have used the truck to move the fallen buildings and used man power to dig proper graves and anyone who belives in God should have been their to pray for them and they buried them. It doesn’t take brains to figure that out……just a heart

#24

In a word “yes”. Even though I live on social security I’ve been giving what I can.

#23

I think it is unfortunate that some desperate people may make unrighteous decisions which are only allegations at this point. I give donations through people and organizations who are directly knowledgable about who they are assisting and we are getting reports from ministers and orphanges that they are not seeing support from the massage money raised by big donation campaigns. Organizations like the Red Cross need to be accountable.
I don’t people should be denied food or medicine because of the alleged activities of. To me that is a corupt way of thinking, to want to punish all the deserving people for the actions of a few.

#22

Ms. Dajit/WorldFocus:

It is good to see and hear your insightful and investigative reporting once again. I have not seen or heard your reporting since you worked with ITN - in London - since the 1990s.

Hearing and seeing tonight’s (02/10/10) report on that 2 month old child that needs an immediate surgical attention that she can only receive overseas is disconcerting seeing all the bureaucracy to get this baby to travel overseas.

Yet, out of the depths of our own humanity, one’s compassion cries out to still do whatever we can and in whatever capacity with the help of the Lord.

Joseph,
MN.

#21

Having to give aid through the hand of goverment control is a world wide problem. Corption is just more stark in Haiti. I wish there was a world organization that had internatioal authority to enter a soverain country for the purpose of delivering aid directly to the hands of the needy. The limited government in Haiti has shown it’s stripes and I would give no more.

#20

I already knew to be extremely careful in choosing how to donate money so the reports of alleged corruption and abuse have not changed my mind. I am satisfied with the groups I am donating to. What has caught my attention and I wish would feature more in your reporting is the Haiti-like poverty and devastation on Native American reservations in the heartland of America. Keith Olbermann on MSNBC’s “Countdown” has featured this topic and there have been excellent news postings on the website of Daily Kos. The needs are urgent.

#19

Unfortunately, the corruption, or perception of corruption in not only Haiti but much of the underdeveloped world, has severely limited the willingness to provide aid. Skepticism is rampant because of this and the ones who miss out are the ones who need it most. One of the great challenges of our time is how the help those in need without lining the pockets of the greedy few.

#18

Of course the Haitian politicians are corrupt, but no more corrupt than our own politicians, just less subtle. That shouldn’t make us less generous, just more cautious.

#17

I will not donate to a country that is the poster child for absolute corruption. Having spent several months in Haiti in 1968-1969 during the Duvalier (Papa and Baby) father and son regimes, this country will never change for the better. Haiti and its successive governments will never be any better than it has been, no matter what the world contributes.

#16

I knew this would happen. I have not given and because of this I would not. I wish I could put my donation right into the needy hands.

#15

NOT a PENNY MORE.The current GOVERNMENT will always be and remain CORRUPT…

#14

It saddens me to say that I will not give any foreign country my Social Security money as a donation. I can no longer work; this internet is my link to the world. Yet, I pray for the souls of the victims and wonder why women keep having all of the babies when they cannot support them. It is not the world’s responsibility and yet the sweet babies of God deserve care. The babies didi not ask to come here. Where are the religious leaders of Haiti? Where is the church counselling families? Oh—are they Catholic? Well, let the church take better care of the darlings. It is a sin to neglect.
The government was crooked before the earthquakes and is still crooked, much like ours and Katrina’s management.

#13

Yes, I have not and will not give a dime to them, nor will I give anything or any business to any organization that does.

#12

NO! Not at all! This is a very poor country that has lost more than 200,000 of its citizens & its entire infrastructure. When I “give” I release that gift and can only pray it will be used to the best of its possibility. Whether it’s at church, federal taxes or the homeless person on the street. Truly it is the thought that counts and I will leave the policing of how donations are handled up to program & government authorities. Those who steal from those who are in such critical need will be justly rewarded at a later date.

#11

No, it will not; Katrina Victims suffered through this same kind of Corruption. This kind of wickedness comes from the same kind of decrepit coward vultures as “Alistair Mckay”. Who appear to be in the Bliss and The Abyss of Ignorance.

#10

Of course we must continue to send aid money for the Haitian crisis. But we must be careful to whom we send it. I agree with others that one must go through legitimate, efficient organizations. Check charitynavigator.org. I support a Haiti Mission group which deals directly with aid workers on the ground there. We visit them and bring cash and medicines and food and supplies. Incidentally, our group happened to be there during the earthquake and provided help to hundreds of injured Haitians in a primitive eastern mountain village and in Port-au-Prince.

#9

I think this is a government to government issue.
If our administration would exit it’s aggressive
war mentality, it could afford to help nations in distress.

Charlie

#8

I would say that your reporting might make it more likely, although I certainly hope not. I was happy to see that you had decided to report on Haiti again, but discouraged that you decided to report three stories, all of which dealt with corruption. Your reporting has encourage the kind of irresponsible responses that you have gotten to your question thus far. Of course, send money to reputable and trustworthy organizations, such as the American Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, or UNICEF. But let us not give up on Haiti. The Haitians are fine people, strong and creative. They have been burdened by hundreds of years of terrible government. Let us not give up, but try to help the Haitians use this catastrophe to build a better country.

#7

Absolutely! Check a website on charities that will tell you how the money you send is distributed and rates charities on how much is spent on “administration” and how much actually goes to the programs they promote.
We never had a report after contributing to the relief for the tsumani. We never heard how our contributions helped in New Orleans. I think Americans who out-pour so much money are owed an accounting. New Orleans received millions of dollars from Americans that should have had a real impact but no reporting on how much was donated and more important no report on what was done with the money. Who distributed it; no accounting.
I am not and never again will send money to any group set up to recieve money for a specific disaster. I will send food and materials through a reputable chariety that does not have a big administrative budget or through my church or an agency that has a proven track record of investing in that place before the disaster. They would be more reliable and get things moving and protect contributions to actually get to the people for whom the contributions were donated.
Sent with care and love and offering hope, these well-meaning donors are sending money to corrupt people and the people who were meant to recieve help never do.
Be a smart giver.

#6

God well deal with the crooked ploitions and military and police who steal food and aid from the needy.
Isen’t the Court in the Hague, for judging these crooks?

#5

I will not donate any money because it will enrich evil people and not benefit the innocent.
Haiti cannot be “cured” until the insane population explosion stops. Haiti is an example of the USA may become.

#4

These leaders helped take out 500 million dollars from the country so what would make you think they have changed and by the way were is or donated dallars and who`s pocket and charging for free meds shame on you

#3

Haiti needs another Castro. Someone one who would put the people to work even if it was under a thumb. Castro would put these crooks againts the wall and put holes in their bodies. Castro would close their off shore bank accounts. Castro would get back all the money that was stolen over the years by the enemies of the people.
Castro when he took over Cuba in 1959 did such a thing. He took hundreds of crooks and put them in front of a wall. Problem was solved. Stealing stopped. Black market profiteers were stopped dead in their tracks. He put thousands to work overnight and they work until they dropped. Where is that Castro figure when you readly need him.

#2

February 10-2010:

TO. worldFocus.org

Would The Alleged Kidnapper’s Arrests Cause A Donation Pause?

I feel that any sincere donor would not be affected by this recent situation.

He/She aught to be more particular with whom he/she wishes to forward any monies to.

And to ensure that all donations are sent to legitimate, reputable, and recognized NGO’s in Haiti PERIOD.

Derryck.
NYC.

#1

All I can say is these people will never make it on there own. They should of had and now should have someone over them forever.

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