Haiti: Where Did the Money Go?


On January 12, 2010, a devastating 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck the island of Haiti… some 316,000 people died… at least a million people were left homeless.  The shock waves went around the world and the response was unprecedented.  People donated billions of dollars to help. Where did all that money go?

It was one of the deadliest earthquakes in history… and the response was unprecedented. Millions of people reached into their pockets and donated billions of dollars to help… More than a half a billion went to the American Red Cross.  Now, more than 2 years have gone by… and filmmaker Michele Mitchell’s new documentary asks simply, Haiti… 'Where did the Money Go?'

"In many cases these people were educated, they had jobs, bank accounts, and all of that collapsed.. imagine your job is gone, your house is gone, and your bank account is gone and there’s no record, its a shattering way to figure out what in the world you’re going to do next factor that, on maybe family members died, maybe your are injured,  the multiple levels of trauma are almost unimaginable."


American Red Cross Statement on Errors in Film@11 Story

The American Red Cross issued the following statement regarding the Film@11 piece on
the Haiti earthquake response that is airing on a number of PBS stations.

The Film@11 piece diminishes the important work that the Red Cross has done in Haiti
and contains a number of inaccurate statements. The American Red Cross worked with
the producers in good faith and we are disappointed that we now need to correct
inaccurate information in this film.

First, despite the implication that all nonprofits charge for supplies in Haiti, the Red
Cross has not and never will charge for disaster relief services on any occasion, in Haiti
or any other disaster. Our programs and supplies in Haiti are funded by generous
donations by the American people.

Second, donations made to the American Red Cross for Haiti earthquake relief and recovery
will be used for that effort. On average, the American Red Cross spends 91 cents of every
donated dollar on disaster relief operations and recovery efforts. The other 9 cents supports
the general infrastructure/back office operations of the Red Cross such as human resources,
corporate finance, and legal services. We have publicly stated our plans to spend the Haiti
donations in Haiti -as our donors intended --hundreds of times since the earthquake, yet
the producer of this film clearly chose to ignore this. The American Red Cross raised
$486 million for Haiti, and in the first two years, $330 million has been spent or
committed to the emergency relief operation and long term recovery programs.

This piece has a point of view that nothing has been done, and it fails to acknowledge that
relief efforts in the aftermath of the earthquake kept people alive with food, water, shelter
and health care.

It is unfortunate that Film@11 made assumptions about our work that have no basis in
fact. It is unfair and untrue to imply that because many people are still in camps that no
one has received aid when 100,000 people have been moved into transitional housing
provided by the Red Cross.

The American Red Cross has a proven track record globally in disaster relief, and time
and again, donors have trusted their contributions to the Red Cross. We are also proud of
the fact that the charity oversight organization Charity Navigator has given the American
Red Cross a four-star rating, its top rating.

For information on the work that the American Red Cross is doing in Haiti please visit

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