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Where Did The Money Go?

American Red Cross

Helping prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies

What has your charity done in Haiti?

The money Americans donated to the Red Cross has provided life-saving relief to hundreds of thousands of Haitians and is now helping them rebuild their lives for the future. At the one-year anniversary of the earthquake, the American Red Cross has spent and signed agreements to spend $245 million, which is more than half of what has been raised. Donations have been spent on emergency shelter and basic homes; food and emergency services; clean water and sanitation; health and disease prevention programs; livelihoods and host family assistance; and disaster preparedness activities. Because of the generosity of donors, people in Haiti are receiving immediate relief and resources, as well as the necessary support and training to help them recover and rebuild. The Red Cross will continue to spend the money entrusted to us by the American people in the most responsible way possible to help Haiti and its people.


What are the outcomes (immediate results) of your efforts in Haiti?

Since the earthquake, the American Red Cross and global Red Cross network have provided:

  • Enough funding to feed more than 1 million people during the height of the response
  • Daily drinking water for more than 317,000 people
  • Emergency shelter materials for more than 860,000 people
  • Cash grants and loans to help 220,000 people
  • Medical care for nearly 217,000 patients
  • Supported vaccinations for nearly 1 million people
  • Latrines for 265,000 people


Based on your outcomes thus far, has your charity adjusted its course of action to improve the results?

The American Red Cross carefully monitors and evaluates its work, and our programs have provided many important benefits to many of Haiti’s earthquake survivors. However, in major disaster responses like this one, it is important to develop and follow a relief and recovery plan – and know when to be flexible in order to adapt to changing conditions and emerging needs. In Haiti the American Red Cross extended the relief phase of its operations long after it would have ended in other contexts, owing to developments like Hurricane Tomas and the ongoing cholera epidemic. As a result, it kept the doors open for the largest public hospital in Port-au-Prince as well as the only critical care and trauma hospital in Haiti. The American Red Cross has also allocated more than $14 million to respond to the cholera outbreak.


Is your charity planning to continue to provide assistance to Haiti in the coming months and years? If so, please explain your plans.

It will take time for Haiti to recover, but the American Red Cross is committed to spending our donor dollars in the most effective way possible, and we will be there until the last dollar donated to Haiti has been spent. In addition to our programs for permanent homes, we are looking to support rubble removal, vaccinate millions against life-threatening diseases and rebuild water supply systems. And we will continue to work to reduce the risks of future disasters, educate camp residents about cholera prevention and support livelihood opportunities to help Haitians get back on their feet.

What do you anticipate will be the biggest challenges facing the people of Haiti in the years to come? Do you have suggestions for how to address these challenges both via your own organization and through the efforts of others?

A major challenge has been finding appropriate land to get people out of camps and into transitional homes. This has not moved as quickly as anyone would have hoped for a number of reasons, including the pervasive rubble and land tenure issues. Looking to the future, the Red Cross is moving from emergency relief to long-term recovery efforts where the bulk of the money will be spent on providing permanent homes. The American Red Cross is spending $48 million with partners like Habitat for Humanity to build semi-permanent homes in the months ahead. Some families have begun to move into new residences in Port-au-Prince and in other communities outside the capital.  We are also budgeting $100 to 150 million to re-build damaged homes and build permanent homes both in Port-au-Prince and in new communities.


Have you been able to coordinate and pool your efforts with other organizations?

Red Cross societies operating in Haiti pool money for projects that are managed in part by American Red Cross staff. Outside the Red Cross network, the American Red Cross signs contracts with partners with specific expertise that complement Red Cross services, which include keydeliverables. A full overview of these projects and partnerships is available at www.redcross.org/haiti.

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