jeudi 6 août 2015

State senator renews effort to get answers on funds meant for Haiti recovery

ATLANTA — A state senator is renewing his call to boycott the American Red Cross.
The relief agency has been under fire from local elected leaders and community activists for building just six houses in earthquake-ravaged Haiti after raising almost $500 million, according to a report by nonprofits NPR and ProPublica.
Channel 2’s Lori Geary talked to a Red Cross spokesman Wednesday who says the agency has helped millions of Haitians.
The agency's critics say the organization has created a man-made disaster.
State Sen. Vincent Fort says he's not satisfied with information the Red Cross is putting out when it comes to the almost $500 million raised for Haitians devastated by the 2010 earthquake.
“They raised $500 million and built six permanent homes,” Fort said.
Fort, who visited Haiti four years ago with other community activists, says he's renewing his call not to give money to the organization.
“Don't give a red cent to the Red Cross,” Fort told Geary. “As of four months ago, $400 (million) of the $500 million had been spent and we had not gotten a good accounting of it.”
Fort says he applauds the efforts of U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa.
Grassley said he has more questions for the Red Cross after its response to his inquiry. He said he wants to know who's driving the lack of disclosure.
The Red Cross released a statement to Geary saying, in part, it’s helping millions of Haitians.
"These funds have helped build and operate eight hospitals and clinics, stem a deadly cholera outbreak, provide clean water and sanitation, and move more than 100,000 people out of make-shift tents," the statement said.
Geary looked further at the Red Cross website and it confirmed only six new homes were built because there were land ownership issues.
“Those people essentially got swindled by the Red Cross,” Fort said. “If this was government or private industry, heads would roll.”
Fort says the reason he's not letting up on this issue is because he has thousands of constituents who gave for the Haitian relief efforts.
He says many of them are asking questions, as well.

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