How to help Hurricane Matthew Victims in Haiti by Dr. Bertin Louis, Jr.
In addition to my previous post about how to help Hurricane victims in Haiti, allow me to share a few more words of advice about donations from a friend, Dr. Bertin Louis, Jr.
” Some people have asked me about Haiti and what you can do in light of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Matthew.
Here’s what you SHOULD NOT DO:
DO NOT DONATE A CENT TO THE RED CROSS.
Here’s a quote from a recent article about the Red Cross’s “efforts” in Haiti:
“Since the 2010 Haiti earthquake NPR and ProPublica went in search of the nearly $500 million and found a string of poorly managed projects, questionable spending and dubious claims of success, according to a review of hundreds of pages of the charity’s internal documents and emails, as well as interviews with a dozen current and former officials.
The Red Cross says it has provided homes to more than 130,000 people, but the number of permanent homes the charity has built is six.”
DO NOT COLLECT IN-KIND GOODS TO SEND TO HAITI.
Lessons learned from 2004 (Hurricane Jeanne) and 2010 (earthquake) is that these in-kind donations:
a) Destroy the local economy and destabilize the communities. Despite the media portrayals of Haiti, many of the goods you find here in the US can be found in Haiti. Merchants sell rice, canned goods, clothing, etc. So, how can they compete with free?
b) Cause logistical and financial problems. You will need to collect/ package the goods, get them through customs in US and Haiti, and have a mechanism for distribution inside the country. Many groups in 2010 were stuck with a stockpile of goods that never made it to the intended people. Use your money, time and energy wisely.
c) Lead to an overabundance of some goods and a short supply of others. We see a number of well-intentioned organizations, churches, politicians hosting collection drives but without an official assessment of what is needed on the ground, the collections may end up being futile and leading to same problems as mentioned above. So, if a decision is made to take in-kind donations, the advice given is to wait for the official assessment of needed items.
Here’s WHAT YOU CAN DO:
Donate. Preferably to an organization on the ground with a solid reputation of delivering on its mission. Here’s a list of Haitian NGOs that you can donate to. I list Haitian NGOs here because, as the Haitian Embassy has mentioned in a previous Tweet sent out after Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti:
“Hold off on clothes & food drives until assessments have been completed by those on the ground to avoid past mistakes”.
Those “past mistakes” refers to donating to international aid organizations like Red Cross. If you donate to a Haitian NGO, that aid will get to those affected on the ground.
Lambi Fund of Haiti (http://www.lambifund.org/)
Haiti Communitere (http://haiti.communitere.org/)
Sakala Haiti (http://www.sakala-haiti.org/)
SOIL Haiti (https://www.oursoil.org/)
Konbit Solèy Leve (http://www.konbitsoleyleve.com/)
Volontariat pour le Développement d’Haïti (http://www.vdhhaiti.org/)
Fondation Aquin Solidarité (https://hibiscus-haiti.org/projects/fondation-aquin-solidarite-fas-park-design/)
Hope for Today Outreach (https://hopefortodayoutreach.org/)
If there are any other Haitian organizations that you know of, please tag them and/or add them to this list and share with others. If you know of any Haitian NGOs that are in Jeremie, Port-à-Piment, Les Cayes, Port Salut, Dame Marie, Pestel, Aquin, St Louis de Sud, and Leogane, please post links for them so people can direct funds to places where aid is needed and can get in the hands of those who need it most.
Here are some non-Haitian organizations with proven track records of helping and partnering with Haitians:
NON-HAITIAN ORGS WITH PROVEN TRACK RECORDS IN
Doctors without Borders (http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/)
Roots of Development (http://www.rootsofdevelopment.org/)
Partners in Health (http://www.pih.org/)
Border of Lights (http://www.borderoflights.org/)
Nova Hope for Haiti (http://www.novahope.org/)
Thank you for your time and attention. My hope is that whatever aid that is intended for helping Haitians in this dire time will get directly to my people.
Keep Haiti and others in the path of Hurricane Matthew in your thoughts.”—Bertin Louis