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Demand Accountability and Transparency of US Aid to Haiti

March 2010

Some say that the devastating earthquake in Haiti that killed more than 230,000 and displaced more than a million people has left Haiti with a “blank slate.”   

While it is true that Haiti must now rebuild, we must ask: “a blank slate for whom?”  The AP recently reported that while 33 cents of every dollar of US aid money to Haiti is designated for US military aid, just less than one cent makes its way to the Haitian government.  According to a UN report, only 41 percent of shelter and 13 percent of sanitation needs have been met to date.

While the Obama Administration’s generous aid commitment to Haiti is commendable, the rainy season has already started, and what wasn’t destroyed by the earthquake may well be washed away by rains.  We must act urgently to ensure greater accountability and transparency of aid money so that critical needs can be met. 

This requires the inclusion of local Haitian groups to facilitate on-the-ground coordination of aid as well as Haitian leadership of rebuilding efforts.  The active participation of Haitian civil society and government institutions is necessary to ensure that process is effective and appropriate.  Moreover, long-term aid needs to promote equitable reconstruction to reverse the poverty and environmental degradation that has made Haiti so vulnerable to natural disasters.

Join us now in sending a message to Secretary of State Clinton to demand accountable and efficient aid delivery.  

Food, water, shelter, and sanitation services are needed immediately for urban displaced people, including more than 500,000 living in unsanitary, dangerous conditions in self-organized refugee camps in and around Port-au-Prince.  Simultaneously, immediate funds for seeds and tools are needed to enhance food production in rural areas, where basic relief services have yet to reach over 600,000 people who have migrated from the city.  The planting season is already underway, and if the next harvest is insufficient, it could set off a wave of famine.

Our partners in Haiti have made it clear that they want to build a better Haiti, and that Haitians–not international institutions and corporations–should control that process as a part of a comprehensive decentralized rural development strategy rooted in food sovereignty.   

Please act now to demand that US aid money helps achieve, rather than impede, immediate relief and long-term and sustainability.


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