Red Cross Changes its Role in Haiti

This the story of the Red Cross assistance to Haiti.  It is noted that the Red Cross plans to spend $200 million initially, but it will continue to assist the country for three to five more years.  I understand that the Red Cross collected more than $400 million for the emergency, so they will turn themselves into a development agency to spend the balance, a change that I am not to sure is the best practice–collect monies during an emergency and then spend it slowly over a long time.

In the first six months following the January 12th earthquake, the American Red Cross spent or signed agreements to spend $148.5 million. Responding to needs, about 38 percent of the money has been spent on food and emergency services; about 35 percent on emergency and transitional/semi- permanent shelter; 10 percent on livelihoods and host family assistance; 8 percent on health and disease prevention programs; 5 percent on disaster preparedness activities, as well as 4 percent on providing clean water and sanitation. At the same time, the American Red Cross continues to add staff in Haiti, and we now have 117 staff members, including 100 Haitians, dedicated to our earthquake recovery efforts.

The American Red Cross expects to spend more than $200 million to meet the survivors’ immediate needs – mostly in the first 12 months after the earthquake. The remainder of the funds raised will go to longer-term recovery over the next 3- 5 years. Our spending plans likely will evolve to respond to changing needs. We know that shelter will get the largest share, but we also expect to spend significant amounts on disease prevention, water and sanitation, disaster preparedness, and grants, loans and other financial assistance.

via Inside the Red Cross Efforts in Haiti.

About Stephen E. McGaughey
Resident of the City of Coral Gables

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