July 14th, 2010
01:10 PM ET

Most countries fail to deliver on Haiti aid pledges

Joe Johns | BIO
AC360° Correspondent

MaryAnne Fox
AC360° Producer

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/WORLD/americas/07/14/haiti.donations/story.haiti.rebuild.afp.gi.jpg caption="Less than 2 percent of the money that's been promised has been delivered" width=300 height=169]

Six months after a devastating earthquake struck Haiti, most governments that promised money to help rebuild the country have not delivered any funds at all, a CNN investigation has found.

Donors promised $5.3 billion at an aid conference in March, about two months after the earthquake – but less than 2 percent of that money has been handed over so far.

Only four countries have paid anything at all: Brazil, Norway, Estonia and Australia.

The United States pledged $1.15 billion. It has paid nothing, the money tied up in the congressional appropriations process.

Venezuela promised even more - $1.32 billion. It has also paid nothing, although it has written off some of Haiti's debt.

Altogether, about $506 million has been disbursed to Haiti since the January earthquake, said Jehane Sedky of the United Nations Development Program.

Most of it was sent before the donors' conference and the establishment of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission. The IHRC has collected about $90 million since the conference, Sedky said.

CNN compiled the information for this story by reviewing IHRC figures and surveying the donors who had made pledges to determine the disposition of those pledges.

Spain, France and Canada are also among the countries that have not yet followed through on their pledges, CNN found.

No countries told CNN they do not plan to deliver the money eventually.

Some charities, meanwhile, are spending money as fast as they get it, while others are planning long-term projects.

Doctors Without Borders - primarily a disaster-relief organization - has received $66 million and spent $65 million, according to the Chronicle of Philanthropy.

The Red Cross has spent $148 million of the $468 million it has taken in, and is holding some money in reserve for more permanent projects like shelter and water.

Private money has also come in from the Clinton Foundation, from Mexican telecommunications billionaire Carlos Slim Helu and Canadian mining investor Frank Guistra, but that's not part of the $5.3 billion pledged by countries at the conference in March.

Filed under: Haiti Earthquake • Joe Johns
soundoff (8 Responses)
  1. Jacque OC

    I just returned from Haiti last night and briefly spoke with Anderson Cooper in the airport in Haiti yesterday morning. (nice guy!) Today I deal with the extreme excess of the US in direct comparison to the extreme poverty of the Haitian people. There are no easy answers. What I did was go to Haiti with a small team that was able to do a medical clinic seeing over 750 people in a few days. Did we help? For a little while we have reduced STDs, worms, pain, and gave some people some peace regarding medical conditions. We gave the human touch and told the people that there is somebody who does care. While there are no easy answers, we cannot forget these people. Research the organizations in Haiti. Talk to people who have visited there. There is corruption, but there are also organizations that are providing pre-fabbed homes, rain water collections systems, medical care and other services. When you see this kind of poverty, you cannot ignore the plight of these people. Haiti is the poorest nation in the western hemisphere and yet is less than 800 miles from the US. If enough people care, positive change can occur.

    July 15, 2010 at 9:54 am |
  2. Lorraine

    If the countries pledged, they should follow up with the cash pledged. I agree w/ Annie Kate, the money needs to be overseen carefully.

    AC mentioned all the food in football field size warehouses (yes, plural) but no one knows what is in the warehouses because there is no way to keep track of it. He asked if some big wig at google would prepare a program that will help with this...

    I'm no big wig but I can prepare a program that will be simple enough for any 10 yr old and detailed enough to keep track of everything. If you're interested just let me know. I created a similar one for a bottling company to use for the ingredients and finished product.

    July 15, 2010 at 9:52 am |
  3. pam

    i'm not surprised. it's tough out there. people here in the us are living on the streets too. and with no jobless benifits so will alot more. help starts at home.i feel for them, but we don't have the money either.

    July 15, 2010 at 5:54 am |
  4. Trees

    Why should the international community give to Haiti, while corrupt government is still in place. You showed us tonite warehouse filled with food, while the people are starving. As soon as the selfish, greedy, narcissistic government is removed, life will improve for these helpless people. Why should I suppor a country when I see my donations going into the wrong hands? I cannot fathom holding up paperwork for weeks to declare ambulance and emergency materials. That is just sickening!!!

    July 15, 2010 at 12:01 am |
  5. kanisha

    I really think that it's pretty sad.... if you say your going to do something do it and don't have the people waiting and suffering longer than wat they or

    July 14, 2010 at 11:32 pm |
  6. Annie Kate

    As bad as things have been economically for most countries this past year I can understand the slowness of the countries to make good on their pledges. However, I would be reluctant as a country to send the money until there is some sort of financial apparatus set up to ensure that the money is used for the purpose it was donated for instead of lining Haitian leaders pockets. No matter what you give, no one wants to think that their donation went to greedy politicians and that the people you wanted to help got no benefit from it at all.

    July 14, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
  7. Simon/Orlando

    Unfortunately, most countries have their own serious fiscal problems. Including the U.S. You can't give what you don't have.

    July 14, 2010 at 5:38 pm |
  8. Vickie Show Me State


    July 14, 2010 at 5:15 pm |

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