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Think Out Loud

Haiti: Where Did The Money Go?

Pete Springer/OPB

The 7.0 earthquake that struck Haiti two years ago devastated the Caribbean island. The country was already the poorest in the western hemisphere. The reporting from the disaster moved people all around the world to donate to relief efforts. In fact donations to Haiti surpassed those for any other natural disaster in history. Filmmaker Michele Mitchell said it’s reasonable for people to expect that their money is used to help the people that the organizations who asked for it said they would use it for.

In the U.S. half of all households donated money to Haiti for a total of $1.4 billion. Unfortunately, she says, visiting the country, it looks like the earthquake happened just a couple of months ago. Thousands of nongovernmental organizations are in the county, but they have no coordination and limited effectiveness. People are living under tarps or worse, conditions at camps are dismal, and sanitation in many places is still non-existent. So where did the money go? Michele Mitchell’s documentary debuts Tuesday on OPB TV. On today’s Think Out Loud, she’ll give us preview of what she found out.

Did you donate to Haitian relief efforts? Do you remember who you donated to? What were your expectations of how the money would be used? What questions do you have for the Michele Mitchell?

UPDATE, January 16, 2012: After this show aired, we got this response from the American Red Cross.


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