Friday, April 02, 2010

Update on Haiti : This week UN in NYC held Conference on Current Post Quake Condtions in Haiti


It has been over 2 months since the catastrophic earthquake in Haiti. The World has rallied forth many NGO's and organizations to raise donations and awareness even as Haiti has dropped from the headlines. This week in NYC the UN is holding Donor Meetings that are reviewing the Disaster, the long and short term needs. As the week has gone on I have tried to assemble some of the most informative articles regarding the Meeting and the Conditions in Haiti with reports from Aid and Relief Organizations as well as from on the ground journalists. I will update this post as new information arises. In the title bar linked to the Title I have posted Faydra Deon's list of Ongoing Relief Orgs who are still providing ongoing Aid to Haiti. It is estimated that 1.2-1.5 Million Haitians are still living without adequate aid,shelter and food. Schools and Hospitals still need to be rebuilt and Shelter is not adequate against Rains or upcoming Hurricane Season.
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On March 19th, an initial report was issued in preparation for the Meeting that explored needs and conditions, projected needs and costs, PDNA this is the full downloadable link from the ReliefWeb. The PDNA was released by the Government of Haiti and distributed in advance of the meeting.
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This article from Reuters Foundation (AlertNet) explores what Haitians on the ground are requesting and voicing as to current concerns. Sadly most of their concerns are still focused on basic Living Conditions : Food and Shelter are still critical areas of concern.
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ActionAid has a great article exploring as to the lack of Haitian Exclusion in this meeting and raises questions as to whether they were included enough in the dialogue and planning. Hopefully the NGO's and the Haitian Government will realize that part of accountability and transparency means including more citizens.
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Jacquie Charles of the Miami Herald wrote a really thorough assessment of the NYC UN meetings and described the tone , the dialogue and how the focus was set by those advocating for improved transparency as the Money is raised and the Needs still rise. The Shelter issue was explored as there are 1.5 million still living with inadequate shelter as the Rains have arrived and Hurricane season approaches. {{ I encourage you to read this article to really better understand some of the friction, problems and problem solving that went on during this meeting.}}
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Earlier this week NBC ran a report raising serious questions about the American Red Cross and where all the money is that has been raised and is it reaching the Haitian People. (The NBC Report raised some serious questions and I will post the link below). This link goes to the actual Red Cross Report of Donations raised and projected plans and Needs. If you read this report it does raise serious questions as to where the money has been really spent and WHY more has not been spent or delegated to Shelter.
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NBC Evening News piece on American Red Cross 3.30.10 : Robert Bazzell asks some serious questions regarding all of the Donation Money raised and how much is actually reaching the Haitian People. The Video below shows Gail McGovern who is their 7th Director in 7 years, and who came to ARC in June 2008, and had not ever run a non profit before or been involved with the American Red Cross. The ONLY video Update by American Red Cross was made in Jan1010. She came to the Red Cross Summer of 2008 when it was over 200 Million in Debt ( even after massive fundraising of Katrina and Christmas Tsunami). She has much corporate experience, and was offered a $500,000 yearly salary and $65,000 signing bonus. She has no previous experience running or managing a Non Profit or BioMedical Experience.Her last CEO position was with AT&T and she taught at Harvard.As Red Cross has raised almost 400 Million,much of it with Phone Donations, we would hope that there would be research or information available if her Phone Management Experience was valuable to this situation. As she has been battling breast cancer since February (per RC press release) there have not been many updates from her or other CEOs.At this time I am trying to research WHO is in Charge at the American Red Cross for Haiti. Supposedly it is Dave Metzer,but she was supposed to go to Haiti in March for 2nd visit and update,yet there is not public report or update of that visit.(At this point in time I will be doing a followup story soley on American Red Cross in Haiti).
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Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


