On January 15, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake devastated the already poverty-stricken Haiti, killing more than 200,000 and leaving over 1 million homeless.
Obama immediately promised to help rebuild the Caribbean island country, in addition to $100 million in rescue and relief aid. At the time, I had asked in a post whether America can afford the largesse, given:
- America’s enormous national debt of $12 trillion, which has since ballooned to $16+ trillion;
- Our nearly broke “entitlement” programs of Medicare and Social Security;
- The failure of past U.S. foreign aid — we are the world’s largest foreign-aid donor to Haiti — to improve conditions on the island;
- Pandemic and endemic corruption in Haiti, the third most corrupt country in the world.
Despite all the above reservations, individual Americans and the U.S. government poured donations and aid to Haiti. Do you remember how former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton teamed up and flew to the Caribbean island to drum up charity donations for earthquake relief?
According to the nonpartisan Washington watchdog Judicial Watch, the Clinton Foundation and the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund collected huge sums of donation of $34 million and $54.4 million, respectively. Congress also approved $1.4 BILLION of taxpayers’ money to help Haiti bounce back from the earthquake.
More than 4 years after the earthquake, however, there is little to show for the millions of dollars that have been poured into “reconstructing” Haiti, most of the money having disappeared into fraud and corruption.
Most of the money has flowed through the famously crooked—and scandal-plagued—United States Agency for International Development (USAID), which is charged with providing economic, development and humanitarian assistance worldwide.
Last summer, a federal audit revealed that hundreds of millions of dollars have gone to wasteful projects on the island with the single largest chunk—$170.3 million—going to a failed port and power plant adventure heavily promoted by Bill and Hillary Clinton.
This month USAID’s Inspector General published a report blasting the agency’s outrageous Haiti housing effort, which is rife with all sorts of serious problems and has exceeded costs and deadlines:
- For $55 million USAID was supposed to build 4,000 houses outside Haiti’s capital by 2012 but only 816 have been constructed even though funding increased to a startling $90 million.
- USAID failed to provide adequate oversight of contractors doing the work and severely underestimated costs.
- USAID failed to keep complete records as is required in these sorts of projects.
On its website the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund claims that it has helped Haitians transform their own country and that the money has helped promote smart, sustainable economic development. Yet four years later news report after news report reveals that a large number of Haitians still live in deplorable, shanty town tent cities and an ongoing epidemic of cholera has claimed thousands of lives.
Judicial Watch concludes that all of that “Makes you wonder if someone is pocketing the money.”
- “Democrat Congresswoman Maxine Waters stole from Haiti,” Oct.. 18, 2010.
- “Rapper Wyclef Jean’s Haiti charity a cesspool of fraud,” Oct. 16, 2012.
Note that Maxine Waters and Wyclef Jean are both black, as are Haitians.
Dr. Eowyn’s article first appeared at Fellowship of the Minds.