The Red Cross received an outpouring of donations after the quake, nearly half a billion dollars.
The group has publicly celebrated its work. But in fact, the Red Cross has repeatedly failed on the ground in Haiti. Confidential memos, emails from worried top officers, and accounts of a dozen frustrated and disappointed insiders show the charity has broken promises, squandered donations, and made dubious claims of success.
The Red Cross says it has provided homes to more than 130,000 people. But the actual number of permanent homes the group has built in all of Haiti: six.
In effect, the Red Cross exploited the Haiti earthquake as a way to get gullible donors to wipe out its massive operational debt. Check this out:
Inside the Red Cross, the Haiti disaster was seen as “a spectacular fundraising opportunity,” recalled one former official who helped organize the effort. Michelle Obama, the NFL and a long list of celebrities appealed for donations to the group.
The Red Cross kept soliciting money well after it had enough for the emergency relief that is the group’s stock in trade. Doctors Without Borders, in contrast, stopped fundraising off the earthquake after it decided it had enough money. The donations to the Red Cross helped the group erase its more-than $100 million deficit.
The American Red Cross: Where donation money disappears into a massive bureaucratic black hole
So what did the Red Cross actually do? Like all big bureaucracies, its top officials all stood around shoving thumbs up each other’s asses and calling it “success.” Via ProPublica:
The Red Cross’ initial plan said the focus would be building homes — an internal proposal put the number at 700. Each would have finished floors, toilets, showers, even rainwater collection systems. The houses were supposed to be finished in January 2013. None of that ever happened. Carline Noailles, who was the project’s manager in Washington, said it was endlessly delayed because the Red Cross “didn’t have the know-how.”
So the Red Cross collects half a billion dollars from gullible donors, but doesn’t know how to build homes for the victims it claimed to be helping? This reality reeks of so much waste that I’m now nominating the Red Cross to be a full-fledged government agency, where it’s amazing waste-amplified talents can be put to use on a larger scale, wasting far more taxpayer money than ever thought possible.
Millions spent teaching impoverished children with no water or soap how to wash their hands
While all the Red Cross’s home building plans were being laughed off the table, the organization decided to use its half a billion dollars in funding to — and I’m not even making this up — teach hand washing skills to children who have no water and no soap. F-Yeah! Why didn’t I think of that?
Instead of making concrete improvements to living conditions, the Red Cross has launched hand-washing education campaigns. The internal evaluation noted that these were “not effective when people had no access to water and no soap.” (The Red Cross declined to comment on the project.)
You might think that somebody at the Red Cross would first realize that washing hands requires running water, but that would be giving them way too much credit. It’s not about actually helping people, you see… it’s all about raising money to raise Red Cross salaries and bonuses!
Bottom line: If you give a single dollar to the American Red Cross, you’re a fool. The organization is a fraud. Pick a more honest non-profit next time, and do your homework before giving money to these donation fat cats who pay themselves huge salaries and bonuses while doing next to nothing to actually help real people in the real world.