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Personal Accounts and Stories from Families and Aid Workers in Haiti are down below. (This also includes Elderly and women and I am still researching latest reports on Orphans,Children and Schools, and medically fragile).
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This article is written from an interview with a Nurse that worked on the ground in Haiti, she works with MERLIN, a Medical Organization based in the UK who has been one of the organizations providing medical care on the ground. First hand ground reports really show how the medical needs are still drastic and ongoing , especially due to the number of Amputations, Infections, head traumas, and even PTSD. ( MSF-Doctors Without Borders, Partners in Health and Merlin are some of the Medical Providers who continue to provide care to thousands).
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British Red Cross has this story of one Family and all that they have been through since the Quake, their story puts the day to day struggles in perspective.
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This account is from World Vision and has video from Doctors who are working in Haiti.
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MSF -USA released a request and a report before the Conference exploring the Medical Needs of Haiti, it is a report that must be read as it show that this Country is still very fragile Medically.
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This report is from World Vision on the condition of 84,000 Displaced Elderly. Of 1.2 Million displaced it is estimated that less than 100,000 are elderly, but their needs also must be reviewed.
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OXfam ( America and UK) both are doing amazing work in Haiti, this is their their Google Map showing where they are doing work and have relief set up.
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UNICEF released a report as to released a report as to the conditions and needs of the Children that is a must read. It is estimated that 800,000 children are orphans and thousands more will be effected by this quake for years to come. The children will continue to need shelter,schools to be rebuilt and medical and psychological care.
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ALNAP has a learning portal with information about ongoing assessments and lessons learned,very helpful site.
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NPR has outstanding post this week explaining the Re-Founding of the Original Haiti Independence Documents,it is worth the read and explains much of Haiti's History. There are many that are concerned in diplomatic circles that Haiti's History will be lost in this Quake Upheaval or that there will be greed and unscrupulous entities attempting to grab lands or or rights from the Haitian People due to the level of poverty and chaos and broken infrastructure.
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Washington Post has an Editorial putting the actual Costs in American Perspective and also delicately explains the fragile Haiti government and infrastructure.
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World Food Programme has pledged 5.3 Billion dollars in food relief in the monthes ahead to continue to meet Nutrional Challenges.This post from 3.31.10 highlights ongoing work and goals.
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Operation Safe continues to work in a variety of settings with Traumatized children offering care and therapy. They went to Haiti this month and I am encouraging you to read their report and support their work. The Little girl above was one of their photos.It truly shows that true aid can help even the smallest Quake Survivor.
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Please stay tuned as I am currently working on a more complete story regarding the American Red Cross Situation as I have ongoing Concerns and Questions about Millions of Missing Dollars and also concerns about actual AID Delivery in Haiti. At this time I encourage people to please give to Charities that are doing amazing work in Haiti, including International Red Cross (Federacion), British Red Cross, Irish Red Cross, Canadian Red Cross, MSF (USA and UK), Merlin (UK) and Partners in Health, UNICEF, WFP,Oxfam and World Vision and CARE.

9 comments:

Fran said...

Yea, wow. The media was all over this story, even probably in the way of search & rescue & essential shipments & teams, and then they just vanished.

We know they have had weather issues, and certainly sanitation is a huge problem. The needs have not gone away, and no doubt this is a 10 YEAR plan.

Amputees need ongoing care, and Haiti was in really bad shape before the quake.

enigma4ever said...

Fran...
it has been 2monthes and yes it has slipped below the fold as they say...really sad, and the Rains have come..and the Hurricane season is bearing down, and yes you are right Haiti has atleast 10 years to rebuild and try to repair all this damage....

Kittie Howard said...

I fear that if the media doesn't stay on top of the earthquak stories, re-building in Haiti may lapse into what could have been. And Happy Easter to you and your son!

enigma4ever said...

March 29th American Red Cross Press Release:

Part One:
American Red Cross Announces Spending Plan for Relief and Recovery in Haiti

National Headquarters
2025 E Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20006
www.redcross.org

Contact: Public Affairs Desk
FOR MEDIA ONLY
media@usa.redcross.org
Phone: (202) 303-5551

WASHINGTON, Monday, March 29, 2010 — The American Red Cross today announced its long-term recovery plan for spending the rest of the nearly $400 million it has received in Haiti donations.

The announcement comes two days before an international donor’s conference hosted by the United Nations to discuss ways that governments and non-governmental organizations can help rebuild Haiti, which was devastated by a 7.0 magnitude earthquake on January 12.

“The crisis is far from over in Haiti, and the American Red Cross will continue to support the brave and resilient people of this country until the last dollar donated for Haiti is spent,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. “It would not have been possible to provide so much help in this extremely difficult situation without the tremendous outpouring of support from the American public.”

To date, the American Red Cross has raised $396 million for the Haiti relief and development efforts. In just 11 weeks, the American Red Cross has already spent or allocated a record $106.4 million, with approximately 52 percent of the funds being used for food, water and relief supplies; 36 percent for shelter; 8 percent have been dedicated for health and family services; and 4 percent for livelihoods through cash grants and loans.

Today’s announcement provided the broad outline of the expected plans of the American Red Cross for spending the remainder of that money over the next three-to-five years to support families and communities recover from this devastating tragedy.

“The American Red Cross is committed to getting more aid to Haiti and its people as quickly as possible, and to do so in the most transparent and practical way possible to meet longer-term needs such as restoring water and sanitation systems, providing adequate shelter and creating sustainable livelihoods,” said David Meltzer, senior vice president for International Services at the Red Cross.

Meltzer said that the American Red Cross expects to spend a total of approximately $200 million for emergency relief, such as the provision of emergency food supplies, tarps, tents, relief supplies, financial assistance programs and the initial transitional shelters – mostly in the 12 months following the earthquake. The remainder of the nearly $400 million raised to date, also approximately $200 million, will go toward long-term recovery over the following several years.

The biggest share – expected to be between 35-40 percent – of the planned American Red Cross spending for the recovery period will be for shelter, with the effort undertaken in coordination with a number of other organizations working to provide shelter in Haiti. The Red Cross focus will shift from the current provision of emergency shelter materials such as hundreds of thousands of tarps and tents, to providing transitional shelters capable of lasting a few years and that offer more living space to residents and then, finally, to building permanent shelters. Plans to devote tens of millions of dollars to the provision of safe, durable, housing to Haitians depend upon the relevant authorities identifying land upon which the transitional and permanent homes can be built.

enigma4ever said...

Part 2 of American Red Cross Press Release:::

Another top priority for the recovery phase—estimated to be approximately 20-25 percent – will be water and sanitation projects in Haiti. In addition, the American Red Cross plans to place a growing emphasis – estimated to be between 15-20 percent of the American Red Cross’ spending on Haiti’s recovery – on helping families rebuild their lives through cash grants, loans and other financial assistance that they can use to buy essential items and empower them as they work to rebuild their lives.

Other spending areas in the multi-year American Red Cross plan will include developing health programs, building the capacity of the Haitian Red Cross to provide humanitarian assistance to the Haitian people, and helping Haitian communities prepare for future disasters such as floods, hurricanes and earthquakes.

The allocations in the American Red Cross plan most likely will shift somewhat in the years ahead in order to be responsive to the fluid situation in Haiti and the evolving needs of the Haitian people.

The American Red Cross relief and recovery plan is part of a broader coordinated effort with the global Red Cross network as well as with other aid groups. A recent preliminary assessment by the United Nations and World Bank estimated that it will cost $11.5 billion over three years to rebuild Haiti, an amount that is far more than any single organization can manage alone.

Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the American Red Cross, will represent the international Red Cross and Red Crescent network at the U.N. Donor Conference on March 31. The international Red Cross and Red Crescent network will pledge its continued collaboration as part of the global effort to help the Haitian people, and also will call on the Haitian government and international community to find solutions to the lack of available land in Haiti for transitional and permanent shelter.

enigma4ever said...

Part 3 of ARC press release:::

American Red Cross Announces Spending Plan for Relief and Recovery in Haiti

National Headquarters
2025 E Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20006
www.redcross.org

Contact: Public Affairs Desk
FOR MEDIA ONLY
media@usa.redcross.org
Phone: (202) 303-5551
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“The needs in Haiti remain immense and the challenges are widespread – both in emergency relief and for long-term recovery,” McGovern said. “Help is reaching people, but we are especially concerned about a possible second humanitarian disaster, with makeshift camps containing hundreds of thousands of Haitians for whom it has not been possible to provide shelters capable of fully protecting them from the severe weather conditions of the rainy season or a hurricane.”

The Red Cross network and other organizations have distributed hundreds of thousands of tarps and tents to more than 1 million people or roughly 75 percent of the estimated 1.3 million survivors without a place to live following the earthquake. Efforts are on track to get tarps or tents to the remainder by May 1st.

In the meantime, the American Red Cross and other groups are working to mitigate the impact of the rains through disaster preparedness activities such as pre-positioning of relief stocks, replacing dug-in toilets with elevated ones, supporting communities along with the Haitian Red Cross volunteers to dig new drainage gullies and keep old ones clear, putting in place Early Warning Systems and looking for ways to establish safe havens.

“We believe that coordination among the U.S. government, the Haitian government, UN and international NGOs is critical to maximizing donor dollars and getting aid to people of Haiti as efficiently as possible and the American Red Cross is committed to participating in such coordination efforts,” McGovern said.

You can help the victims of countless crises, like the recent earthquake in Haiti, around the world each year by making a financial gift to the American Red Cross International Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief and long-term support through supplies, technical assistance and other support to help those in need. The American Red Cross honors donor intent. If you wish to designate your donation to a specific disaster, please do so at the time of your donation by mailing your donation with the designation to the American Red Cross, P.O. Box 37243, Washington, D.C. 20013 or to your local American Red Cross chapter. Donations to the International Response Fund can be made by phone at 1-800-REDCROSS or 1-800-257-7575 (Spanish) or online at www.redcross.org.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

Hanz said...

Nice post. It is very sad that for a week or two it was 'look at these poor Haitians' and then within 2 weeks the media shoutd 'NEXT' and it was forgotten and the story moved onto elsewhere.
The spotlight needs to stay on the conditions in these poorest places if they are ever going to progress.

MandT said...

The Red Cross is a scandal---and yet another disastrous CEO at the helm---Surprised they didn't invite Cari Fiorina to take charge. Haiti is America's most egregious outrage, and that is saying a lot. Thanks for your usual excellent coverage! peace, MandT

enigma4ever said...

Thank you Mandt and Hanz for caring...about Haiti...very grateful...

peace...